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Anyone Self taught?

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takamineprincess
(@takamineprincess)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

Is anyone self taught?

How long have you been playing?
How well do you think you play?
Have you ever considered taking lessons? Why/why not?

I'm just trying to get a feel for where I should be, since i've never taken a lesson. I've been playing 10 months, and I would say I can't do much, lol. I know a few whole songs as well as bits and pieces of dozens of others. I couldn't tell you a thing about music theory and mostly play by ear. All I need is to know the chords and then I just listen to the songs until I get it. I've never taken lessons because I can't afford it, but I really feel like I'm not progressing as fast as I would like. I try to practice at least an hour a day, but there are rare exceptions.


   
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Preacher
(@preacher)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 125
 

I am self taught... if you dont count my mom teaching me the C, D, and G chords when I was three. I turn 16 this year, and Ive been strumming guitar since I was three, but only the past couple of years started playing and developing style. I'm not sure how good I am. I can play a few Hendrix tunes, a few Clapton tunes, and from what my father says "the main riff of every rock n roll song writtin" :D I've played in front of a few audiences and they seemed to dig the sound. I did want to take lessons when I first started playing lead, but my parents said I would have to pay for the lessons myself. So that was out the window. :lol: I'm homeschooled, so music is a HUGE part of my life. I usually practice anywhere from 2 to 3 hours a day.

I play the guitar, I taught myself how to play the guitar, which was a bad decision... because I didn't know how to play it, so I was a sh***y teacher. I would never have went to me. -Mitch Hedberg


   
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JoeHempel
(@joehempel)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2415
 

Yes, but by self taught I mean not by a one on one teacher, I've abused this site for 2 years now :lol: :lol:

How long have you been playing? -- 2 years
How well do you think you play? -- Pretty well
Have you ever considered taking lessons? Why/why not? -- No, the lesson format doesn't conform to the way I generally am able to learn. I am able to pick things up much faster by doing my own thing. The only lessons I've ever considered taking are vocal lessons, and those are pretty expensive.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

How long have you been playing?

Two years this month.

How well do you think you play?

Not well, in my own mind. I don't consider it playing, since I cannot play but a few songs all the way through. I don't have the temerity to think I can play for people. My stumbling block is the practice to actually play well. I know how to play, I just don't do it well. I want to be able to practice much more than I do. But at my age (52) with other responsibilities, including work and two disabled people in the house I don't have the luxury of a 14 or 16 year old (some, not all, and no offense intended) who comes home from school, does his homework (if not already done in study hall), does some chores, works a few hours a week, and can play guitar until his fingers bleed. Yes I'm jealous. :P Oh to hit the megamillions jackpot!

Have you ever considered taking lessons? Why/why not?

I've taken lessons twice over the past two years. Two years ago at the beginning of picking up the guitar after a 20 year hiatus of a failed eight month attempt at lessons. The lessons two years ago lasted seven months. I don't seem to click with the teachers. They have all been laid back who didn't have a plan and felt it was enough to work on writng out songs to lean how to play. That's not learning. I need someone who will step up to the challenge of my wanting to know everything and is as intense and animated as I am about it.

I've learned more about basic theory (chords, triads, keys, etc.) in the past month on my own than I did in all the time I took lessons. I use books and internet sites, and internet e-pals. Now I'm also teaching myself bass. I can hold my own with a few bass lines, even some I've concocted. I may or may not ever go back to lessons, only if I find the right "coach".

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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jwmartin
(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1435
 

I am basically self taught on guitar. My grandfather showed me a few chords and tips back when I first started, but for the most part, I learned from the internet and books.

How long have you been playing? 6 years
How well do you think you play? I never had the time to dedicate to be a great guitarist. I'm an OK rhythm player. I could play strummy campfire songs all night.
Have you ever considered taking lessons? Why/why not? Considered it, but never did. Mainly because of time and money. I did take bass lessons because I felt more at home on bass and wanted to learn to think like a bass player rather than a guitarist playing bass. I've been playing bass about a year and a half and am probably better at that than guitar.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I took lessons for a summer when I got my first guitar. looking back, I feel it was the best decision.
a live teacher, as opposed to the internet, offers are deeper, richer experience because of the lesson plan designed just for you. the guitar was no longer a mystery. I was taught how to strum, form open and barre chords, and timing.
I spent he next 40 some years teaching myself. mainly by learning song after song after song.
I am self taught on lap steel guitar. I took that instrument up not long ago.
I am never really satisfied with how well I play. I enjoy my versatility, as I have explored man styles of music; especially world and vintage music. I can get on a stage and entertain and not suck. so I guess I'm satisfied.
I would recommend lesson for beginners. I had never thought about lessons for a more experienced player, but the idea is reasonable. one takes lessons to learn karate or climbing?

