Self-Taught Guitar: Mastering the Instrument on Your Own Terms

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Self-Taught Guitar: Mastering the Instrument on Your Own Terms

Guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world, and for good reason. It’s versatile, expressive, and can be played in countless genres of music. But can you teach yourself guitar? Absolutely! In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of self-taught guitar, including the benefits and challenges of learning on your own, tips for success, and resources to help you along the way. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned player looking to hone your skills, this guide will help you master the guitar on your own terms. So grab your axe, and let’s get started!

Can You Teach Yourself Guitar?

The Pros and Cons of Self-Teaching

Pros of Self-Teaching

  1. Flexibility: Self-teaching allows you to learn at your own pace and choose the materials that best suit your learning style. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for those with busy schedules or those who prefer a more independent learning approach.
  2. Cost-effective: Learning to play the guitar on your own can save you money on lessons and equipment. You can spend your time and resources on additional materials, such as books, online resources, and even attending live performances to deepen your understanding of the instrument.
  3. In-depth understanding: When teaching yourself, you have the opportunity to explore various genres and techniques in-depth. This can help you develop a strong foundation in music theory and a well-rounded understanding of the guitar, making you a more versatile player.

Cons of Self-Teaching

  1. Lack of feedback: One of the biggest drawbacks of self-teaching is the lack of feedback from a qualified instructor. This can make it difficult to identify and correct errors in your technique, leading to bad habits that may be harder to break later on.
  2. Motivation: Self-motivation is crucial when teaching yourself guitar. Without the regular feedback and encouragement from a teacher, it can be easy to lose motivation or become discouraged by setbacks.
  3. Incomplete knowledge: While self-teaching can provide a broad understanding of the guitar, it may not cover all aspects of playing the instrument. This can lead to gaps in your knowledge and skillset, making it harder to progress as a musician.

Overall, while self-teaching has its advantages, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges and limitations. By understanding both the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether self-teaching is the right approach for you.

Factors to Consider Before Starting

Before embarking on a journey of self-taught guitar, it is essential to consider several factors that can either make or break your learning experience.


The first factor to consider is your motivation for learning the guitar. Are you learning to play for personal enjoyment, or do you have a specific goal in mind, such as performing in public or joining a band? Knowing your motivation can help you set realistic expectations and goals for yourself.

Time and Effort

Another important factor to consider is the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest in learning the guitar. Like any skill, mastering the guitar requires practice and dedication. You need to be prepared to set aside a consistent amount of time each day or week to practice and to stick with it even when progress may seem slow.


Having access to the right resources is also crucial to successful self-taught guitar learning. This includes access to a guitar, guitar tabs or sheet music, and instructional videos or books. You may also want to consider investing in a guitar tuner to ensure your instrument is always in tune.

Learning Style

Lastly, it is important to consider your learning style. Some people learn best through visual aids, while others prefer hands-on instruction. Understanding your learning style can help you choose the right resources and teaching methods for yourself.

By considering these factors before starting your journey of self-taught guitar, you can set yourself up for success and enjoy the process of learning this incredible instrument on your own terms.

The Basics of Learning Guitar

Key takeaway: Self-teaching guitar has its advantages and disadvantages. Pros include flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and in-depth understanding. Cons include lack of feedback, motivation, and incomplete knowledge. Factors to consider before starting include motivation, time and effort, and learning style. Proper techniques can be developed through consistent practice, identifying goals, and seeking feedback and critique. To overcome challenges, self-taught guitarists can explore different genres and styles, find inspiration, set realistic goals, and stay motivated.

Choosing the Right Instrument

Selecting the right guitar is a crucial step in your journey to becoming a self-taught guitarist. It is essential to choose an instrument that suits your playing style, body size, and budget. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right guitar:

  • Body Size and Shape: Acoustic guitars are generally larger and heavier than electric guitars. If you have small hands or a light build, it might be more comfortable for you to start with a smaller-sized guitar. Electric guitars are usually lighter and more comfortable to play for people with smaller hands.
  • Budget: Guitars can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Set a budget that you are comfortable with and consider buying a used guitar as a more affordable option.
  • Playing Style: If you plan to play rock, metal, or other styles that require heavy strumming and fast picking, an electric guitar might be a better choice. Acoustic guitars are better suited for folk, classical, and fingerstyle playing.
  • Brand and Model: Research different brands and models to find one that fits your needs and budget. Some popular brands include Fender, Gibson, and Martin for acoustic guitars, and Ibanez, PRS, and G&L for electric guitars.
  • Features: Consider the features that are important to you, such as the type of pickups, the number of strings, and the shape of the neck.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose an instrument that you feel comfortable playing and that inspires you to practice and learn. With the right guitar, you can begin your journey to mastering the instrument on your own terms.

