What Can a Teacher Show You that YouTube Can’t?

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If you want to learn how to play guitar, there are numerous ways you can do so. For example, you can easily find free instructional videos on YouTube. Many of these videos are offered by people who simply enjoy sharing info. Some are offered as introductions to paid video lessons. Still others are pirated from purchased or borrowed videos. Any way you look at it, there is a wealth of video instruction on YouTube, and on the internet in general. Many of these videos offer good instruction, and you can learn a lot by watching them and following along.

If, however, you are looking for the best and most efficient method of learning, you simply can’t beat live, in-person training from an instructor. The advantages of this method are numerous. This article reviews several of these advantages.

The Timing Advantage

Everyone learns at their own speed. When watching an instructional video, you soon realize that, unless you are very lucky, the YouTube instructor isn’t moving exactly at your pace. You may find yourself having to pause the video frequently to catch up with the concept being shown or having to rewind it to a specific point while trying to grasp the concept. This can be time-consuming and frustrating. On the other side of the spectrum, you may find yourself sitting and waiting for the instructor to catch up with you. Now, instead of rewinding, you may find yourself attempting to fast-forward. Once again, it can be frustrating and time-wasting.

A live instructor in a one-on-one setting can teach you at your own pace, saving you time and frustration. They can gauge your learning speed and adjust accordingly. They can even change the approach for different areas, say, a particular concept or fingering you struggle with. This is much more likely to keep you going.

The Technical Advantage

No matter how much we progress in this electronic age, there will never be a time when someone in a prerecorded video will stop playing, look directly into the camera and say, “Come on, Jane! You’re grasping he neck wrong!” A recording cannot give you immediate feedback and positive correction, and your ineffective habits may continue and even worsen.

An in-person instructor can help you with all those little habits that are preventing you from playing at your best, whatever your level. This same person will also praise you for your skills and encourage you to play to your strengths.

The Tactile Advantage

No matter how friendly and warm an instructor may appear to be on your computer screen, he can’t come across the same way a live instructor can. Unless you know the internet instructor personally, you cannot truly establish a strong relationship with that person. Put another way, you can learn a lot from a video, but there is no way that the man or woman on your screen is going to know your ups and downs, ins and outs the way a live instructor will.

That doesn’t mean that you and your instructor have to be the best of friends. But, a live instructor can at least get to know you and can provide instruction based on your skills, needs, and your personality. (That plays a lot more into your potential success than you might think.)


This list barely scrapes the surface of the many reasons you should consider a live instructor over a video instructor. If the cost is a factor, you may want to consider the advantages anyway. You will simply learn more efficiently and avoid bad habits and other pitfalls from the get-go. Besides, lessons may not be as costly as you might think.


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