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Playing an instrument can be incredibly rewarding, whether anyone ever hears you or you’re only playing for yourself. That said, if you’re starting from scratch, it can seem incredibly daunting. No matter what your intsrument of choice may be, learning it can seem impossible.
It’s true that learning an instrument isn’t easy, and it can be a long road, but it’s far from impossible. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever before to pick up and learn to play any instrument you want. With these sites, you’ll have a great head start.
Okay, this may seem like a bit of a cheat, but you probably saw it coming. You can learn to do practically anything on YouTube, and playing an instrument is no exception. If you can name an instrument, you can probably find lessons for it on YouTube.
From guitar to drums, piano to saxophone, YouTube is positively crammed with lessons. It’s not all just learning scales or how to play popular songs either. You can find tons of videos on music theory, ear training, and properly maintaining instruments.
As the name implies, JustinGuitar is a guitar-focused site run by, well, a guy named Justin. While the focus is on guitar, there is plenty here for any sort of musician. The site features lessons on music theory, ear training, transcribing, and songwriting, for example.
That said, the bulk of the information is meant for guitarists. You’ll find lessons on playing blues, jazz, and rock music, as well as general lessons around scales and modes. If you’re just beginning your guitar journey, get to know this site, as it will serve you well.
EdX is a site that offers massive open online courses (also known as MOOCs). Initially created by MIT and Harvard, the site now offers courses from many universities and other providers. Key for those interested in learning about music is BerkleeX, which offers a few music courses. Other universities offer a few music-related courses as well.
There aren’t many courses available, but the offerings are fairly diverse. The “Introduction to Music Theory” course will be of the most interest if you’re learning an instrument, but the “Introduction to the Music Business” and “Music for Wellness” courses look interesting as well.
4. Fender Play
Another site for budding guitarists, Fender Play is a relatively recent addition. Unlike the sites we’ve looked at so far, Fender Play isn’t free. After the free trial, it will cost you $9.99 per month or $89.99 per year.
Fender Play doesn’t bog you down with theory or musical notation. Instead, its focus is on getting you playing songs you’ll have fun playing quickly. This isn’t the most in-depth site here either, but it could be great for beginners.
Instead of offering its own library of lessons, Lessonface focuses on being a platform for others to offer lessons. This means that while you’ll find some free lessons here, you’ll also find some that are paid. Instructors set their own prices, so prices vary quite a bit.
The bonus is that you’ll find lessons for a ton of different instruments here. Guitar and bass get a lot of attention, but you’ll find lessons for tuba, harmonica, steel drums, and even vocal training as well.
If you’re interested in learning, chances are relatively high that you’ve come across Udemy before. The site offers courses about everything from business to programming and, yes, music. Courses on the site aren’t free, but their often affordable and once you’ve paid for them, the course materials are available to you whenever you want to go over them.
The downside is that the quality of courses can vary wildly. There are some great learning resources and Udemy as well as some not-so-great ones. Fortunately, you can rely on user ratings to help guide you to the best courses.
You might recognize Yousician from the barrage of ads it unleashed on YouTube for a while. Don’t let that put you off though, as the site can be an excellent source of information.
The site won’t teach you everything, but has lessons for guitar, bass, piano, ukelele, and singing. Free lessons are available, or you can pay for a Premium or Premium Plus subscription for more.
It All Starts With Listening Well
While plenty of playing an instrument has to do with actually playing it, your ear plays a crucial role. Fortuntely, simply listening to music can help you better train your ear. Listening to music while you work may help a bit, but for better results, try mindfully listening to your music.