We all know that the Internet has changed people lives. That statement is not new to anyone. I was born in 1986, just in time to remember when the Internet was first developed. I can recall when dial-up was the only technology available, and when a 1GHz processor was absolutely groundbreaking. Times have changed for me, and I haven’t even hit 30 years of age yet.
Almost everything in our world has become instant. In a split second, we can send a message halfway across the planet, and in another, have a response. The speed at which information travels nowadays is mind-boggling. It only makes sense that even something seemingly unrelated, learning an instrument, would be affected.
I didn’t realize how easy I had it when it came to picking up the guitar at 16 until my father, a former Musicians Institute student at G.I.T., asked me how it was I was learning so quickly. I showed him some of the online resources I’d been utilizing, and he was stunned.
I had tools to slow down songs without changing the pitch, loop specific phrases of that song, tablature software that showed exactly how my favorite songs were played, endless amounts of word document tablature, and communities to help an aspiring guitarist along their path. All of it, I’d taken for granted, as I hadn’t really thought about how things might’ve been for previous generations.
Just for appreciation, my father showed me how he learned the guitar. He dusted off his old turntable, brought out an old vinyl and set the equipment up. He played the Beatle’s White Album; the song was Blackbird. He showed me how he lifted the needle up on the old record player, and attempted to find the phrase of the song he was learning, learning essentially one note at a time.
Years of practice had enabled him to find nearly exactly the place on the record that he was looking for and replace the needle precisely where he needed it. He repeated this process over several weeks until he’d learned that one song, note by note. It made the way I was learning the instrument seem like cheating!
At my fingertips, I had a limitless supply of information, I could learn from people’s experiences who lived halfway across the world, who I’d never see in person.With all the DvDs, CDs, computer software, and books available to the aspiring guitarist, it’s never been easier to not only learn the instrument, but to learn countless styles of playing as well.
The purpose of this article is to assure that anyone out there with a dream of playing the guitar realizes that it’s more than possible with today’s technology night.
A century ago, I would imagine that the only real way to learn any instrument would be to have it passed down from generation to generation, or be lucky enough to happen upon a teacher. Today, all a person needs is the instrument itself, the passion to pick it up and practice, and an Internet connection.
I speak from personal experience as an internet taught guitarist when I say that online lessons for guitar are a huge advantage, not to be overlooked. My fathers response when I asked him what he thought about online guitar lessons was, “I can say that I could see not learning from all the stuff online, but I don’t really know why you wouldn’t use it, it took you weeks what it took me years to get.”
I encourage all aspiring guitarists to follow their dreams; the guitar is truly an amazing instrument. It’s definitely one of the most versatile instruments in existence.
Do your research, look around, and tap in to the limitless amount of information available to you. Now more than ever, your dreams of playing guitar in whatever medium are more than feasible. All it takes is a little bit of passion for playing, a little bit of perseverance to sort through the material online, and a little bit of time to put the things you’re learning to use!