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How much do you pay for lessons?

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 R3d
(@r3d)
Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 45
 

Thanks for the reassurance, david M1. I'm really not sure what to expect... this is the first music lesson I've had since 6th grade. lol

Noteboat - thanks for the detailed response, that explanation really helps. I'm trying not to be impatient. :)


   
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(@jetsolo)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 87
Topic starter  

Thanks for the great reply's.

The reason i'm planning on doing an hour is that I want to work for about 40 minutes on theory and new concepts etc. I'm very dedicated and practice alot ( I'm just a little confused where to go from here ).

I've reached that point where...all I can come up with is learning some parts of songs - I want to learn to "play" guitar...not play "songs" as much. I know that will come with time.

so 40 minutes on theory etc... and 20minutes on a song and certain things about it. After that - I will see if an hour is beneficial.

It does seem kind of long though. The instructor will probably show me what to learn and send me home?...

I'll see how it goes. I have a new guitar comming in next week, then I will get lessons.

I just hope the guy at Instrumental Music knows theory etc..and stuff.

yeah stuff,

:)

Jet.


   
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(@david-m1)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 122
 

Noteboat

Thanks for your post, I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

David


   
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(@odiewon)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 31
 

This has been a great thread.

I've been (very lightly) considering having some lessons as well. I am CERTAIN that I could benefit from it. I am still at a very very early stage in my skill, and could very much use the guidance.

Also, having the traditional lack of funding, that has been a deterrant for me as well. Although I think that 1 lesson per week might be very viable, at the lower end of the pricing scale that we've discussed here. ($15-$25/week). I believe that a 30 minute session could provide me with enough practice material to keep me busy each week, as I am a perfectionist, and would want to NAIL IT, before moving on anyway.

Hmm, very nice info here, thanks guys for the valuable info!!! 8)

"Never holster an unloaded weapon, it's just poor form." - Col. Jeff Cooper


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

Notboat,

I'm interested in how you decide when someone has mastered a scale pattern before moving on. Is it just that the student has memorized the pattern? That they can play it at a certain speed? They play it perfectly w/alternate picking etc?

Just trying to get a gauge on when you think a student can move on.

I bring this up only because I've been trying to learn th emajor scale paterns for several weeks now and I haven't mastered them yet.

I mean I have the pattern memorized but I still can't play them at much over 120 BPM using strict alternate picking and I'm wondering if it's me or something.

Chris

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

It takes a long time to really master a skill, cnev - knowing the pattern is really just the beginning. If a student can play a particular fingering at a steady pace with proper picking (which will depend on what we're working towards - alternate, economy, triplets with downstrokes on the beat, etc.), I'd probably introduce the next position.

As far as moving beyond the major scales to minors or other scale types, I like to see recognition of the scale notes. Memorizing fingerings is nice... it helps with finger dexterity, and allows you to begin using a scale for improvising - but if you dont' know note is which scale degree, it's a little tough to make lines that make sense (although lots of folks with good ears can fake it). Although I will show scale 'boxes' to illustrate how the fingerboard is laid out, I tend to approach scales in one octave patterns. We'll also do things like scales in thirds (C-E-D-F-E-G etc) to get some fluidity - you want to avoid doing just scale runs, or you'll only be able to play fluidly if you're just doing a scale!

Plus, if you know the notes... you can plan out something like approaching the next chord change from a half step below, or whatever, and know exactly where it's going to be no matter where you are on the neck. When you reach that point, the fingering patterns really aren't so important anymore - you have more fretboard mastery.

I don't mean to imply that a lesson will focus on just one topic, and students have to have absolute mastery before moving on. As a practical matter, the great majority of students wouldn't have the patience for that, and they'd find another teacher! Usually a lesson will include warmup, review, a new topic, maybe some examples of how it can be applied, and another new topic in a second area (maybe we're working on barre chords and pentatonic scales at the same time, or something along those lines). That gives a student variety, plenty to work on during the week, and doesn't neglect development in any one area. I also like to fit in some sight reading every lesson or every other lesson; I think it's the most under-utilized skill of guitarists.

I'd take a look at what's hanging you up on the scale - is it a particular set of strings that's the sticking point, or a position shift or stretch? Maybe it's picking technique, maybe it's hand coordination, maybe it's a fretting hand fingering that's a little awkward... a good teacher should help you identify the trouble, develop drills to work attack the problem in isolation, and then integrate the new skill with the rest of the material.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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 R3d
(@r3d)
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Had my first lesson today. :) A lot of it was just talking, trying to figure out what I want to get from the sessions and letting him know where I am now with playing. It was really reassuring to share some of my frustrations and he was able to give me some advice on getting through them. This forum and website is an amazing resource, but sometimes it's easier to get a point across in person. Some of the questions I had that I wasn't sure how to ask were answered today.

So, my "assignment" is to start learning the notes that make up certain chords and also the notes that make up the fretboard.


