Can Guitar Be Self Taught? What You Need To Know

The path to becoming a self-taught musician offers boundless opportunities for growth and self-expression. It can be very exciting and rewarding and will likely save you a significant amount of money. Self-guided study isn’t necessarily the easiest method of learning an instrument, but with modern methods of teaching, it is actually more doable than ever. Equipped with a stunning Schecter guitar, a few key resources and a strong sense of determination, you’ll be able to master your craft in no time.

How To Learn Guitar by Yourself

Learning guitar from a professional instructor is typically the easiest way to develop your skills quickly and effectively. However, this method isn’t for everyone. Plenty of people struggle with the financial aspect of this method and may also have trouble performing in front of another person. Keeping to a specific and strict schedule can also be difficult depending on one’s work hours and lifestyle. Fortunately, modern methods of teaching and sharing information have made self-guided learning very possible.

Online Courses

For most people, online courses are probably the best way of learning guitar besides taking in-person classes. This method allows you to take a structured approach to learning and provides a step-by-step guide to keep you on track. There are both free and paid courses available online, as well as various options for different experience levels. There are also courses for specific styles of music, as well as different techniques, such as improving speed. Most of these courses are exceptionally well-designed and have helped thousands of people learn the guitar.


Apps offer something fairly similar to online courses, providing comprehensive and somewhat structured guides to learning guitar. What makes them so great is their convenience; they give you access to lesson plans or tutorials on your device whenever you want. These apps are furthermore easy to follow and allow you to develop your skills on the go, even if you don’t always have your instrument with you.


A quick search on YouTube yields thousands of results related to learning the guitar, among which includes video tutorials covering topics such as theory, technique, practising, songs and more. YouTube has had a dramatic influence over our ability to learn things online as it gives us access to teachers all over the world. This platform facilitates a relaxed way to take in information and practise the guitar with a visual and verbal aid. If you require more structured, coordinated learning, you can always use online classes or apps in conjunction with YouTube tutorials. This way, you can get the best of both worlds.


If you’re tired of staring at a screen all day, you can always do things the old-fashioned way and pick up a book. There are still loads of books out there that will teach you how to play guitar, and many of them are very effective.

Tips for Successful Self-Teaching

Even with the right resources available to guide you, it can be hard to know where to begin. Following a few key tips can help you stay focused and find the fun in learning.

Get a Guitar You Love

Falling in love with your guitar will make you far more likely to pick it up on a regular basis. This is why you need to choose your guitar carefully after completing thorough research. Figure out what type of guitar makes you feel excited and inspired, and once you own it, keep it somewhere clearly visible. If you see your guitar every day, you’ll be more likely to play it whenever you can. Additionally, make sure your guitar meets your ergonomic needs as a player. Left-handed guitars, for example, exist so that left-handed musicians don’t have to overcome extra hurdles to learn their craft.

Have a Clear Idea of What You Want To Learn

Before you begin the process of learning guitar, figure out exactly what you want to learn in terms of the style of music and genre. You can always expand this list at a later date, but to start off with, you need clear intentions. Learning an instrument can be overwhelming, so streamlining things is a great way of taking it one step at a time.

Perfect the Basic Chords First

By learning a few basic guitar chords, you’ll actually be able to play a wide variety of songs. Starting with basic chords will give you a strong sense of satisfaction and help you stay motivated moving forward.

Learns Songs Immediately

The ability to play songs is super fun and presumably the main thing you wanted to achieve going into this experience. To keep yourself entertained, it is therefore important to learn songs as soon as you can. Whenever you start to lose motivation, learning a song will remind you of how far you’ve come since you started. Don’t be afraid to jump in early and impress your friends!

Learn Music Theory at a Later Date

Music theory is important and interesting, but it isn’t necessary to know as a beginner. It can also be a bit dull for a newbie and can halt your process as a result. When you’re starting out, give yourself permission to skip the boring stuff and focus on learning chords and playing songs.

Take Breaks

When you initially start learning guitar, you’ll only be able to play for around 10–15 minutes before your fingers ache too much to continue. This is perfectly normal, and your fingertips will develop calluses over time to help you play without pain. In the meantime, don’t try to push through the pain, as this will discourage you from practising. Allow yourself to take breaks during sessions so as to not hurt your fingers.

Practise Regularly

Get in the habit of picking up your guitar every single day, even if it’s just for a short while. When you can, and as often as possible, try to practise for a full hour. This’ll make a huge difference in your progress and help you stick to your goals.

Video Yourself

Another handy tip is to video yourself as you play. This will give you the ability to analyse your technique and style from a different angle, which can help you figure out if you’re making any technical mistakes.

Make Your Own Kind of Music

For too many people, learning an instrument is never anything more than an unfulfilled ambition. To ensure that you cross this dream off your bucket list, do everything you can to make the self-guided learning process easier and more enjoyable for yourself. If you need a dedicated space to practise, create that environment for yourself. If you need to learn fun and simple songs, let yourself learn them. Browse inspiring online guitar stores like Angkor Music until you find the guitar of your dreams. Whatever will help you get there—just do it!