This article was ghostwritten for LessonRating.com. It is written in American English.
When you first decide to take guitar lessons, you might be tempted, like most others, to look up your local guitar teacher and find out when he can fit you in. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this, but it does mean you’ve overlooked another option. One that is becoming more prevalent as time goes by due to the higher percentage of people who have access to the internet.
Online lessons are not only readily available but can give you the start you need, without nearly as much of the cost. They are also a great alternative for people who aren’t able to travel or don’t have any guitar teachers close enough to be convenient.
But what are the cons of online lessons? They exist of course, but so do they for face-to-face lessons. For each method, there are plusses and negatives. Below, I’ve listed the main points to consider when you’re deciding which method to pursue.
Tailored to suit you
Your teacher will more than likely evaluate all aspects of your life and background and then decide how best to proceed. Whether it be the frequency of your lessons or what goals you should set, if your teachers can see your progress (or lack thereof), he’ll be able to advise you on how best to proceed.
Your teacher can correct you when you make a mistake
Naturally, your teacher will be watching you play and will instantly spot an error, even if it’s something as simple as your posture. And because he’s right there, he can correct it before it becomes a bad habit.
You’re more likely to go
When you have to face your teacher after a missed lesson, it’s not as easy to shrug off as forgetting to watch an online lesson. Because of this, you’ll think twice about skipping a lesson just because you’re a little tired after work or aren’t in the mood.
Can be very expensive
This depends on the teacher of course, but most one on one music lessons are pricey due to the fact that they are charged by the hour. Musicians are highly skilled and charge accordingly, as they should, but this can put a serious dent in your wallet.
You have to travel
This can be especially vexing if you have to leave during rush hour or if the weather is bad. It can be very tempting to skip simply because of this reason, especially for those who tend towards introversion.
The best music teachers are generally booked up. This means you could be a waiting list for a while or you won’t be able to have your lessons as frequently as you’d like.
Online lessons are significantly less expensive, with some of them even having monthly subscriptions so you don’t have to worry about missing a few lessons or doing a few extra for that matter.
Easier to fit into your schedule
Because you get to take the lessons whenever you like, even the dead of night provided you don’t wake the neighbors, it’s much easier to find the time to so them.
You can repeat lessons
If you’re not sure you understood a lesson, or you’d simply like to review what you’ve already learned, you simply press play again. And again. And again. There’s no limit to how many time you can take a lesson.
Online resources will often give you more than just the barebones lessons. These extras could take the form of discounts, links to free sheet music, extra tutorials, and even competitions.
It can be hard to focus
Because you’re generally taking these lessons at home, there are plenty of things to distract you. Kids, dogs, housemates, or even just your urge to go and get a snack from the kitchen.
No direct feedback
With no one on hand to watch you play, and spot any mistakes you may make, there is no feedback on what you’re getting right or wrong. This can lead to bad habits developing.
Ultimately, there are bonuses to both methods and you’ll hear plenty of arguments both for and against online lessons. But if you have the choice between online lessons or no lessons, you’ll certainly learn more from the former, even it is a bit distracted or not as often as you’d like.
Online lessons can also be a great way to find out if playing the guitar is for you before you seek out a teacher and commit to weekly lessons, potentially at great expense. Give a few online lessons a try, you may just find you’re happy with this method when you’re first starting out.