Last Updated on February 12, 2022 by GuitarsCamp

This guitar lesson guide is here to help you think through the key issues in choosing the best guitar lesson method – online lessons vs. with a DVD.

Selecting a guitar lesson – online lessons vs. with a guitar lesson DVD set or online “all-you-can-eat” online lesson membership can be a tough decision. If you are learning how to play the guitar, or working on your existing skills & knowledge is a very important choice for a variety of different reasons.

As with anything in life, the amount of time spent and effort put into something will have a direct impact on the quality of the results that are achieved. Selecting a guitar video lesson is no different of a scenario. Asking the appropriate questions, taking time to properly research the options, understanding what your needs truly are, and obtaining the best instruction style to best suit the way you learn will eventually lead you to the best possible guitar lesson video on the market for you.

The Pros & Cons

  1. DVD Set


  • Watch on TV or computer
  • Portable
  • Typically comes with printed lessons
  • Logical progression evident from sequenced DVD’s
  • One-time cost
  • Often a free online community & forum (with instructor participation)


  • Need the physical DVD to use
  • “Upgrade” path may be more difficult because you could have to buy additional sets (although the sets are typically so comprehensive that it’s unlikely to be necessary)
  1. Online Membership


  • Access anytime and anywhere you can get Internet access
  • More likely to have an easy “upgrade” path as additional lessons & tools are added to the online membership you are already paying for.


  • Ongoing monthly/annual membership costs
  • More difficult to watch on a TV (if you want an easy way to relax & watch the screen)

Here are a few things to consider before:

Type of Guitar – Acoustic, Electric, Bass, etc.

The first factor to think about when selecting a guitar lesson video is the type of guitar you are seeking to play. There are many different types of guitars, and the one you want to learn on will greatly impact the guitar lesson video you ultimately choose. Some of the possible varieties that you may be considering are the standard acoustic guitar, the electric guitar, the steel guitar, a 12-string guitar, or a bass guitar.

Music Style

Once you have decided which type of guitar you are seeking to learn to play on, the next decision to consider is what style of guitar you are wanting to learn to play. A few of the potential styles you may wish to learn are blues, jazz, heavy metal, Brazilian, classical, and Funk. Each style has its own technique and tablature that would require a different type of instruction for.

Your Skill Level

When the types of guitar and style have been chosen, the next important factor to consider is your skill level going into the lesson. If you are a beginner who has never played before, you are going to need a much more basic learning approach video that includes added features such as how to properly tune a guitar, caring for your guitar, and properly storing your guitar so it stays in great playable shape for many years.

While these concepts may seem basic and unnecessary for some, for a true beginner, these may not be thoughts that have yet crossed their minds.


An intermediate to advanced player would probably not want such a basic outlook. If they already know the basics, they certainly are not going to want someone explaining these concepts that they already know. This would be a waste of time and of no value.

The more advanced learners would want to focus on guitar lesson videos that teach specific techniques or the more difficult chords, or perhaps specific focuses on different ways to play the guitar using items such as the capo or electric guitar effects pedals.

The Instructor

Once the research has been done to dictate what type of guitar lesson video you will need has been done, it then becomes crucial to look at the videos that are available to meet your needs. An important factor to consider is the level of expertise the instructor has and what their credentials are.

If the instructor on the video does not have the proper experience to teach others, they could end up teaching poor technique or incorrect method altogether. Even if this is corrected later with proper instruction, poor technique picked up while learning can be difficult to reverse.

Some ways to determine if the instructor has the proper credentials to teach, would be if they have a degree in music from a well-respected school, or if they have experience playing with other well-respected musicians.

Video or DVD Production Quality

Another factor to consider when selecting a guitar lesson video is if the production quality of the videos is professional or amateur. Poor production quality can lead to distraction, which is not conducive for proper learning.

If it is difficult to hear the instructor, or difficult to see what they are doing, then it can also lead to poor learning potential. Some ways to avoid poor production quality would be to view a sample of the video before selecting it to ensure that it has good production value.

Teaching Style

The teaching style and pace that the guitar lesson video uses should also be considered when making a selection. Different people learn best by different teaching methods and at different rates. Some people learn best by repetition at a slow pace, while others would not benefit from repetition and would be better off with a faster paced instruction video.

Some people are more visual learners than auditory learners. This type of person would want a guitar lesson video that shows many pictures and demonstrations rather than a lot of vocal teaching, whereas an auditory learner would rather have more vocal teaching.

Accompanying Materials With A Guitar Lesson DVD Set

Finally, consider the materials that come with the guitar instruction video. If the video does not come with a lesson book or accompanying tablature, this potentially could be difficult to practice with, if you have to watch the television (or your laptop/computer) for all the practice materials. Also consider if the video has online support, and how many follow-up videos for continued learning are available.