Play the Guitar without an Instructor

July 15th, 2010

“Many will enter, few will survive.”

The above quote may be more appropriate for a gladiator movie, yet it’s also in a strange way fitting of the process in which you attempt to learn to play the guitar.

Think about it. The guitar is not too physically demanding but what it lacks in real, tangible stress it makes up for in mental frustration. Learning a musical instrument is not easy and by now I’m sure you have heard that a thousand different times.

That’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to examine the many ways in which it is possible to learn to play the guitar without the aide of an instructor.

Personal instructors are time consuming, demanding, and more than anything expensive. And I’m here to tell you that you don’t need them. In fact, I’m here to tell you that you can do better (gasp) on your own. I’m here to tell you that learning the guitar has never been so easy to pick-up as it is in the 21st century.

So, where do you begin? Self-taught guitarists would tell you that it is definitely possible to self teach guitar based on their experience. These people are also highly dedicated, organized, and determined to their craft – playing the electric or acoustic guitar.

However, not everyone is as dedicated, organized, and determined as those same individuals. In fact, most struggle to remain self-motivated, especially when they are picking up the guitar at an older age when school, work, family, etc seem to always take precedence.

Consequently, in theory, it’s not that hard to learn the guitar but it is hard to stay committed. If you’re a real human like the rest of us, chances are that getting an education or making a living is going to have to take priority over being a rockstar…for now anyways.

- Dedication, Organization, Determination -

Get it, Got it? Good.

If you really think that the guitar is self-taught than you must possess all three traits. Then, you need to look into the three most important, yet overlooked tips.

1. Structure Your Lessons

The most common mistake is to pick up short tutorials from various sources such as guitar books, websites, or magazines and fail to structure everything together. The problem with studying various and seemingly unconnected tutorials is that they share no relation, so beginners are unable to make sense of the standard guitar concepts.

The result is the revelation that you’re not progressing but merely picking up a variety of otherwise useful lessons scattered in an inconceivable order. Hence, the individual losses passion for the instrument, failing to develop a strong foundation in proper techniques needed to progress.

Structured guitar lessons should progress in challenge and complexity. You should start with the sheer basics, such as posture, hand position, holding of the pick, tuning, etc. Slowly you should evolve into basic chords, scales, rhythm, and strumming patterns. The lessons are sequential.

Get it, Got It? Good. 

2. Learning Plan

Now that you have structured lessons, the guitarist must institute a lesson plan. When will you play and for how long? This should be a strict time each day that is consistent. It’s not good enough to just assume you’ll practice when you “have a minute.” Daily practice is necessary, so you cannot merely think it’s a once or twice a week type of activity.

3. Self-Discipline

A wise man once asked, “I have the foundation and the tools, what else do I really need?” Exactly. The structured lessons will serve as your foundation while the lesson plans will work as your material and tools. With this solid foundation, material, and tools, the guitarist truly does not have a reasonable excuse for failing.

Remember, it all goes back to dedication, organization, and determination. Everything is outlined for you, now it’s time to put your intentions into action.

Now, laying out the three basic (but often) overlooked tips may seem easy enough, but if you are a logical person you can probably cite something that is even wrong with this plan.


The bottom line is that you can be the most stubborn, organized, and driven aspiring guitarist of all-time, but if you lack the knowledge of the instrument you are destine to fail. That is where personal instructors came in for decades and where the Web is slowly replacing them. Someone or something must be your source for reference because after all, if you already had all the information, knowledge, insights, and wisdom on the guitar, you probably wouldn’t be classified as a “beginner” now would you?

Here is where online, self-taught guitar lessons come into the equation. They are one part personal instructor (often taught by expert in the industry who lives far, far from you) and another part self-driven. So you are essentially learning to play the guitar alone, but with the advice, tips, and lesson plans from one of the greatest guitarists in the world.

Not bad when you think about it.

In fact, GLC has dedicated its entire online existence into providing you with the very best online guitar courses in the world. Suddenly, $19.95 for JamPlay or even $149 for Learn & Master Guitar doesn’t sound so bad.

Click Here! For our full, detailed reviews on the top four programs.

Here is my challenge. I dare you to skip the costly needs of a personal instructor and to otherwise use that monetary investment on an online guitar course. Often you can download or order these programs via mail, go through the lessons at your pace, and learn as much if not more from these highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers.

Playing the guitar without an instructor…it’s as simple as that.

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