The internet boasts that it can teach you how to do just about anything: people have made amazing amounts of cash both teaching people how to do something, or providing a platform for those people to teach upon. ExpertVillage, which has recently merged with eHow, has posted almost 139,000 YouTube videos showing people like you how to do anything and everything. They pay experts in particular areas to produce videos for them which they feature online – they are a YouTube partner, have almost 500,000 subscribers and are approaching one billion total views of their uploads on the site. It’s safe to say, there is a huge market for this type of internet resource. eHow now has the best of both worlds: both videos and text directions helping you to do whatever you want, while sites such as SoYouWanna, HowCast, WikiHow, and Instructables can also support you through your endeavors.
Learning how to play a musical instrument is no exception – it’s one of the most popular video tutorials made for sites such as the aforementioned. It’s such a large sector of the How-To market opening that entire sites have sprung up simply teaching people who want to be the next Jimi Hendrix on the guitar, or the next Claude de Bussy on the piano, how they can make a start toward their dreams. This post will outline a number of sites I feel will help you to learn a music instrument – whether you want to be an amateur, professional or a master.
1) YouTube (Any Instrument) – Granted, the majority of it is not professional content. And there are many tutorials on YouTube which are useless because of bad camera angles and bad teaching. But if you spend a few minutes of your time searching the site, you will come across some great experts teaching viewers how to play a particular instrument, at different skill levels and to different degrees. Just about any instrument imaginable is covered, and whether you want to play a certain song, learn some of the chords or want to get on track to read music and launch yourself into a new career, the amount of free resources posted on YouTube is amazing. Many people prefer YouTube to any other resource because they feel that the experts associate with them. The majority of the channels aren’t professionals, and because of this, many people feel that they dedicate much more of their time and effort into their tutorials because it is something they want to do rather than something they have to do for their job or to earn a living.
2) Jamorama (Guitar) – A site offering both free and paid courses, Jamorama is based entirely online and makes use of everything from video tutorials to eBooks, music tracks to computer software. The courses are fully fledged, and if you’d like to be a guitar beginner, then the free course is for you. You’ll be able to play your first song, learn some chords and understand some of the guitar rhythm patterns. The team at Jamorama features friendly and experienced hosts. The site builds your skills gradually – rather than throwing you in at the deep end, it’s a case of working on each small part and then blending it all together. If I’m honest, by the looks of the paid courses, the Standard Edition and Deluxe Edition, at just $50 and $100 respectively, I think you’ll be getting a great deal, given that they pack so much into it. You can take the courses entirely digitally, or you can have a physical copy delivered to you. Easy on the eye, well structured and a great resource. If you want something entirely free, here are some other great resources for guitar.
3) Zebra Keys (Piano & Keyboard) – This fantastic site features fifty great lessons targetted at the over-13s who want to learn piano or parents who want their children to learn a great instrument. I myself play the piano, so I can vouch for this from experience. The best part is that it is entirely free. Building up your skills through technique, improvisation, chords, rhythm, theory and songs, you can work at your own pace. There’s no need for registration, and you can work your way through the lessons, which develop from total beginner up to advanced. The site will take you through a journey. The site is well structured, even if you may think that it’s slightly disorganized on your first visit. The site also features free sheet music and equipment reviews. I highly recommend this.
4) 411 Drums (Drums) – If you want to upset the neighbors, then playing the drums is probably the best idea. This site boasts over 500 free lessons, documenting anything you need to know about the drums, linking to sites and featuring tutorials of its own which will please any drum player, be they a beginner or an advanced musician. It’s crammed with everything you want to know – and if you can’t find something that you want to know about the drums in its tutorials, then the Glossary and Frequently Asked Question pages are bound to help out. Supported by video content from experts on YouTube, you’ll also find tips, hints, tabs, the history of drums and bios of some of the best drummers in history. The first page is very organized – the only downside is you might find it difficult to wade through some of the content.
5) Pay the Piper – This site doesn’t so much show you how to play an instrument, but it certainly gets you on the right path. Pay The Piper provides you with information on instruments such as their price, how difficult they are to play, how difficult they are to transport from place to place, other costs, how to buy, plus a whole selection of other resources and links.
Of course, it would take weeks to list all of the fantastic resources available on the internet for learning how to play an instrument – and I couldn’t possibly list websites for every instrument. Not to worry though, search through Google, eHow, and the ExpertVillage YouTube and you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of websites offering to teach you a valuable, impressive skill.
Do you have any websites that you can share too? Do you have any sites for other instruments? Have you been to one of these sites and learned from them? What do you think of these resources? Do you have something you want to say? Let us know, in a comment.