Surf and strum: learning guitar on the Web
By CNN Interactive Associate Producer Jenna Milly
(CNN) -- If you can click a mouse, you can strum a guitar.
Learning to play a musical instrument without a teacher comes
easy on the Internet, where self-taught guitar students can
follow a string of information on beginning lessons, learning
major chords and scales, finding notes for songs and playing
in different mediums. I am living proof that you can learn how to strum a tune with the help of these online tutorials.
Picking through the Web: novice lessons abound
Lessons Online is a practical beginners' guide for those
who want to learn acoustic guitar, but know little or nothing
about music or technical terms. This self-teach lesson guide
explains elementary guitar, basic chords and finger placement
in six short lessons.
Lesson One invites beginners with, "As you
can see, a guitar has 6 strings." For those students
unfamiliar with reading tablature (musical notation for
stringed instruments) or understanding scales, this site
approaches the art of learning elementary guitar with
creative style and wit.
Fine tuning: intermediate players learn theory
Although many people can teach themselves guitar by strumming
along with songs on the radio, learning theory can help
students understand the fundamentals of music. Music 101 -- Guitar teaches beginning guitar
with an intense focus on vocabulary and theory.
For example, this site teaches the chromatic scale, helping
students familiarize themselves with terms like half step,
octave, sharp and flat. A detailed lesson guide with
diagrams and graphics is also useful for those who are easily
confused by tricky finger placement and advanced chords. The
can identify notes based on finger positions -- great for
those "how do I play that?" questions.
Smoking fingers: challenges for advanced students
The monthly magazine, Guitar Player Online, has a lesson section
including different sessions, reviews and notational symbols.
Learning notational symbols can be beneficial for advanced
students interested in reading sheet music for classical
guitar. This site also offers easy access to a long list of
archived lessons written by experienced virtuosos. Some of
the instructions include sound files, and the lessons are
marked in both tablature and traditional notation.
Another more advanced search for chords can be found at Guitar
Haven Online. This site has a search engine called
"chord finder," which displays the schematics for each
selected chord using detailed tablature graphics. The
Guitar Haven lesson page offers instruction in picking and
strumming, playing the blues, coordinating right- and
left-hand techniques and mastering polychords and pentatonic
Song search: finding favorites tunes
which stands for On-Line Guitar Archive, is a massive
database that purports to have 30,000 songs on file. It
would take a lifetime to learn every song at this site, but
first you must learn how to read tablature, the most common
form of guitar music on the Web. The Olga.net's guide to
reading tablature is a lengthy and thorough explanation
of this technique.
Another search engine includes The Music
Database, which offers individual musician and title
searches. Guitar dot Net has an extensive chord
archive accompanied by musical anecdotes and spoofed chord
history. For the more physically expressive player, Punk Guitar Archive posts tablature for
punk, ska and hard-core music lovers.