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I'm a train-wreck around my (new) guitar teacher!?

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dhutson
(@dhutson)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 147
Topic starter  

After a 1 1/2 years of taking lessons and firing 3 different teachers because we weren't on the same page, I finally found the perfect teacher (for me). And while those of you who think I'm a total spaz are correct, it has nothing to do with my guitar teacher search. I was looking for someone who understood my goals, had a structured approach, gave assignments, measured progress against those assignments, and threw in a little fun besides. Finally, I hit the jackpot. I actually look forward to practicing my sight reading in Mel Bay # 1, because I know it won't be long till I'm sinking my teeth in the juicy stuff. This guy can get me there and we have made great progress in just 6 weeks.

As a middle-aged family guy, I have the standard committments. However, I practice 1 - 1.25 hours everyday and keep a practice log. Each exercise is timed so noodling, setup, etc. doesn't count toward practice time. By the time I get to my lesson each week, I know my assignments fairly well. Maybe not "spot-on" but certainly passable.

The problem arises when I have to do my assignment for my teacher. I absolutely fall apart. I make a large number of technical errors that I never make at home. Sometimes I even forget to breathe. It is not that he is a harsh taskmaster, quite the contrary. He is a very kind, gentle man with a very patient spirit. I just don't get it as I never had this problem with any other teacher.

Any helpful hints?

http://www.soundclick.com/wayneroberts


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

It's your desire to show him that you have mastered the material and you're tensing up. I do the same thing with my teacher and I've told him and he understands. I still pretty nervous playing in front of most people because I never feel I play good enough. when I'm alone I just don't caree and play more relaxed. Not sure how to overcome it other than just keep doing it and eventually you'll get better at it. If only I could do the same.

"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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KR2
 KR2
(@kr2)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2717
 

Problem easily solved.
Here's my prescriptio n:

2 beers before teacher arrives, and give the rest of the six-pack to the teacher so he won't notice your mistakes.

Doctor Ken

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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Fretsource
(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 973
 

Problem easily solved.
Here's my prescriptio n:

2 beers before teacher arrives, and give the rest of the six-pack to the teacher so he won't notice your mistakes.

Doctor Ken

Why has this pearl of wisdom never reached my students? :cry:

Anyway, this is a universal problem that all serious guitar teachers recognise. Knowing that goes some way towards helping you eliminate the problem - and the teacher will also be working 'silently' to encourage you to 'be yourself'.


   
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BluezOldy
(@bluezoldy)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 329
 

The problem arises when I have to do my assignment for my teacher. I absolutely fall apart. I make a large number of technical errors that I never make at home. Sometimes I even forget to breathe.

We are spiritual brothers and from the other comments we are not alone. The stress these mistakes cause me often ruin the rest of the lesson for me.

♪♫ Ron ♪♫

http://www.myspace.com/bluemountainsblues


   
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Fretsource
(@fretsource)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 973
 

The problem arises when I have to do my assignment for my teacher. I absolutely fall apart. I make a large number of technical errors that I never make at home. Sometimes I even forget to breathe.

We are spiritual brothers and from the other comments we are not alone. The stress these mistakes cause me often ruin the rest of the lesson for me.

When you come to realise that your teacher is also your spiritual brother, the stress will disappear.


   
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ColoradoFenderBender
(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1106
 

First, congratulations on finding the perfect teacher for you. That search can be really difficult, so you are way ahead of most.

As you become more comfortable with your teacher, you will most likely relax more and this problem should become smaller with time. One great way to speed up the process, would be to tell the teacher what's going on and perhaps after getting it out there on the table, you may relax. Nothing more than nerves getting in the way when you are trying to perform your best.


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

It's your desire to show him that you have mastered the material and you're tensing up. I do the same thing with my teacher and I've told him and he understands. I still pretty nervous playing in front of most people because I never feel I play good enough. when I'm alone I just don't caree and play more relaxed. Not sure how to overcome it other than just keep doing it and eventually you'll get better at it. If only I could do the same.

+1

Hi dhutson,

It's pretty normal.

I wrote a song about all the fears, doubts and difficulties we all have as beginners. It's a simple blues, and the first verse goes:

Listen to my blues and hear what I say
It ain't that good - it was better yesterday
You shoulda been here when I was runnin' hot
It was much better then – but today it's not…

As others said, talk it out, relax, and lower your expectations a bit. It's like going on a first date - too keen to please, too afraid of looking clumsy or dumb, and too keen to make progress faster than is realistic. :P You'll discover how to relax and feel more natural and less self-critical, but it may take a while.

I'm starting lessons tomorrow (new teacher, and I haven't had a lesson for a year or two).

I guarantee that I will forget every single piece of advice I've just trotted out. :oops: But give it a lesson or two and I'll be fine. You too. 8)

Cheers,

Chris


   
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Clau20
(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
 

Samething for be

It looks like I've played guitar for only 2 months when I'm in front on my teacher trying to play stairway to heaven that he taught me the week before... I played it very well alone, at home. But in front of him, too nervous...

But he knows that, and he kept show me things that I may not be able to do in front of him, but he knows that I'm able when I'm alone..

Strange, but it gets better and better now in front of him

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
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BluezOldy
(@bluezoldy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 329
 

When you come to realise that your teacher is also your spiritual brother, the stress will disappear.

Bangs head for not seeing something so obvious!

Thanks, Fretsource.

♪♫ Ron ♪♫

http://www.myspace.com/bluemountainsblues


   
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BluezOldy
(@bluezoldy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 329
 

I'm starting lessons tomorrow (new teacher, and I haven't had a lesson for a year or two).

I hope they go well for you, Chris. I wasn't going to have lessons but I realised that as I'm in my 50s I just don't have the time work out all the stuff for myself and get to a level I will be satisfied with (of course, I wonder if that level will just keep getting higher. I kinda hope so.).

Cheers,
Ron ...

♪♫ Ron ♪♫

http://www.myspace.com/bluemountainsblues


   
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Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 827
 

You could also work on trying to "desensitize" yourself to the prescence of others when you play. I have my wife come and listen to me play some of the stuff I'm working on at least once a week. It could be anybody - spouse, SO, child, parent, good friend, etc - but you want it to be somebody who will be supportive and not overly critical.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

It usually happened to me, too.

He came in to hear me play in church once, and quietly slipped in the back so I didn't know he was there. I nailed it, and he was ebullient afterward.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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stellabloo
(@stellabloo)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189
 

Yo, I don't know if you noticed but Isabelle and Dylan have been starting a trend with the beginner's videos?

... I am amazed at the butterflies that come as soon as you know you are recording yourself... strangely similar to the butterflies encountered when playing in front of other people - except easier to destroy the evidence LOL - seriously this has been the best thing for my practice.
Isn't the whole point of playing music ( besides having fun) making music to listen to? So better to ditch the self-consciousness ASAP :wink:
On the downside playing your new video for your friends is NOT the same as honest practice time! :twisted:

What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's really all about?

~ why yes, I am available on youtube ~
http://www.youtube.com/stellabloo


   
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corbind
(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

Problem easily solved.
Here's my prescriptio n:

2 beers before teacher arrives, and give the rest of the six-pack to the teacher so he won't notice your mistakes.

Doctor Ken

Secret's out. I'd rather be the teacher... 8)

"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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