The Best Wearable Gadgets

The Guitar Student and Learning Guitar in 2011

The Guitar Student and Learning Guitar in 2011

Today’s technology has given the current guitar student so many resources at his/her fingertips. I think back to when I was learning guitar in the mid 70’s/80’s and taking guitar lessons. There were no personal computers or Internet.

No Internet meant no YouTube, no online lessons, no free information about theory, scales and such. I learned a lot from Guitar Player magazine. You have more magazines now and they are all online. Nowadays you can read a magazine for free on your computer.

There were no tabs. They were just starting to appear. My Led Zeppelin Complete book used fractions to indicate fret and strings. I think was top number was string and bottom number was the fret. Nowadays, you can go online and get tabs for your favorite songs. They might not be 100% correct but they will get you started and your teacher can correct them. You can also buy online accurate published individual song tabs with everything notated: solos, bends, hammer-ons etc.

I use to slow down my turntable to learn jazz and rock solos. Transcribing is hard enough for a student never mind to deal with notes down an octave. Now you have software available to keep the music at the original pitch and slow down the music with good audio quality.

On YouTube and different websites, students can get free “lessons” on many topics. You still have might have to weed through some of the garbage. Again, here is where a good teacher can help out. Online lessons give you instant access to questions you might have.

In the past if you wanted information on guitar, amp or pedals, you could find some in magazines or you would have to go to a music store to see and demo gear. I always felt intimidated in the stores. Now, every manufacturer has a website with detailed information. On YouTube, students and musicians can find reviews and demos of many products including effect pedals, guitars, amps and software.

The development of recording software has led to the demise of the small recording studio. Now with little or no money the guitar student can compose and record they own songs on their computer with built-in effects and more without having to look at the clock. Also, recording and listening back to yourself is one of the best ways to improve as a player. The student hears all of the little mistakes. This leads to better technique, rhythm and tone.

Once the student can play or write some songs, he or she can post a video on YouTube or Facebook to share with friends. I believe posting videos is a great motivation tool for student and bands. Video recording helps with developing the visual aspects of performance.

A lot of the things I have mention are available on your smartphone or tablets, which means instance access. This is great for lessons and sharing with families and friends.

Today’s guitar students do not know how good they have it. Technology hasn’t made it easier to learn to master the guitar. You still have to practice a lot but the technology has made learning the guitar more accessible, more motivation, more social and more fun.