Developing Proper Techniques

Learning proper techniques is a crucial aspect of mastering the guitar as an independent learner. Without proper guidance, it is easy to develop bad habits that can hinder your progress and lead to discomfort while playing. However, by taking the time to develop good techniques, you can play with ease and confidence. Here are some tips for developing proper techniques when learning guitar on your own:

  • Start with the basics: It’s important to start with the basics and build a strong foundation before moving on to more advanced techniques. This includes learning proper hand positioning, posture, and strumming patterns.
  • Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to developing good techniques. Set aside time each day to practice and make sure to focus on specific techniques you want to improve.
  • Use a metronome: A metronome can help you develop a sense of rhythm and timing, which is essential for proper technique. Use it to practice strumming and chord changes.
  • Focus on finger placement: Proper finger placement is crucial for playing the guitar with ease and avoiding discomfort. Pay attention to your finger placement when learning chords and scales.
  • Record yourself: Recording yourself while you play can help you identify areas where you need to improve your technique. Listen back to the recording and make adjustments as needed.

By following these tips, you can develop proper techniques and master the guitar on your own terms. Remember, practice makes perfect, and consistent effort is the key to success.

Understanding Basic Music Theory

  • Introduction to music theory: understanding the language of music
    • Learning about pitch, rhythm, melody, harmony, and form
    • The importance of understanding music theory for playing the guitar
  • The musical staff and notation
    • The five lines of the staff and their corresponding notes
    • The difference between whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and other note values
    • The use of bar lines and time signatures
  • Chords and scales
    • The basic building blocks of music
    • Major and minor chords, their construction, and usage
    • The most common scales used in guitar playing, such as the major scale and natural minor scale
  • Intervals and ear training
    • Understanding the distance between two notes and their relationship to chords and scales
    • The importance of developing your ear for recognizing intervals and building a solid foundation for playing guitar
  • Practical applications of music theory
    • Applying music theory to chord progressions and songwriting
    • The relationship between music theory and technique in guitar playing
    • Using music theory to enhance your creativity and expression on the guitar

Building Your Skills

Finding the Right Resources for Self-Learning

As a self-taught guitarist, finding the right resources for self-learning is crucial to your success. There are a plethora of resources available, both online and offline, to help you master the guitar on your own terms. Here are some tips to help you find the right resources for self-learning:

Identifying Your Learning Style

One of the first steps in finding the right resources for self-learning is identifying your learning style. Some people learn best through visual aids, while others prefer hands-on learning or auditory learning. Once you know your learning style, you can narrow down your search for resources that cater to your learning style.

Online Resources

Online resources are a great way to learn guitar on your own terms. There are countless websites, apps, and YouTube channels that offer free guitar lessons and tutorials. Some popular online resources include JustinGuitar, Guitar, and Fender Play. These resources offer a variety of lessons, from beginner to advanced, and cover various genres and styles of music.

Offline Resources

Offline resources can also be useful for self-learning guitar. Books, magazines, and DVDs are great resources for those who prefer physical materials. Some popular books for beginner guitarists include “Guitar For Dummies” by Brian May and “The Guitar Handbook” by Ralph Denyer. DVDs, such as those from Hal Leonard, offer detailed lessons and demonstrations that can be watched at your own pace.

Community and Support

In addition to finding the right resources for self-learning, it’s important to seek out a community or support system. Joining a local guitar club or attending open mic nights can provide opportunities to meet other guitarists and learn from their experiences. Online communities, such as Reddit’s r/guitar or the Guitar Forum, offer a platform for asking questions and sharing tips with other guitarists.

In conclusion, finding the right resources for self-learning is crucial to mastering the guitar on your own terms. Identifying your learning style, utilizing online and offline resources, and seeking out a community or support system can all contribute to your success as a self-taught guitarist.

