How to use tools and resources to teach yourself guitar

Want to teach yourself guitar?

Many successful players are self taught and had no formal lessons. If you decide to take the same path this article will help you out by explaining how you can use tools and resources to maximize your learning and development. It can be tough when you don’t have a tutor to demonstrate techniques or identify any mistakes you make. When you teach yourself you also need to pay extra attention to your own playing to identify any mistakes and prevent any bad habits from forming. The tools and resources below will help you out with this and make your job a little bit easier.

Finding lessons on the Internet

If you have ever done a search for “guitar lessons” in Google, you have seen that there are countless sites providing lessons either for a charge or for free. With so many lessons available the first issue you need to be aware of is the fact that there are some poor quality lessons out there that you should avoid. It can be hard to identify which lessons are poor quality and don’t explain things properly. The best way to avoid these poor quality sites is to not rely on a single site for all your learning. So if you’re looking for a lesson on hammer-ons, search “hammer-ons guitar lessons” in Google, then read at least three lessons from three different sites. By reading the same subject by different authors, you will get a good idea which writer explains the topic best and you can learn the technique properly from their lessons.

Another thing to consider with lessons is whether or not to pay for online lesson content. If you don’t like the thought of having to cross reference subjects across different websites to avoid low quality content, then you may be better off paying for lesson content. But the truth is there are so many high quality sites out there that you shouldn’t need to pay for anything. There are some sites that provide lessons that are far superior to any paid website and they provide it all for free.

Recording your own playing

One of the problems self-taught guitarists face is the fact that they don’t have somebody else listening to their playing and identifying any problems or bad habits. By not receiving this feedback you may not realize you may be repeating a certain mistake or forming a bad habit which could slow your development. One way you can overcome this issue is to record your own playing and listen back to it. Have you ever heard a recording of your voice and couldn’t believe you sounded like that? It’s the same when you record your guitar playing. While you’re playing it you don’t notice certain things until you hear it played back to you.

To record your playing there are many simple recording programs you can use with your computer. Alternatively if you have a smart phone you can download an app which will do the same basic job. It doesn’t really matter how good the program is. Try it out and you might be surprised how different you sound compared to how you think you sound.

Using tools to speed up your development

As explained in other articles and lesson on this site, tools are crucial to your development. They enhance your learning as they can offer you a new perspective on certain things or help you learn in different ways. This site for example is centered on using flash cards to learn chords. The flash cards are so effective in helping you memorize chords because they can be used in different ways. You will learn chords a lot faster using flash cards compared to a chord dictionary. To understand how flash cards can be used to memorize chords, read this lesson. That is an example of how tools are so effective and why you should as many of them as you can.

Another example of a simple tool that will help you achieve great results is a metronome. This simple tool can be used in so many different ways and will help your development in different areas. To get an idea on how a metronome can improve your development, read this lesson on the basics of practicing with a metronome.

There are so many learning tools available now that it would take too long to list them all. Whenever you find a different learning tool consider using it as it may provide you with useful insights and boost your playing abilities. When you’re teaching yourself these tools can make a world of difference to your playing over the long term.


As you can see, using a range of tools and resources will have a big impact on your playing. Limiting yourself to one site or (even worse) to a single book is a sure way to failure. Find several sites that provide free guitar lessons and compare the lessons so you gain a full understanding of each topic. Find as many tools as you can and use them all to augment your education. The more resources you use the faster you will learn and the easier it will be. So start searching for lessons and tools now!