Are online guitar lessons worth it?
When the COVID-19 pandemic took over the U.S. in Spring 2020, I moved all my guitar lessons online. Although I love the personal experience of being able to play guitar in the same room as someone else, I’ve found that online guitar lessons have proven to be an effective method for teaching new and advanced guitar students alike!
1. What are Virtual Guitar Lessons?
Virtual guitar lessons are online guitar lessons, usually taught through a third party platform like Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangouts.
My virtual guitar lessons are typically one hour long, and Zoom is my preferred platform.
Please note these lessons are much easier to view when you use a device with a larger screen size, like your computer or laptop, rather than your mobile device. That being said, Zoom does have a mobile app so it’s totally doable on your phone too!
2. Are Online Guitar Lessons Effective?
If you’re interested in learning guitar, online lessons can be effective and efficient! Virtual guitar lessons can save you time and effort, allow for a more comfortable environment, and be more convenient for reviewing materials.
Save Time and Effort
Virtual guitar lessons can save you time traveling to a home studio. Plus you won’t need to carry all of your materials such as your guitar, music, and guitar support.
You also have the luxury of being able to practice and learn in your own home. I have several students who aren’t exactly morning people (neither am I), so I wasn’t surprised to hear some of them tell me that taking guitar lessons online at home has actually been a huge plus for them!
In addition, I know sometimes it can feel intimidating going to an instructor’s studio. By taking guitar lessons online, you may even find that this helps you avoid the jitters!
Taking guitar lessons online can also be convenient if you’re like me and you don’t like to deal with a lot of paper resources like sheet music.
In most cases, I prefer to have the sheet music accessible as a PDF on my computer. You can simply open the PDF in whichever program you prefer, resize the window so you can see the full document, and move the video to the corner or side of the screen that allows for the best visibility.
3. How Do Virtual Guitar Lessons Work?
All teachers have their own styles and methodologies for teaching online lessons. Mine are structured as followed:
1. Preliminary Email. I’ll email you the resources we will look at in advance, usually 15-30 minutes before the lesson time in case you’d like some time to print them off or review them on your own. This email will also include the Zoom link and password (if needed).
2. Online Guitar Lesson. Once our session starts, you can join the Zoom room and we’ll have an awesome lesson!
3. Followup Email. After each lesson, I’ll send you a followup email with text, photo, and/or video summaries and examples of everything we covered in the lesson. If you ever have questions about the material we cover, you can reach out any time!
4. What are the Disadvantages of Virtual Guitar Lessons?
In my opinion, as long as you’re learning guitar and putting in consistent effort, you can’t go wrong! However, there’s still a couple of disadvantages to online guitar lessons worth pointing out:
1. Unable to play at the same time. I feel this is the strongest drawback to online guitar lessons. As good as the virtual meeting platforms are, you still won’t be able to hear the other person when you play a guitar song or piece simultaneously. Instead, the structure has shifted to much more of a “show and play” format, where I show and play students a musical phrase and then they play it afterwards. This is still effective, but kind of a bummer if you like jamming!
2. Software/Internet Issues. Some elements are simply out of our control. If the internet gets spotty on either end or if the third party platform suffers a crash or server delay, it’s possible for the session to crash. These things happen occasionally, but I’m patient and will always send a new link if needed and account for the time lost by going longer than the one-hour.
3. Getting used to the camera angle. This is kind of a funny one, but throughout the lesson there will likely need to be some adjustment of the camera to get a better vantage point of the right or left hand, placement, etc. No need to feel awkward about this, it’s just part of the process!
4. Lower sound quality. Nothing can match the sound of hearing guitar in person, and the audio quality on most laptops and mobile phones isn’t amazing. *Sigh*
These are just some of the factors we have to deal with when having to host guitar lessons online. But don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that the technology exists to allow for virtual guitar lessons to be as easy, effective, and fun as they have been so far.
I’m also grateful to all of my students who started taking lessons from me before the pandemic began and have continued to take lessons during the transition online.
If you have any questions about virtual guitar lessons, or suggestions, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.
Learn Guitar Today
Ready to learn guitar or take your playing to the next level? I’d love to be the one to help you reach your musical goals–just like the dozens of other students I’ve helped since 2016.