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Rahul
(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

I don't really consider myself self taught. Sure, I haven't take lessons from a live instructor till now, but I have referred to a lot of great lessons written by great authors on the internet. And many chord sheets and some tabs, not to forget.

Some of the above authors are David Hodge from our GN website and Dan Cross from About.com guitar page (with an awesome 11 lesson series for beginners to advanced beginner).

10 months without a teacher ? If you can change open chords easily and do a bit of strumming, you would be fine (unless you have a dedicated learning plan).

I never took any live lesson because its hard to find good instructors here who would be interested in my kind of music (or perhaps I am hopelessly lazy... :lol:).

However, if I had an opportunity, I would love to take lessons from Dhodge someday in person, to finally move ahead from the advanced beginner stage !

P.S. - Since you can't afford lessons, I would advice to go for David's 'Complete Idiot's Guide for Playing Guitar'. It will be out in some months I guess. I can vouch that it would be as near to live instruction that we can ever get, without actually having one.


   
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Steve-0
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1162
 

Is anyone self taught?

Sort of. I started playing for a year or so and then took lessons by a teacher who also taught my brother how to play. I really liked taking lessons from him since he opened my ears to alot of different music and eventually he taught me how to play a little bit of classical guitar (I was with him for about 2 years or so, the last year was pretty focused on classical guitar). However, eventually it got to the point of where I needed to try something else: I was more interested in learning lead rock/blues guitar rather than classical guitar.
How long have you been playing?

I don't know exactly how long it's been. I would say it's been about 10 years.
How well do you think you play?

Pretty good, I can play along to most songs that are just strumming chords. The exception would be more technically demanding songs; fast heavy metal songs, faster jazz tunes, etc. So even though I think I'm pretty good I know I can be MUCH MUCH better.
Have you ever considered taking lessons? Why/why not?

I took lessons and I would definitely recommend it. Why? because alot of times when we are stuck on something, the solution can be as simple as looking at the problem a different way and I've found that a teacher can be helpful since they've been there before and might be able to offer some advice that you've never thought of. I think it's important to learn from the right teacher as well, don't take lessons from a jazz teacher if all you ever want to play is heavy metal.

That being said, I don't take lessons right now (no money) and I feel like I've hit a plateau in my playing. But if you can afford lessons, I would strongly recommend it.

Steve-0


   
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fibaz
(@fibaz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 38
 

Are you self-taught? Yes mostly. Been learning off and on since 2001. I didn't get more serious about it until the last few years.

How well do you play? Well I hadn't had anyone beg me to stop playing in quite a while.

I hear you on not being able to afford lessons. I finally started lessons this past August. When I decided to go back to school I decided to major in music. So I have been learning the piano to learn how to read music and help with theory. I was suprised that it took less than a semester to get comfortable reading easier pieces. Also took my first guitar lessons. Of course I didn't get the memo that it would be classical guitar but I decided to stick to it and reinforce reading music and really learning how to fingerstyle. The lessons in piano and guitar have definitely been helping fill in the gaps when I can't find it on guitarnoise (shameless plug?). :lol:

We all must feel we are progressing somehow. So I'm curious Takamineprinces, what does your practice routine look like these days?


   
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takamineprincess
(@takamineprincess)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

Are you self-taught? Yes mostly. Been learning off and on since 2001. I didn't get more serious about it until the last few years.

How well do you play? Well I hadn't had anyone beg me to stop playing in quite a while.

I hear you on not being able to afford lessons. I finally started lessons this past August. When I decided to go back to school I decided to major in music. So I have been learning the piano to learn how to read music and help with theory. I was suprised that it took less than a semester to get comfortable reading easier pieces. Also took my first guitar lessons. Of course I didn't get the memo that it would be classical guitar but I decided to stick to it and reinforce reading music and really learning how to fingerstyle. The lessons in piano and guitar have definitely been helping fill in the gaps when I can't find it on guitarnoise (shameless plug?). :lol:

We all must feel we are progressing somehow. So I'm curious Takamineprinces, what does your practice routine look like these days?

Like what things do I do? I pretty much practice the songs I already know but aren't very good at yet, and then sometimes I'll come on here or go find tab to try and learn something else. I don't have a real structured routine. More lately I've been practicing palm muting. I'm going back to school in the fall and I'm going to take a music theory class, so hopefully that will be helpful! As soon as I can afford it, I will be at least trying out lessons to see if I like them.


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

I took lessons one or two years when I started to play many years ago. I left the guitar and I returned three or four years ago again. I didn't take lessons this time, I use instruction books and also internet but I already knew the basics. It is good to take lessons at the beginning, many bad habits can be avoided.


