For many people, the first question is, can you really learn an instrument successfully online? The answer depends on a few key things.
Some people assume that if you sign up, you’ll automatically be able to play the instrument of your choice with little effort. In the same way, some people convince themselves that if they’re paying a monthly fee to the local gym, they’ll lose weight and get fit – even if they don’t attend.
Learning an instrument is very like getting fit – indeed it does actually involve building muscle memory. If you really want to learn, you have to do the lessons and do the work. If you commit to daily practice and push yourself to do better every practice session, you really can learn an instrument using online resources.
There are several different ways you can use the internet to learn an instrument – apps, video courses, group lessons or private tutors, YouTube videos. We’ll take a look at each type of learning and explore the pros and cons.
There are many apps available now that offer various options from free get-started memberships to full Pro membership that gives you access to everything on the App.
Apps offer lessons for many different instruments including piano, guitar, bass, ukelele and even singing, just to name a few. Even if you don’t have a piano or keyboard yet, you can use Skoove’s virtual piano keyboard to get going!
Online video courses
Masterclass is a high-end course from well-known musicians who have pre-recorded a course presented in step-by-step videos. Just a few examples: the great Carlos Santana has a guitar course, Itzhak Pearlman shows you how to play the violin and Christina Aguilara teaches singing. Apart from learning an instrument, you could also learn about creating beats or composing for film.
Private online tuition
Probably the most expensive option, and potentially the slowest route, there is no doubt that working privately with a tutor will give you a solid grounding in music theory, the instrument of choice, as well as technique. Having your own private tutor goes beyond learning the instrument as so many teacher/student relationships become life-long friendships. If you want to go this route, try a lesson with at least two or three teachers to see which one you feel most comfortable with.
Group online lessons.
Group lessons lowers the price and makes it more accessible. Although you get less one-to-one time with the teacher, there are good learning opportunities by staying engaged even when it’s not your turn to play. Listening to other students play and hearing the teacher’s feedback can demonstrate mistakes to avoid as well as things to aim for. It’s also an opportunity to meet other people learning the same instrument as you, which can be enjoyable as well as helpful.
There are thousands of free online lessons on YouTube to get you started. But beware. There are some really bad lessons. You might find some of them difficult to follow, and of course, you get no feedback to know if what you’re doing is correct or not. If you’re an absolute beginner this really isn’t the best option.
However, it might work well for you if you’ve played the instrument before – say you had some lessons when you were a child and haven’t touched it since. You might remember enough to get back into it with some YouTube lessons.
YouTube is especially good for learning a specific song that you want to play.
Many YouTubers do an introductory series of free lessons with the option to sign up to a more comprehensive course. This is a good option as you can see how you get on, as well as seeing if the teacher might be a good fit for you.
So you can see that there’s a wealth of opportunity to learn a wide variety of instruments online. You could try several ways to learn rather than just picking one.
But whichever way you decide to learn, the biggest thing with regards to making progress is to do the practice!