Can you learn to play the guitar with mobile apps and streaming services?

The guitar is a wonderful stringed instrument that many people around the world dream of learning. The acoustic guitar is just as popular as it was twenty years ago, and people of all ages are trying it out.

However, learning the instrument can be difficult, even if you have hired the best instructor in your area. If you are a beginner on the guitar, you might find the first steps difficult. Your fingertips are probably hurting, and mastering basic chords can feel next to impossible. But before you give up, keep in mind that even the best guitarists on the planet have all had to go through this step. To master the instrument, you have to stay focused and patient.

During the ongoing pandemic, people have learned to play without an instructor present. The internet is full of software, guitar tutorials on popular streaming platforms, and other useful content that people can learn from.

1. Download a setting app

If you’ve invested in a guitar with a pre-installed tuner, or bought a separate tuner, try learning how to tune it without using the device.

While tuners can help keep your guitar in tune, what if you want to play a guitar out of tune and don’t have your trusty tuner handy? Or maybe your tuner has run out of battery and can’t work?

Learning to tune the guitar is easy, but it takes a bit of getting used to. There are several tuning videos uploaded on streaming platforms like YouTube. Once you understand the technique, you should be able to easily tune a guitar in minutes, even if you replace all the strings on the instrument.

There are several tuners available for Android and Apple smart devices that you should consider downloading as a backup. Even well-known guitar makers like Fender launched a tuning app a few years ago.

2. Learn songs you love on YouTube

Find songs on the streaming services you love to listen to. If you’re streaming tutorials and you don’t like the songs the person in the video is playing, try to find a song that motivates you to learn.

3. Hire an instructor online

There are several reputable guitar instructors around the world who educate their students online. During the ongoing pandemic, there has been a huge decrease in the number of people signing up for in-person guitar lessons. To help reduce the spread of covid-19, instructors are offering their services online.

With thousands of guitar teachers to choose from, you’re bound to find an instructor you like. Some even offer a free trial period, so you can see what their courses are like before spending your hard-earned money.

If you can’t afford these online subscriptions, several inexpensive or free apps are available to help beginners learn to play. The popular guitar app is available on iOS and Android devices.

4. Find songs and chords online

Some people choose to learn guitar without spending a dime on instructors. There are several websites that will help you learn chords for guitar songs.

In the past, if you wanted sheet music, you had to buy a book from a music store. These books aren’t cheap, and trying to find music you want to learn won’t be easy due to the limited number of books available in the store. You should have no problem finding tons of chords, riffs, and tabs online for almost any song that has been released.

In the beginning, learning the basic chords is vitally important. Don’t expect to start your guitar journey by playing complicated riffs, instead you’ll probably start with the guitar in Em, C and G chords. If you don’t have an instructor to show you what to do, you will be able to find videos, images and other content online.

5. Sign up for an online guitar lesson

Whatever your level, you are bound to find an online course that suits you. Some of the best teachers in the world offer online guitar lessons. Here are some of the benefits of signing up for an annual or monthly online guitar course:

  • Save money: If you hire a guitar teacher in your area, you can expect to pay top dollar. You can find an annual subscription online that will cost you around $150 for an entire year!
  • You can review them: If you have trouble remembering all the information the instructor gave you during your in-person class, you won’t be able to take the same class again. When you sign up for a subscription, you will be able to re-watch the videos or listen to the lessons over and over again until you are confident.
  • Take lessons when it suits you: Trying to fit a guitar lesson into your busy schedule may not be possible. However, you can take guitar lessons online whenever you want, and if you have a smart device with an internet connection, you can watch the guitar lesson anywhere in the world.

Before investing in a subscription, make sure the course is not too advanced. Most courses allow potential students to watch a demo version of the course before purchasing the subscription. Also check to see if other people have posted reviews about the instructor and the online course.

6. Take your time

As mentioned earlier, patience is the key to learning the guitar. Although apps and online tutorials can help you learn, it may take longer to understand the basics.

Focus on improving basic scratching techniques and making sure your fingers are in the correct position. Some beginners focus on speed, but accuracy is much more important.

Switching between chords and strumming or fingerpicking at the same time won’t be easy, but with lots of practice you can master it. Once you master the technique, you can focus on your speed.

If you start out with bad technique or put the wrong fingers in the wrong positions, you may find it difficult to change techniques later on. Play slowly, and in overtime you can play faster.

Apps like Guitar Strum, available for Android devices, will teach you basic strumming techniques. However, there are tons of great apps out there.


When it comes to playing the guitar, it’s important that you practice regularly. If you only practice with your instructor, don’t expect to improve quickly. Spend at least thirty minutes a day playing guitar in a room where you won’t be distracted. Most people who quit quit after a few lessons. Do your best to stick with it, and if you’re focused, you can get past the initial stage.

Learning the guitar isn’t just about playing great music, but it can help you make new friends, join bands, and encourage you to create your own music. It’s an exciting instrument to learn, so do whatever it takes to take the first step.

Casey J. Nelson