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Music School? Private Teacher?

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Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 37
Topic starter  

Hey, I'm sort of new to the guitar. Been playing for a month, I decided I need to get a teacher, because internet just isn't my style. THe thing is, I know many people talk about getting teachers who come to your place. But I also heard some Music Schools. What's the difference? Is there one? If there are music schools, can any of you guys tell me where I can find one? Usually people answer me saying "Do you have a local guitar store?" Yes, I have a Guitar Center, but that doesn't help me at all. Thanks.

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 207

Often, at smaller local stores, you'll find ads for teachers, or that they give guitar lessons on the premises. At a Guitar Center, look for any kind of bulliten board (the old kind with tacks and stuff!) with people giving lessons. If not that, ask a few employees if they know anybody who gives guitar lessons in the area.

Henry Garza, Saul Hudson, and Darrell Abbott could not be here tonight, but they all had sex and are proud to announce the birth of their two-headed baby, Rodya S. Thompson.

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Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 12

I struggled through the beginner lessons here, then tried a teacher for a month or so, but teachers just weren't working... I've found its better to learn some theory and technique from schools and teachers, but get friends that are good to give you lessons, i know i learn alot better when im comfortable around friends and relatives, and ive learned alot more that way too.

"Haha Duuude, you said crank... and then, you said shaft..." -The Great Philoshipher Zane.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

If you learn from friends, you'll learn what your friends know (or have figured out). If they have good technique, great - if not, you'll learn bad technique.

This past weekend I was at a social gathering, and a number of kids were passing around a guitar. I think about four of them were playing, showing each other riffs. The notes were in the right places... the fingerings were ridiculous - they looked like contortionists, even doing simple chords. They're each self-taught from internet tabs... and learning other things from self-taught internet tab guitarists.

The sounds they got were mostly right - a few phrasing problems, but nothing a bit more listening to CDs wouldn't fix. However, not one of them will be a good guitarist on the path they're on.

Oh, one or two of them were fast. They were doing Zep, Skynyrd, some metal... but the way they were doing it they'll end up with injuries sooner or later. Probably sooner.

It's not whether you're paying for lessons, it's not whether the teacher works in a store, it's not whether you're comfortable - it's whether you're learning decent technique.

One example: one kid fingered an open Em chord with his ring finger on the A string, middle finger on the D string. I showed him that reversing his fingers would be better... he argued that his way is better, because it makes the change to C simple, sliding his ring finger up a fret.

So ok, he has his point of view, and I probably won't change it - certainly not in front of his friends who consider him a guitar god. But watching him change from that to other chords - E major, G, Am, etc. practically made my hands hurt!

Back to the original question.... teachers advertise. Different geographic areas call for different methods - I get students from word of mouth, from referrals by other teachers, by brochures in local stores, through online directories and bulletin boards, and sometimes through newspaper ads. The best way to find a teacher is to ask around at stores, or by asking other guitarists.

Music schools usually have a curriculum (if they grant degrees or certificates, they'll have required courses). They also have private lessons as part of that curriculum, usually called 'applied music' or something like that, and probably have a formal recital/ensemble/performance program too.

I teach privately, and I teach at a music school. I approach lessons the same way in both settings - my job is to make musicians, not show riffs. I see only two differences between the two locations: first, students at the school expect to read standard music notation, and most play other instruments. Second, they pay more for my time. That's not because they learn more, but because the facilities are different - the school has a recital hall, etc. that costs money to maintain.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL