Is it possible for me to teach myself to play guitar and be a good guitarist without music private lessons ?? for example : i play everyday for half an hour , and I try to play my favourite song by reading tabs . So, I'm doing right ? I'm 15 years old :)

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    I did it. never took a lesson and most people would consider me a "good guitarist," and I started on my 16th birthday with a over-used Hondo "Les Paul". I won't say how old I am now, but My kids are older than you are! With the resources available on the internet, you are in a better position than I was to learn. The key is to pick a lot of "easy" songs" to learn and develop and pick one or two hard ones you know you can't get that will keep you reaching for new skills. And bear in mind that tabs show a lot of fussy detail that may really just be "chords with adds" – Yorik May 3 '16 at 19:29
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    I suggest working towards increasing your daily practice to an hour, and then an hour and a half, and then two hours - assuming you want to become a great guitarist. While he was in college, Tom Morello forced himself to practice for eight hours every day, even if it meant staying up all night. He's probably the greatest living rock guitarist at this time and it's no wonder. Your time investment will directly lead to success. Just don't try to jump right into three hours a day of practice, ramp up to it so you don't injure yourself. – Todd Wilcox May 3 '16 at 20:04
  • I've voted to close this. Reasons being - we don't know how musical you are. We don't know whether you can do more than just rely on reading tab and just reproducing what someone else thinks is gospel. We don't know what your practice regime is; you may be purely playing what you think you're good at, you may be barking up the wrong tree. Half an hour a day may be enough, but do you know what 'practice' really constitutes? This is only starters. After years of experience, I'd say possibly no, but if you're relying on tabs for your favourite songs, more than likely, no. This is constructive. – Tim May 3 '16 at 22:52
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    @Tim Without comment on whether the question should be closed, I taught myself guitar by reading and playing tabs of my favorite songs. As a guitar teacher, I've used that method to success with many students. I suppose it depends on one's goals. I'm a horribly slow reader of traditional sheet music, but otherwise I can improvise, play by ear, fake any genre, and I've played in some great bands and built a successful teaching business. So we can't discount tabs of one's favorite songs. – Todd Wilcox May 4 '16 at 6:06
  • @ToddWilcox - interesting respose. I also am self-taught, but back in the day when tab hadn't been born. As a guitar teacher (for 50 yrs), I occasionally use tab, but so many times, I had pupils who brought tab along and said 'this isn't working, where did I go wrong?' and the commonest answer was 'you relied on tab an amateur wrote', or, a student would show me a tab and we both agreed that actually, a better way to play the piece would be using different strings, frets, positions... Having played in bands for 50+ yrs, I've never been handed a tab to play. Proper music, yes, and like you,.. – Tim May 4 '16 at 7:29

Everyone is different in terms of motivation, natural ability, physical anatomy, and ability to assimilate information based on various learning mediums. So I can't definitively say how well you will do learning to play guitar in the absence of a teacher who can assess and evaluate your current skill level and show you how to get from where you are today to where you want to be.

But I can say that I know many very talented guitarist who are self taught - myself included (well at least the self taught part). I learned to play without lessons before there were YouTube tutorials on line and before you could download tabs from the internet. In fact, when I first learned I don't think tab was invented.

If you are the type person who is self motivated and have the desire to learn and willingness to put in the practice time, then it is highly probable that you can go far with a self learning path. If you are able to follow a video tutorial or play from tabs, then you have a good chance of success learning to play by watching lessons on YouTube or similar sources of video lessons.

Once you are able to play a few songs - you would benefit from getting together with other guitarist and playing with them. Most will be delighted to show you some things for free when they see that you are serious about learning and have devoted some time to the process.

Your local guitar store may also offer free beginner guitar lessons. I know Guitar Center offers them in the US.

Having said all of the above, I still believe you would benefit from an occasional lesson from a professional guitar teacher. If nothing else they can evaluate your technique and possibly offer some advice on ways to play better or more easily play what you are already playing. They may recommend a course of practice to help you develop the areas where you are showing signs of weakness, and also determine your strengths and encourage you to continue to develop those.

Plus they can show you hands on how to overcome any obstacles you have encountered (such as playing barre chords) and perhaps show you easier ways to do some things your are having difficulty with.

But as long as you aren't developing bad habits that will hinder your progress, there is nothing wrong with trying to learn as much as you can through a self study process using books, on-line tutorials and the occasional guitar playing friend.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!


Of course you can. I have taught myself to play drums and guitar.

Teachers are nice because they have perspective that you don't, and can save you a lot of energy in the mistakes that young players will make.

Keep on keepin' on. If you do decide to take a lesson or some, you will have your own perspective of what you have learned to bring to the table.



I taught myself to play guitar when I was 15, and I didn't even own a guitar :) I drew a fretboard on some cardboard so I could practice chord fingerings.

When our daughter wanted to learn guitar, she asked us for some lessons. We said no, on the reasonable basis that we both know how to play guitar. Eventually the need in her to play guitar grew bigger than the need for lessons, and she taught herself. We then gave her a few lessons, and she was playing on stage within 6 months. It can be done without a teacher, and usually is.

A couple of pieces of advice;

Once you have the basics down well, pay for a few lessons, so that you can find out what to learn next. Then go off and learn that.

Play with other people. It's (painfully) obvious when I'm playing in or engineering a band where a guitarist has never, or rarely, played with anyone else. They feel they have to fill every bit of sonic space, when really - the song sounds better when they don't play. Learn some taste!

Get a half-decent guitar. If the new price of the guitar is less than $300, you're probably going to suffer. You don't need a Taylor or Fender to learn on, but you need something that isn't firewood.

Learn scales, barre chords and the fingerboard. They don't have to be boring, and once you have them down pat, you can play anything in any key. Watch someone who is really good, and you'll pick up tips every time.


You can definitely teach yourself, especially with the range of tutorials on YouTube etc.

That said, the value of a teacher is inestimable at various stages:

  • in early learning, a teacher will ensure you don't pick up bad habits
  • later to get past blocks to your progression
  • even later to add skills from other disciplines
  • at any time to add theory and aspects you can never pick up on your own

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