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"Is It Possible To Learn To Play An Instrument Solely From YouTube Tutorials?"

Can you learn an instrument from Youtube?

There's no debate that taking in-person lessons is the best way to learn an instrument. But what if that's not an option at this time? Due to budget issues, scheduling difficulties, or something else, in-person or even online lessons might not fit your life right now.

In today's digital age, learning a new skill has never been easier, especially when it comes to music. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, aspiring musicians can now access a wealth of tutorials and lessons to help them learn to play an instrument from the comfort of their own home. But can you really learn to play an instrument solely from YouTube tutorials?

The answer is a resounding yes. YouTube has become a treasure trove of instructional videos for musicians of all skill levels. Whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced player looking to improve your skills, there's a tutorial out there for you.

Using Youtube To Get Started On Your Instrument:

Using Youtube is a great resource to even help look for your first instrument. With so many different stores and pricing options, I personally feel that even if you have a teacher, you should watch and learn about the different brands, different stores, which instruments are good and which ones to avoid. Most people, if they don't take the time to do a little research, will think of looking for an instrument from Amazon. It's cheap, fast, and after all, aren't all instruments pretty well build the same? After watching some videos on Youtube, you'll quickly learn that they are not the same and why buying a bad instrument will actually hurt your music journey. Your instrument will need to be your best friend. Make sure you choose a good one.

Learn With Flexible Resources:

flute teacher pointing at Rubank Intermediate Method

I enjoy learning along with a book. Others may want to learn just from videos. Other people might want a combo of both. The great thing about Youtube is there is so much out there that you can learn from a variety of resources. You can learn along with books, you can find videos that supply the resources, or anything in between. Musician's Addition's Youtube Channel likes to teach using some of the most common books. The goal is to make it feel like a one-on-one lesson and to progress from beginner all the way to advanced. Learning an instrument with a book means you won't be skipping around and missing anything.

Available 24/7:

Tough schedule? No problem! Youtube is available 24/7. If you happen to miss a live stream, more than likely, that creator will post it too for later viewing. Learn and practice your instrument whenever it fits your schedule.


Youtube is free (unless you have the paid version, but it's not necessary). That means you can learn as much, from whoever, and you don't have to worry about the cost.

Learn What You Want:

If you have something specific in mind you want to learn, chances are pretty high that you can find a tutorial on it. Chances are still pretty high that you can find that song or piece for beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players. You also might find it arranged in its original format or written for duets, orchestra, marching band, etc. If you want to just learn along a certain genre, using Youtube you can. You won't have to bore yourself playing classical when all you want to learn is jazz (I'm not hating on classical. I think it's important, but I also know it can turn someone off if a teacher is only having a student play classical). Whether you're interested in classical music, jazz, rock, or pop, you'll find tutorials covering a wide range of musical genres and styles. This allows you to tailor your learning experience to suit your musical preferences and goals.

Learn About Other Resources To Help With Your Music Journey:

In our digital age, resources are endless! But you have to know of these to get there. Youtube helps tremendously to inform you of other great resources. Say you're looking for an app that has sheet music with backing tracks. With a Youtube search, you'll be able to find several software programs and apps that offer that. You can find free ones, paid apps, and get reviews on them so you'll know if that app will be what you're looking for.

The Challenges From Learning From Youtube:

So far, learning from Youtube sounds pretty great! Though you can learn just from Youtube, there are challenges that come with it.

Self-Motivated & Accountability:

Learning fully on your own, you have to be self-motivated and hold yourself accountable. You won't have a teacher to motivate you or an ensemble or partner to hold you accountable. You have to be the one to want to practice and play. You have to be the one to make that time. You have to be the one to do it, all for yourself. And you can. Set goals. What do you want to learn? What do you want to achieve? How many days should you and can you put towards learning? Have self-discipline, work towards it, and you'll get it.

Proper Techniques:

This is the one that gets missed the most learning from Youtube. You might be holding your instrument wrong and there's no one here to tell you that. I learned my instrument before Youtube existed, and as someone who is self-taught on their instrument, I too fell victim of poor techniques. I did fine for a long time, but once I finally was able to take lessons, I had a lot of re-learning to do. In my mind, I thought I was doing okay with the wrong hand positioning, but you can end up slowing yourself down, making things more difficult, or even worse, getting an injury or enduring pain while playing. Learning from Youtube makes this harder, but I don't believe it's impossible. This is where it's important to not get ahead of yourself when you are first learning. Make sure to look up things such as "how to properly hold (instrument)" "How to put together (Instrument)" "How to form embouchure" "how to hold the bow"... Even if you think you know, look it up anyway and make sure to watch multiple videos on it.

Playing guitar in mirror

This is also where you will have to do a little extra work as well. Once you watch the videos, take your time and watch yourself in the mirror. Is your wrist straight, like it was in the video? Are you positioned the same way? Is that where your thumb goes? This takes a lot more time, patience, and dedication to get these techniques down learning from just Youtube, but it's worth it & can be done.

Feedback & Guidance:

Learning on Youtube means you also are missing feedback and guidance. If there's something you're stuck on, how do you ask about it? You can try asking the creator, but many creators aren't able to get back to you. If you want to ask about your sound quality, how would you go about that? Youtube can't help with those, but there are other places you can go to still get free feedback. Facebook Groups is one place you can go for feedback and guidance. There are many groups for the instrument your learning. Join several and don't be afraid to ask your questions. If you need feedback on something you're playing or asking about something where someone needs to hear or see you, you can record yourself playing and post the video to the group. It's a little scary to put yourself out there but it's a way you'll get the feedback you're looking for. Also take note, most people are kind, but there will always be a rotten apple somewhere. Do not ever let a negative comment bring you down, slow you down, or stop you. Ignore any comment that is not helpful, but do be open to beneficial criticism.

So Can You Learn An Instrument From Youtube?

Despite these challenges, many people have successfully learned to play an instrument solely from YouTube tutorials. With dedication, practice, and the right resources, you too can join the ranks of musicians who have honed their skills through online learning.

Musician's Addition is here to help, whether you are only looking to learn from Youtube, we offer several instrument lessons via Youtube.

To make things easier to follow along, we placed our videos into a free course format. Now you can keep track of your personal progress, follow along to your instrument, and select the book you want to learn from.

Musician's Addition also offers our online community. Similar to Facebook Groups, this is a place where you can ask for feedback, ask questions, and answer questions.

Enjoy your musical journey and we're here to help if you need it. 😁

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