Rock and road
December 29, 2012 6:32 PM   Subscribe

How can I learn to play guitar when I need to travel constantly for work?

2013 will be the year I finally start learning to play guitar. Problem: my job requires me to travel often - jumping from place to place to place for ~1-5 days at a time 2-4 weeks per month. What tips do you have for learning guitar with travel constraints? How do you carry your guitar, find practice space, find teachers, etc.?

Carrying a full-sized guitar with me through all of the travel hops would be very inconvenient, but I worry that leaving it at home and skipping practice while I travel will drain my motivation or limit my learning. I've found many interesting looking travel guitars such as the lapstick, Ultralight, SoloEtte, and others. What has worked well for all of you?

Bonus question: several of my coworkers are in the exact same situation. What's the best option for scheduling group lessons for 3-5 people who all have difficult schedules? Should we sign up for a big class together and count on missing some sessions, or should we try to get a private teacher for our group (or separate teachers for each of us)? I suspect that signing up for a class would make us more diligent about trying to attend and practice, but I would love to hear your suggestions.
posted by bargex to Education (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A ukulele might work, though the tuning is different. You'll improve your technique, speed, ability to read tabs, and you will become an ace at tuning because ukes fall out of tune like it's going out of style. But it doesn't translate directly to playing the guitar because the uke strings go GCEA, while guitar strings go EADGBE. So you'll have to learn a whole separate set of chords.
posted by Sara C. at 6:36 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love my Traveler Ultralight, it goes with me every time I travel. Full sized neck, so it plays no different than my normal guitar. Very durable, I never worry about it being damaged on the plane. I just carry it on, wait for the overhead bin to fill up, then lay it across the top and close the bin.
posted by Lokheed at 6:39 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

A traveler Ultralight is an awesome option.

I might add the following:

Do you travel with a laptop? f so, you might pick up Rocksmith (currently on sale on Steam) -- don't forget the special adapter cable, though.
posted by frmrpreztaft at 6:59 PM on December 29, 2012

A few months ago I read with interest this piece about the future of online learning - looking at the state of online guitar lessons.

And two weeks ago I met an aspiring teen who transitioned recently from live lessons to online ones, and said that he recieved better instruction for a lower cost, and was very pleased with it.

(Although I am not a guitar player I do travel frequently for work and acknowledge the challenge that poses.)
posted by scooterdog at 7:23 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am also a traveling guitar student. I'd love to have a Traveler Ultralight, but it's a bit rich for my blood. Instead, I bought a sort of toy guitar at a swap meet for $10. When I compared it to the Traveler I saw that they were almost exactly the same height! Short enough to carry in a backpack with just a bit poking out the top.

As for the lessons, I rely on just practicing my scales and exercises while traveling. I also look up tab music and watch YouTube video lessons for learning anything new that strikes my fancy.
posted by stephennelson at 10:33 PM on December 29, 2012

If you have the budget, yamaha makes silent guitars - they have both steel string and classical models.

I'm sure that if you do research you'll find other options too.
posted by w.fugawe at 1:21 AM on December 30, 2012

For the learning part, I'd recommend He has video lessons for free with a "pay what you'd like" request, and the lessons are really good - whole he is quite advanced he speaks like he remembers what it was like to be a beginner.
posted by azpenguin at 8:00 AM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

« Older Where do I camp in Hampshire?   |   Travel advice needed Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.