Can I learn to play the guitar online?

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Guitar Lessons, Learn to play guitar online, can I learn to play the guitar online, online guitar lessons

Do you wish that you could pull out a guitar and play songs at a family gathering? Perhaps you dream of sing-alongs around the campfire? Maybe you have aspirations to be the next guitar god?

Whatever your goals, online guitar lessons are fun, and you get results pretty quickly.

All you need is three chords, and you’ll be shocked at how many classic hits you’ll have at your (slightly sore) fingertips. 

Soreness aside (it WILL hurt at first!) learning to play guitar online is an incredibly rewarding pursuit. But where do you start? How do you find an online guitar tutor? And what can you expect from online guitar lessons?

Welcome to the TutorNinjas guide to learning to play guitar online. We have the answers to all of those questions and more. 

So, retire your Air Guitar forever, and allow yourself to start dreaming. 

And (before we get going) the simple answer to the question: “Can I learn to play the guitar online?” is YES. 

And this is how to do it. 

How do I choose which guitar to buy?

There’s only so far your trusty Air Guitar will get you. At some stage, you need to take the plunge and buy a real instrument. 

The most important thing to remember when you’re learning is that it doesn’t really matter how much your guitar costs – a Gibson Les Paul will sound like a drumkit being thrown down the stairs if you don’t know how to play it.  

So, don’t spend thousands on your first guitar – it’s a waste of money. If you have a budget of around £100, you’ll pick up a great beginner’s guitar

Of course, the more you spend, the better the general build and playability will be, but you don’t need to be precious at this early stage. 

Acoustic guitars

Most people start learning on an acoustic guitar, but it does depend on the style of music you want to play. 

If you’re a fan of folky-wolky, jingly-jangly type stuff, then an acoustic will be perfect. Most singer-songwriter pieces can be played on an acoustic guitar. If you love early Bob Dylan or Ed Sheeran or Lewis Capaldi or Adele, then acoustic is the way to go. 

If you dream of nosebleed techno, then you’re looking at the wrong instrument altogether. But you CAN learn how to be a DJ

Do I go electric straight away?

When Dylan went electric in the 60s, it caused massive waves. But whether you go electric right from the start is all about the type of music you want to play. 

A lot of rock and punk guitar relies on heavy distortion, and that distortion is an integral part of the sound. Power chords just don’t sound the same on an acoustic. So, if you’re looking to learn loud, thrashy tunes with tons of energy, then you’ll need an electric guitar and an amp. 

An electric guitar without an amp sounds like a tin can. With an amp, however, that tinny twang is elevated to the ethereal harmony of a million angels (if angels smoked forty-a-day). 

Amps are noisy, though – so be prepared to upset your neighbours. There are – however – ways of connecting your electric guitar to your phone or tablet if you download an amp simulator app – that way, you can use headphones.

Again, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on your instrument and amp – but the more you do pay, the better the sound will be. 

But that’s immaterial until you’ve actually learned how to play!

What will be the first thing I learn in my online guitar lesson?

Of course, it depends on your interests. Any great online guitar tutor will put together a programme of learning to meet your needs (with TutorNinjas, you get a free 15-minute consultation with your tutor to make sure you find the right expert to help). 

Mostly, a starter lesson will get you playing chords and strumming the strings rhythmically. 

What is a chord?

In music, we have single notes (like a note that you might sing or play on a wind instrument), and we have chords. 

Chords are a collection of notes, and they sound good together (concord); although, sometimes, we create chords that sound purposely bad and clashy (discord).

If you look back through the annals of twentieth-century pop music, you’ll find that the vast majority of guitar-based music was written around chord sequences. And lots of chord sequences are quite easy to learn. 

THE chords to learn

You’re likely to learn how to play the E major chord first. It looks like this:

Learn to play the guitar online

You place your second and third fingers in the second fret (the metal bars along the neck of the guitar), and your first finger in the first fret. 

It looks quite simple, doesn’t it? And it is – except it will feel like you’re pressing your fingers onto razorblades very quickly. You have to press hard; otherwise, the sound is twangy, and the strings won’t sustain the sound. 

It’ll take some practice, but in time, your fingertips harden up, and it will stop hurting.

The second chord you’re likely to learn is the A major chord. It looks like this:

A major chord on guitar

Your first, second, and third fingers all play in the second fret. 

And then you’ll learn the D major chord, which looks like this:

D chord on guitar

All you need at first is E major, A major, and D major. 

And then you can all of these songs:

  • Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
  • Back in Black – ACDC
  • All Apologies – Nirvana
  • Common People – Pulp
  • Desire – U2
  • All The Small Things – Blink 182
  • The Tide Is High – Blondie
  • Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  • Crossroads – Cream
  • Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry

Not a bad repertoire to get you started, hey? And that’s just the start. 

Once you’ve mastered your E, A, and D major chords, you’ll be ready to learn more.

Changing chords

It’s all very well learning the “shape” of the chord, but the real challenge comes from changing between the chords. This is going to take lots of practice – but don’t give up; you’ll have hundreds of songs at your fingertips (literally). 

This is where your online guitar tutor will really help you. It’s all very well learning from a couple of YouTube tutorials, but you need someone to watch and listen and help you develop your technique. 

Finding an online guitar tutor

The internet is the perfect place for your guitar lessons. And with platforms like TutorNinjas, you get instantly connected with experts who will help you every step of the way. 

Learn to play the guitar online, and enjoy your lessons from the comfort of your home. There’s no travel for you or your guitar tutor, giving you more one-to-one time with the person who can help you develop your skills. 

TutorNinjas has a HUGE range of other subjects to learn – whether it’s cookery, painting, embroidery, yoga, mending and restoring – whatever. We have over 300 experts ready to get you started. 

So, if you’re looking to get started with online guitar lessons, look no further.