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5 Musical Skills You Can Learn Online for Free, With or Without Instruments


Since you have some extra free time at home, how about learning a musical skill? You can get free music lessons online, with or without instruments, to pick up a new art form.

While self-isolating during this pandemic, you can use the opportunity to learn some skills. It’s both interesting right now, and it’ll serve you well once you rejoin society.

The internet has free music lessons for all types of things. We’ve already told you the best sites to learn the basics of music theory.

In this article, you’ll learn to sing and beatbox, play the guitar like a pro, or even produce an entire song.

1. Learn How to Beatbox Online for Free

You don’t need any instruments to add some beats. It’s easy to learn beatboxing online, the art of vocal percussion to mimic the sounds of drums. After all, most of us don’t have a spare drum kit lying around that we can learn in our free time.

Start at Beatbox Camp, a three-part free video series on YouTube by Grant Zabriskie. This is great for kids, teens, and beginners, and something you can try together too.

In the three lessons that total up to 40 minutes, Zabriskie tells you the essentials of what you’ll need, basic beats, and how to practice.

If you learn better through text than video, the Human Bootbox teaches it all.

Start with the beginner’s guide to understanding the structure of how you will pick up the skill. Then go through their exercises and suggestions in serial order.

For a detailed explanation of each beatbox sound, check out Fat Tony’s beatbox tutorials on YouTube.

Each video is about two minutes, where he demonstrates what the beat should sound like, and shows how to do it. Fat Tony’s explanations are some of the most-shared resources on the internet among beatboxing communities.

2. Learn How to Play Guitar Online for Free

New Guitar Lessons is for beginners to learn the basics of how to play a guitar

It’s time to dust off that old six-string and finally get serious about learning to play the guitar. Whether you’re a complete beginner, need extra practice, or want to take your skills to the next level, you’ll easily find free online guitar lessons.

New Guitar Lessons is an excellent starting point for beginners to learn to play the guitar.

You’ll learn the basics of a guitar, like tuning, reading guitar tabs, pentatonic scales, simple chords, and fingerstyle. If you don’t know these, practice them before you try to play a song.

The Berklee College of Music offers a free online course on guitar lessons, through Coursera.

Over four weeks, blues guitarist Thaddeus Hogarth teaches the basics of guitar and music theory, as well as musical scales. It includes videos, reading material, and quizzes. You can learn the course at your own pace, and start immediately.

If you already know your way around a guitar and want to level-up your skills, head to FretGym.

This neat web app creates custom exercise routines for guitarists as warm-ups, appregios, or scales. For each exercise, you’ll see the name, a description, and what it improves. If you don’t like the workout, simply generate another one.

Apart from these three resources, the internet also offers free apps to learn the guitar

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as well as websites like the ever-popular Justin Guitar.

3. Learn How to Play the Harmonica Online for Free

The harmonica is a fantastic instrument for beginner musicians. It doesn’t take up space in your house. It’s not so loud that you’ll disturb others. And once you’re good at it, you can carry it in a pocket to impress others with your talent.

Pick one up based on the tips in the video above, and you’re ready to go.

That video is from Liam Ward who offers extensive premium lessons on LearnTheHarmonica.com. But you can get a bunch of them for free on his YouTube channel.

He neatly categorizes lessons in different playlists, so start with the Beginner harmonica lessons playlist, which itself has over 100 videos of instructions. Then you can move to essential harmonica techniques, or select a musical genre (pop, rock, blues) to learn songs.

With a lot of online courses going free during the coronavirus pandemic, you can try the 30 Day Harmonica Challenge by Erik of Harmonica Notes.

While it’s actually from way back in 2010, the lessons are as useful today as ever before. Every day, go through a new video (under 10 minutes) and then practice it. It’s as simple as that, and you don’t have to pay a dime.

4. Learn How to Sing Online for Free

Free 10-Step Cheat Sheet to learn how to sing

All right, first things first. You can’t become a great singer through online lessons. At some point, you’ll need an in-person coach. But you can learn the basics so that you don’t sound tone-deaf when you sing.

Start your online singing journey with the 10-Step Cheat Sheet to Learn How to Sing by Take Lessons.

This article guides you through each step, like vocal health, breathing, posture, tone and pitch, and so on. You can use the resources in the guide itself, or use it as a template for your journey to learn singing on the internet.

Aaron Anastasi’s Superior Singing Method is the most frequently recommended YouTube channel to learn how to sing online.

It’s not a huge collection of videos either, so you can start with the first and watch them all in order. Since it’s not a guided course, go through as many as you’d like. He covers all the steps in the checklist above, so you can apply the lessons easily.

Similarly, check out the YouTube channels Healthy Vocal Technique by Victoria Rapanan and Singing Success.

If you can already sing decently and want to level-up your skills, get the OB1 Theater Company’s free ebook, The Essential Guide to SOVT. Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract (SOVT) exercises will ensure your voice gets better and better.

5. Learn How to Become a Music Producer or Engineer Online for Free

NYU's MusEDLab teaches you how to produce a song for free online with its Play With Your Music mini-site that uses Peter Gabriel's music

The NYU’s Music Experience Design Lab (MusEDLab) is one of the coolest places to learn music online.

Play With Your Music is a free crash course in the fundamentals of music, aided by innovative apps to play music on your computer. Take the course at your own pace or join a group, where you’ll learn how to be a music producer or engineer.

MusEDLab collaborated with singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel to use his tracks Sledgehammer and In Your Eyes.

You can mix and match the tunes and beats from these songs to learn how to put a song together. The course takes you through the basics before letting you play with the good stuff, so you know what you’re doing.

Play With Your Music’s highlight features are the series of apps created by MusEDLab.

For example, try aQWERTYon to turn a computer keyboard into any instrument, and learn the basics of how to match notes to create music. Or there’s Groove Pizza to virtually set up beats on a digital drum kit.

In no time, you’ll learn how to make your own song, or your version of how Sledgehammer should have sounded!

More Music Learning Websites

Apart from the five skills above, there are other musical skills you can pick up online for free. How about learning to read musical notes or general music theory? Or maybe you’d like to play the piano or bow the violin?

Before YouTube and online courses, the internet relied on simple websites to share and receive knowledge. So try this giant list of the easiest music learning websites

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to pick up a new skill for free.

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