Are YouTube Guitar Lessons Enough to Learn?

Beginner guitarists are both full of enthusiasm and doubts. 

The first is the result of the new experience; of a future of possibilities. 

The second is a consequence of too much information and too many questions.  

Where should I begin? How should I learn? How much should I practice?” 

The list of questions goes on. However, there is one of these that we’ll answer right away: 

Learning with Youtube guitar lessons is enough? Or should you choose a different option? 

For basic knowledge, Youtube videos are a good form of learning. However, those who seek to reach a higher level of efficiency will need more than Youtube lessons. Sometimes, the best alternatives are private lessons or playing with a band.

If you are a beginner, you’ll find this information useful. 

Are video tutorials enough for you, or should they be complemented with something else?  

Let’s find it out! 

Why YouTube guitar lessons are great 

Youtube lessons are fascinating because of a variety of reasons. 

First of all, Youtube guitar tutorials are free. Sure, you have to pay for the internet service and deal with annoying ads. 

However, in most cases, the internet is a service that will be paid for anyway, whether you use it for guitar lessons or not. 

What I mean for free is that you are getting a guitar lesson without paying for the class itself. 

Although I encourage you to go and take real lessons if you have the money, Youtube tutorials are the best alternative for musicians whose budget is relatively low. 

Second, Youtube lessons can be taken without leaving home

Sometimes, it is a bit of a nuisance to go out and carry your guitar and bass throughout the city to take a short lesson. Taking public transport while carrying an instrument is a pain in the neck, not to mention you run the risk of damaging it one way or another. 

On the contrary, learning from home is a rather comfortable experience

For example, a heavy storm can’t stop you from taking the lesson, and you can pause the video and go on with it whenever you feel like it. Not to mention you can take the class from your bedroom (and without leaving the bed for those who are too lazy!). 

Lastly, with Youtube tutorials, you get to choose the teacher you prefer. To be more specific, you have more options to select from. 

Let’s suppose you look for a lesson on basic guitar chords. You click on the first video but the way the teacher explains it is too complicated for you to grasp the information. 

So, you move on to a different one. You repeat the steps until you find a video with a simpler description that adapts to your level. 

That way, you ensure you find a guitarist that better suits your interest and learning style.  

Things that YouTube guitar lessons won’t give you

Youtube guitar lessons have lots of benefits. But, there are certain experiences you miss by choosing them. 

The very first reason is that face-to-face lessons provide a solid base. In the long run, a foundation is of paramount importance for future learning. 

By tackling common issues early, you make it easier to understand and apply future techniques. 

Suppose your base is weak. You don’t know how to position your fingers properly, nor to strum strings with the right pattern. 

Now, imagine you keep practicing like that for long periods of time, without realizing the techniques are wrong. When the time to learn harder skills arrives, you’ll be unable to play them. 

This scenario would be the result of the second disadvantage: lack of specific feedback

Practicing with a private tutor, friend, or band simplifies learning from your mistakes. 

After all, you don’t run the risk of fossilizing bad playing habits, and you have someone who can answer every doubt you have. 

In addition, with a face-to-face lesson, you are getting a clearer explanation of how and why to play a certain form. 

With this in mind, consider how some lessons are harder to grasp without explanations. Thus, a Youtube video won’t be enough.  

Another drawback is that learners will rarely receive the motivation given by a teacher or band members. 

Yes, some teachers are terrible at motivating students, and some band members are downright rude. Luckily, it is not always the case, and if you find the right people, they will provide the extra push to improve your skills. 

Believe it or not, encouraging students drastically improves their progress. 

Last but not least, learning through pre-recorded videos misses one of the most important aspects of music: sharing

There is a strange satisfaction that comes from playing with other people. All in all, we are social animals, so interaction is also a need. 

Sharing music and laughers with friends in a rehearsal room is one of the greatest experiences you could possibly have. Don’t miss it. 

Are YouTube guitar lessons enough to learn the instrument?

The answer relies solely on the goals of the musician. 

If your goal is to learn a couple of songs just to have fun, then Youtube lessons are enough. 

On the contrary, if you are willing to become an expert in the instrument, then you’ll need more than just videos. 

All the advantages that Youtube videos lack are a must-have for any wanna-be guitarist: a solid base, the right habits, feedback from the experts, etc. 

Some people may argue that there are many lessons that provide the knowledge required for understanding the guitar. 

Indeed, there are tips, how-to’s, and lists with common mistakes and the way to avoid them. But are they enough? 

In any case, they may serve if you combine them with other sources… 

How to complement YouTube guitar lessons

The best form of learning is absorbing information from many sources. You can complement Youtube guitar lessons with any of the following: 

  • Asking for advice from mentors, friends, and family members. 
  • Taking private classes (face-to-face or virtual lessons) 
  • Rehearsing with a band or with another musician 
  • Learning about basic music theory (reading, videos, etc.) 
  • Practicing with your instrument and figuring it out on the go 

If you want to go deeper into these approaches (and learn more secret tips), then I encourage you to check this article with 7 ways to learn guitar without lessons

How to know if you are on the right track when learning guitar alone?

You should always trace your guitar abilities. In other words, it is wise to receive honest feedback on how much you have improved. 

Plus, it is a must to know your weaknesses as well. 

For this, the best you can do is ask for an evaluation. Hear what more experienced guitarists think about your skills. 

Come to think about it, you don’t even need to ask directly. Actions speak louder than words, and sometimes, playing with other musicians is enough to realize your level. 

If you happen to receive mostly negative experiences, do not take it personally. 

They are an opportunity for growth because they are indicators of your flaws. 

And as a general rule, the more you practice, the fewer flaws you’ll have. 

So go and play with your guitar, whether it’s with real people or a Youtube video!