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When is the correct time to switch teachers

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(@roundi)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

I have been going to the same teacher for about 1.5years now. I have been playing for a little under two years. He is a classic rock guy and although I enjoy classic rock etc I don't generally have a desire to sit and play "ac/dc" in my living room. The family find it a little loud and annoying as well. I enjoy a lot of types of music and I would like to be exposed to a good variety. I have had a couple of teachers now and I found that they generally don't have a teaching plan for me. Is this the gneral rule?

I have heard about another instructor not far from my home who plays mostly acoustic folk /rock /celtic styles and I am thinking of switching but I am worried that I may just be getting impatient in my learning. I don't want to burn any bridges.

Currently I am doing my guitar teacher lesson "You shook me all night long" and also working though Easy songs for beginners as a bit of a counterpoint.

Any advice?


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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If you feel that you're not getting what you need, or that you've "outgrown" your teacher, then it's time for a new one. And, you don't have to burn any bridges, in case you decide to go back.

I would just tell my current teacher that I am interested in learning "acoustic folk /rock /celtic styles", and, unless he steps up and says "OK, we can start working on that", then tell him that you've found someone who teaches that and that you'd like to give it a try for a while to "widen your horizons". Do it in a way that doesn't knock your current teacher completely out of the water, let him know that, if the "acoustic folk /rock /celtic styles" aren't really what you're looking for, that you'll be back (whether you intend to or not). Teachers gain and lose students regularly. I'm sure he'll be fine with it and wish you good luck in your future pursuits. Honesty is the best policy.

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
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-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Is classic rock all he can teach? Is he a trained musician in that he has a degree or just some guy that plays well and decided to start teaching?

Do you pick the songs or does he? Have you talked to him about the song selection/direction you are going?

I've been through a few teachers and they are all different and the one I have now is so far the best fit for me. He does have a degree in music (not sure that really matters) and can teach pretty much teach any style that you want.

I play with a bunch of guys and it's mostly classic rock (not that I love it that much) so that's pretty much what we concentrate on.

we used to devote half of the lesson to technical exercises and the other half to working on songs but I've pretty much worked only on songs for the past year.

He doesn't have a set "teaching" plan per se as I pretty much call the shots on what I want to learn. He has never told me that the song I am attempting is above my current capabilities but then again there isn't that much classic rock that's all that difficult either. When I say that I'm mostly talking the rhythms and some solo's.

My goal is to be able to play blistering solo's but I ain't there yet and to that end I'm at fault. I spend much to much time learning new songs to play with the band that I don't devote enough attention to my solo playing , but in my defense we have a really good lead guitarist that I'm not going to outplay anytime soon anyway so in terms of playing with the band it works perfect.

First thing I'd do is talk with your instructor and tell him what you are interested in. if he doesn't think that he can give you that look for another teacher, but beware there are alot of teachers out there that are a waste of time so you might want to try a few lessons without leaving this guy before you commit.

But it's funny, I NEVER liked AC/DC music but ever since I started playing guitar I found that they are some of the most fun songs to play. i think it has to do with the energy I feel when I play those songs and yea they are usually best played cranked up. It can be annoying for others though. We practice with the band at my house on Friday's and the wife always dreads it and she is a musician herself....combination of LOUD noise and bad notes...Ha actually the band is pretty good except for the singing but we do play very loud.

"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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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I have had a couple of teachers now and I found that they generally don't have a teaching plan for me. Is this the gneral rule?

A lot of great musicians make lousy teachers.
I have heard about another instructor not far from my home who plays mostly acoustic folk /rock /celtic styles and I am thinking of switching but I am worried that I may just be getting impatient in my learning. I don't want to burn any bridges.

You should be able to learn to play what you want to learn to play, not what your teacher wants you to learn to play.
Currently I am doing my guitar teacher lesson "You shook me all night long" and also working though Easy songs for beginners as a bit of a counterpoint.

Any advice?

Be honest with your teacher and say you're not really interested in the genre of music you are learning, and would he be able to teach you the genre you want. If not, then you have to make a break. Give your notice and say you need to move on.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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The only thing I can add to is something that Minotaur brought up and that is "you should be able to learn what you want to learn" and I agree in spirit but sometimes what the student wants to learn they are not always capable of at the time. We all want to jump in and play our favorite songs but we don't always have the skill required and to continue forcing yourself to learn it will only get you frustrated.

I had a teacher briefly when I lived in SC who would not let me bring in songs he called all the shots on what we were going to work on. I didn't like it at first but realized that he had me working on alot of rhythm techniques at the time which I needed so in the end I think he did do me a favor. We slowly did start working on songs that I wanted to play right before I moved.