Creating a Practice Schedule

As a self-taught guitarist, it is essential to have a structured practice schedule to help you stay focused and motivated. Without a plan, it is easy to become distracted or to skip practice altogether. Here are some tips for creating a practice schedule that works for you:

  1. Set Specific Goals: Start by setting specific goals for what you want to achieve with your guitar playing. This will help you stay focused and motivated, and it will give you a sense of accomplishment as you reach each goal.
  2. Allocate Time: Determine how much time you can dedicate to practicing each day or week. Be realistic about your schedule and make sure you allocate enough time to see progress.
  3. Break it Down: Break your practice sessions down into smaller chunks. For example, you might dedicate 30 minutes to warm-up exercises, 30 minutes to learning new chords, and 30 minutes to practicing songs.
  4. Prioritize: Prioritize the most important skills you want to master, and focus on those areas during your practice sessions. This will help you make the most of your practice time and ensure that you see progress.
  5. Mix it Up: Vary your practice routine to keep things interesting. Include a mix of warm-up exercises, technical drills, and song practice to keep your mind engaged and prevent boredom.
  6. Track Your Progress: Keep track of your progress over time. This will help you stay motivated and see how far you’ve come.

By following these tips, you can create a practice schedule that works for you and helps you master the guitar on your own terms. Remember, practice is key to improving your skills, but it’s also important to enjoy the process and have fun along the way.

Progressing to More Advanced Techniques

As you continue to develop your guitar skills, it’s important to challenge yourself and progress to more advanced techniques. This can help you stay motivated and engaged in your practice sessions, and also ensure that you’re continuing to grow as a musician. Here are some tips for progressing to more advanced techniques on the guitar:

  • Identify your goals: Before you start practicing, it’s important to identify what you want to achieve with your guitar playing. Are you interested in playing lead guitar solos, or do you want to focus on rhythm guitar for a band? Having clear goals in mind can help you stay focused and motivated as you progress.
  • Practice regularly: To improve your guitar skills, it’s important to practice regularly. This means setting aside dedicated time each day or week to work on your guitar playing, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Consistent practice will help you build muscle memory and improve your technique over time.
  • Break down complex techniques: Some guitar techniques, such as sweep picking or tapping, can be challenging to master. To make progress, it’s important to break down these techniques into smaller, more manageable pieces. For example, you might start by practicing a single note sweep picking exercise before moving on to full-scale sweep picking patterns.
  • Learn from others: While self-taught guitar playing can be a rewarding experience, it’s also important to learn from others. Consider taking lessons from a qualified guitar teacher, or seeking out online resources such as guitar forums or YouTube tutorials. These resources can provide valuable feedback and guidance as you progress through your practice sessions.
  • Experiment with different styles: As you develop your guitar skills, it’s important to experiment with different styles of music. This can help you broaden your musical horizons and also expose you to new techniques and approaches to playing the guitar. Consider exploring different genres such as rock, blues, jazz, or classical music to keep your practice sessions fresh and interesting.

Overcoming Challenges

Common Issues Faced by Self-Taught Guitarists

Despite the numerous benefits of learning to play the guitar on one’s own, there are also several challenges that self-taught guitarists must confront. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common issues faced by those who opt to teach themselves the guitar.

Inconsistent Practice Habits

One of the most significant obstacles faced by self-taught guitarists is inconsistent practice habits. Many people who teach themselves to play the guitar become discouraged when they don’t see immediate results and may stop practicing altogether. However, it’s important to remember that learning to play the guitar is a gradual process that requires consistent effort and dedication. Setting achievable goals and establishing a regular practice schedule can help to mitigate this issue.

Limited Access to Resources

Another challenge faced by self-taught guitarists is limited access to resources. Without the guidance of a teacher or the support of a structured program, it can be difficult to know where to begin or how to progress. However, there are numerous online resources available that can help to fill this gap, including instructional videos, tutorials, and forums where guitarists can connect with one another and share their experiences.

Poor Technique

Poor technique is another common issue faced by self-taught guitarists. Without the guidance of a teacher, it’s easy to develop bad habits that can lead to discomfort, pain, and injury. It’s important to focus on proper technique from the outset, including hand positioning, finger placement, and posture. This can be achieved through regular practice and the use of instructional materials that emphasize proper technique.

