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Keeping Guitar Lessons Informative

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Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 214
Topic starter  

How does one go about that? I've been with the same guitar teacher for a couple months now, and he's a nice guy and is helpful in showing me whatever I ask as well as teaching me things I haven't asked about. But there are times I feel we spend a little too much time reiterating material or spending a little too much time on one particular topic. Obviously he's the teacher who has organized some sort of plan (I imagine), but how do I go about making sure that lessons stay informative and I get the most out of my money week in and week out?

Used to be, was a part of me felt like hiding.. but now it comes through. Comes through to you.

Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973

There's something wrong if you have to tell a teacher how to do his job. If he really is going over old stuff unnecessarily or spending too much time on a particular topic, then his teaching skills are lacking and you'll never get full value for money.

On the other hand, maybe the problem lies with you. Maybe it's no fun for him either going over old stuff, but it's necessary, because you haven't put in the required amount of work that would enable you to advance to a level where you're ready to take in new knowledge or attempt more advanced technique.

If it's the former, then find a new teacher because it's not your job to teach a teacher how to teach. He should be paying you in that case.

Whichever it is, communication is the key. Ask him why you're going over old stuff that you feel you know very well, but be prepared for the answer that you don't know it as well as you think you do.

Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342

But there are times I feel we spend a little too much time reiterating material or spending a little too much time on one particular topic.

Your teacher probably feels these points aren't sinking in. As a teacher, you do your students no favours if you move on to the next topic before the last one is properly understood.

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:

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103

also, it might be a very important point that your teacher is stressing.

my teacher goes over finger placement and coming up with alternate finger placements a lot. i've been with him for probably 6 months now and am doing fingerstyle guitar. sometimes it seems like he discuss it too much but i realize that analyzing finger placement is very important and i also think that it takes time to work on it so it is not something that can be finished in 3 or 4 lessons. each person's hands/fingers are different so different approaches are necessary for a lot of people who may not be able to accomplish what the original writer of the song was doing.

however, if you feel the way you do you need to ask your teacher why he is spending a lot of time on it. if you cannot do that, then your lessons will suffer and you will not have a good teacher/student relationship on which to build.


Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3

What your teacher is trying to teach you may be important enough that extra time must be spent on it. Sight-reading is one of those things that a teacher should stick on, depending on the student. Many times, teachers have points they think are key, and if the student isn't reaching the level they want the student to, they will keep at it because they think it is detrimental to the learning process. But, it really depends on what the teacher is going over and over, because the amount of time differs. What may seem like a long time to go over information to you may be just a dot on the time line for your teacher who, most likely, knows more and has had more experience.

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 168

I'd start by communicating:

"Why are we still working on this? Is there something I haven't learned yet?" or "What do I have to accomplish so I can move on from this?"

Also, don't forget that your teacher works for you. He might have a plan but there are a million directions you could go (improvising? complex chords? learning some new songs? fingerpicking?) and if you give him some input he might choose the direction you prefer.

Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 722

Two months is not very long ..

One possibility is that you "understand" what he's going over with you intellectually, but it does not show up in your playing. Sometimes I feel the same way you do with my teacher, but he has usually indicated that he's telling me something because he's not seeing it in my playing..

"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 168

vink has a good point. Half the things my teacher says make me think "yeah, yeah, I know that already, get on with it" - but my fingers don't know it. They're way behind compared to my brain, and I have to learn to slow the brain down while the physical learning process takes place.