If you're just starting out on the guitar, or already have some experience with it, you'll surely love some free guitar lessons for beginners to get you moving faster, motivate you, and without spending a penny. They are easy to access, and costs nothing. Only your computer and the guitar. There are TONS of online guitar lessons for beginners out there, that are totally free, most of them are on Youtube. Some are better than the others, some are not worth watching, and some, are world-class level and too good to pass on, like the one we've got here.
Maybe you've seen the video before, as it's been around for few years now, and have gained some popularity over this period of time, but if you haven't yet, you really need to check it out.
Steve Vai, one of the most accomplished professional electric guitar players, have debuted this free, online guitar lesson, mostly for beginners but intermediate players will also find it useful and learn a thing or two from it, after all, we all could learn something new from a guitar player of this caliber, couldn't we?
This lesson has made record as the world's largest online guitar lesson (if the record has been broken by now, I'd like to know about it in the comments below!) with over 40 minutes of instructions.
How did this lesson came to be?
From Steve Vai's own words, Steve was heading to Boston to help construct a guitar music course for the “Berklee Online” (which is an online extension to the “Berklee College of Music”), and the course is called “Steve Vai Techniques”. And in order to promote the course, they came with the idea to do a free online guitar lesson with Steve Vai. And after giving it more thought, they developed the idea and decided to break the world record for a “free online guitar lesson”, and they all agreed, Steve Vai agreed, and that's how this lesson came to be. Lucky for us!
Anyways, without any further talk, the lesson can be found below, enjoy:
What to expect from the video lesson?
For a 40 minutes video lesson done by Steve Vai himself, you can expect A LOT of information and tips out of this lesson. Really. But to highlight some of the main topics mentioned in the lesson, I made an easy list for you to use as a reference, in addition to adding my own interpretation to it. I hope it serves you well, and help you better realize the potential of this lesson. It's a great comprehensive lesson overall.
- Minute 2:00 to 5:00 – Setting Goals: Talks about the guitar as an instrument, encouraging you to learn it, and the importance of setting goals for yourself when you start learning the guitar. The goals for Steve Vai, for example, was to play something new and unique every single day, and to this day he is still following this goal. For you it can be anything, maybe create a band, compose music with your guitar, play and sing at the same time, anything. Because when you have a goal in mind, you have something to pursue, keeps you motivated and helps you persevere.
- Minute 5:00 to 6:00 – Tuning: Tuning your guitar. He explains how to tune the guitar – buy a tuner! or learn how to tune it yourself. You don't have to buy a tuner nowadays, check the free app tuner for android and iOS HERE that will easily help you tune your guitar very accurately and fast.
- Minute 6:00 to 9:00 – Handling: Proper guitar posture, correct right and left hand posture and movement. Steve Vai also talks about finding the right “picking” position for you, finding the right tune, to experiment with many picking locations on the guitar and positions that you are comfortable with, because it's different from one guitar to another, as well as from one guitarist to another.
- Minute 9:00 to 14:00 – Chords and Tone: Steve Vai talks about playing chords, finding a chords chart and practicing it, memorizing them, and the importance of developing your ear through playing and practice.
- Minute 14:00 to 25:00 – Rhythm Guitar & Grooving: Talks about playing rhythm on the guitar and grooving. Grooving is that unique feeling that you get when you “lock” on a specific rhythm pattern on the guitar. Steve explains how to best practice grooving using a drum machine and different strumming patterns. He emphasizes again on the importance of being prepared mentally and focusing on your goals, and believing on yourself.
- Minute 25:00 to 29:00 – Soloing: Tips on how to play solo guitar, Steve Vai advises you that if you really want to be able to play a clean, fast solo, you've got to start real slow, get every note perfect, listen carefully to what you are playing, and increase speed gradually. A metronome is a great tool to help you do exactly that in an organised, precise way. He mentions what he calls “economy of motions”, basically what that is, is the smart movement of your left hand fingers on the fretboard. He shows how to smartly move your fingers on the fretboard, to get the best results in terms of accuracy, stamina, and speed. If you move your fingers in a wrong way you can lose lots of energy and speed on the way!
- Minute 29:00 to 41:00 – Scales: A little about the musical scales, then focuses more on the Pentatonic Blues scale, and how to practice it. Steve brings out the drum machine again, and again, advises you to play with beats and tempo, and he mentions two techniques that you can utilize to practice the scales with: Stretching (and how to practice it), and Vibrato (and how to practice). He also mentions Intonation. What Intonation is, it simply means hitting the exact right note accurately. Intonation is connected to Vibrato in that, that many guitar players, especially amateurs, lose their Intonation when they start doing Vibrato, due to lack of practice or poor musical ear. It's important to practice both techniques with all the strings, and all your fingers, without losing the intonation of your tone. Practice, patience, dedication, and lots lots of time, will get you there…
Overall, this was an awesome lesson, a very comprehensive one with lots, lots of information given in a relatively short amount of time, Steve Vai go over many stuff, starting with the very basics of holding the guitar, finger movements, and having the right mindset (of which I talked about and how important it is in the introductory post here), then he start talking and giving some amazing tips about chords, rhythm and grooving, and solo guitar, and eventually he ends the lesson with a small overview on the scales and important techniques that you can use, to practice the scales better.
In my opinion, everybody can benefit from this lesson, even the more accomplished guitarists, but it is most beneficial to beginners, intermediate, and even some advanced players. It's like a big introduction, and an overview, of some of the most important topics and aspects of playing the guitar, for beginners and intermediate-advanced players.
I highly recommend watching this video lesson for everybody, even if you are an advanced player, and try to learn from it as possible as you can, don't take the tips that he give for granted, Steve Vai is a very respected guitar player and he knows what he's talking about, and having him talking about guitar and playing the guitar, tips and advises and the techniques that he use, is a golden opportunity for every one who's pursuing to master this beautiful instrument that is the guitar.
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