Guitar: A Great Pandemic Hobby

by Christopher Kim

From a college student’s perspective, the most important aspect of surviving the pandemic is finding a safe, engaging hobby. Online classes are draining and being stuck at home, we have not been able to go out and meet up with our friends. Therefore, we need to engage our minds with some fun activity.

Thus, a great hobby that anyone can pick up during the pandemic is guitar. It’s a perfect time to learn and practice. You can learn your favorite songs. You can pick up some skills to impress your crush (once the pandemic is over!), and most importantly you’ll find a great peace of mind.

And while you’re going to have to invest in an acoustic or electric guitar to begin playing, the best part about guitar is that there are plenty of free online resources you can use as learning. Personally, that’s how I got started and it’s still what I do today. Here are five free online learning tools for beginner guitarists to use.

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1. Marty Music

When I first started guitar a few years ago, I had no idea where to begin. So I searched YouTube for “beginner guitar tutorials” and found tutorial videos by pro-guitarist Marty Schwartz. Schwartz’ videos teach new players all the beginner’s essentials, ranging from simple chords to more complex scales. In his tutorials, he’ll slowly go over each chord involved in a song as well as strumming or picking patterns. Additionally, he has a range of tutorials for various pop songs you can play on guitar. Overall, these factors make Marty Music a great resource for beginner guitarists.

2. Super Easy Guitar

This is another great beginner guitar resource. Taught by guitarist Lee John Blackmore, Super Easy Guitar’s videos give step-by-step tutorials for various songs geared towards beginners. Blackmore has simplified some of the tutorials, making it easier for newer guitarists to take things slow while still being able to play their favorite songs.

3. Let’sPlayGuitar!

Do you want to play your favorite songs, but you don’t like to sing or you want to play instrumental versions of those songs? Then fingerstyle guitar is for you! Specifically, fingerstyle guitar is a style of guitar in which you use your thumb and fingers to play guitar rather than with a pick.Let’sPlayGuitar is a great resource to learn this exciting variation of guitar! There are many video tutorials on this YouTube channel to choose from. So there are plenty of easier options to start off with. Oddly, this channel has not released videos since July of 2018. This spontaneous and mysterious halt had led many subscribers to speculate what had happened to the owner of the channel, some even assuming he had suddenly died.

4. Sky Guitar

This is another great resource for learning fingerstyle guitar. While this YouTube channel provides no verbal instructions in its tutorials, it provides tablatures, which are the essential musical notations of guitar, for prospective learners to read off of. The videos start off with a demo of a featured song, followed by a slowed-down demo with tabs on the screen. The tutorials are ranked from easy to difficult, with a surplus of beginner’s tabs. Also, I can guarantee that as somebody with absolutely no musical background, reading guitar tablature is much simpler than reading sheet music.

5. JustinGuitar

This YouTube channel is a staple for beginner and advanced guitarists alike. Every guitarist will have come across JustinGuitar at one point in their learning process. Professional guitarist Justin Sandercoe can answer all your guitar-related questions through his videos. His beginner tutorials are very neatly organized and easy to follow along. Like Marty Schwartz, Sandercoe also goes step by step in explaining each chord shape and strumming or picking pattern. For absolutely no cost, JustinGuitar’s content on YouTube is definitely worth your while.

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