Is it possible to learn to play guitar by yourself? Yes it absolutely is, if you know how to go about it. Here are the 3 key factors that determine you success when learning to play the guitar by yourself.
When you think about it, and I don’t mean to get too philosophical here, you always have to learn things by yourself. Others can give you guidance and show you how to do it, but the actual part of learning will always stay with you. So ultimately, no matter what you decide to do, whether it’s taking lessons from a teacher or teaching yourself how to play the guitar, success will depend on you. I’d be the first one to admit that nothing is more effective than getting some qualified help from a teacher of someone who already plays the instrument well. But that typically involves money and some logistical challenges that you don’t have to deal with if you decide on the best way to learn the guitar given your personal situation.
Learning How To Play The Guitar By Yourself – 3 Important Factors To Be Successful
1. Have realistic expectations
Having access to an abundance of online resources is great and make learning guitar on your own much easier when I compared it to the time when I started. A lot of the information that you find on the Internet is helpful, however, there is also unfortunately another huge portion that can be misleading, to say the least. Offers such as “Become a Guitar God” or “Learn Guitar In Your Sleep” suggest that only takes very little or no effort at all to learn the instrument. And that is simply non-sense. The truth is, no matter which learning approach you take, you will always have to sit down and practice. If you don’t do that, you won’t succeed.
So, just be reasonable and realistic. Learning guitar by yourself or with a teacher means that you will need to work hard. No course, method or program can help you with that. Therefore, be careful before you spend any money on offers that are just too good to be true.
2. Willpower, Discipline and Commitment
Irrespectively of what route you choose regarding you guitar learning approach, it all comes down to commitment and discipline. And if you learn guitar by yourself, you will very likely need a little bit more of all of those things. Because you have no-one who will keep you on track. If you decide to skip a few days of practice, nobody will know and scold you for that. But if you work with a teacher, if he cares about you, he will let you know that this is not okay. So when you learn guitar on your own, you will have to be your own teacher, guide and supervisor. That’s easier said than done! Therefore, if you know that you in general are not the most disciplined person when it comes to learning new things, learning guitar by yourself might just not be the right thing for you.
3. Be ready to work harder
As mentioned, there is a trade-of if you decide to do things on your own. You don’t have to put up with a teacher, it’s easier logistically and very likely you will save a good amount of money. However, in order to be successful, you will have to make up for the fact that you don’t have external supervision, there’s nobody who will motivate you and you can’t just send an email or pick up the phone when you get stuck. Here are a couple of things that I want you think about as you figure out if learning to play the guitar by yourself is the right way to go:
1. Am I willing to work harder than other guitar students who take lessons?
2. Am I willing to at a minimum practice for 30 minutes almost every day?
3. Am I disciplined enough to keep myself on track or to I in general learn things better under supervision?
4. Do I get easily frustrated when things don’t work out right away?
5. Am I realistic in my expectations regarding how long it will take me to learn playing guitar?
6. Do I have access to the appropriate sources in case I get stuck?
How Easy Is It To Learn Guitar By Myself?
Alright, so you thought about the whole thing, weight out the advantages and disadvantages and decided: I will learn to play guitar by myself. That’s great, because as I mentioned before, this can be a very rewarding and successful experience if you do it right.
Now, unless you possess some supernatural abilities that most of us mortals don’t have, you need at least some sort of guidance and something to start with. Likely, you will find these things online, but of course, you can also do the old school thing and look for good guitar books or lessons on tape/DVD. If you want to check out what’s available online, just be mindful of what I mentioned before – stay away from offers that promise things that are just not reasonable.
As I said before, learning to play guitar in general is not easy. And to learn guitar by yourself is certainly a bit harder than with a teacher. But it is very doable if you approach it the right way. Here’s a suggestion: check out my completely Free Online Beginners Guitar Course. It doesn’t cost you a cent, you don’t have to sign-up for a membership or register. I created this course myself based on my experience as a guitar teacher for beginners. If you don’t like this course (which I highly doubt, because so far everybody else loves it!), well, then you can still look elsewhere, but at least you didn’t lose any money.
Advantages of learning guitar by yourself
Well, it’s obvious: you can practice at any time you want. You don’t need to be at a certain place at a certain time. You don’t need to leave the house or worry about the clothes you wear. If you didn’t get to practice, nobody will be mad at you and the biggest benefit of all: learning guitar on your own is cheaper than taking lessons.
And there’s actually another interesting aspect that can be very beneficial to people who decide to learn the guitar by themselves: you will get better ears. I know, that’s a weird expression. But what I mean by that is your ability to develop a better sense of hearing and learning a song. A teacher would just tell you, hey, do this or that – you, on the other hand and since you decided to learn guitar by yourself, need to figure these things out on your own. This will positively affect you learning skills in the long term.
Alright, I hope you found my thoughts around ‘How to learn guitar by yourself’ helpful. The last thing I wanted is to discourage you. However, I wanted to make sure that you understand all the implications. But with the right expectations and mindset, you can absolutely be very successful in learning guitar on your own.