Lack of Motivation

Finally, lack of motivation is a common issue faced by self-taught guitarists. Without the support of a teacher or the camaraderie of fellow students, it can be easy to lose sight of why one started playing the guitar in the first place. However, finding ways to stay motivated, such as setting goals, learning new songs, or connecting with other guitarists, can help to keep the learning process enjoyable and engaging.

Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles

When it comes to learning the guitar on your own, there will inevitably be obstacles that you’ll need to overcome. Here are some strategies that can help you stay on track and keep making progress, even when things get tough:

  • Set small, achievable goals: Instead of setting your sights on becoming a professional guitarist overnight, focus on small, achievable goals that you can accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. For example, you might set a goal to learn a specific chord or a simple melody within the next week.
  • Practice consistently: Consistent practice is key to mastering any instrument, and the guitar is no exception. Set aside a specific time each day to practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Over time, you’ll make significant progress even if you only practice for a short amount of time each day.
  • Learn from mistakes: Making mistakes is an inevitable part of the learning process, but it’s important to learn from them rather than getting discouraged. Take the time to analyze what went wrong and how you can improve. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from more experienced guitarists.
  • Stay motivated: Learning the guitar can be a long and challenging process, so it’s important to stay motivated and keep yourself inspired. Listen to music that inspires you, watch guitar tutorials on YouTube, or find a guitar buddy to practice with. Whatever it takes to keep you motivated and excited about playing the guitar.
  • Be patient: Learning the guitar takes time and patience. It’s important to remember that you won’t become a master guitarist overnight, and that progress will come gradually as you continue to practice and learn. Stay patient and focused on the long-term goal of mastering the instrument.

Continuing Your Guitar Journey

Seeking Feedback and Critique

As you progress in your self-taught guitar journey, it’s essential to seek feedback and critique to help you identify areas for improvement and refine your skills. Here are some ways to seek feedback and critique to enhance your guitar playing:

  1. Join a Guitar Community or Forum
    Joining a guitar community or forum online can provide you with access to a wealth of knowledge and resources. You can connect with other guitar enthusiasts, share your progress, and receive constructive feedback on your playing. Some popular guitar communities include Reddit’s r/guitar and the Fender Play forum.
  2. Attend Local Guitar Events and Workshops
    Attending local guitar events and workshops can offer you an opportunity to learn from experienced guitarists and receive feedback on your playing. You can participate in open mic nights, guitar clinics, and workshops to hone your skills and get feedback from other musicians.
  3. Engage with a Private Guitar Teacher
    While self-taught guitar offers the freedom to learn at your own pace, engaging with a private guitar teacher can provide you with personalized feedback and critique. A private teacher can offer tailored guidance, identify areas for improvement, and help you refine your technique and musicality.
  4. Record and Analyze Your Playing
    Recording yourself playing the guitar can provide you with an opportunity to listen back and analyze your playing. You can use a smartphone app or a digital audio workstation to record your practice sessions and listen back to identify areas for improvement. Analyzing your playing can help you develop a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and guide your practice sessions.
  5. Collaborate with Other Musicians
    Collaborating with other musicians can offer you an opportunity to receive feedback and critique in a supportive environment. You can join a local band, form a musical partnership, or participate in open mic nights to perform your original compositions or cover songs. Collaborating with other musicians can help you develop your skills, receive constructive feedback, and refine your musical style.

In conclusion, seeking feedback and critique is an essential aspect of continuing your self-taught guitar journey. By engaging with guitar communities, attending local events, working with private teachers, recording and analyzing your playing, and collaborating with other musicians, you can refine your skills, identify areas for improvement, and continue to master the instrument on your own terms.

Exploring Different Genres and Styles

Embarking on a journey of self-taught guitar mastery opens up a world of creative possibilities. As you progress in your musical endeavors, it’s essential to broaden your horizons and explore various genres and styles. This exposure not only enriches your understanding of the instrument but also helps you develop a unique sound and voice.