   
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(@dcarroll)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 216
 

I pay $20 per lesson, 1 a week, so $80 a month. Worth every penny.

-Dustin

I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix


   
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(@corbind)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

Where do you live? That makes a huge difference in lesson price. The cost of living is maybe 3x as much in New York City than Lubbock, Texas so lesson prices would vary accordingly.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@audioslaveaddict)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 169
 

My lessons cost $36 an hour and I pay them a month in advance. Best investment I can make! Well...except for my gear itself!

Gun control is using both hands!!!


   
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(@dcarroll)
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Posts: 216
 

I live in CA, and most lessons are $20 for half hour here.

Dustin

I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix


   
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(@danlasley)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2118
 

Where do you live? That makes a huge difference in lesson price. The cost of living is maybe 3x as much in New York City than Lubbock, Texas so lesson prices would vary accordingly.

You got that right! I've been paying $1/minute for my kids' lessons, and that may go up soon. :(

-Laz


   
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(@crank-n-jam)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1206
 

I'm starting lessons next week and will pay $10 for a half hour. This is from an individual teaching from his home. Most of the music stores around here charge around $16 for a half hour. I'm in Southern Indiana though, which I'm sure makes a big difference (low cost of living).

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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(@keith-moore)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 9
 

I charge $25 a half hour in the my town (two music stores plus one day a week at my home). This is the going rate at the stores, though some might teach for less. Still, cost doesn't equal quality. Most stores don't really screen their teachers for qualifications, but even then, how can they? I don't have a music degree yet I was getting a bunch of students coming to me from "educated" teachers who were classically trained, GIT grads, etc. Why? Because I focus on giving students practical uses for the theory. The occasional songs for inspiration, but I love picking out a concept and finding examples for the STUDENT to play (not me) to illustrate it. Seems to keep me employed. ;)

The trick is to be honest with a teacher about your musical goals and see what/how he teaches you. I was clear with a teacher when I was 14 about wanting to learn scales & stuff, yet he kept teaching me songs. When I brought in a book full of theory, confused out of my mind, begging for clarity, he wrote out some abstract thing (maybe major pentatonic?) and sent me on my way just as confused. Screw that. My next teacher heard me and got my playing into shape.

http://www.keith-moore.net
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giant, killer teddy bears.


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Unfortunately, Keith, your experiences are way too typical.

The larger music stores near me do screen their teachers: all teachers are degreed. When I started seriously studying piano about six years ago, the second teacher I tried was one of those degreed store teachers, with her MM in piano performance... I can't express in polite language how she was as a teacher. Their guitarists tend to have great chops (I think most are from GIT), but that doesn't make them great teachers.

Yesterday morning I got a fairly usual phone call... a woman with an 11 year old son who's been playing for two years, "but he doesn't seem to learn much from his teacher". She networked to get a recommendation, ended up getting my name from a high school band director more than 10 miles away, and it turns out she lives a two-minute walk from my house. Now I'll fix what the GIT guy created :)

I recently wrote a brochure that I give to prospective students or their parents, called "How to get the most out of your guitar lessons", with sections on goal setting, practice, and so on. The section "Follow your interests" seems appropriate here:

Once you're able to get a good tone from the guitar, the real fun starts! Every style of music has its own little tricks... be sure to let your teacher know what sort of music interests you. If you want to play rock music, your teacher will probably show you power chords and pentatonic scales - but if you want to be a jazz guitarist, you'll be better off starting with major scales and chord formulas. Teachers aren't mind readers, so make up a list of songs you like; your teacher can use this as a guide for the techniques you'll need to learn.

Beware of teachers who spend entire lessons learning specific songs, though - your ultimate goal should be to develop the techniques you need to learn songs on your own.

As you develop as a guitarist, you'll also be developing as a musician. Your ears will become better at hearing nuances in the music you listen to, and you'll be in a better position to choose what your next goals should be - learning particular chord voicings, scales, picking techniques, or focusing on a specific style of music... or venturing into music theory, harmony, arranging and composition. Your teacher should be able to help you develop in your areas of interest, analyze what you might need to learn to be ready for further study, and direct you to other resources if needed.

It's a matter of approach, I think. I want my students to outgrow me as a teacher. I'm a generalist - I teach rock, blues, jazz, folk, classical, bluegrass, celtic, country... I'm decent at all of them, but since I'm not a specialist, I'm not really a master of any. My role is to provide a solid foundation so someone else can do the finishing touches. My students should leave me for bigger and better things, not because 'he doesn't really learn much from his teacher'.

The very advanced students I've had over the years - most of whom are better than I am technically - come to me to learn how to think about music the way I do. They usually studied only with specialist teachers, so their musical approach is deep, but not broad. I think there are pros and cons to both approaches, but only if the fit with the teacher is a good one... if it's not a good fit, you have mostly just cons.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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