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Where do I go from here?


(@obsessed76)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Hi I am hoping some members can give me some advice.

I am a re-learner (picked up playing after a 12 year absence) and I feel like I'm looking for direction. I have been to about 8 or so "teachers" in the past 2 years. Some I only saw for one lesson and knew it wasn't for me, and some I've stayed with for months. The best instructor I've had so far was great with the teaching but a total mess in his personal life, often missing lessons or doing other things during my lesson time. The other ones I stuck with for a bit were also very nice people and talented musicians for sure but I often sat there with them looking at me saying "what do you want to do?"..

So now i jam once a week with a few people and I think that's definitely helped my playing, but I'm looking to keep moving forward. Can this be done without an instructor or at least a mentor of sorts? Or am I pushing myself into territory where I'll be spinning my gears forever. That said, I feel like I really don't owe a whole lot to any one person other than myself. I've put in all the effort and have had to earn every lick that I play. I have had to seek out everything to find out for myself. I really would like to have some kind of help "up the mountain", but wondering if all the resources out there (internet, books, videos) are enough to get to a point where I'm satisfied with my progress given the work that i've put in.

Anyway.. I'm giving the search for a real instructor a rest for a bit, but I wonder if its worthwhile to keep looking for a weekly person.

So I hope people have some thoughts that they can share with me. Thanks.


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

You can learn a lot on your own - you can learn loads of chord shapes, you can learn a scale or two for soloing, and you can get a long way.

You can learn a lot from jamming - I never came out of a jam session without having learned something - and you can pick up all sorts of tips and tricks of the trade from playing with other musicians.

And there are things that you need a teacher to help with - I've had a student here this afternoon who walked in with "Waterloo Sunset" by The Kinks (excellent song.) He'd got the chords working and he'd got the solo bits working - both from an internet tab - but he couldn't work out why some of the instrumental bits just didn't sound right. And that's where I came in - his chords were a whole tone different to mine, but his instrumental bits were only a semitone different; the end result was one frustrated student. A simple fix, you might think, and yes it was a simple fix but he couldn't see where to go and I could. So, he's gone home happy with the instrumental bits fixed and printed out in Powertab, the power chords at the start of the chorus explained, the chromatic descending bass line in the second half of the verse explained, and the descending mixolydian scale underneath the opening static chord written out and explained so he knows why it sounds like it does.

A teacher will sit there and look at you and ask what it is you want to learn - and rightly so. They're *your* lessons (and you're paying for them,) and you need to know what it is you want to learn before you go to the first one. I expect all my teenage and adult students to have an idea what they want to learn and do a good amount of work on it between lessons. If you tell me that you want to learn to play some cool songs, that's fine; I'll send you down the music shop to buy some songbooks because that's where you need to start and you can achieve a great deal without me. Then we'll sit down and look at how you want your interpretation to sound. You tell me that you want to learn to play lead guitar, sweep arpeggios and develop your two-hand tapping - great, let's get to work.

So, work without a teacher for a while and make a list of things that you want to improve in your guitar playing. Then phone a few teachers and say "This is where I've got to and this is what I want to be able to do"

"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: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@obsessed76)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

work without a teacher for a while and make a list of things that you want to improve in your guitar playing. Then phone a few teachers and say "This is where I've got to and this is what I want to be able to do"

Good advice here, Thanks.


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(@gotdablues)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 129
 

A few years back, I was hanging out with this guitar player who was much better than me, and he said; “Would you say your pretty good at your job?”. I said “Yeah, I guess” He said “How long have you been doing it? Eight hours a day for twenty years? Well that's about what it took me to get this good.”

I'm just sayin, It does take a while

Pat


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(@obsessed76)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

I'm just sayin, It does take a while

I hear you. I'm not griping about putting in the time, this is a life-skill for me. I just feel like I'm striking out with finding a decent teacher that can help me progress without wasting a ton of my time or moeny. I'm sort of burned out on the weekly checkup where we shoot the breeze I show him what I'm working on and not getting a whole lot of direction. I just expect a teacher to take charge of the situation more I suppose.


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 680
 

I don't want to turn this into a place where I utterly bitch about my teachers but I just want to put something into this discussion. The first guitar teacher I had (that I paid for) taught me how to strum, after I learnt that he didn't have anything else to teach me, despite the fact I was pushing him to do so.

My second electric guitar teacher was good at the start, pushed me forward to things I never thought I would do but let so many things get in the way, his personal opinion of the things I wanted to play (no I'm not bloody interested if you don't like it ), he kept pushing me to learn classical and he wasn't even that strong in the area when I came for lessons and it's always been a secondary thing to me though I am partly grateful he did because I learnt to read music because of that. Finally in the end, after our long course of time he just wasted my lessons with talking and worst of all showing off his new FX pedals and his playing. I do not goto lessons to hear someone play, it is for me to develop.

I try to keep all of these things in mind for my lessons because I am a teacher, I have learnt a lot on guitar from him, but more on teaching in the way of "what not to do" in a students lesson. Oh also,he sat and tabbed LONG things out in my lesson, you can do that in your own time please or get a program like guitar pro or prepare somehow, I am not there to watch you write a LONG tab.

Edit; one final note, I LOVE guitar but I want to spend time listening to music too and doing other things (friends, films, books, excercise etc...) I just can't relate to people who spend 8 hours a day everyday practicing, I want more than just music but that's just me.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@obsessed76)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

I sort of had a similar reply in a post of things to look for.

http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=51492#p453961

I've sat with a bunch of "teachers".. some ok, some really bad. most with no actual plan, alot of listening to them play, or checking out their gear. So I'm still trying to find someone that was like my first teacher.

We share some similar experiences with teachers that were not so great at actually teaching. I haven't had a teacher in a month or so now. I'm building up some ideas and experimenting alot but I really don't want this to turn into wasted time. I am a re-learner so I don't have all the time in the world to waste. I wish I never stopped playing but I have to live in reality.


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(@ralphmalf9)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Jamming is definitely the way forward. I learnt nearly everything i know from playing with others.

One Love


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(@obsessed76)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

Jamming is definitely the way forward. I learnt nearly everything i know from playing with others.

I think you had a great bunch of people to jam with. I'm definitely spinning gears here. Not that I wasn't with the last teacher but this is helping with the performance and execution of playing aspects but I"m not learning a ton.


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