Here are some ways to delve into different genres and styles when learning guitar on your own terms:

  1. Research and Study: Engage in extensive research on different genres and styles. Read books, articles, and online resources to gain insight into the history, techniques, and signature elements of each genre.
  2. Listen and Analyze: Immerse yourself in the music by listening to a wide range of genres and styles. Analyze the guitar playing, techniques, and song structures. Pay attention to the rhythm, chord progressions, melodies, and solos.
  3. Watch and Learn: Observe live performances, concerts, and online videos of professional guitarists playing various genres and styles. Study their playing techniques, body language, and stage presence.
  4. Try it Out: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different genres and styles. Try playing along with songs, transcribing solos, and adapting rhythms. Use your knowledge of music theory and guitar techniques to interpret and arrange the music in your own way.
  5. Collaborate and Learn: Seek out opportunities to collaborate with other musicians or join a band. This can help you learn new techniques, styles, and song structures while also expanding your musical network.
  6. Attend Workshops and Masterclasses: Participate in workshops and masterclasses focused on specific genres or styles. This can provide you with valuable insights and guidance from experienced professionals.
  7. Join Online Communities: Connect with other self-taught guitarists through online forums, social media groups, or YouTube channels. Share your progress, ask questions, and learn from others’ experiences and knowledge.

By exploring different genres and styles, you can develop a well-rounded understanding of the guitar and expand your musical vocabulary. Embrace the diversity of music and let it inspire your creativity and artistry.

Performing and Sharing Your Music

Sharing your music with others is an essential aspect of the guitar learning journey. It provides an opportunity to showcase your skills, receive feedback, and connect with other musicians. Here are some ways to perform and share your music as a self-taught guitarist:

  1. Play for friends and family: Start by playing for your close friends and family members. They will appreciate your effort and provide constructive feedback that can help you improve your playing.
  2. Join a local music community: Joining a local music community, such as a guitar club or music group, can provide you with opportunities to perform in front of an audience and connect with other musicians.
  3. Perform at open mic nights: Many bars and cafes host open mic nights where anyone can sign up to perform. This is a great way to gain stage experience and connect with other musicians.
  4. Record and share your music online: In today’s digital age, it’s easy to record and share your music online. You can upload your performances to YouTube, SoundCloud, or other platforms, and share them with your followers.
  5. Attend music festivals and events: Attending music festivals and events is a great way to learn from other musicians and gain inspiration for your own music. You can also network with other musicians and potentially collaborate on future projects.

By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can continue to develop your skills as a self-taught guitarist and share your music with a wider audience.

Keeping the Passion Alive

One of the most crucial aspects of mastering the guitar as a self-taught musician is maintaining your passion and motivation throughout your journey. Without the guidance of a teacher or the structure of lessons, it can be easy to lose sight of your goals and become discouraged. However, by implementing certain strategies and mindsets, you can keep your passion for the guitar alive and continue to progress as a musician.

Finding Inspiration

One of the best ways to keep your passion for the guitar alive is to find inspiration in other musicians and their music. Listen to your favorite songs and pay attention to the guitar parts, trying to replicate them on your own instrument. Watch live performances and take note of the techniques and styles used by professional guitarists. By constantly exposing yourself to new music and ideas, you can reignite your love for the guitar and find new ways to express yourself through your playing.

Setting Realistic Goals

Another key to keeping your passion alive is to set realistic goals for yourself. Whether it’s learning a new chord progression or mastering a particular song, setting achievable goals can give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to continue practicing. Be sure to break your goals down into smaller, manageable steps, and give yourself a timeline to work towards. Celebrating small victories along the way can help keep you motivated and engaged in your journey as a self-taught guitarist.

Embracing Imperfection

As a self-taught guitarist, it’s important to embrace your imperfections and learn to love the unique sound of your playing. Remember that nobody starts out as a professional musician, and it’s okay to make mistakes and struggle with certain techniques. In fact, embracing your imperfections can actually add to the charm and authenticity of your playing, and help you develop your own style and voice on the instrument. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and sounds, and don’t worry too much about what others might think of your playing. Trust in your own abilities and have fun with the process of learning and growing as a musician.

Resources for the Self-Taught Guitarist

As a self-taught guitarist, it’s important to have access to resources that can help you continue your journey and improve your skills. Here are some resources that you can utilize:

Online Guitar Lessons

Online guitar lessons are a great resource for self-taught guitarists. There are many websites and platforms that offer high-quality video lessons taught by professional guitarists. These lessons cover a wide range of topics, from basic chords and scales to advanced techniques like fingerpicking and soloing. Some popular websites for online guitar lessons include JustinGuitar, GuitarTricks, and Fender Play.

