Teach me about online guitar lessons
July 17, 2020 12:49 PM   Subscribe

What should I look for in a guitar instructor, online? Where should I look?

Before everything went online/distanced, I was starting to look for in-person guitar lessons. Now it’s all virtual and I have even less idea where to look, or what to look for.

I took lessons in elementary school, and then followed some of the Justinguitar lessons in grad school to take my mind off a really negative life situation. It took me close to ten years to get around to “music could be fun again and not remind me of that time when life sucked.” I’ve tried some of the Justinguitar stuff again but without some level of guidance, I’m feeling sort of lost as a forever-beginner and I’m probably learning bad habits.

I can play cowboy chords and at least E-shape barre, and have some knowledge of time, but beyond that I’m pretty clueless. I am not particularly good at lead or things more granular than 8th notes. I’d like to nail down the basics and learn how to go further into stuff I’m interested in playing/writing. Musically, I’m interested in things in the style of contemporary singer-songwriter/folk (Richard Shindell, Dar Williams, bleeding over more into acoustic rock/alternative like Matt Nathanson, Dermot Kennedy, Matthew Good, etc).

I have a couple of guitars and recording equipment from podcasting, so audio/video is not a problem on my end.

Any advice on how to take that background and identify someone I can pay to give me feedback and instruction would be much appreciated. I’m 100% willing to pay equivalent prices to in-person for decent instruction/guidance, so this is about finding a good teacher,
posted by Alterscape to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Times are very tough for musicians right now. I'm not into the same music as you and not familiar with those artists, but heck if I were you I'd reach out to them individually, or at least look into whether they teach (obviously it doesn't mean they're good teachers). I know a number of great pickers from the bluegrass and old time worlds who are teaching lessons now (and plenty who were before, for that matter).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:44 PM on July 17, 2020

See if you can find recommendations. A great player isn’t necessarily a good teacher.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:47 PM on July 17, 2020

The Old Town School of Folk Music is a long running non profit music school in Chicago which has post-covid begun offering online private lessons, group lessons and workshops. Dar Williams herself is actually doing an all day virtual workshop through the school on July 22.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 6:52 PM on July 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

After further reflection, The Dar Williams workshop seems pretty advanced but there are definitely classes /lessons there more appropriate for your current skill level.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 7:23 PM on July 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Two suggestions, assuming you're interested in acoustic guitar: Peg Head Nation and ArtistWorks.

Both offer a wide variety of teachers in various genres, and the teachers are well regarded.
posted by blob at 9:19 PM on July 17, 2020

Best answer: I sent you a mefi mail with info about my teacher.
posted by purpleclover at 9:25 PM on July 17, 2020

I was taking in person lessons with CJ of Shoreline Music Lessons, just north of Seattle WA. We now do Zoom lessons, that have been great. I can't recommend him enough. I'm not sure if he's interested in a fully online student (assuming you're not from Seattle), but it might be worth an email to him. Website:

Shoreline Music Lessons
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:48 PM on July 17, 2020

If UK timezone works for you, I can strongly recommend Cliff Smith.
posted by liebchen at 3:03 AM on July 18, 2020

This guy is amazing, at any level.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:38 AM on July 18, 2020

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