PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- May 10, 2017
These days, there are so many options available to you when it comes to learning guitar. The best way to learn guitar on a budget? There’s really no excuse for not pursuing your passion. If you are passionate about golf, you’ll find a way to buy the balls and pay the fees. It’s an expensive sport, but you find a way. If you are on a budget, do you mean you really don’t make enough to fuel your passion for guitar, or do you mean after golf and other hobbies you don’t have enough? If you’re as passionate about guitar as we are, we suggest you cut something else loose so you can afford to take on some guitar lessons. It takes significant time to get good at guitar. Would you rather watch two hours of TV or spend that same amount of time having a jam session on your guitar? You can do both, but on a budget you might have to choose.
Learn Something New Everyday
On a budget, you might be limited to just playing alone in your bedroom or basement. The trick then is to learn something new everyday. Even if it’s a small thing like a lick or chord you’ve never played. When you stumble onto it, write it down on TAB or record it on your phone so you won’t forget it and you can come back to it later. A riff or chord a day will keep you growing. Maybe it’s a chord progression or a cool technique you haven’t done before or a scale you stumble upon. You may not know all the official language for what you’re doing, but you’ll be learning. When you get a chance, show a musician friend the new lick or chord and ask him or her what you’re playing. Learning the language of music is a really big deal. You don't want to remain ignorant, so ask questions and write stuff down.
Do You Have the Internet?
These days you can study at a discount or even for free online. There’s so much free stuff out there for you to use. You can even find a lot of tutorial videos on sites like YouTube. Be careful, though, because while you may be learning something, it might not be the best way to learn guitar. Any time you teach yourself something, you run the risk of learning it incorrectly and having to break bad habits later. Even when you’re on a budget you can watch a 5-minute YouTube clip teaching you a new song and it’s free. Just don’t forget to put in the work. Try to grasp one new thing each day and play it over and over until you can nail it. If you’ve got a few bucks to rub together, there are also a number of websites that promise to teach you guitar for only $10 or $20 a month. The great thing about online guitar lessons is that you can learn at your own pace.
Customized Guitar Lessons - Best Way to Learn Guitar
Guitar instructors are usually willing to customize a plan that’ll fit your budget. For example, instead of coming every week for a $30 lesson, you might only come in once or twice a month. You get your lesson and go work on it for three weeks. If you can afford a $50 lesson, ask for an hourlong session and get the teacher to load you up with material. You can capture each of his or her lessons on your phone and review them later. Music lessons aren’t cheap, but there are ways to get creative on a budget. We all have to do that sometimes. There’s no shame in it. Just get creative. You could do this approach and toss in a few things you found online and you’d end up learning a lot. If you show your once-a-month instructor what you’ve learned and something isn’t kosher, he or she can straighten out any wrong habits you’ve formed. That’s the main thing with an instructor: you learn the right form and technique. Studying online doesn’t always offer that.
Hangin’ With Great Players
You don’t want to be a freeloader, but if you know a really great guitarist in your area, ask to shadow him or her. By that we mean you could basically serve as a roadie for a spell. Offer to set up and tear down their gear or cut their grass or anything else you can do to compensate them. If you can be a fly on the wall and stay out of the way, you will learn a lot by just watching a great musician. Not all musicians will be okay with this kind of arrangement, but some are very secure and comfortable in their own skin and actually enjoy helping others along. You could offer to buy dinner or gas or something if you could come along and learn. Don’t be that guy who gets weird and won’t stay out of the way or talks too much. You don’t want to be obnoxious. Trust us, you won’t get invited back. If you hang with great musicians, you stand a good chance of learning a lot. If you’re looking for the best way to learn guitar on a budget, this might be the ticket. You might even ask to sit and watch band rehearsals at church or some other music venue. You’ll learn a lot about tone and what it’s like trying to play in front of a large group. If there is one method that is truly the best way to learn guitar, they'll probably know it.
The Music Store Sponge
Walk into any music store and you’ll likely see young and old guitar wannabes, but you’ll also run into a few really great guitarists sitting around jamming. It’s totally cool to stand and watch. If you hear or see something that you like, ask the person how they did that, without interrupting them of course. You’d be surprised at the things you can learn just by hanging around the music store. True, they’ll probably want you to sign up for lessons, but you might learn enough just by stopping in every now and then. After all, you have to pick up new gear anyway. Just be a sponge and take in all you can. Even a salesman can show you amazing things on the guitar. There’s probably a good reason why he’s working in a music store.
On a budget, you will just be hit or miss when it comes to planning. The best way to learn guitar will be a little different for everyone. In fact, there might not be a plan at all. Through practice and research, you’ll make your way alright. If that’s the best you can do, then stick with it and listen to as much good music as you can. Find some good teaching material and a person who will keep your playing honest. That’s a better system than a lot of people have.
At Pro Lessons, we think a consistent, challenging lesson plan is the best way to learn guitar and progress as a musician. Our experienced instructors have seen a lot and they’re ready to impart their wisdom to you. Click on the link below to find out more about our affordable rates.