Perhaps you have read the article “Learn the guitar with a teacher or learn alone?" Some people do not ask themselves the question and know that learning alone will work for them. Others have more doubts and do not know if they will be able to manage without being guided by a teacher.

In this article, I will try to give you some lines of reflection and research so that you can start off on the right foot your learning to play the guitar as a self-taught person.

What is an autodidact?

You could consider that a true autodidact is a guitarist who learned everything on his own without any outside help.

I know very few of them and none of them have reached an exceptional level on the guitar.

According to my vision of things, a self-taught is a guitarist who learned to play without taking lessons, without anyone taking his hand to show him each step of learning the guitar.

My personal example

I am a self-taught myself, and I learned the guitar at a time when the Internet was not yet popular. So you had to settle for paper methods, VHS videos or magazines. So I made sure to store all the information I could collect and learn everything by heart.

The disadvantage of this method is that you end up knowing lots of theoretical notions, positions of scales or chords, particular techniques, but being unable to make the link between all these notions.

It is like a mechanic who would know in detail each part of which a car engine is made, but who would not know how to assemble these parts so that the engine turns.

I do not think you would entrust your vehicle to such a mechanic.

An autodidact must therefore be able to find the necessary information, to retain the essential without wasting time on the superfluous, to practice the exercises, the techniques, the pieces which he judges useful for his progression.

And above all, he must succeed in making the link between all the concepts he has learned in order to master his instrument as a whole.

Where to find the right information?

Today, there are many sources of quality information that allow you to learn to play the guitar effectively.

Here are the source differences-

Paper methods

There are correct methods and there are excellent methods to learn guitar. The idea is to go through them to make sure that the subject is treated in an exhaustive, educational way, and that the steps are not burned.

If a method is supposed to teach you how to play a rhythm on the guitar, and it just tells you that you have to strum the strings with a pick, I doubt it will make you progress very quickly.

Sometimes, an audio CD or CD-Rom is supplied with the paper method so that you can listen to the audio examples corresponding to the exercises.

It is sometimes more meaningful than a simple explanatory text.

Video methods

They have been advantageously replaced by DVDs which allow direct access to the chapters that interest you, with a clearly higher sound and image quality, and without seeing this quality deteriorate with the wear of the tape.

It is obvious that the video methods are particularly effective since they offer you audio and visual examples, a little as if a teacher was in front of you to show you the exercises (without however benefiting from the interaction that you would have with a real teacher).


The educational part of magazines is often less complete than in methods dedicated to learning, but there are exercises, pieces or extracts of known pieces, in addition to information on the news of the groups or on the equipment.

It would therefore be difficult to learn to play the guitar only with magazines, but their cost not being very high, they constitute a good complement.


Internet is a fantastic tool that I dreamed of being able to use when I started playing the guitar.

There is a mixture of all the previous examples: methods in text format, audio examples, educational videos, soundtracks to accompany you on your favorite songs, online magazines...

In short, you can find EVERYTHING on the Internet.
But the problem is that there is everything: free methods, paid methods, videos or websites made by professional guitarists, videos or websites made by beginner guitarists.

The difficulty is therefore to focus on quality information and not to dwell on that disseminated by people who do not understand their subject, or worse, which disseminate bad information.

When you are looking to learn about a theoretical concept or a particular technique, do not hesitate to consult several sites, several methods, several discussion forums so as to cross-check the information and deduce which will be the most relevant.

Learning the guitar as an autodidact is therefore not an easy task.

This requires spending time researching the best information and taking the time to synthesize this information in order to progress in a coherent and efficient manner.

But if you get into the habit of working this way, you will be autonomous and you will gradually be able to find the right information and benefit from it in record time.

Author's Bio: 

Cristina Herrera has a BA in Journalism. And she is an Independent Journalist. Her passion in life is to write meaningful stories and help others through research and content. She truly believes that knowledge is power. So, she wants to share her experiences through content.