With advancements in technology, computer applications and virtual lessons are becoming more popular, but are online lessons really going to teach you guitar any better?

Are online guitar lessons better than face-to-face guitar lessons?

Online guitar lessons and in-person guitar lessons are better or worse depending on the needs of the musician. Not all people have the same learning capacity and, therefore, each person may need a particular teaching methodology. So, when thinking about taking online or in-person classes, we will first have to determine our availability, the affordability of the classes and our ability to get the most out of them.

For example, if in addition to learning to play the guitar we are studying a university degree or we have to work, online guitar lessons could be more convenient to save time by doing it from home. On the other hand, if we are not very efficient at learning on our own with the help of online classes and need one-on-one tutoring from another person, face-to-face classes will be more appropriate.

In any case, the musician must analyze his options and choose the one with which he can obtain the best results. Learning the guitar (and any instrument) is not only successful with lessons, both online and in person, but also with the practice and discipline that the person dedicates to it.

Advantages of online guitar lessons

To better understand what online guitar lessons have to offer, we can take a look at the advantages they bring. These may not always apply to all musicians, but they can be taken as general characteristics to keep in mind when considering enrolling in a class. So, if we believe that online guitar lessons can be a good option, the following benefits could help us in our choice:

Flexibility in time and location

Time and geographical flexibility play a fundamental role when we need to manage our time well and be able to fulfill all our duties satisfactorily. Many times guitar lessons might not be part of our professional work or our main occupation, so a bad organization of our time could turn our lessons into a hindrance. This will result in a lower performance when playing the guitar and the results obtained in the classes may not be as expected.

Online guitar lessons are usually developed in such a way that the person who wants to learn has enough freedom to take the lessons whenever and wherever they want. This way, people don’t need to move to a specific place or sit in front of their computers at a certain time. Instead, it will be enough to find the place and time that is most comfortable in the course of your days.

online vs in person lessons

Self-control of our own progress

When we take online guitar lessons we are faced with the task of constantly checking our progress. Because online guitar lessons only provide us with the theoretical and practical content to learn how to play the instrument, we must measure our progress ourselves. Thus, we will not only have the freedom to take the lessons when we want, but also the freedom to take the lessons that we think are appropriate.

This could present a problem for many people not knowing when it will be convenient to take more advanced lessons or not. However, this freedom of being able to take the most advanced lessons will allow the musician to know his or her own capabilities and limitations.

All we need is our guitar and a device connected to the internet.

Online guitar lessons do not require a lot of resources for their full development. Many people might even watch the lessons on their smartphones, lying on their beds, and then, at the end, practice what they’ve learned on their guitars.

On the other hand, online guitar lessons usually provide the necessary material for the student’s development, such as readings, audios and videos. In this way, it will often not be necessary to use notebooks to take notes.

Advantages of face-to-face guitar lessons

Face-to-face guitar lessons also have some benefits that you won’t find in online guitar lessons. Some of these advantages are:

Direct help from a teacher

The direct help of a teacher will be one of the best advantages that face-to-face guitar lessons provide. The teacher will not only teach the lessons and solve our doubts instantly, but will also monitor our progress and correct our mistakes when he/she thinks it is appropriate to do so.

On the other hand, direct interaction with a teacher can help us to acquire more discipline in the study of the instrument. The teacher will encourage us to maintain a constant rhythm of study in order to understand all the lessons in a progressive and continuous way.

We may feel obliged to maintain a routine of study and practice in order not to fall behind in the classes and to follow the study plan dictated by the tutor.

Increased interaction with students and musicians of the same or higher level.

By attending guitar classes we will have the opportunity to share with other students and musicians of the same level. This opens up the possibility of exchanging ideas, techniques and songs with other musicians, thus broadening our perspective on the lessons and the instrument. That is, by interacting with other musicians we can share our points of view, compare them and complement our learning with that of other people.

Now, if instead of attending group guitar lessons we opt for private lessons, we should not be discouraged, because the same interaction with the teacher can be very productive. In a private lesson, the teacher gives his or her full attention to the student. Therefore, all ideas, doubts, and confusions that we may have can be discussed openly with the tutor, a musician with sufficient experience.

