Online vs In-Person Guitar Lessons: Which One Is Best?

Photo of author
Written By Gary Daws

Chief Music Officer

In recent years, the debate between online and in-person guitar lessons has gained traction as more people turn to the internet to learn new skills.

The increasing availability of online guitar courses has proven to be both a blessing and a curse for aspiring musicians, as it often leads to a difficult choice: Should they take advantage of the accessibility and convenience of online lessons, or opt for the traditional in-person instruction to receive personalized guidance?

Each mode of learning has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Online guitar lessons provide individuals with the flexibility to learn at their own pace, often at a lower cost in comparison to in-person lessons.

Additionally, they grant access to a myriad of resources and tutorials, catering to a wide range of learning styles and skill levels. On the other hand, in-person guitar lessons offer a hands-on experience that allows for immediate feedback, corrections, and a more personal connection with the instructor, which some learners may find essential for their progress.

In deciding which method is the most suitable, aspiring guitarists must weigh the pros and cons according to their own preferences, goals, and circumstances.

Ultimately, the right choice may vary from person to person, but recognizing the key differences between online and in-person guitar lessons can greatly aid in making an informed decision.

Benefits of Online Guitar Lessons

Accessibility and Convenience

Online guitar lessons offer greater accessibility and convenience compared to in-person lessons. Students can learn from the comfort of their own homes and on their own schedule, without the need to travel to a physical location for classes.

Online platforms also allow learners to access recorded lesson materials at any time, making it easier to practice and review the content whenever they wish.


Compared to traditional in-person lessons, online guitar lessons are generally more affordable. Students can often find a wide range of prices for online courses and lessons, with some even available for free.

This affordability allows learners to explore different resources and invest in additional materials to improve their skills without straining their budget.

Pace and Flexibility

Online guitar lessons give students the flexibility to learn at their own pace. This personalized approach caters to each individual’s learning style, allowing them to progress more efficiently.

Online lessons also enable students to revisit content and practice specific techniques as much as they need, ensuring a thorough understanding before moving on to more advanced skills.

Variety of Instructors and Resources

The internet offers a vast array of instructors, teaching styles, and resources for learning guitar. Students can easily explore different methodologies and find instructors with various backgrounds and experiences.

This variety helps learners find an approach that resonates with them and gain exposure to different genres and techniques to enhance their skills.

Benefits of In-Person Guitar Lessons

Hands-On Learning Experience

In-person guitar lessons provide a hands-on learning experience, enabling students to physically feel the correct techniques and develop muscle memory.

Teachers can directly adjust students’ hand positions, posture, and playing habits, which can be difficult to achieve through online lessons.

Personalized Feedback

Face-to-face lessons allow for personalized feedback, tailored to each student’s unique strengths and areas for improvement.

The teacher can easily identify issues in real-time and provide on-the-spot solutions. This instant feedback is invaluable, as it helps students avoid developing bad habits.

Structured Curriculum and Accountability

In-person lessons typically follow a structured curriculum, which helps students progress in a systematic and organized manner. Teachers can hold students accountable for their practice, setting goals and tracking progress over time.

This structure can be especially beneficial for beginners who may struggle with self-discipline or maintaining a consistent practice schedule.

Social Interaction and Network

Attending in-person guitar lessons offers opportunities for social interaction, often lacking in online lessons. Students can meet and network with other aspiring musicians, creating connections with like-minded individuals.

Additionally, they can participate in group classes, ensembles, or jam sessions, enhancing their learning experience through collaboration.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

Learning Style

When deciding between online and in-person guitar lessons, it is important to consider an individual’s learning style.

Some people may prefer the personal touch and face-to-face interaction of in-person lessons, while others may thrive in the flexible environment of online lessons.

Experience Level

Another factor to consider is the experience level of the learner. Beginners might benefit more from in-person lessons, as a teacher can provide immediate feedback and correct mistakes.

On the other hand, more experienced learners may prefer online lessons, which offer a wider variety of resources and the ability to learn at their own pace.


Comparing the costs of online and in-person guitar lessons is crucial. Traditional lessons can be more expensive due to the need to pay for the instructor’s time and travel expenses.

Meanwhile, online lessons can be more budget-friendly but may require additional investments, such as high-speed internet and recording equipment.

Type of LessonsExpense

Schedule and Commitment

It is essential to evaluate one’s availability and commitment level when choosing between online and in-person guitar lessons.

In-person lessons often require a consistent weekly schedule, while online lessons offer more flexibility.

  • In-person guitar lessons: Require a consistent schedule and commitment
  • Online guitar lessons: Provide greater flexibility and the ability to learn at your own pace

How to Make the Most of Your Chosen Lesson Format

Whether a student chooses online or in-person guitar lessons, there are ways to make the most of their chosen format.

By setting goals, implementing effective practice techniques, and continuously assessing progress, students can enhance their learning experience and see significant improvement in their guitar playing abilities.

Setting Goals

Setting clear goals is essential for guitar students, regardless of their lesson format. Students should strive to identify both short-term and long-term objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Short-term goals may include learning a particular scale or chord progression, while long-term goals can involve mastering a specific song or technique.

  • Short-term Goal: Learn the pentatonic scale in one month.
  • Long-term Goal: Perform a full song using fingerpicking technique in six months.

Effective Practice Techniques

Practicing is crucial in any guitar learning journey. Students should establish a consistent practice routine and focus on refining specific skills or techniques. One effective strategy is to break down complex pieces or techniques into smaller, more manageable parts.

Practice TechniqueDescription
Slow practicePlaying pieces or exercises at a slow tempo to develop accuracy and muscle memory before gradually increasing the speed.
IsolationWorking on a particular section of a piece or technique in isolation to improve proficiency in that specific area.
RepetitionRepeating challenging sections, exercises, or techniques multiple times to build confidence and consistency.

Continuously Assessing Progress

Regular self-assessment and monitoring of progress help to ensure that guitar students stay on track to achieve their goals.

Students should consider recording themselves while practicing or performing to review their performance and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, students should seek feedback from their instructors, peers, or other experienced guitarists.

By following these steps, guitar students can maximize their learning experience and make significant strides in their progress, regardless of the format of lessons they have chosen.


In the debate between online and in-person guitar lessons, there is no definitive answer. The most effective choice varies depending on individual preferences, learning styles, and goals.

Online lessons offer flexibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness, while in-person lessons provide the advantages of hands-on instruction, personalized feedback, and a greater sense of community.

When considering the best option, learners should evaluate their specific needs and priorities. If time and location constraints are significant factors, online lessons may be the more suitable choice.

In this case, students should seek reputable platforms and experienced instructors to ensure high-quality instruction. On the other hand, if a stronger human connection and tailored guidance are highly valued, in-person lessons are likely the better option. Students opting for in-person instruction can benefit from local music schools or private tutors.

Ultimately, the key to successful guitar learning is motivation, dedication, and regular practice, regardless of the chosen instruction method. The most important aspect is finding a learning approach that suits the individual’s needs and inspires them to grow as a musician.