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Learning Playing Guitar: Whats The Best Method For You?
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Learning Playing Guitar: Whats The Best Method For You?

While rock music is a little harder to hear on the radio or see on TV these days, it's still the best-selling form of music. Consequently, the ascendancy of beat boxes and auto-tuned vocals has not stopped the tide of teenagers yearning to be rock stars. In addition, people old enough to be those teenagers' parents are making the commitment to learning playing guitar just for their own pleasure. But with all the learning options now available, what's the best one?

While looking over these guitar instruction methods, have your goal in mind (to play in a band? To play on your front porch? To write your own songs? To just play better?), as well as your learning style and how much practice time you can allocate.

Private guitar lessons is probably the first thing you thought of. You can find any number of instructors available just by looking in the classifieds of a local music publication. Most of those instructors, however, are guitarists themselves trying to supplement their incomes. You need someone who knows how to teach as well as knows how to play, or you'll just end up knowing how to play what your instructor can. Ask around, get recommendations, and if one-on-one lessons are too rich for your blood, some teachers conduct group lessons.

If an instructor isn't affordable or available, you can take the self-teaching route. Books and home videos are more economical, but they tend to come in two flavors: those that concentrate on technique, and those that concentrate on theory. You need guitar books that teach both - it's music theory that gives you the ability to grow, innovate, create your own music and interact successfully with other musicians.

Which brings us to the Internet age. Guitar lessons are now available on DVDs in music and online stores. Better yet, some have gone a step further and developed full-fledged online guitar programs that can be accessed or downloaded from online. They have the time and space to provide you with guitar technique and music theory from professional guitarists who are also dedicated teachers. They provide background music you can play along with, plus feedback and support through online forums. Most important, they're reasonably priced at around $250 US, though some charge a monthly subscription fee.

If you're learning playing guitar, it's online guitar instruction programs where you can get it all: quality instruction, a foundation in music theory, reusable video and audio aids, and a sense of community. If you can't afford or find private lessons, it's a very smart way to learn.


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