by Rob Ward
New York Studio of Music and Art
Here’s a great modern day educational guitar tip: Stop reading this post, turn off your computer, pick up your guitar, and play it! However, since time was taken to write this article, perhaps you can read it first and then follow that advise. Even if you read slowly, the hypocrisy will only take a few moments.
Thinking About the Guitar vs. Playing the Guitar
If you are spending a lot of time watching guitar videos online (gear reviews, lessons, interviews, etc.) or just reading music articles about your favorite musicians… odds are that you’re spending too much time thinking/dreaming about the guitar and not enough time actually playing it! For millenniums, musicians learned how to play by holding their instrument and physically learning kinesthetically. Gradually, over time, you get better and become a player. That’s how it’s done, simple as that.
Real Lessons vs. Online Lessons
Recorded online video lessons do have a value. They can introduce you to a new technique, teach you a neat musical trick, or help you brush up on theory. However, the thing they can’t do is play with you, watch your hands, and talk back to you and give you personal advise. Since everybody has different hands and brains, having a real teacher makes a difference.
Additionally, some people feel shy when attempting to play along with their teachers, and they may think it’s better to just play and practice by themselves at home. Sure, do that! For hours!! Every day!!! But, there’s a huge difference between sounding good at home and playing with people in real life. Traditional lessons give students the opportunity to test out what they’ve been practicing, and in turn get feedback from someone more experienced than themselves. Since surrounding oneself in a virtual world can lead to false senses of achievement, it’s always good to have a real teacher give you a reality check.
In Closing, Just Play
Perhaps discussing the negative effects of too much internet/computer use can sound like a lecture coming from an old fogey unable to cope with the modern world… but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 1. I’m not that old. 2. Despite everything written above, I find many positives of internet use too. However, keep in mind that when you want to learn how to play an instrument, nothing will give you better results than sitting down and just playing. Have fun making sounds, build hand coordination, and make it happen… in real life.