Learning to play the guitar will provide a peaceful sense of relaxation, plus eventually allow you to show off your new talent by entertaining your friends. It used to be, that the only way you could learn how to play was to find a local guitar teacher and sign up for classes. So, how can you learn guitar online, today?

All an aspiring guitar player has to do today is open up a web browser and search thousands of instructional texts and helpful videos, which are available to learn guitar online. Here’s a guide with some tips and suggestions to get the most out of your online guitar playing experience.

How to Learn Guitar Online

a part of a musical sheet with guitar chords

Unless you have a lot of previous experience playing musical instruments, being successful with your efforts to learn guitar online are going to require understanding basic music concepts. To learn guitar online successfully, you’ll also need to keep your instrument perfectly tuned.

Strumming techniques and finger work are the next phases towards perfecting your guitar skills; ultimately becoming aware of how important practice and repetition are is quite essential. The final stage when learning guitar online is the fun part, being able to play some of your favorite songs.

1. Music Reading Basics and Keeping Time

a music metronome close-up

To learn guitar online, you will need to start by understanding some basic music terminology. Mastering the ability to read sheet music, referred to as sight-reading, is not vital, but it will be necessary to eventually advance to the expert level. What you do need to learn are the basic finger placements for some simple guitar chords.

You do need to understand the concepts of musical beat and learn to keep time. Nothing worse than knowing all the right notes, but you’re unable to play them in the right beat sequence. Once you understand how to read the beat sequence for a song, you can even launch an online metronome to help teach you how to keep time.

2. Tuning Your Guitar

a man tuning his guitar

Now that you have a foundation of basic music diagrams and how to keep the beat, you need to make sure your instrument is always in tune. There are guitar tuners you can purchase, like a Snark™, which attach to the end of your guitar and indicate when each string is correctly tuned.

However, before you can successfully use a tuning tool, it’s best to know what each actual string is supposed to sound like. There are websites with tuners for anyone starting to learn guitar online. As long as you have access to the Internet, you can always use one of these options to tune your guitar.

3. Finger Work and Strumming

a man strumming a guitar

Now that you have a basic understanding of reading guitar music and chords, plus your guitar is perfectly tuned, you’ll be ready to practice finger work and strumming. One of the most helpful, but frequently skipped skills needed to successfully learn guitar online, are the finger stretching exercises. Even famous guitar players regularly do finger workouts to keep their fingers limber.

Beginner guitar players can start with a series of simple chords and practice different strumming techniques. You will learn how to make different types of sounds with upstrokes vs. down strokes, and slowly start to develop the skill of transitioning from one chord to another. It’s a slow, methodical process, so be patient.

4. Scales and Repetition

a music sheet with scales

The next step in learning guitar online is appreciating how important practicing repetitive scales will be to advancing your skills. Practicing scales may seem boring and redundant, but they help to perfect finger work, teach you where all the notes are on the guitar and are essential to eventually playing actual songs.

Once you become more comfortable with your finger work and have a handful of simple chords mastered, you can graduate to chord progressions. This will help you immensely when developing what is known as transitioning. Learning how to get from one chord to the next in a song is a skill that takes time and can only happen with a lot of repetition.

5. Learning Songs

an acoustic guitar on a bench

As part of gaining a better feel for the guitar, you can start with some very basic and repetitive types of songs. Simple tunes that use a handful of basic chords, plus only one or two strumming techniques, are the best place to start. Be patient and start slowly because when you learn guitar online, it’s progress, not perfection.

You can also subscribe to some paid online guitar courses, but there are dozens of free opportunities to get you started. Be sure to read reviews of these paid websites, to read about the experiences of previous users, before spending your money. In all honesty, there are enough free options to keep you busy for at least the first year.

When your mastery of the finger work and the number of chords you know increases, you’ll be able to start playing more advanced songs. There is probably a cover video demonstration for almost every single song out there. You can sit back in the comfort of your home and learn guitar online, whether your favorite music genre is country bluegrass, or driving heavy metal rock & roll.

As your skill level gradually progresses from beginner to intermediate, you also have the option of practicing riffs, or short repetitive segments from famous guitar solos. When your skills develop sufficiently to begin playing some riffs, you’ll also be able to boost your confidence going forward. With a solid foundation of basic guitar skills, you will hear yourself producing segments of your favorite songs.

Bottom Line

Learning to play the guitar can be an extremely rewarding experience. As your skills improve, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as your playing abilities continue to develop. Best of all, you can sit in the comfort of your home and learn guitar online. All you need is an Internet connection, a well-tuned guitar and the ambition to practice.

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