Your idea of online guitar lessons is about to change. And it all starts with the match in my hand, a bottle of lighter fluid, and a guitar.[Note: This article was updated with an accurate citation of a statistic.]
Now, if you’re looking for quick fixes, guitar tricks, or you’re close-minded…this isn’t for you.
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So, why am I lighting this guitar on fire?
We’ll get to the online guitar lessons soon, but I need you to know something first…
Whether you know it or not, your guitar is expensive firewood. It’s an inanimate object that burns well (I’ll show you proof at the end).
- To put a number on it…the average guitar player spends $10,000 in gear over their lifetime.
With an investment like that, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it…right?
You wouldn’t want to put it away…in a closet…for 30 years…not enjoying it.
And at that point…well, you might as well just burn your guitar for firewood. (In all seriousness, please don’t burn your guitar! I’m just sacrificing this one guitar to prove a point.)
So, how did we get here? How did it get so bad that I’m dousing my guitar in lighter fluid?
Are Online Guitar Lessons Good?
While there are many benefits, the biggest problem with online guitar lessons is the overwhelm. (Also, don’t worry — I talk about the good stuff too!)
- Overwhelm: to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything.
There are hundreds of thousands of places to take online guitar lessons.
- Hundreds of private teachers
- Thousands of online guitar lesson memberships
- Hundreds of thousands of YouTube channels
- Millions of Google search results for “online guitar lessons”
You’ve now identified the FIRST time you’ve felt overwhelmed by your options.
Then, when you click onto some online guitar lesson websites, you’re suddenly hit with +500 on-demand courses and 6,500 lessons taught by over 100 instructors.
If you wanted to take every lesson on some guitar lesson websites — assuming the average lesson is at least 5 minutes long, it’d take 21 days of doing nothing but watching lessons. That doesn’t even take into account playing and practicing your guitar!
You’ve now identified the SECOND time you’ve felt overwhelmed by your options.
So, suddenly, as you click frantically from YouTube to a guitar masterclass to a private teacher to an online guitar lesson membership, it dawns on you…
We live in a world of infinite information — you can learn the guitar 24/7/365.
You’ve now identified the THIRD time you’ve felt overwhelmed by your options.
But isn’t having so many resources and information a good thing? According to the New York Times having too many choices is paralyzing.
- “…as psychologists and economists study the issue, they are concluding that an overload of options may actually paralyze people or push them into decisions that are against their own best interest.”
What About Free Online Guitar Lessons?
Free online guitar lessons are a super valuable tool for many guitarists.
For many folks, this might be the best option or the only option for them.
If you decide to only use free online guitar lessons, it’s important to still have a framework for what you want to practice.
For example, I’m going to share with you the super-successful framework that I’ve used to teach thousands of guitar players over the last decade. I call it the TAC Method.
What’s the TAC Method?
The TAC method is a framework for learning guitar that can be used in conjunction with any type of lesson program — be it in-person lessons, online lessons, or books.
There are two parts to the TAC Method. The first helps you learn How to Practice, while the second answers What to Practice.
How To Practice
Online guitar lessons are often loosely-structured, but the good ones usually have a framework that helps answer the question.
At Tony’s Acoustic Challenge, the online guitar lesson company I run, we use the 3 Pillars of Purposeful Guitar Practice.
- Prime Your Time
- Practice with Purpose
- Reflect and Evaluate
Each of these pillars is designed to help you learn how to practice.
Because having quality instruction is just half the battle. If you find a mentor who teaches you how to learn instead of just what to learn, you’ve found a great mentor.
Now, let’s break each of these pillars down quickly.
Priming Your Time means you’re setting aside dedicated time to practice. You’ve scheduled the time, removed distractions like your phone, and you already know what you’re going to work on.
Meanwhile, Practicing with Purpose involves segmenting your practice time to focus on specific tasks one at a time. It also involves ending on a high note that will make you excited to play the next day.
Finally, Reflecting and Evaluating means you celebrate your small wins from the practice session and you find opportunities to grow.
What to Practice
Now that we’ve briefly mentioned how to practice if you decide to use free online guitar lessons or another form of self-teaching, I want to focus on what to practice.
