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Teacher required???

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saint_duud
(@saint_duud)
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Topic starter  

I've been playing for a few years, and I've never had a teacher. My dad tried to teach me once when I wasn't interested, and that was it, and I don't really plan on taking lessons. Is that a terrible call? I want to keep getting better (enough to play at least semi-professionally someday), and I'm trying to learn more about music theory, but I always seem to learn best on my own.

Any opinions? Advice?


   
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progressions
(@progressions)
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It's definitely possible to be completely self-taught and become an excellent guitarist, but I'd still recommend getting a teacher. There are lots of fundamentals you can overlook if you're learning on your own, and you may not know it but years down the road you could realize that you're missing some vital pieces of learning.

After taking a few lessons from a friend in my senior year of high school, I basically taught myself the rest of the way and, twenty years later, I'm realizing what I missed out on and the solid, fundamental parts of playing, that would have made me a MUCH better player a long time ago, if I'd only learned them when I was starting out.

Little things like the positions of your hands and fingers, the way you practice and learn rhythm, how you pick, you can build up habits early on that don't help you, but with a good instructor you can learn the fundamentals that will make a big difference for however long you play.

Isaac

Isaac Priestley: World Racketeering Squad
http://www.progressions.org/
http://www.youtube.com/worldracketeer


   
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RickyB
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I was taught from day one. I went to adult education, and then later to college. I have also taught myself a great deal. You do really need a teacher to fill in those missing bits, and to structure you progress so you do not miss anything vital. Also a person who has a teacher will learn faster in general. It`s great to have all those bits that seem to fly over your head explained to you, so that you understand. I now work as a guitar teacher, and have done for 8 years. I still have plenty to learn as playing guitar is a constant learning curve, and i strive to learn something new everyday. I think a few lessons will not do you any harm, and may point you in the right direction.

I will say this. My brother is a brilliant guitarist, he has been playing for around 25 years, and never had a lesson in his life. And likewise my best friend. My best friend has been playing for around 35 years, and could not tell you what a scale is, and yet he can dish out some blinding solos, and scale runs. Half the time he does not know what key he is meant to be in, but that does not effect his playing. He says he plays on feel and instinct, and if he hits a bum note then he bends it, voila note corrected. He has never used guitar tab, or music notation, he learns all his songs by ear. The point is lessons do not have to be the be all and end all. You can find your own way, if you have the patience, the will, and the talent.


   
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kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
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If you want to play semi-professionally, then getting lessons will maximize your chances of being able to have the skills necessary to do that successfully.

There are lots of jobs for musicians out there that you can't get if you have an incomplete skill set.

The biggest thing a good teacher brings to the table is the ability to make sure that all aspects of musicianship are covered and that you have the grounding to achieve what you want to achieve.

Is it necessary? No. But there are hundreds, if not thousands of "self-taught" guitarists out there who are missing critical skills necessary to getting jobs for every guitarists who is a well-rounded musician. In a competative market place, which would you rather be -- one of the many, or the only guy for the job?

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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cnev
 cnev
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I would second everything everyone has said. I'm not sure what your definition of semi-professional is? You only make a little money at it or your not really a good guitarist/musician? Do you plan on teaching someday? If so I know I wouldn't want to take lessons from someone that was self-taught no matter how well you might play, you wouldn't have learned all the other skills involved in teaching, plus you might have horrible technique even though the music sounded fine.

Either way the best road is through someone that can guide your journey. Is this rocket science of course not so theoretically you could learn on your own but the chances of you doing it in the fastest, most organized way without missing any of the building blocks is not good.

Why have you made a blanket statement that you won't take lessons? No money? No desire? You think you can't learn anything from a teacher?

So my answer would be yes you are making a bad decision.

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


   
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saint_duud
(@saint_duud)
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Topic starter  

I made a blanket statement that I won't take lessons? Sorry, I didn't mean to.

It's just that A, I don't have much money and B, for a while I'm going to be moving around a lot. I've had many of the same fears that you all solidified for me, but it seems like there has to be some good books, or something, that could help at least a little?