Guitar Apps

There are many guitar apps available that can help you learn and practice guitar. These apps offer a variety of features, such as interactive chord and scale libraries, metronomes, tuners, and progress tracking. Some popular guitar apps include Yousician, Fender Tune, and AmpliTube.

Guitar Forums and Communities

Joining a guitar forum or community can be a great way to connect with other guitarists and learn from their experiences. These communities often have threads dedicated to specific topics, such as technique, gear, and music theory. Some popular guitar forums include,, and

Guitar Books and Instructional Materials

There are many excellent guitar books and instructional materials available that can help you improve your skills. These materials cover a wide range of topics, from beginner guitar methods to advanced theory and technique books. Some popular guitar books include “Guitar For Dummies” by Mark Phillips and “The Guitar Handbook” by Ralph Denyer.

Guitar Blogs and YouTube Channels

Following guitar blogs and YouTube channels can be a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest guitar news and techniques. Many blogs and channels offer valuable insights and tutorials on a variety of topics, from guitar gear to music theory. Some popular guitar blogs include and, while popular guitar YouTube channels include Kirk Fletcher and Andrew Barton.

Overall, there are many resources available to self-taught guitarists who want to continue their journey and improve their skills. By utilizing a combination of these resources, you can gain a deeper understanding of guitar technique, music theory, and more.


When it comes to self-teaching guitar, books are an invaluable resource. They provide a wealth of information, from basic chords and strumming patterns to advanced techniques and theory. With so many books available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are some recommendations for books that can help you on your guitar journey:

Guitar Method Books

  • Hal Leonard Guitar Method: This book is a popular choice for beginners, as it provides a comprehensive introduction to the guitar and its basics. It covers everything from holding the guitar and tuning it to chords, scales, and basic songs.
  • Guitar for Dummies: This book is another great option for beginners, as it covers the fundamentals of guitar playing in an easy-to-understand manner. It includes information on guitar care, tuning, and playing techniques, as well as tips for practicing and performing.

Technique and Theory Books

  • The Guitar Handbook: This book is a great resource for those looking to improve their technique and expand their knowledge of music theory. It covers topics such as scales, modes, arpeggios, and chord construction, as well as exercises to help develop finger strength and dexterity.
  • Guitar Fingerboard Harmony: This book is designed to help guitarists understand the relationship between chords and scales, and how to use them in creative ways. It includes exercises and examples in various keys and styles, and is suitable for both acoustic and electric guitar players.

Songbooks and Music Books

  • Hal Leonard Guitar Play-Along: This series of books provides songbooks with accompanying online audio tracks. They include songs from various genres and decades, and are a great way to learn new songs and improve your playing skills.
  • The Real Book: This book is a collection of jazz standards and popular songs in a variety of keys and styles. It’s a valuable resource for guitarists looking to expand their repertoire and learn more about improvisation and harmony.

Remember, there are many books available on guitar playing, and the best one for you will depend on your skill level, interests, and goals. Reading books alongside practicing and experimenting with different techniques will help you continue your guitar journey and become a skilled player.

Online Courses and Tutorials

Exploring Different Platforms

There are numerous online platforms available for guitar enthusiasts looking to enhance their skills. These platforms offer a wide range of courses and tutorials designed to cater to various skill levels and musical genres. Some popular platforms include:

  • Coursera: A well-known online learning platform that partners with top universities and institutions to offer courses in a variety of subjects, including music. They offer courses from the likes of Berklee College of Music, which provide comprehensive guitar lessons for beginners and advanced learners alike.
  • Udemy: Another widely-used platform offering a vast collection of courses, including guitar lessons. Udemy’s library boasts a variety of courses taught by professional guitarists, covering different genres and techniques.
  • Guitar Tricks: A platform specifically focused on guitar lessons, with a large collection of video tutorials covering various topics such as chords, scales, and song lessons. They also offer a dedicated app for mobile devices, allowing learners to access their content on the go.
  • Justin Guitar: A free website offering a wealth of guitar lessons, with a strong emphasis on acoustic guitar techniques. The lessons are structured in a progressive manner, making it easy for learners to track their development.

