What are online guitar communities?
The culture of the music community hasn't changed that much for guitarists. Musicians have forever congregated in guild-like fashion. Reading any jazz history book can confirm this.* The places where musicians band together, however, has changed and will continue to change for decades to come. Now, there are thousands of places online where guitarists of all levels can hang out and talk shop. These are called online guitar communities.
Online guitar communities can bring out the best in it's members, even despite occasional setbacks in human decency. Often, they are helpful places where beginners can get timely answers to their questions that help them solve problems on guitar. It takes a little bit of effort to find a good community, but it's well worth the trouble. Why?
Why join an online guitar community?
There are two reasons why finding a decent online guitar community could be an excellent move for you:
- You'll receive support in solving specific issues you're having on guitar.
- The camaraderie of learning guitar with like-minded people, aka guitar buddies, will minimize the amount of time it will take for you to get "good" at playing guitar.
When we are surrounded by people learning the same things as we are, we will learn faster. When I was in graduate school, we had a guitar studio class where each of us got up in front of our peers and played what we were working on. In doing so, we all helped each other learn more about performance as well as refined our techniques for playing classical guitar. Even if I didn't perform in a studio class, I still learned a ton. It was like a mini-masterclass that I had each week; you couldn't not get better at classical guitar.
When you join an online guitar community, a similar thing can happen. You'll feel like you are in the company of people who are in the same boat as you are. If you're smart, you'll find a community that is well-moderated and help is only a forum question away. One reason why people love to help on forums is that it keeps them engaged with guitar and it passes the knowledge forward. It's good karma.
Finding and picking the best online guitar community
There are many guitar communities online. How do you find and pick the best one?
My first suggestion is to consider communities where the moderators are very active in keeping the peace in the forum. This alone ensures that the few hateful jerks out there are continually shut down.
My second suggestion is to find a community of guitarists who are around the skill level that you're currently at. This can help you feel like you belong to the community in general, and will give you a sense of camaraderie and gentle competition.
My third suggestion is to join another well-moderated forum of guitarists who are just a notch above you in skill. This will give you the support you need to solve more complex problems, and the desire to belong more conclusively to this group will inspire you to practice a little harder. Finally, when you feel more at home in this forum, helping people in the beginner's forum can only bring you good karma.