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Need direction in lessons


(@burningwaves)
New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

I've been taking private guitar lessons regularly since October, but I played for about a year when I was 8 and again when I was 13 so I'm not a total beginner. I absolutely love my current instructor; he gives me alot of freedom in deciding what we do. So far all we've done is learn songs. I don't want to spend the entire course of the lessons doing basically the same things over and over, but I don't know what else I should be learning. I want to be a good musician in general, not just someone who plays covers. What other things should I be learning?
P.S. If it helps, I'm mostly interested in playing alternative rock/punk/metal, stuff in that general area, and I hope to be in a band some day.


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

Sounds like you missed the opportunity at the first lesson to tell your tutor what it was you wanted to learn. I always make sure it's a question that's asked in the very first lesson.

Write down the two or three things you most want to learn right now. It's not going to be song titles, it's going to be things like "how do I know which chords work in which key?" "how do I read standard notation?" "how do I work out a song from the record?" "when's a good time to use a diminished chord?" and things like that.

Then tell your tutor what it is you've written down. It's his job to get you there. If he doesn't buy in to your list with enthusiasm then he's just using your lessons to part you from your hard-earned cash; change tutor.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@staffan)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 125
 

I agree with Alan and I think you should take the opportunity to really get your teacher to teach you the stuff that´s hard to figure out on your own - theory bits and giving you instructions in "how" to play the guitar when it comes to different techniques; what you´re doing right and where you might be going wrong - to make sure you don´t form any "bad habits" that might be hard to get rid of later on.

Learning songs is really fun, but I think you should ask your teacher to at least "make a lesson" out of it anyway, you know - if you´re learning a song then pick one that can be used to illustrate some theory-bit, or that involves some specific technique that you don´t fully master yet (bends, tremolo picking, tapping, reggae chops or whatever). Just learning chords and remembering a song is something you could probably do on your own with a CD, some music-software to perhaps slow things down, and tab from some book or off of the internet, no?

I guess what I´m saying is I think you should make sure that you get decent value for your money... but what that might entail is of course ultimately up to you! 8)

AAAFNRAA
- Electric Don Quixote -


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(@sean0913)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 65
 

I've been taking private guitar lessons regularly since October, but I played for about a year when I was 8 and again when I was 13 so I'm not a total beginner. I absolutely love my current instructor; he gives me alot of freedom in deciding what we do. So far all we've done is learn songs. I don't want to spend the entire course of the lessons doing basically the same things over and over, but I don't know what else I should be learning. I want to be a good musician in general, not just someone who plays covers. What other things should I be learning?
P.S. If it helps, I'm mostly interested in playing alternative rock/punk/metal, stuff in that general area, and I hope to be in a band some day.

I think learning the notes on the neck is essential, to where you can instantly name and find any note on any string, and start learning music theory, diatonic harmony etc. These will help you understand the big picture as a musician. I would have to hear more specific goals to better asses your situation.

Best,

Sean

Guitar Instructor/Mentor
Online Guitar School for Advanced Players
http://rnbacademy.com


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 JKHC
(@jkhc)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 60
 

Along with what is mentioned above, strumming and alternate picking are extremely important for guitarists. Alternate picking takes some time to get used to but it makes a big difference. Its also possible to learn these by yourself but having an instructor supervise is better.

When we started the band, it was because we were waiting for a sound that never happened. We got tired of waiting, and we decided to just do it ourselves. - Mike Shinoda


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(@robbiek1013)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5
 

Along with what is mentioned above, strumming and alternate picking are extremely important for guitarists. Alternate picking takes some time to get used to but it makes a big difference. Its also possible to learn these by yourself but having an instructor supervise is better.

I couldn't agree more. From personal experience, I spent too much time when I was a beginner just down-picking. After the billionth time of reading how useful alternate picking could be, I finally set down and tried it. Chromatic scales are probably the easiest to start with, and then start transition to the other scales.

In general, I love learning scales. To me, they're really important for improvising, which is, again, something I love to do. Strap on the guitar, and just let my fingers do the talking. Once you get a basic knowledge of scales and their positions, I think that's when you really start discovering your own personal style of playing. Just an opinion though.

Want to improve at guitar? Start TODAY!


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