There’s no doubt that YouTube is an incredible resource for learning how to play the guitar.
The sheer number of different channels dedicated to teaching everything from beginner basics all the way to the most advanced techniques is pretty amazing!
But at the same time, it’s easy to get absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content out there. From famous guitar heroes to passionate educators, you can find pretty much whatever you want.
So how do you decide what’s best for you at this point in your guitar journey?
In this article, we’ll have a look at the pros and cons of learning to play guitar on YouTube, how to integrate it into your guitar journey, and some of the best guitar teachers on YouTube.
Let’s dive right in!
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Is YouTube a Good Place to Learn Guitar?
While the idea of a platform with endless free videos seems like it would be the best place to learn, well, anything, there are a number of pros and cons to using YouTube as your main means of learning guitar.
Advantages of Learning Guitar on YouTube
Here are the great benefits that YouTube offers a fledgling guitar player:
- Accessibility. YouTube has reduced the barrier to learning guitar to almost zero. If you don’t have the means to afford a teacher or travel to classes, you can access a lot of great content for free. All you need is a guitar, a device, and an internet connection.
- Convenience. YouTube has made learning the guitar extremely convenient. You can develop new skills in the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas, in the middle of the night – anything goes!
- Scale. YouTube has seemingly endless content produced by countless creators. No matter how niche the topic you’re looking for, there’s likely a video on how to do it. Need a video on chord progressions? Easy. How about one with fingerpicking tips? Well of course there’s one for that too.
- Learn at your own pace. Instead of asking an instructor to repeat themselves ten times, you can simply pause and rewind as many times as you like. You can also change the playback speed if you want to slow down a challenging bit of a song. This has done incredible things for players struggling with confidence.
Disadvantages of Learning Guitar on YouTube
Now while there are even more advantages to learning on YouTube, I would be lying if I said there weren’t any disadvantages:
- It’s difficult to find the right content creator. As there is a lot of material on YouTube, the quest to find the right content creator can be overwhelming. And not only that but creators vary hugely in quality. So as a beginner, you could accidentally end up learning some bad habits or flawed techniques which could hinder your progress later on.
- Structuring your progress becomes difficult. Because YouTube encourages content creation, many choose to simply create content about… well, anything. This means there’s a lot of nebulous, unstructured content out there. Without the necessary structure to guide your journey, you risk not getting a balanced musical education.
- Lack of accountability, feedback, and community. In-person guitar lessons are awesome because they provide you with feedback on your progress. Online communities can also be that sounding board, keeping you accountable and nurturing your guitar dreams. When you learn solely through YouTube, you miss all three of those aspects.
As a whole, YouTube provides countless opportunities for guitar players, but I always recommend a balanced approach.
Are 30-Minute Guitar Lessons Better Than YouTube?
If you’re attending a 30-minute guitar lesson every day, then I would say it’s definitely a worthwhile way of learning how to play the guitar.
But if you’re getting one lesson a week, then I’d skip it altogether.
And I don’t say that lightly – the reason I don’t recommend it is also the reason I started Tony’s Acoustic Challenge in the first place.
I was making pretty good money teaching students for 30 minutes or an hour a week. But here’s the thing – my students weren’t making enough progress in that time.
The window was too short and too sporadic for them to stick to any kind of structure that would allow them to get better.
Then there was also the fact that they had to drive all the way to me, and sometimes we’d miss lessons because life got in the way.
YouTube eliminates all of that. If you’re following lessons on YouTube, you can practice every day in the comfort of your own home. There’s no need to get in a car, or even put on pants for that matter!
If you have access to a teacher every day – fantastic. But if you don’t, relying on YouTube for 30 minutes of solid instruction every day is a godsend, and you should definitely take advantage of it!
The Best Guitar Teachers on YouTube
Choosing the right YouTube teachers is pretty key to getting the most out of the online platform. Here’s a list of some of my favorites.
I couldn’t write a guide to YouTubers without including my own Acoustic Life channel! I set up my YouTube channel to help you learn how to play guitar while having fun at the same time.
My content is pretty varied, meaning I cover everything from how to learn a song to top-10 lists to guitar reviews. It’s anything and everything to do with acoustic guitar – which is what I love and am passionate about!
Each video is hosted by me, Tony Polecastro. In addition to being the most handsome YouTuber around, I’m actually a pretty good teacher – promise!
Jokes aside, the goal of my content is to inspire you to do one thing – play guitar and have fun while doing it.
I’m serious about making this happen, and the end result is that you learn guitar while playing music you love!
Marty Schwartz’s YouTube channel called “Marty Music,” offers a wide range of lessons spanning rock, blues, country, and more.
His tutorials often include iconic riffs, full song breakdowns, and great tips for nailing the nuances of each style. Marty’s genuine passion for teaching is evident in every video, inspiring countless guitarists to reach new heights in their playing.
Andy Guitar provides both guitar and ukulele tutorials for beginner to intermediate players.
Andy’s been at this for a long time and has really nailed the art of explaining complex techniques.
He sets a really nice pace for all his lessons that’s perfect for beginners to really comprehend the nuts and bolts of learning guitar.
Paul Davids is known for some of the best YouTube guitar lessons on fingerstyle performances and in-depth analysis.
One of my favorite things about Paul’s lessons is that he also touches on the psychology of practice, which really provides a holistic guide to learning guitar.
Andre has some great lessons on songwriting, composition, guitar technique, music theory, and more.
Andre also offers some live masterclasses, which can be a great opportunity to interact and feel that sense of community.
YouTube Is Good. TAC Is Better.
YouTube is a great resource for exposing yourself to a lot of different content and picking up some knowledge and techniques along the way.
But it’s not ideal for developing a consistent, structured way of playing that will actually improve your guitar skills in the long run.
If you’re looking to make progress with consistent, life-long guitar playing, watch this FREE guitar class, where I show you the three secrets to faster guitar learning in only 10 minutes a day!