The Modern Online Guitar Community
Since the invention of this strange six stringed instrument, which we have all grown to love, we guitarists have historically joined together to philosophise over the mysteries of guitar playing, seek support and advice and generally sound off about all things guitar. This, it seems, is in our nature and there is a truth in the statement that only guitarists understand guitarists.
Has the modern world provided a better community for us guitar players?
Let’s consider, firstly, how much time we all spend alone with the guitar; toiling with the complexity of nailing that lick, riff, technique or whatever guitar-based challenge is top of your list. It is a long journey and sometimes it is easy to forget that millions of other guitarists are taking the same steps, facing the same battles and celebrating the same hard-won successes all over the world in unison.
None of us thrive in complete isolation so it stands to reason that reaching out and connecting with other guitar players is the best way to feel good about our playing and share ideas.
What are the benefits of online guitar communities?
Well, first and top of the list is support – guitar players love giving advice; whether it be technical questions about guitars, amps, pedals etc or tried and tested fixes for achieving your guitar goals that little bit quicker. This in turn, provides you with an opportunity to share what you’ve learnt with players who are a few steps behind you – kind of restoring the guitar karma if you will.
This is a much-needed continuing reminder that we are all in the guitar game together and a healthy way to keep egos in check!
For the brave – online guitar communities and social media supply us with the ideal platform to gain constructive feedback on our playing. Uploading a video (on a well-chosen group) and asking for supportive advice is such a valuable learning experience. Other players will see a world of areas where you can improve – elements you may be too close to notice yourself.
Online groups are also a prime way to discover new music, guitar players or get ahead of the latest playing styles.
So why do we hesitate to reach out and join discussions or dip ourselves head first into the modern online guitar community?
Understandably fear is a chief aspect. What are we afraid of? Perhaps that we might receive negative comments or experiences which may confirm any low confidence we have in our playing? Perhaps we are worried that we may be surrounded by so many experienced players that we feel instantly out of our depth?
Online forums and guitar groups which are carefully monitored and moderated actually create wholly positive environments for all players. Choose the right online community and you will see how swiftly any negativity is dealt with. The result is a support network whose purpose is to give positive encouragement and share personal experiences with players of all levels and styles.
It is also very easy to be intimidated by the swathes of videos online which showcase virtuosic guitar playing. Remember that these maestros are the exception not the norm and don’t represent standard of the vast majority of players out in the world. It is important to remember that these players certainly don‘t create videos with a mind to intimate anyone. Seek only inspiration from watching other players online and if you like what you see and hear – reach out and comment, ask a question. You’ll be surprised how many players are happy to take time out to answer if you leave a positive comment on their video.
Throughout your online travels the key point is to remain solely focused on your own playing and development whilst supporting other guitarists. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself unfairly with others or feeling the all too often notion of competition. Remember – you are trying to make music from an inanimate object made of wood and metal! Go easy on yourself!
Ultimately - staying connected is a great way to keep yourself thinking about guitar, enthusiastic and motivated which in turn will keep you playing and enjoying yourself.
Many people in your life will not understand the borderline obsession which comes with being an avid guitar player, in fact some of your friends and family will find it confusing and strange. Thankfully there is a world of equally strange individuals out there who are equally as obsessed so you‘ll always fit in!
For a starting point – check out the latest goings on over on the Licklibrary Facebook page. For Licklibrary members only we have created a private Facebook group, allowing you to share your playing and gain support from other members in the most friendly and supportive environment possible.
Drop in and say Hi!