My dad played the guitar when I was growing up, and he always kept a bunch of worn-out songbooks by Harry Chapin, Don McLean, and John Prine on hand. When my parents gave me a Takamine acoustic guitar as a teenager for my birthday as a teenager, I dove into the same songbooks. I hate to admit that I fell over time, but being stuck at home during lockdown is the perfect time to brush up on a rusty skill or learn a new one.
The guitar is a rewarding instrument – you don't feel like writing your first song, getting a riff right, picking up a tune by ear, or earning that callus on your fingertips. If you also have some free time and want to learn to play the guitar, here are five online lessons to get you started.
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Will Edwards / Screenshot from Shelby Brown / CNET
Musician Will Edwards' Skillshare Course, learn basic guitar jamming skills, assumes you have a working knowledge of guitar. The lesson begins with fine-tuning basics and turns into skills such as using a metronome, playing scales, and "cowboy" chords. It is still aimed at beginners, but not those who have never picked up a guitar before.
What it costs: Some online lessons on Skillshare are free when you create an account, but most require a premium membership, which costs $ 99 per year or $ 19 per month. You can sign up for 14 free days of unlimited classes. The premium membership is also ad-free, and you can download lessons to your mobile device and watch offline.
Henry Olsen / Screenshot from Shelby Brown / CNET
I liked that Henry Olson's Ultimate Beginner Guitar Masterclass on Udemy delves into topics like guitar gear and how to play. Olsen's course will help you figure out the basics, such as which guitar suits you best and setting up an amp (if you're using an electric guitar). You will also learn basic chords, strumming patterns, electric guitar riffs (as well as acoustic techniques), practice time, and tips to make playing easier.
The lesson includes 12.5 hours of on-demand video, 26 downloadable resources, PDF support for most lessons, and a 42-page picture book.
What it costs: Udemy's course fees are determined by individual instructors of a price range, unless they choose to offer them for free. Olsen's courses cost $ 85.
Dan Dresnok / Screenshot from Shelby Brown / CNET
Dan Dresnok's Guitar Lessons for the Curious Guitarist Class has something for every level of guitarist, so you can keep moving through the lessons as you improve. Dresnok gives lessons in acoustic and electric guitar, ear training and an in-depth look at scales, rhythm and strumming, and guitar basics such as chords. He also covers solos, reading and writing music and more complicated techniques such as slides and pull-offs.
The course comes with nearly 30 hours of video, 54 downloadable resources and 10 backing track videos so you can put the solo lessons into practice.
What It Costs: Udemy's course fees are determined by individual instructors of a price level, unless they choose to offer them for free. Olsen's courses cost $ 70.
Masterclass / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET
Making art in any form is about making it your own and expressing yourself. Learn how is the purpose of the Art and Soul of Guitar class with Carlos Santana. The 10-time Grammy award winner takes you through blues, jazz, guajira, merengue and rock on a "spiritual" level.
This class is probably the most advanced on the list, because Santana breaks off his musical process and talks about connecting with an audience. His course is 16 lessons long and delves into music in a more abstract way – rhythm, techniques, melody, going beyond sheet music, live playing and your hardware.
What it costs: MasterClass gives access to its over 180 lessons for $ 180 per year. There's also a 30-day warranty – if the program isn't for you, you can get your money back.
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