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Need A Teacher?

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rparker
(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Topic starter  

I've read countless times on this forum where people struggle and automatically it is suggested that they need a teacher. I gotta go on record as saying that the blanket statement of "you need a teacher" is a wrong.

Can a teacher help? Of course. That's not my point. My point is, many people actually prefer self teaching. Sure, it may take longer. Sure, "bad" habits may creep into one's playing. However, if someone is progressing even at a slow pace, having fun and breaking through milestones from time to time, why do they "need" a teacher? I say they don't.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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My kids will be so glad to hear they don't need school. With the money I save on paying for college I should be able to buy several nice guitars. :D


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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Topic starter  

My theory would say that is true. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously, there are people in this world who do better being self taught at stuff. I'm a self taught programmer and am very respected for my abilities.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
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"Needing a teacher" is one of those phrases that can push some people's buttons. Especially if they are music teachers! :wink:

Using the phrase "self-taught" though, is often misleading. A self-taught guitarist doesn't start from scratch, not knowing basic things like which notes to tune the strings to, how to fret a note, etc.

The impact the computer has brought to the guitar playing community is probably huger than anything else in the instrument's history, as far as teaching is concerned, for both good and otherwise. You can find all sorts of playing advice and then you have to figure out what works and what doesn't. But it's still being taught. In fact it's like having a hundred teachers! You simply have to go through a lot more trial and error than you might in a more standard approach.

For the record, I am what people would consider "self taught." Did I truly teach myself? No. I had a lot of books, and musical knowledge from playing other instruments (which involved being taught) and also musical experience from playing.

I also played a LOT with other people, guitarists and others, from whom I learned just as I would have with a teacher. It's been said before (and by many others besides myself) that there is no better way to learn.

But whole crux of "self teaching" ultimately comes down to the "self" that is involved. People who, by their natures, work at playing and learning the instrument until they get to where they want to be will do so. People who, by their natures, learn a little and then think they know it all will, or at least enough to do what they want to do, will also do so. People who think (or discover that) they need to take in everything they can about music will start getting their hands on every source possible and others will spend money on Internet connections and gear and not own a single book.

Only the student knows which "self" he or she is bringing to the table (and even that's not always true because a lot of people aren't honest with themselves as to what type of student they are). Many who would seriously benefit from having a teacher, even if only for a lesson or two, will never take a lesson, for whatever reason. And there will also be those who would do better with teachers other than the one they have.

As Mr. Parker states, the point is not whether or not a teacher can help. But before you go jumping on the "self taught" band wagon you'd better know what kind of "self" you are and why you're doing so. And then get going on meeting as many informal "teachers" as you can so you can learn! :wink:

Peace


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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Topic starter  

Well said DHodge. Of course, that makes you my teacher. :)

Some people are not wired for "learning on their own" (better phrase?). I'm not wired for having instructors.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
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My kids will be so glad to hear they don't need school. With the money I save on paying for college I should be able to buy several nice guitars. :D

What about Dhodge's , greabeard's, vic's , arjen's :lol: and the kids of all the other smashing guitarists out here


   
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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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David that was very well put. When everyone asks me if I am taking lessons I say "Sort of." All of you have been my teachers through all of my 6 months of playing. You are also right in saying that the internet has helped a GREAT deal in helping people learn guitar (and MANY other subjects). Fifteen years ago I NEVER could learn from a book and I had no clue as to where to begin. But here on GN I can ask real people questions and get some direction.

Nick, being a guitar instructor and being a "school teacher" are a bit different. Certain subjects lend themselves to being "self-Taught" or using David's expanaintion "self'MOTIVATED". I teach elementary school and there is NO WAY those kids could learn what they do only using the internet without a teacher. "Hobbies" on the other hand lend themselves very well to self-learning.

College is the same as elementary school. I see people who have taken "internet classes" and or "degrees" for their master's degree (which we are required to get) that just are not as knowledgable as as those of us who attended a traditional grad school. Could this statement be applied to guitar? Most definitely. But like I mentioned in my other "whining" thread not everyone has the time and or funds to utilize an instructor. I would love to be able to go once per month for like 1 hour just to gather the information and have the teacher critque my playing so I know what needs to be worked on. Then I can work on my own for a month until my next lesson. I tend to learn best that way. Others may need the weekly lessons.

