Have you ever listened to the kings of blues, and wished you could play blues guitar as well? Well, you can, it's fairly simple actually.

Today, I want to talk a bit about one of my favorite genres, and the dream of many beginner guitarists, playing blues guitar.
B B King
First off, I need to say that I absolutely love playing the blues, just like loads of my guitarist friends. Dissecting the reasoning behind it sort of takes away its beauty, but if I had to give my opinion on why so many people love playing blues guitar, I would have to say that it's because it is a very expressive style, and the techniques you use while playing blues, the big bends, rich vibratos, cheeky slides, all make the music very deep, spiritual and just plain fun to play.

Having a look at BB King when he hits that sweet spot on the bends, well, it says it all.

Learning the Blues is Fairly Easy

So what do you need to do to learn the blues? Not much actually! In my honest opinion, I think it's one of the easiest styles to play on the guitar, which is great news for beginner-intermediate players.

If you are already somewhat familiar with basic lead guitar techniques, you could be playing the blues very soon, you just need to learn the tricks of the trade, combine it with a hint of music theory, and you could be improvising to blues backing tracks very quickly. Yes, not a mistake, you'll be IMPROVISING, making up your own music on the fly. Cool no?

The Top Online Blues Guitar Courses

The internet has truly revolutionized how people learn.

It will probably not surprise you to hear that you'll find tons of blues guitar courses online.

You'll find our reviews of the best 3 online blues guitar courses here.

DVD Course: Blues Guitar Spotlight

Now if you've been reading my letters and have been watching my beginner guitar lessons, you'll know that I never praise any other guitar courses, simply because I think most of them don't hit the quality standards required to learn in the most effective way possible. BUT recently someone called my attention to a new course called Blues Guitar Spotlight, which definitely deserves my praise as well. I was given a demo and the lesson outline of the course, and I must say, hats off to the creators.

Blues Guitar Spotlight is totally different from most other courses. It is a DVD video course that comes shipped to your doorway, and consists of 6 DVDs, a book, and a jam track DVD-CD hybrid. The instructor, Steve Krenz does an exceptional job of explaining everything you need to start playing the blues quickly, in a step-by-step manner, tailored to the needs of beginner guitarists. The video editing is very professional in nature as well, and they have added on screen tabs to make the lessons easy to follow.

The only negative I could find was that it is not available as an instant download, it only comes in DVD format, so you have to wait a couple of days until it arrives.

The lesson plan is very well put together, taking you from the very basics, and advancing as you progress through the videos. It teaches not just a couple of blues riffs and techniques, but also the underlying theory as well, which is what guarantees that you'll be able to start improvising to blues jam tracks very soon after starting the course.

As I said, I find most other guitar courses somewhat shallow, not really catering to the needs of guitar students. A lot of courses just have a good guitarist showing off their skills, and then trying to teach without much regard to the fact that beginners won't understand their lightning explanations of more complex guitar concepts and techniques.

But Blues Guitar Spotlight is different. It's really good, I'm almost jealous 😉 It costs more than online lessons, but since you get the DVDs and other things shipped to your door, the price is fair.

Start Learning the Blues

If you are set on learning to play the blues, first of all decide how you want to go about it.

If you prefer learning online, checkout these online blues courses.

If you prefer DVDs, you should definitely check out the Steve Krenz's course, it comes with my highest recommendations (which comes very seldom). Blues Guitar Spotlight is perfectly suitable for inexperienced guitarists as well, since everything is explained in detail, step-by-step.

You'll see that after a very short time, you'll be playing along with backing tracks and making up bluesy licks and progressions as you please. Making your own music is undoubtedly one of the best things in the world, and it's not as hard as you would think with the blues.

There is a 60 day money back guarantee, which means that if you don't enjoy the lessons or don't find them useful, you'll get a full refund. But I'm 100% sure that won't be the case. Once you get into it, you'll love playing the blues!

Is it possible to teach yourself guitar from home? Well, let’s see.

The guitar is the absolute best instrument you could learn for a large number of reasons. It’s mobile, cheap, and just awesome. The guitarist in the band always gets the most kudos, no question about it 😉

teach myself guitar

But wait, there is a problem…

Getting a guitar is not enough, you also need to learn how to play it somehow.

My name is Tom Fontana, I've been a guitar teacher for almost 20 years now and own TheGuitarLesson.com, so I have a decent amount of experience with teaching guitar both privately and online.

Let me tell you what I believe to be the best way to teach yourself guitar nowadays as efficiently as possible.

Get a teacher? Buy a book? No way!

Teaching yourself how to play the guitar has been absolutely revolutionized by online guitar lessons. Actually, the old ways of learning to play are quickly becoming obsolete.