Benefits of Online Courses and Tutorials

  1. Convenience: Online courses and tutorials allow learners to access high-quality guitar instruction at any time, from any location, and at their own pace. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those with busy schedules or limited access to local music schools.
  2. Variety: Online platforms offer a wide range of courses and tutorials, covering various genres, techniques, and skill levels. Learners can choose the content that best aligns with their interests and goals, enabling them to tailor their learning experience to their needs.
  3. Affordability: Many online courses and tutorials are available at a lower cost compared to in-person lessons, making it more accessible for individuals with limited budgets to learn and improve their guitar skills.
  4. Expert Instructors: Online platforms often feature courses taught by renowned guitarists, music educators, and professional performers, providing learners with access to expert knowledge and guidance.
  5. Community and Feedback: Some online platforms offer opportunities for learners to connect with fellow guitar enthusiasts, share their progress, and receive feedback, fostering a sense of community and support.

While online courses and tutorials offer many advantages, it is essential to carefully evaluate the platform and course content to ensure they align with your learning goals and preferences. As with any learning approach, consistency and practice are key factors in achieving success as a self-taught guitarist.

Apps and Software

As a self-taught guitarist, there are numerous apps and software programs available to help you refine your skills and knowledge. These digital tools offer a range of features and resources, making it easier for you to learn and practice at your own pace. In this section, we will explore some of the most popular apps and software programs for self-taught guitarists, highlighting their key features and benefits.

Guitar Learning Apps

Guitar learning apps are designed to provide users with interactive lessons and exercises, making it simple to practice and learn on the go. Some popular options include:

  1. Guitar Tricks: This app offers a comprehensive library of video lessons and tutorials, covering various genres and playing styles. The app also includes a chord library, a metronome, and customizable practice routines.
  2. Yousician: Yousician combines traditional lessons with gamification elements, encouraging users to progress through levels and challenges. The app uses your device’s microphone to analyze your playing and provide real-time feedback.
  3. Fender Play: Developed by the renowned guitar manufacturer, Fender Play offers a diverse range of lessons and courses for players of all skill levels. The app also includes play-along tracks and performance tracking tools.

Tablature and Sheet Music Apps

For self-taught guitarists, accessing sheet music and tablature is essential for learning songs and mastering new techniques. The following apps provide easy access to these resources:

  1. Guitar Pro: This app allows users to view and edit sheet music and tablature for thousands of songs. Guitar Pro also includes a built-in guitar tuner and metronome, making it a versatile tool for practice and performance.
  2. Tabs for PC: As the name suggests, Tabs for PC is a desktop application that enables users to access and organize their favorite guitar tabs. The app also includes features like a chord library and the ability to transpose tabs for easier playing.
  3. Musicnotes Sheet Music & Chord Pro: This app offers a comprehensive library of sheet music and chord charts for thousands of songs. Musicnotes also includes transposition tools and the ability to export sheets for printing or importing into other apps.

Amplifier and Effects Software

For self-taught guitarists looking to refine their tone and explore different sounds, amplifier and effects software can be invaluable. Some popular options include:

  1. Bias FX: This app simulates a wide range of amplifiers and effects pedals, allowing users to craft their ideal guitar tone. Bias FX includes a library of presets and the ability to create and save custom pedalboards.
  2. AmpliTube: Developed by IK Multimedia, AmpliTube is a comprehensive suite of amplifier and effects software. The app includes a wide range of virtual amps, stompboxes, and rack effects, as well as features for recording and mixing.
  3. Guitar Rig: Guitar Rig is a versatile effects platform that allows users to create custom signal chains and craft their desired guitar tones. The app includes a vast library of effects and amplifiers, as well as the ability to import and export presets.

By leveraging these apps and software programs, self-taught guitarists can access a wealth of resources and tools to enhance their skills and knowledge. Whether you’re looking to explore new techniques, learn songs, or refine your tone, there is an app or program available to support your guitar journey.

Communities and Forums

Exploring the Benefits of Engaging with Other Guitar Enthusiasts

One of the most effective ways to enhance your self-taught guitar journey is by connecting with other guitar enthusiasts. This can be achieved by joining various online communities and forums dedicated to guitar players. By participating in these platforms, you can gain access to a wealth of knowledge, resources, and support that can significantly contribute to your growth as a musician.

Here are some of the key benefits of engaging with other guitar enthusiasts through communities and forums:

1. Access to Expert Advice

Many online guitar communities and forums are frequented by experienced guitar players who are more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others. By engaging with these players, you can receive valuable advice on various aspects of guitar playing, such as technique, theory, and equipment.