Thanks for the advice, okay, I get it. I'll find a decent teacher as soon as I move next month...and can afford it. :D

Really, thanks.

Teachers aren't that espensive, are they?

Oh, yeah. Semi-professionally: I'd like to play gigs someday, get a band together, but that seems to still be a way off, and anyway, but "proffesionally" seems ...presumptious. Not good reasoning, I know.

Anyway, thanks. Proof that I need a teacher. Is it okay to just have a teacher for a while, or maybe from time to time?


   
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NoteBoat
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It all depends on you.

I've got one student who comes every year - takes 3-5 lessons, "takes a break", and I see him again the following year. I think he gets great mileage out of that... because he comes in with very focused questions on technique, theory, etc., and he uses his time off to really work at what I show him. He's at the semi-pro level, but I first saw him as a complete beginner.

I've also got a half dozen students who take lessons bi-weekly. Most teachers I know won't do that around here, but I figure if somebody's asking and I can pair two students in the same time slot (alternating weeks), why not?

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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RickyB
(@rickyb)
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It all depends on you.

I've got one student who comes every year - takes 3-5 lessons, "takes a break", and I see him again the following year. I think he gets great mileage out of that... because he comes in with very focused questions on technique, theory, etc., and he uses his time off to really work at what I show him. He's at the semi-pro level, but I first saw him as a complete beginner.

I've also got a half dozen students who take lessons bi-weekly. Most teachers I know won't do that around here, but I figure if somebody's asking and I can pair two students in the same time slot (alternating weeks), why not?

I have never understood why guitar teachers do that. I have been a guitar teacher for 8 years, and i do bi-weekly, and monthly lessons, and also half hour lessons, as well as the regular hour lessons. If you plan your weekly rota right, everything slots in quite nicely.


   
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saint_duud
(@saint_duud)
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Topic starter  

I thought about it and, thank you for the advice. I really think I will get a teacher, at least for a while, or once in a while, or something.

Many thanks to everyone,

Saint


   
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saint_duud
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Topic starter  

Speaking of which, does anyone know any good ways to find teachers in a given city?


   
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BennettP
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If (assuming your in high school, like me...) your school has a guitar club, you can go there. It's pretty fun, 'cause everyone knows something else, so you can teach, and be taught, and it's just an overall good experience, social, and guitarically (good word, I know). Also in college music majors, there are "performance" requirements, and you can take two musical instrument classes, and that might not be the same as one-on-one teaching, but it could help.

-Bennett


   
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RickyB
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Speaking of which, does anyone know any good ways to find teachers in a given city?

Go to your local music stores, they will have a database of local guitar teachers. Also tyr the Adds in your local paper under tuition.


   
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NoteBoat
(@noteboat)
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Music stores typically have their own teaching department - not a database. And while plenty of music store teachers are good, there are also plenty who haven't a clue.

Many teachers don't run newspaper ads, because newspapers aren't as effective as they used to be - not as many people are reading them. By far the best way to find a good teacher is through word of mouth. Ask good players. If you don't know any good players, ask a college music department for recommendations.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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RickyB
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Music stores typically have their own teaching department - not a database. And while plenty of music store teachers are good, there are also plenty who haven't a clue.

Many teachers don't run newspaper ads, because newspapers aren't as effective as they used to be - not as many people are reading them. By far the best way to find a good teacher is through word of mouth. Ask good players. If you don't know any good players, ask a college music department for recommendations.

That depends on where you come from. In the UK, most music stores have a database of teachers, i was on quite a few for many a year before i emigrated to Australia. Here in Adelaide, most stores have their own teaching department, and some do have a database for teachers. I am signed up to 3 stores databases. Also i advertise in the local papers. As i am new to the area i need to advertise, so i can get off the ground so to speak. The bulk of my students have come from the adverts i put in the paper. I hope to stop them soon as i am almost fully booked. Heres a break down of how i got my students. 20% through Music Shops, 50% through newspaper adds, and 30% through word of mouth. I also teach 2 adult ed classes, and hope to gain a few private lessons through that, as i have in the past.


   
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saint_duud
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Topic starter  

Thanks. Got a short list from the guy at a music store that I found.


   
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