   
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mrodgers
(@mrodgers)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 75
 

How long have you been playing?

  • On and off for 30 years.

    Ok, I took lessons in 3rd grade which lasted maybe 6 months? That was in 1980 and my wife bought me an acoustic in 2005 and I started again. But, I laid that acoustic down without learning much for 4 years and picked it up again last year. So, I've been what I call playing for a year.

  • How well do you think you play?

  • I don't think I play very well. I've got 2 young ones to take care of in the evenings and a house to work on as well as trying to keep my POS car running. I don't have time to pick up the guitar very often. I know all the open chords and can switch between them. I can play barre chords now easily, though I don't know what chords they are except for Bm because I'm using it in a song right now and G barred at the 3rd fret. I can do all the shapes all over the neck, just don't ask me to play a C barre chord unless you have a computer and internet connection for me to look it up.

    I am more interested in solos and individual note picking than chord strumming. I can't just improvise but I can now watch a video lesson on a song and pick it up pretty quickly. Last year it took me probably 9 months to learn the acoustic version of Shine on You Crazy Diamond (long intro solo) and this year in 2 weeks with my new electric, I'm almost done learning Comfortably Numb with all parts, chorus, 1st, and 2nd solo.

  • Have you ever considered taking lessons? Why/why not?

  • I took lessons, in 3rd grade like I said. I was more interested in playing backyard football, baseball, wiffleball, and going to the pool than I was in practicing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with my guitar.

    Now, I would like to take lessons, but I can't. I have young girls to take care of while Wifey is at work in the evenings. I would like to learn properly how to play the guitar rather than how to play this or that song on a guitar, but I'm happy with just noodling around with it learning songs. Lessons would give more set structure and something to learn. I'm not good with looking up lessons on the net and practicing. I just end up looking up songs and learning them. Paid lessons would give me more discipline to learn the ins and outs of music rather than just learning how to play a song.

    Learning anything is difficult because every time I sit down with my guitar, I hear, "Dad, I need a drink..." "Dad, I'm hungry..." "Dad, Lauren's being mean to me..." "Dad, Lauren hit me...." etc, etc.

    I wish I knew more about theory and music, but I'm pretty happy with noodling around. That's why I got the guitar, just to noodle around the house with it. At least in the summer I don't have to worry about the interuptions because as soon as dinner is over, the girls are in the pool and they won't come out for hours. I take the guitar out with me and sit next to the pool and do my noodling while keeping an eye on them.


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    fibaz
    (@fibaz)
    Eminent Member
    Joined: 17 years ago
    Posts: 38
     

    Like what things do I do? I pretty much practice the songs I already know but aren't very good at yet, and then sometimes I'll come on here or go find tab to try and learn something else. I don't have a real structured routine. More lately I've been practicing palm muting. I'm going back to school in the fall and I'm going to take a music theory class, so hopefully that will be helpful! As soon as I can afford it, I will be at least trying out lessons to see if I like them.

    Music theory will help for sure. While you are signing up for courses see if they have a guitar class. They'll usually have it in 30 mins or 1 hour long sessions for private instruction.


       
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    Coolnama
    (@coolnama)
    Prominent Member
    Joined: 14 years ago
    Posts: 590
     

    Sorry I am not self taught :P but I just wanna talk.

    I've been playing for 2 years this month ( same as Minotaur :D )

    I think I'm pretty good, but I'm never happy with myself. I mean I can play along to most songs strumming chords. But my picking sucks when I try to do some heavy metal stuff. I can fingerpick quite well if I say so myself and I'm good enough with hybrid picking. I feel drawn towards jazz and classical guitar but also like blues and rock and stuff, not heavy metal though. I always feel like I suck, which I guess is a good thing.

    Yeah I am taking lessons thanks to my parents. But I have learned a few things on my own, like some songs and some techniques. I don't like leARning songs that much though, if I do I only learn it bare bones and give it my own twist.

    Lessons are good, luckily I hit it off with my first and current teacher right away.

    Sorry, just felt like posting, haven't posted in a while.

    STill in the hospital btw to any1 that knows me. Getting my gallbladder removed on monday cause of gallstones.

    I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

    You gotta set your sights high to get high!

    Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

    ( wise stuff man! )

    Its Kirby....


       
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    TRGuitar
    (@trguitar)
    Famed Member
    Joined: 16 years ago
    Posts: 3709
     

    I'm self taught

    Been playing approximately 33 years

    I'll be honest ... I'm not bad

    Never had a formal lesson, did everything the hard way as it matches my hard head. IMO you don't need lessons but if you can afford them why not? It certainly speeds up learning and helps avoid bad habbits. A friend that plays and will teach you? Priceless! Didn't have that either.

    "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
    grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
    -- The Webb Wilder Credo --


       
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