Does your child want to learn how to play a guitar but you can’t afford private lessons? Don’t worry, most casual guitarists are either self-taught, or have learned the basics from friends rather than through years of formal study. People looking to teach themselves can start with either a DVD instructional course or an online course, and lots of useful video lessons are available for free online via YouTube and other sites such as the following.
Online Guitar Lessons (100% FREE) – GuitarLessons.com is the largest source of free video guitar lessons available on the Internet. No matter what your skill level – beginner, intermediate, or advanced – you will find helpful advice and detailed training on the GuitarLessons.com website. Take lessons on guitar chords, guitar scales, lead guitar, cover play-along songs, blues guitar, and much more.
JustinGuitar.com – Justin Sandercoe is a London-based guitarist, songwriter, performer, producer and educator. The quality instructional guitar videos that he offers free for those who cannot afford private lessons have given his site a huge user base around the world. The Independent newspaper said that he is “One of the most influential guitar teachers in history.” He offers a huge range of lessons on many topics including a complete beginners course as well as blues, jazz, rock, and more.
Beginner Guitar Lesson Archive -About.com offers a series of text-based guitar lessons for people who own (or have borrowed) a guitar, but don’t yet know the first thing about playing it.
Free Online Guitar Lessons – This mostly text-based site takes the nitty gritty approach – note by note, chord by chord, no stone left unturned.
Pluck and Play Guitar – This website claims that you can reach a basic level where you can play easy songs in just “two weeks if you follow my lessons guide.” Includes detailed text explanations, photos, and videos. Subscribe with your e-mail address to get a free e-book of “Easy Guitar Songs.”
Fuzzy Monkey Tabs – For the casual guitarist who doesn’t know how to read music, there is a guitar-centric method of music notation called guitar tablature. Tablature (or tab for short) is used to indicate instrument fingering rather than actual musical notes. This site features tab videos that show how to play specific songs such as Fur Elise, Super Mario Bros, Jingle Bells, and Silent Night.
How to Play Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” is one of the most recognized songs from the 1970s among both the music community and the general public. This classic riff is a must play for all guitarists, especially beginners, because it’s so easy to learn. In fact, it’s usually the first popular song that beginning guitarists learn to play. The guy in the video uses an electric guitar, but it sounds just as good on an acoustic guitar.
Strummer Online – A church guitarist offers free acoustic guitar lessons, chords, and tabs for traditional songs and hymns. He says: “You’ll notice that most music for the guitar is published in both standard notation and tab. You really don’t need to read standard notation in order to play the guitar–excepting the classical guitar where a knowledge of reading music is really necessary. For all other types of playing, if you can figure out tab, you’ll be able to play a song. And if you’re really good and have great musical instincts, you’ll be able to figure it out by ear.”
Free Guitar Videos – A large collection of free guitar lessons in a variety of difficulty levels and genres including: beginner, acoustic, classical, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, electric, and metal. If you like the content of the free lessons, you can also take premium guitar lessons for a more in depth look at guitar techniques, solos, and other concepts.
Guitar PDFs – The Guitar Suite has created a series of free PDFs including a goals worksheet, schedule template, warm up journal, and more that you can print out to help yourself learn to play the guitar.
The Total Classical Guitar Method – A series of nine lessons (all text, like an online book) that cover the basics of classical guitar playing.
Learn Classical Guitar Today – These free beginner classical guitar lessons take you from being a raw beginner through to your very first performance piece. Each lesson has an exercise with a targeted aim for the beginner classical guitar player, free sheet music to work with, tips and guidelines for working through the lesson and supporting materials such as accompanying mp3s.
Classical Guitar Corner – This site contains free lessons for people who want to learn about playing the classical guitar. It doesn’t really have a beginner’s section “because everyone learns in different ways and there are some fundamentals that apply to all guitarist, regardless of their ability.” The instructor, Simon Powis, says: “I believe strongly in an auto-didactic style of learning (self teaching) and my goal is to help students learn to educate themselves. Instead of simply describing what to do in individual circumstances, I like to teach practice methods that can be applied to a range of situations and critical thinking that allows the student to find learning pathways of their own.”
“I was my own teacher and pupil, and thanks to the efforts of both, they were not discontented with each other.”~Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitar virtuoso