Online guitar lessons are the way to go, if you want to teach yourself guitar:

  • Online lessons are cheap. Lots of lessons are free, the better ones cost a few bucks per month.
  • 0-24 hour access. You won’t need to schedule with a live teacher, or travel anywhere.
  • Always with you. Online lessons are there with you, wherever you have an internet connection. On your PC, iPad, cell phone, wherever.
  • Edited for quality. The best online lessons have been edited, to bring you only the best material.

Here is a quick comparison chart between your options. Have a look, and take your pick.

Online lessons Live teacher Guitar books
Lesson type Thousands of video lessons + extra material Private lessons 1x-2x per week Few hundred pages of reading
All genres
0-24 access
Online guitar tools
Price $0 - $15/month $250 - $500/month $10 - $20

Steps to teaching yourself guitar

Learning to play guitar is no brain surgery. If you take a methodological approach, follow a program, and stick with it, you will learn to play guitar. There is no question about it.

  1. Get a guitar 🙂
  2. Sign up with a single online lesson program.
  3. Practice at least 1 hour per day.

That’s it, no hocus-pocus.

Once you get step number 1 out of the way, step number 2 may take a bit of time. You’ll need to find an online course you will stick with, it’s very important not to jump around as a beginner guitarist.


Because lots of beginner guitarists try to find an easier route when things get a bit more difficult. They leave one course, in hopes of finding an easier one.

Learning has its difficulties at times, but jumping around will make it worse. Stick with a program, and you’ll get past the difficulties quicker than you would think.

I'll tell you my recommendations on online lessons that have proven to work later.


9 tips for learning guitar by yourself

If you're all set to start your guitar journey and have made the decision to learn it on your own using online lessons, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you start out.

  1. Get a guitar you love and keep it where you can see it. Let's start with something simple that works wonders. When you shop for a guitar, make sure you buy one that you find beautiful. Falling in love with your guitar is the first step towards wanting to play on it often. You also want to get a guitar stand and keep it out where you can see it, which will also get you to grab it more often.
  2. Learn to read guitar tablature. Learning how to read tabs early on will really help you in learning guitar. What are tabs? They are an easier type of written music notation for guitar. Tabs are everywhere, they are more popular than standard music notation for guitarists. You'll be able to find the tabs to any song ever written after a Google search, which makes learning the songs you love so much easier.
  3. Learn the basic chords perfectly. You might be surprised to find out that using a few basic guitar chords, you'll already be able to play thousands of songs on your guitar. Teach yourself those chords and practice them diligently to perfect them.
  4. Learn a few strumming patterns. There is a only a finite number of chords and notes, but playing them differently is what varies music in infinite ways. Learn not 1 or 2, but as many strumming patterns in as many styles of music as you can. This will make you a versatile guitar player.
  5. Changing in between chords. Learning how to change in between chords will seem difficult at first, but it's just a matter or practice. Learn the basic chord shapes first, than learn to change in between them. You'll be doing it blindfolded before you know it.
  6. Aching fingertips. Your fingertips will hurt at first, which is normal. With enough practice, you will develop hardened skin on your fingertips. These are called calluses. When you initially start learning guitar, you'll only be able to play for 10-15 minutes before your fingers hurt so much that you need to stop. The more you practice, the thicker your calluses become, and the more you'll be able to play.
  7. Leave music theory for later. In my experience teaching beginners, I've found that there are few things that turn newbies off more than music theory. It's logical really. Why do you want to learn guitar? To play songs. Music theory will become important later on, but at first, it's important to start enjoying the music you make as soon as possible.
  8. Learn songs from day 1. Ok, on day 1 you won't be able to play much, but you get the idea. Playing songs is fun. It's the reason you decided to teach yourself how to play guitar, right? There are loads of popular songs that are easy to play, even for early beginners.
  9. Practice regularly. My music teacher in middle school kept nagging us about how much we should practice at home. I didn't care back than, but I now know that sufficient practice is the only way to learn guitar. Or anything for that matter. Practice at least an hour a day, and you'll be absolutely amazed with the results.

After reading the tips above, I also want to tell you about a few things that you need to avoid.

Be careful! There are pitfalls to teaching yourself guitar online!

Here are the most common mistakes people make when they want to learn guitar online. Be smart, read them, and don’t make these mistakes yourself:

  1. No structured learning. There is a HUGE problem with browsing YouTube, and random sites for single lessons. They are not structured. As a beginner, finding a guitar course you will stick with is absolutely vital.
  2. Not learning songs. You will need to practice as much as you can, and the key to making your practice sessions fun is learning songs. Mundane exercise drills will get boring quickly. Practicing songs won’t. Find a course which incorporates songs into its curriculum.
  3. Jumping from site to site. It’s natural to look elsewhere when you get stuck somewhere. After all, there are thousands of guitar videos/articles out there, maybe the others are easier... No, you’ll need to resist this. Find a good course which is to your liking, and stick with it. Remember that when you can’t play something, it’s only a matter of practice. If you start jumping in between websites, you will get stuck and not progress.
  4. False promises. Don’t believe ads that claim to turn you into a guitar god in a week. Or a month. That’s just marketing. Wondering how long it’ll take to teach yourself guitar? Here are the details, for real.
  5. Lack of practice. You can't outsmart this point, nobody can. If you don't practice regularly, you won't succeed. Period. The diligent guitarist will always be better than the talented guitarist, keep that in mind.
  6. Avoiding difficult lessons. As with everything worthwhile in life, learning guitar takes dedication. Don’t avoid the more difficult things, like barre chords, guitar theory, so things that you won’t pick up in a day. Stick to your course curriculum.
  7. Not tuning your guitar. This one’s easy enough to remedy. Tune your guitar, otherwise it'll sound terrible.

