Skip to content
Finding the right t...
Clear all

Finding the right teacher for yourself

5 Posts
5 Users
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 44
Topic starter  

The thing is, I am gonna be looking for a new teacher as I am moving to a different city in a few weeks. I've been wondering what I need to do to find the right teacher for myself once I'm relocated. My current teacher who has been great- I hate to be parting ways with him now- tells me to ask the following questions when meeting with different guitar teachers.

Question #1- When it comes to soloing, I know that BLUES soloing is all about the feel- the bending, the vibrato, the slides/glissando, the hammer's on and pull off's and that JAZZ soloing is all about the notes. Would you say are more of a blues player or a jazz player? Or a Fusion player?

Question #2- Do you have a set curriculum you follow? If you do, I'd like to know how it goes during the typical 1.5~2 years that a student is under your guidance.

Question #3- I want to know which voicings work best in which genres. I know that a certain voicing really brings out the feel/flavor of a particular genre. I know that a certain voicing can be more suited towards a particular genre because for example, the way the fingers are placed on the fretboard can make that voicing more convenient to play in that style.
So what I am trying to say is, in terms of rhythm and style- I'd like to gain an overall, structured understanding of all of the following genres- Latin, Swing, Funk and Rock. Not in absolute excruciating detail but I'd like to gain enough knowledge of all of these genres such that I know how each of them works. And that way- later on, I can I figure out which genre I really want to learn more in depth and become a specialist in. So can you teach all the genres mentioned above?

So I want to ask the veterans here what other questions I might ask aside from the ones mentioned above.
Or any other pearls of wisdom you might have upon looking back at your learning process. My teacher says if he had found
the right guidance with greater ease, he would've saved a lot of time. Anyway, any thoughts on this matter are very much appreciated. Thanks fellas!

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4459

I don't know that I would totally agree with that but hey he's a teacher and I'm just a hack. But I think there are some things you should ask the teacher right up front to make sure there is a least a semblance of understanding between what you want to get and what he can give you, but no matter how many questions you ask, and even if he answers them all exactly like you want that doesn't necessarily mean that the two of you will be a good fit.

I've had a few teachers since I've moved around alot and I don't think you can really know if you've found the right one until you've had several lessons. The teacher/student relationship is like any other relationship and you both need to work on it to get the most out of it. You may find a teacher who answers all your guestions correctly and plays fantastic but his teaching style may not work for you.

The biggest thing is to be able to communicate with him openly about what you want, then let him explain to you how he would go about teaching those things...if that's sounds good I'd take a few lessons to get a feel for how things will go and then go from there. This may mean changing teachers until you find the right one.

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

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1162

I agree with Cnev, it's important to know what you want to acheive as a player: for example, if you want to learn to play blues and improvise over blues chord progressions, then I don't think it's extremely important if a teacher knows much about jazz or fusion soloing, so long as they know the blues.

If you want to learn alot of styles, then those questions seem like a good start. Although you could simplify things and ask them something like:

"I really want to learn a wide range of musical styles, what sort of styles do you typically teach? can I hear you play a few different styles?"

Many styles not only have different chord voicings (like a 13th chord in jazz vs. a power chord in hard rock), but different rhythms (compare a syncopated latin beat to a punk rock song), as well as scales, harmonies, etc. This is something you could also mention to your teacher, see if they know what you're talking about. :D

You could also ask them how long they've been teaching, how many (approxametly) students they've had, if they teach beginner, intermediate or expert students, or all of the above.

All in all, don't be afraid to change teachers if you've decided one teacher isn't the right one for you: a professional teacher will understand that these things happen and after all it is YOUR money (after all, you wouldn't go out and buy a car from a dealership just because you didn't want the salesperson to feel bad).


Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 168

Those questions seem awfully specific, and I'm not sure what the right answers are. To me there are two important things?

1. Does he know more than you about the things you want to learn?


2. Can he teach it to you?

The only way to find out is to take a lesson or two, I suspect. If it were me I'd probably plan on bouncing from teacher to teacher for the first month or two until I found a good one.

Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 132

your best teacher is your experiences and practices... just my 2 cents...

i advise jam w/ others...