2. Collaborative Learning

Joining a guitar community or forum allows you to connect with like-minded individuals who are also passionate about playing the guitar. You can collaborate with them on various musical projects, share tips and techniques, and learn from each other’s experiences. This collaborative learning approach can be highly beneficial in enhancing your skills and knowledge as a self-taught guitarist.

3. Resource Sharing

Online guitar communities and forums are often rich in resources, such as tutorials, lessons, tabs, and chord sheets. By participating in these platforms, you can access a vast library of guitar-related content that can help you improve your skills and expand your musical knowledge.

4. Motivation and Support

Playing the guitar can be a solitary pursuit, but engaging with other guitar enthusiasts can provide you with much-needed motivation and support. By sharing your progress and challenges with others, you can receive encouragement and constructive feedback that can help you stay focused and committed to your musical journey.

Finding the Right Online Community or Forum for Your Needs

With numerous online communities and forums dedicated to guitar players, it can be challenging to find the right platform that aligns with your needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an online community or forum:

1. Reputation and Credibility

Ensure that the community or forum you choose has a positive reputation and is credible. Look for platforms that have been around for a considerable amount of time and have a strong user base. This can increase the likelihood of finding valuable resources, expert advice, and supportive members.

2. Topics and Discussions

Consider the topics and discussions that take place within the community or forum. It’s essential to choose a platform that aligns with your interests and goals as a guitar player. Look for communities that focus on specific genres, techniques, or styles of music, as this can provide you with more targeted and relevant information.

3. Member Engagement

Evaluate the level of member engagement within the community or forum. Look for platforms where members are actively participating in discussions, sharing resources, and offering support. This can indicate a vibrant and engaged community that can provide you with a rich and rewarding experience.

4. User Interface and Navigation

Consider the user interface and navigation of the community or forum. A platform that is easy to navigate and use can enhance your overall experience and make it more enjoyable to engage with other guitar enthusiasts.

By taking the time to explore and participate in online guitar communities and forums, you can unlock a wealth of resources, support, and opportunities to enhance your self-taught guitar journey. Remember to choose a platform that aligns with your needs and preferences, and engage actively with other members to maximize the benefits of your guitar journey.


1. Is it possible to teach yourself guitar?

Yes, it is possible to teach yourself guitar. Many famous guitarists, including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, are self-taught. With the right resources and dedication, anyone can learn to play the guitar on their own.

2. What are the benefits of self-teaching guitar?

The benefits of self-teaching guitar include the ability to learn at your own pace, the freedom to choose your own learning materials, and the opportunity to develop your own unique style. Self-taught guitarists also tend to have a deeper understanding of music theory and the instrument itself.

3. What are the challenges of self-teaching guitar?

The challenges of self-teaching guitar include the lack of immediate feedback, the potential for developing bad habits, and the difficulty of learning certain techniques without proper guidance. However, these challenges can be overcome with patience, dedication, and the right resources.

4. What resources are available for self-taught guitarists?

There are many resources available for self-taught guitarists, including online lessons, instructional books and videos, mobile apps, and community forums. Some popular online resources include JustinGuitar, Fender Play, and Guitar Lesson World.

5. How can I improve my guitar skills as a self-taught guitarist?

To improve your guitar skills as a self-taught guitarist, it’s important to practice regularly, challenge yourself with new techniques and songs, and seek out feedback from other guitarists or online communities. Joining a local guitar club or taking part in open mic nights can also provide valuable opportunities for improvement.

6. How long does it take to become a proficient guitarist?

The amount of time it takes to become a proficient guitarist varies depending on the individual and their level of dedication. Some people may learn to play basic songs within a few weeks, while others may take several months or even years to master the instrument. The key is to be patient and consistent in your practice.

7. Can I learn to play guitar without an instrument?

It’s recommended to have a guitar to learn to play the guitar. Without an instrument, it’s difficult to develop proper technique and learn how to hold and play the guitar. However, there are some resources available online that offer guitar lessons without the need for a physical instrument, such as the iRig 2 by IK Multimedia.

8. Is it better to learn guitar with an acoustic or electric guitar?

It’s generally recommended to start with an acoustic guitar, as it’s easier to learn on and can be played in a variety of musical styles. However, once you have a good understanding of the instrument and are comfortable with basic techniques, you can transition to an electric guitar if you wish.

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