And now, the SECRET to learning guitar!

Do you know how Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, BB King, Slash, and all other great guitarists learned to play?

They practiced a lot. Some practiced 14-16 hours a day...

Do you want to teach yourself guitar? Practice as much as you can, practice the right things, and you’ll become a great guitarist, who others will look up to and say,

"Wow, I wonder how he learned to play so well?!"

Here are 2 sites I can recommend to beginners, check them out and start learning guitar:

  1. www.guitartricks.com - Great structured lessons with their core learning system.
  2. www.theguitarlesson.com - Our site of course. Animated tabs and chord charts on videos make things easy to follow.

"Do You Know the Most Effective, Proven Method of How You Can Learn to Play Guitar?"

Learning how to play the guitar is one of the best decisions you can make, regardless of your age, your wealth, or anything else. It will bring countless hours of fun not just to yourself, but your friends and family as well.

Everyone loves guitarists, trust me! People will sit in awe as you play their favorite songs, they will watch your hands move along the fretboard in amazement. It’s a GREAT feeling, which gets better and better as you become a better guitarist!

The Steps to Learning to Play the Guitar

No matter how you decide to start out learning the acoustic or electric guitar, make sure you follow a structured set of lessons that build onto each other. Don’t try learning from 50 different sources at the same time, since the information overload will actually set you back.

A well structured guitar learning course will follow the following stages:

  1. Learn the very basics first (how to hold the guitar and guitar pick, how to fret and pluck strings, tuning the guitar, etc.)
  2. Learn basic techniques (chords, strumming, lead guitar techniques, etc.)
  3. Practice everything by using the techniques to play real songs (learn strumming by practicing strumming songs, learn to change chords by practicing songs with lots of chords, etc.)

The last step is one of the most important ones, don’t take it lightly!

80% of beginners FAIL to learn the guitar, since they don’t practice enough. They are made to do boring exercise drills, get no enjoyment out of it, and just quit altogether.

Learning songs turns your practice time into useful, fun filled learning time. It won’t make things easier, but it WILL give you the added momentum and motivation you’ll need to keep on practicing.

And practice makes perfect my young apprentice, it is the only secret to learning to play guitar.

So, Where to Start?

At TheGuitarLesson.com, we strive to give beginners everything they need to be able to learn the guitar as quickly, and effectively as possible. As all good things in life, learning the guitar takes time and practice, but we can give you everything you need to reach your goal of playing the guitar.

Basic Beginner Video Lessons

We have put together 10 free basic video lessons on the fundamentals of playing the guitar. These basic guitar lessons will show you the basic techniques you’ll need to build on, and eventually use them to play like your favorite guitarists, be it Eric Clapton, Slash, BB King, or anyone else.

Click here to register for a free membership to TheGuitarLesson.com, and get instant access to all of our basic video lessons.

Video Lessons on Popular Songs

Soon after starting to familiarize yourself with the basics of playing the guitar, you’ll be able to play real songs! And play them you will, thanks to our video guitar lessons on popular songs. And I do mean popular: Metallica, Beatles, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Bob Marley, Guns N Roses to name a few.

All of the video guitar lessons on our website contain animated tablature to make the lessons very easy to follow, and are shot with several cameras so you never miss a thing.

The Tools You Need

Once you start learning to play the guitar and start enjoying it, you will want to seek out more and more information on all aspects of the guitar. We’ve got you covered, with:

You can learn to play guitar! If I could do it, anyone can.

Animated tabs and chord diagrams on all video guitar lessons!Start today by registering for a free membership to TheGuitarLesson.com. If you really want to learn to play the guitar, just go get your guitar, register for our free video lessons, and start learning.

Access our free beginner guitar lessons and start learning today >>

Want to learn some Christmas songs on your guitar?

Christmas is right around the corner, so you'd better get started!

Learn to play the best Christmas carols and contemporary Christmas songs with these unique video guitar lessons. All video tutorials include animated tablature and chord charts, making the lessons super easy to follow.

joy-to-the-world-guitar-lesson-christmas-carol White Christmas guitar lesson Jingle Bells guitar lesson Jingle Bell Rock guitar lesson Good King Wenceslas guitar lesson Silent Night guitar lesson Greensleeves guitar lesson

Click one of the images above to get started today!