The best way to break this down, in conjunction with the 3 Pillars of Purposeful Guitar, is to focus on one topic each day of the week.
For example, I like to teach with the following schedule:
- Monday: Technique-focused warm-ups
- Tuesday: Licks that build your arsenal
- Wednesday: Improvisation and scales
- Thursday: Rhythm guitar
- Friday: Chord transitions and keys
With this framework, you get weekly opportunities to practice finger strength, build your repertoire of licks, learning tabs, improvising, rhythm, chord changes, and some music theory, too.
Who Takes Online Guitar Lessons?
Before I go any further, I need to tell you about two different kinds of people who take online guitar lessons.
Chances are, if you made it this far, you’re someone looking for more than just a quick fix.
Instead, you’re someone who is in it for the long haul. You aren’t afraid of a challenge, and you’re focused and diligent.
Unfortunately, there’s another type of person who takes lessons. These are the people who might as well use their guitar for expensive firewood. They…
- set their expectation based on mastery rather than fun
- aren’t focused
- don’t have anyone holding them accountable
- lack a routine, ritual, or framework to practice.
These last two points are perhaps the biggest reason why these people quit playing the guitar.
But I know you’re not one of those people! Instead you…
- Stay focused on one goal at a time
- Are driven by intention, purpose, and meaning
- Seek being uncomfortable (choosing hard over easy, slow over fast)
- Are focused on playing new and challenging things
- Learn by doing (instead of just collecting information)
- Value commitment
- Have a plan for what to do now (and what to do next)
- Are positive and supportive of new guitar players and learn by teaching and encouraging your peers.
Why Community is So Important
When you’re looking for online guitar lessons, make sure that there’s a community aspect.
Too many websites will just offer lessons without guidance from other members or instructors.
If you try to talk about guitar in an open forum, things can get nasty sometimes.
Between harsh YouTube comments, Facebook group intimidation, and the typical rude online forums, you feel like it’s just not safe to put yourself out there.
As a result, you start to feel isolated and disconnected. Suddenly, there’s no one there to hold you accountable or to encourage you.
This is why having a community built into your online guitar lessons is paramount to your success.
When you have a community keeping you accountable and connected, you can ask questions, get the help you need, and make friendships with folks who share the same values and interests as you.
How a Framework Can Transform Your Playing
Do you remember feeling overwhelmed by the thousands of online guitar lessons on some websites?
- What good are all these choices if you don’t have a clear path towards progress and fun?
When choosing to take online guitar lessons, you find a program that has a clear framework or daily ritual. This can look like a daily lesson, a roadmap, or even live events where you can ask questions and gain clarity.
Building a habit of consistent guitar playing will change the way progress on guitar. Instead of thinking of it as a chore or task, you’ll view it as a fun and necessary part of your day.
Additionally, you’ll start to focus on having fun to fuel your daily practice — rather than focusing on mastery.
By ensuring that your online guitar lessons have a framework, you’ll know both the how and what to practice.
The REAL “thing” About Online Guitar Lessons
I know you came here for the real look at online guitar lessons.
I think there are many bad options out there — options that work against your own interests.
All of the online guitar lessons that overwhelm you with choice, with celebrity instructors, with tons of different styles…it’s all distracting noise.
Fortunately, I have my own online guitar lessons membership that cuts through all the clutter.
It’s called Tony’s Acoustic Challenge.
And I think you are a perfect fit for being a member.
You remember all the things we talked about? All the overwhelming choices, the lack of community, the necessity for rituals and frameworks?
I saw how important those things are when I was teaching lessons for the last decade.
When I moved to online guitar lessons, I NEEDED to make sure those things could be achieved online. That’s when Tony’s Acoustic Challenge was born.
So, for the last couple of years, I’ve helped over 20,000 students learn to play through online guitar lessons. And they all followed the same method.
If you’re ready to take learn more about Tony’s Acoustic Challenge and discover why its one of the best online guitar lesson memberships out there, be sure to click here.
When you click, you’ll have the chance to attend my 90-minute guitar reboot workshop. Even if you don’t want to be a Tony’s Acoustic Challenge member, I think you have a lot to gain from watching my workshop.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let your guitar collect dust…and definitely don’t use it as firewood…