YouTube is a platform where people can share videos with each other. The content varies dramatically from how-to videos to advertisements to entertainment, and everything in between. And it’s all free, at least for now.
Over the years I’ve found YouTube to be invaluable for figuring out how to do something on my own. This is especially true when I have to do something with technology, such as install something on my blog/website or do something new on my phone, etc. I’m not a techie by nature, so having a video demonstration I can watch repeatedly while performing the actions on my device (e.g. smartphone) is key. It gives me the confidence to try something new outside of my comfort zone, though it is critical to watch a video by somebody who knows what s/he is doing.
I’ve also found videos useful for learning how to assemble or fix something. The other day I even felt brave enough to fix a rear flat tire on my friend’s bike. I had just taken a basic bike maintenance course where I watched a flat being fixed. But I also knew if we got stuck, we could watch a couple of YouTube videos. My friend, however, decided to take his chances with the bike shop before I could make an attempt.
I frequently use YouTube when I need to learn a new piece of music for my orchestra. I enjoy being able to watch and hear the performers, especially when we’re doing an opera. Even though I’m usually too far back on the stage to see a lot of the action, it’s useful for me to see and hear how my parts fit in with the singers, the action, and the other musicians.
Last summer I attempted to teach myself harmonica with YouTube. After several frustrating weeks, and many, many videos on how to “bend” notes, I eventually paid for a lesson with a professional. By the end of the lesson I was squeaking out some baby bends. But this summer, armed with my new bending technique, I’ve decided to continue the self-study by “jamming” to YouTube videos. I’m a classically trained musician, but my more hip musician friends tell me that I can practice improvising with YouTube videos, the go-to source for learning, and seemingly everything else.
What do you like to watch on YouTube? Please comment below.