Can You Learn the Electric Guitar Online?

Author: Tom Graham  

Posted: 1 March 2024

Synopsis: Is it possible to learn to play the electric guitar online? Absolutely. However, there are several methods, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Let's discuss what they are.

Traditionally, learning to play a musical instrument often involved finding a local music teacher, attending in-person lessons, and adhering to a fixed schedule. However, the rise of online learning has dismantled these barriers, allowing people to learn the electric guitar without taking official classes.

The convenience of being able to learn whenever and wherever suits many people, from busy professionals to students with hectic schedules. You could say that the proliferation of online guitar learning platforms has democratised musical education, making it accessible to a global audience. 

However, that does not mean that all types of online learning are suitable for everyone or that all are equally effective. That’s what we will discuss in this article - the 3 different methods you can use to learn to play the electric guitar online and their pros and cons. We will also give some tips for electric guitar accessories that improve how efficiently you learn. So let’s jump right in.

3 Methods to Learn the Electric Guitar Online

In short, you can choose to learn the electric guitar completely by yourself, hire a teacher, or take the middle ground by utilizing official educational materials without hiring a teacher. All of the approaches have different advantages and disadvantages - we’ll discuss them, while you pick the one that suits you best. 

Learning By Yourself

A person learning to play the electric guitar online while practicing on a Telecaster.

Many aspiring guitarists opt to learn fully by themselves, relying on free materials and tutorials available online - think of guitar-playing tutorials on platforms like YouTube. This approach grants you full autonomy to choose your own pace and explore a wide array of resources. However, the abundance of free content does come with its own set of challenges.

The pros of this approach are:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: First and foremost, this type of learning is free. There is no need to make a financial investment as the online tutorials are freely accessible. 
  • Flexibility: You can create your own schedules and progress at your preferred pace.
  • Diverse Resources: There is a vast range of tutorials, covering various genres and skill levels, which can ensure a dynamic learning experience.


  • Lack of Structure: Self-directed learning may lack a structured curriculum, making it challenging for beginners to build a strong foundation.
  • Quality Variation: The quality of online tutorials varies greatly, and it can be challenging to find reliable sources amidst the multitude of available content if you don’t already have some musical education.
  • Limited Feedback and Motivation Issues: Without a teacher, immediate feedback on technique and progress is often lacking, which can potentially lead to the development of bad habits. Plus, this approach is not recommended for people who have trouble motivating themselves to learn new skills, as everything is 100% dependent on you and you alone.

If you do choose this approach, here’s a tip - it’s good practice to intersperse some theory in between your practical lessons. This can help you advance more quickly and avoid some common mistakes. At the very least, learn the basics of scale and bar cord theory to have a good foundation.

Hiring an Online Teacher

For those seeking personalized guidance, hiring an online guitar teacher has become increasingly popular. Virtual lessons offer the advantages of one-on-one instruction, allowing for tailored feedback and a structured learning plan.

The pros are:

  • Personalised Instruction: Customised lessons cater to your specific needs and skill level, ensuring relatively efficient progress.
  • Immediate Feedback: Teachers provide real-time feedback, accelerating the learning process and aiding in timely corrections.
  • Structured Curriculum: A well-designed curriculum ensures a comprehensive and systematic approach, providing a clear path to advancement and ultimately mastering the electric guitar.


  • Cost: Hiring a professional instructor to learn the electric guitar can be expensive, particularly if it’s compared to free resources, so it may pose a financial barrier for some learners.
  • Scheduling Challenges: Coordinating schedules with an instructor may be difficult if you have a tight schedule. This can potentially cause interruptions in regular lessons.
  • Dependence: Some learners may become overly reliant on their teacher, which can hinder independent exploration and problem-solving - two crucial components of mastering the guitar.

Learning by Yourself with Official Study Materials 

Learning by yourself but using official study materials is a happy medium between the first two approaches. You can choose to learn independently but supplement your journey with official study materials such as books, videos, and audio guides.

The pros of this balanced approach are:

  • Structured Learning: Official study materials provide a structured and organised curriculum, which ensures systematic progression.
  • Quality Resources: Authored materials are typically more reliable and comprehensive than the free materials you can find online, particularly when they are authored by experienced musicians and educators.
  • Flexibility: You maintain autonomy of learning by yourself while benefiting from the guidance of established resources, allowing for a personalized learning experience.


  • Cost: Acquiring official study materials to learn the electric guitar may involve an initial investment, which could be a deterrent if you are on a tight budget. On the other hand, this approach is much more affordable than hiring a teacher.
  • Limited Interaction: This method lacks the immediate interaction available in live lessons, potentially slowing down the learning process.
  • Varied Effectiveness: Like with full self-learning, the effectiveness of complementing your practice with study materials depends on individual dedication and commitment, making consistency crucial for success.

Accessories That Can Help You Learn

A close-up image of a guitar head with tuners.

Naturally, you need an electric guitar to practice. But some other electric guitar accessories are also crucial if you wish to more effectively learn the electric guitar. Specifically, a guitar tuner is a fundamental tool that aids you in achieving and maintaining accurate pitch. This fosters a keen sense of musicality even in a virtual setting.

Online platforms often lack immediate feedback on tuning, making a tuner an indispensable accessory for refining your ear and ensuring precise playing. Next, a metronome plays a crucial role by instilling a sense of rhythm and timing. With a metronome, you can practice at various tempos, gradually improving your ability to play in sync with different musical styles.

Finally, a finger exerciser can be an invaluable companion if you’re just starting to learn the electric guitar. Online lessons may not provide the hands-on guidance that an in-person instructor would offer, making exercises with a finger exerciser essential for building dexterity and promoting finger independence. These accessories are supportive tools that can help you refine your skills and make your playing more precise and efficient.

Everything You Need to Learn the Electric Guitar Online

While online learning has revolutionized electric guitar education, it's crucial to acknowledge the challenges and limitations associated with this approach. From the potential lack of immediate feedback in self-directed learning to having trouble staying motivated, just because learning online is very accessible does not make it easy.

At the end of the day, the success of learning the electric guitar online is almost 100% dependent on you. That being said, this may be precisely what you are looking for. And here at SWAMP Industries, we can help you get started.

You can buy many different electric guitar lessons, including books, audio, and video recordings. You can also buy all the guitar accessories you need and, if you still haven’t bought your first electric guitar, check out our collection and order an electric guitar online.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll gladly help you in any way we can. In any case, we hope you find the approach to learning the electric guitar that suits you best!

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