Personally, I tried learning the guitar and gave up twice before I finally got motivated and dedicated enough to stick on.
My first try was a really short thing that lasted only 2 days, when I was much younger. My neighbor’s elder brother had a guitar, and we was entranced by how cool it was to play it. We tried to learn it, but with no real mentor and lessons, we gave up pretty quickly.
My second try happened when I was 21. It was when I met this really cool guy (kudos to you, Jay, wherever you are) in class. We didn’t really talk much to each other initially – until Jay brought a guitar to class one day. His skills are awesome, and I was so darn impressed I asked him to teach me something.
Well, he did, and I tried my best to learn whatever I can. However, assignments came, everything piled up, and before we knew it, we had graduated, and Jay and I lost contact with each other. Bummer. The only thing I took away were two chord progressions, D G A A and C Am F G. But without a guitar, I pretty much forgot about them.
My third successful try was during this year, when I came across this Google ad about guitar learning. That reminded me of my previous efforts, and suddenly, I had the fire to learn how to play the guitar again.
Free Guitar Lessons
I didn’t have anyone who I was comfortable to take side lessons from, and taking a course just didn’t cut it with my work schedule. So I poked around, and I was really glad to find so many sites offering free guitar lessons. I didn’t count on them being so difficult to understand though. While Jay could explain everything to me until I understood, the lessons I found online seemed to be in a totally different language.
When I stumbled upon Jamorama one day, I was beginning to feel really frustrated, and quickly decided that I should spend some money to see if this program would get me anywhere. In the end, I was surprised that I felt rather impressed with everything. The price was really damn reasonable. It even came with an ear-training game!
In fact, the quote that a teacher gave me for a single music theory lesson was so much higher. And Jamorama doesn’t focus on dry music theory – it teaches you how to get to playing well, fast.
That’s the picture of Ben Edwards – he’s the creator of Jamorama. Ben is a respected guitar teacher, with a Bachelor of Education. Ben was also the former lead guitarist for the popular down-under band “DegreesK”, and toured with them internationally.
While I won’t be able to stage my own sold-out concerts with Jamorama, I was pretty pleased that I was able to learn everything that I needed quickly. It mattered to me that at least I could now play my guitar. Now my playing sounds like music, and it wasn’t hard to get to that level.
What Should You Choose?
There are several ways to learn how to play guitar – so what’s the best way? Well, it depends on how much time and money you’re willing to spend. Basically, you’ve only got 3 main choices:
- You can do traditional lessons. These will cost $20 or more per lesson. Lessons are usually about once every week, and you get hands-on advice, tips and corrections when you need them. But you’ll have a regular schedule, and regular expense. I chose this way initially, but had to give it up in the end because my job didn’t allow a fixed schedule. I had to reschedule or miss lessons so many times that it just wasn’t worth the $100+ I spent each month. If your schedule allows regular lessons, then this is a great way to learn how to play the guitar.
- You can buy instruction books. You can get these at your neighbourhood bookstores, or online through speciality guitar sites like Musician’s Friend. These generally contain very specific areas of guitar instruction. To learn fully through these, it takes a long time, and you WILL have to get more than one book. Prices per book start from around $10.
- You can learn online. There are scattered free guitar lessons all over the Internet, but to find online guitar lessons that are packed into one convenient package for you is rare. Some are more popular than others, including Jamorama. One big benefit is that you can buy online lessons, no matter where you live.
But how are these online lessons? Are they any good? Can they really teach you how to play guitar? Personally, I would recommended Jamorama to anyone, but you need to know that there are other free guitar lesson websites that are worth taking a look at too. The drawback is that you’ll take a longer time, you won’t have the extra software and exclusive training material, and you won’t have all the information consolidated nicely in one place for you. But it’s great if you’re on a tight budget. If you’re interested, you can take a look at my page on free guitar lessons, or read my review on Jamorama. Or you can directly check out the Jamorama website here.