by Jack Haddad
Learning from Youtube, in most cases, does more harm than good and this is true for any skill and not only guitar.
You buy something new or receive it from someone and then you go online to find what are the first FREE resources that can help you learn the skill. Same thing for guitar, the excitement builds up and you go online. You end up on youtube watching your very first beginner guitar video, if you are like most people out there you’ll find a channel that seems fun and easy at first but then what? You get stuck, because you have no idea what to learn next, how to learn it, if you are doing it right or wrong. Then the inevitable happens, you feel stuck not knowing what to do, then get frustrated and ultimately give up on learning guitar.
That cycle of events is somehow very classic and much more recurrent than you think. If this is what happened to you or you are encountering at the moment don’t worry, there is an easy solution for that.
youtube is not that bad, in fact it is quite good but only for certain types of people and for certain levels of playing. I’ll explain how later on, but first let’s see why Youtube is actually bad for you and stopping you from getting good at guitar.
1.) Is the information true?
Being a total beginner (or even an intermediate for that matter), you have 0 idea if the information that is being conveyed to you is right or wrong, if it is misleading or not. How would you know if the information is proofed, you’re not an expert afterall or else you wouldn’t be watching those videos in the first place.
2.) Are the people giving you information actually qualified to teach?
Are you asking yourself if that person delivering the free content in that video is actually qualified to teach at all and deliver the content in the right manner and order? Teaching face to face is already hard for many reasons such as understanding who is the person in front of you and what do they need? Let alone teach online. If these people can play guitar fairly good, it doesn’t mean that they can teach good. Remember this, everyone can open a youtube channel and start uploading videos, even you can do it, what does that tells you about credibility? Now don’t get me wrong there are good channels out there, but as a beginner/intermediate guitarist can you identify them?
3.) The order of things MATTERS
The order of how you learn things is crucial. I cannot stress enough on that. And the problem with youtube is that you don’t know what you should learn next and what is the video you need to watch next in order to make you progress? To solve the problems you have? And what needs to be done now? And in what order? And for how long?? Too many questions here, when the previous lesson was easy it’s a simple decision. As soon as it get’s hard, though, it’s basically impossible to choose the right progression on your own. See curriculum have been created for a reason, that’s why you need a qualified teacher to do this for you. It’s actually impossible to do this on your own (with good techniques) and no gaps in your knowledge and to an advanced level, unless you have 10 hours a day to spare and waste on free videos online. That’s why at our premises for instance, we provide the best guitar lessons in Jounieh Lebanon because that’s exactly what we do, we help students get better faster by giving them the exact material they need at the right time.
4.) You don’t have the personalized attention
Not everyone learns the same way. I think you already know that and it is self-explanatory. Some people will get it, and some people won’t. Because everyone learns differently. Some people are visual learners others might be kinesthetic or auditory, and youtube videos cannot cater to all. To solve this, you need a teacher who explains something to you in as many ways as it takes, in order for you to get it. And take all the time needed for you to grasp and be able to perform something. Do you see where Youtube is limited in that sense?
5.) You need feedback
Also, self-explanatory. If there is no one around to tell you if you are doing something right or wrong, if your hands are right, if your timing is alright, if the tension in your body is ok etc.. how are you ever going to improve, you might improve at first but sooner or later you will get stuck … and with BAD HABITS. You might think you were saving time and money by learning on your own, but in fact you were shooting yourself in the foot, you were developing so many bad habits that now in order to unlearn all of them and then let the good ones settle in you actually wasted so many valuable time. Again, a personalized guitar teacher is the only one who can give you proper feedback.
Youtube is only good for those who have been playing for some years and are already confident in their playing and have at least some decent theory understandings and technique, even then I wouldn’t recommend to watch any channel, but only those who are qualified to. And no, millions of views are not a criterion for qualifying a page. Only your teacher can help you choose a good page to follow.
About the author: Jack Haddad is a guitar instructions specialist. He is the director of JHGuitarSchool in Kaslik-Beirut, Lebanon. Anyone in Lebanon interested in becoming a better guitarist, or any interested parent(s) click here for the best guitar lessons for kids in Jounieh Lebanon.