Suggesting a teracher is fine but it should not be the FIRST suggestion. Most people know that there are guitar instructors out there but they are trying to learn on their own. Only they can decided if going to a teacher is what they need at the moment.


   
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Anonymous
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I think someone could "self-teach" guitar, it would probably take longer than having a teacher, but can be done.

In college, we talked about the different types of learners there are, and which one we fall into. Turns out, I'm a global learner, someone who dodges around the problem then lands on it aphazardly, almost by sheer accident. So I learn best through trial and error on my own.

I do agree with dhodge though, few guitarists are actually self-taught. He's also the first teacher that has actually told me that you can learn guitar without formal lessons.


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
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I believe we are self taught if we don't have a guitar instructor. The internet and books are just our materials we work with. Just like a school teacher uses a book...she/he dont write the textbook. We have to come up with our own lesson plan and homework! :lol:

I guess I'm cheating, though, when I ask a question on here. :lol: :lol: :lol:


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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Topic starter  

Other factors like expectations have to come into play. If I had a deadline, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be getting my learn on with an instructor.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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I don't think I ever just jump to "get a teacher". It depends on who is asking how to do what.

I certainly believe that a teacher can get you there faster, provide direction, structure, shortcuts, knowledge, etc. It never hurts to try a lesson. The worst thing that will come of it is that you will get your money's worth and decide you'd rather go back to self teaching.


   
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Wes Inman
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I am self-taught, but not of choice. When I started guitar I really didn't have money for lessons.

But David is right, very few are truly self-taught. I would constantly go to the music store and look for good books. I learned much through them. And I played with other more advanced players and stole everything I could from them. 8)

I think the worst thing about learning on your own is that it takes longer. Also, I do not read guitar music well. I really wish I could.

The greatest advantage to being self-taught in my opinion is that it develops a very good ear. I learned much from listening to recordings and trying to figure them out. I think I have a very good ear from doing this. To me that is the best thing about being self taught.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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Musenfreund
(@musenfreund)
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Maybe I'm wrong, but if your premise is that when people are struggling and post on the forum that they're struggling and need help, then it's perfectly reasonable for someone to suggest that getting a teacher is an option worth exploring.

I've never seen anyone suggest that a player who wasn't struggling should find a teacher.

I'm a teacher, but not a music teacher. My philosophy of teaching is that a teacher is a coach who helps you explore your own potential and develop your skills and talents. But if you're unwilling to learn (which I think everyone here mischaracterizes as being self-taught. No one "taught" herself or himself. Instead everyone learned), no teacher can help you.

Now, it's interesting to me that most sports teams see the need for a coach, but, of course, they could play well without a coach. I doubt if they'd win often, but they could play.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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Boogieman
(@boogieman)
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I consider David Hodge and Little Brother to be my guitar teachers. I in case I haven't told them in awhile, I appreciate each and everything they've done and I'm sure will continue to do for me and our Guitar Community.

Thanks Guys. :D


   
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Mike
 Mike
(@mike)
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Now, it's interesting to me that most sports teams see the need for a coach, but, of course, they could play well without a coach. I doubt if they'd win often, but they could play.

They could play, but in a pinch, who are they going to look for when they are 3rd and 10? Coaches/Teachers are there for guidance. To help aid one in the path they've chosen.

Myself? I went to a teacher for 4 weeks just to watch him play. Heck, I can put in a DVD and see that! So, I stopped going. I would like to find a teacher now-a-days, but my life right now doesn't suit it.

Case in point, no, I'm not “self taught”. I've been here taking in the lessons and read tabs (for now) and learn. It's all about the “ear”. One thing I've learned is when I'm off, to me, that is the beginning stages of learning how to construct.

I excel more when I'm playing/learning/jamming with others, so that again is a lesson.

I think being “self taught” requires a plane dropping a guitar onto an island with no one around to help you. No tab/sheet music, no internet, no friends and no clue.


   
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