More personalized classes

When we see classroom guitar lessons we have a teacher constantly monitoring our progress. Thus, it is common for the teacher to customize the content of the lessons based on the student’s ability and the skills the student wishes to develop.

So, unlike online classes, the face-to-face class can be adapted to the direction students wish to take with music. All this based on the interaction given with the teacher and the progress shown by the students.

Cost of online guitar lessons vs. cost of face-to-face guitar lessons

The cost of guitar lessons can depend on many factors, such as:

  • The number of classes per week
  • The number of hours the class lasts.
  • The level of the students
  • The teacher’s experience

So, taking these factors into account, it is very common to find higher costs in face-to-face lessons than in online guitar lessons. This is partly due to the fact that online guitar lessons are usually pre-recorded and, therefore, the payment for these lessons corresponds to access to the videos, readings, and audios. Thus, online guitar lessons usually charge a registration fee and a monthly fee, leaving all the material in the hands of the musician to be used at their own pace.

On the other hand, face-to-face classes require paying for the time and attention given by the teacher. In this way, it is normal that the cost of face-to-face classes is established based on the number of hours taught per week or per month. At the same time, if the teacher needs to travel, in the case of private lessons, it also leads to an increase in the cost of the course plus some other materials such as books.

However, if we want to learn to play the guitar and we can’t afford the prices of online lessons or face-to-face lessons, the following two tips can be taken into account:

● You can get many good quality free online guitar courses, such as Guitar Tricks. 

● Face-to-face classes tend to lower the cost when the group of students is large.

Examples of a hybrid model of face-to-face and online classes

A hybrid model of face-to-face and online classes can be a good option for those who wish to increase their performance on the instrument. That is to say, combining the advantages of both modalities we can establish a very dynamic routine of study and practice that will help us to get more benefit and effectiveness in learning.

If we want to take guitar lessons with the help of both modalities and we don’t know where to start, we can follow the following tips and then, based on them, customize them according to our needs:

● We can study the theoretical lessons with the help of online classes and limit the practical lessons to face-to-face classes. This way we can study the concepts at our own pace and practice with the attention of a tutor.

● Alternately, we can study the practical lessons with the help of the online classes and the music theory lessons in the face-to-face classes. This modality is very useful for those people who find it difficult to understand concepts and definitions on their own.

● Also, we could be fully dedicated to face-to-face classes and go-to online classes for specific lessons that do not require the direct help of a tutor.

● Likewise, we could dedicate ourselves completely to the online classes and come to the face-to-face classes when you have a particular doubt or problem that requires the instruction of a teacher.

In any case, we must take into account what our needs are in order to establish the type of classes that best suits us.

When to take online guitar lessons?

People often take online guitar lessons when in-person lessons are not completely affordable. The dynamics of the online courses allow you to have access to very good quality material for low prices. In addition, time flexibility is also taken into account, since online guitar courses will not require as much dedication as face-to-face classes would.

At the same time, one of the biggest advantages of online courses is that we can find courses on specific topics and techniques. So, if we want to learn a particular subject or develop a particular skill, we can look for a course that specializes in it.

It is convenient to see first the specifications of the courses to know if we can get good results with them.

At what age is it best to take online guitar lessons?

The most suitable age to take online guitar lessons is thirteen and up. This is because people who take online lessons must be disciplined enough not to get demotivated or distracted easily. Online classes lack interaction with other people, and therefore it is common that the student can get tired and drop out.

On the other hand, age is only a generalized reference. Certainly, children tend to be more easily distracted, so they need the presence of a tutor to guide them constantly. However, even adults may not have the right concentration to learn with online lessons.

Can Skype guitar lessons be equal to face-to-face lessons?

Skype guitar lessons can match face-to-face lessons when it comes to interaction and communication. Through a video call the teacher could observe the performance of his students and correct them instantly. In fact, you could also do group lessons via Skype and therefore interact with other students and musicians of the same level.

The problem with Skype guitar lessons lies in the quality of the video calls. To achieve good quality video and sound you must have a good device. In this way, communication is not hindered and the class maintains good performance.

On the other hand, you would expect a Skype guitar lesson to be more cost-effective than a face-to-face guitar lesson. However, not everyone can afford a good audio and video device. The musician should consider these factors before entering one class or another in order to foresee problems in the future and to obtain the best results.