Monday, March 27, 2006

Tools For Learning Guitar

By: Jon Broderick

Guitarists are insatiable learners and the world is full of
great guitar learning material. First of all, there are
countless tablature books which show you in the easy-to-learn
guitar tablature format how to play all your favorite songs even
if you can't read sheet music. If you can read sheet music, then
there is sheet music available for every popular artist and
thousands of classical and lesser-known composers. There are
also "method books" that teach how to play a particular style,
and there are instructional guitar DVDs that show you and tell
you everything a single guitarist knows how to do. There are
books with CDs full of audio examples, there are DVDs that come
with tablature books; the list of available guitar learning
resources is endless.

Guitar lessons are still the number one way that guitarists pick
up new information. In-person guitar lessons with a local guitar
teacher are probably the most effective way to learn new things
about the guitar. The world is full of part-time and full-time
guitar teachers, who put their heart and soul into teaching
their students how to be an ever-improving guitar learning
machine. Guitar teachers are expensive, however, and not
everyone has the money or the time to commit to in-person
lessons. So while this is a truly effective method, it is not
for everyone.

Over the last 5 years, online guitar lessons have become an
outstanding resource for guitarists wanting to learn guitar at a
convenient pace and at very low cost. In my opinion, online
guitar lessons have come of age, and are now the best tool for
learning guitar available to anyone anywhere. I don't propose
that online guitar lessons should supplant books, sheet music,
DVDs, and in-person guitar lessons. What I would like to suggest
is that online guitar lessons are more convenient, cheaper, more
useable, and provide more breadth of information than any other
method available.

Convenience: Tablature books are OK, as long as they come with
some audio examples. DVDs are OK, as long as they come with a
book. The problem is that keeping your place in the book and
your place on the CD/DVD in synch is difficult. Every time you
take a break (every day basically) you lose your place and have
to synch up all over again. Online guitar lessons, on the other
hand, solve the problem of synching the tab, explanation, and
audio/video samples. A web page is the ultimate guitar lesson
format: audio, video, and text all together in one document.

Price: Books and DVDs have to be manufacturer, shipped, and
inventoried. If you have ever burned a CD or made some copies at
a copy shop, you know that manufacturing a product costs real
money. Imagine if you had to turn around and sell your product
at a profit? Shipping a book or DVD to the retailer is another
expense in traditional publishing that occurs before the product
is even ready to be sold. Inventory, the hidden expense, can be
the largest: every month the book sits in the store, it costs
the owner a percent of the price to pay for it to be kept out of
the rain, and if the inventory is bought on credit, there is
interest on the loan as well. All told, it is no wonder there
are few places that sell guitar lesson products even in a large

Breadth: Guitar books generally can only have a few hundred
pages; DVDs can only hold a couple of hours of video. A web site
can expand to the size of a whole library full of books and
DVDs. This is one aspect of the size advantage of online guitar
lessons, but the more important aspect is this: getting a book
published is so difficult, that many great guitarists simply
never try it. Publishing a web site is so easy that many
fantastic guitarists who would never previously have published
their knowledge can now publish their guitar lessons online
where you can find them.

As you can see, online guitar lessons have significant
advantages that should make them an important part of any
guitarist's learning strategy. As the internet continues to
grow, and the use of video on the internet spreads, look for
online guitar lessons to one day be the recognized leader in
helping guitarists improve their skills in a convenient,
inexpensive way.

About the author:
Jon has been playing guitar for over 30 years. He is the
webmaster for, which has been
publishing online guitar lessons since 1998. Guitar Tricks now
has over 2500 lessons from 43 guitar instructors from all over
the world.

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