Save money on music lessons: Jam with YouTube

Although I've played fumbled around on the guitar for years, I've never taken lessons. Consequently, I remain ignorant of some basics. Instead of forking over cash for lessons, though, I've found a great , free alternative: YouTube.

Posted on YouTube are lessons targeted to beginners or the most advanced, in almost any style, taught by a panoply of six-stringed svengalis. In half an hour, I learned how to employ the slide for a bottleneck sound, and the basic blues progression for a stroll, although mastering the fingering might take me a couple more decades.

For muscle-memory tasks such as this, the written word just doesn't cut it. The oral and visual info from these clips makes clear what I've wondered about for 20 years. And the site is packed with other lessons of tasks best seen, rather than read about, from plumbing tips to applying makeup to playing the jew's harp. If only they had one on writing a Walletpop blog entry!

The next time you need to see how something is done, check out YouTube before paying for the help of an expert. In the meantime, rock on.