So my point I guess is that the instructor should be professional enough to determine whether or not you are ready for a certain piece of music rather than letting you go at it and just take your money. If they do that and don't work on the fundamentals needed you'll end up being stuck on one song forever.

"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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(@roundi)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 98
Topic starter  

Thanks for the replies guys it is all good food for thought. I don't want to make any rash decisions and regret them later. I am going to compile a list of songs I would like to learn when we finish our current project.

Personally I would love if he told me what I should learn to be a well rounded guitarist and we picked project songs which emphasized certain skills. I am still new enough at this that I am not sure I have the best judgement to keep me on this path. I expect I will almost always be a solo guitarist mostly playing in my own home and nowhere else and for this reason I like the Easy Songs for Beginners which usually have arrangements for single guitar (Thanks Dave).


   
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(@minotaur)
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...sometimes what the student wants to learn they are not always capable of at the time. We all want to jump in and play our favorite songs but we don't always have the skill required and to continue forcing yourself to learn it will only get you frustrated.

That's true! One of the guys I work with has a young son who's taking guitar lessons. Or rather he's learning how to play a song... he keeps plugging away at it, just learning it by rote. My teacher said probably 90% of his students (kids) just want to learn to play like Hendrix, not play guitar or learn music, just play like Hendrix. Then they quit. :roll:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Hey that sounds like me :D

"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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(@scrybe)
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Having just started lessons in jazz guitar despite it being a significant financial layout in my current situation, I thinkthe most crucial part of taking lessons is working out what you want to learn and then finding the best person you can to hrlp you accomplish your goals. With my tutor, I have good theory knowledge and basic technique so I wanted him to specifically work with me on jazz soloing and improvising, plus learning some standards for jam sessions. I picked a guy who is also a pro player (session work and gigs) and who plays at a local jazz jam session I've been attending. Those factors counted in my decision because I'm looking to make a career from music in some way, so getting tips and feedback when I jam, plus a general insight into the skills most needed to play professionally in my area is a good bonus to learning how to improvise better in jazz. I don't know how long I'll keep taking lessons with this guy, even though he's really good. If my goals change I may want someone more suitable to helping me achieve those goals.

You said you wanted to become a well-rounded musician. In that case, I'd consider looking for someone with a music degree or similar qualifications (for theory, tho many teachers who don't have qualifications know theory, you've no way of judging their knowledge so the certificate may be a better guarantee, ymmv), and someone who can teach a variety of styles. If you wantto play both electric and acoustic guitar, find someone who teaches both. Or work with two teachers, alternating weeks, one on acoustic stuff, and the other on electric.

Don't expect a teacher to have a magic plan for you to follow. By all means trust their guidance, but make sure you and your teache are clear about what your specific musical goals are, and don't be afraid to ask questions about doing new things.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

There isn't a real one-size-fits-all teacher model, IMO. I've had some great teachers who were degreed, and some great ones who weren't... and some really lousy teachers with tons of credentials. What you really need is a) someone who knows what you want to learn, b) can communicate it to you so you understand, and c) motivates you to do your best.

Reasons I've left teachers:

- they became unreliable. If they're constantly canceling lessons, or worse - not there when I am, I could do better (even if they were very good for me when they did show up)

- I felt they were "milking" me... giving me a 10 minute lesson (or less) spread out over 30 minutes. As a teacher myself, I know this can happen at lesson 1 - they don't know how fast you'll learn. But if it happens at lesson 10, they're being lazy.

- the opposite happened with one teacher; he threw so much at me at each lesson it made my head spin. I learned some good stuff from him, but really would have needed a couple months to absorb a lesson's worth of stuff - but the next week he was on to even MORE stuff.

- I had an interest that they couldn't meet. My tastes are pretty eclectic; if I wanted to learn a bluegrass technique and they could only do blues rock, I moved on.

- I outgrew them. That's really the best reason of all - it means we both did our job :)

Also, never feel bad about leaving a teacher, for any (or even no) reason. Teachers are used to that... because most people don't take lessons for months or years. The average guitar teacher needs to sign up 3 students a year for every slot (seriously). My own average is a lot better - over the last year I've had 1.68 students per slot - but that still means my average student takes just 31 lessons - even though I've got some who have been with me for years.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@roundi)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

What you really need is a) someone who knows what you want to learn, b) can communicate it to you so you understand, and c) motivates you to do your best.

I guess I should make sure both he and (more importantly)I know what my priorities are for learning guitar then decide if he is the best one to teach it. He seems to communicate quite well, I generally get the concept of what he is trying to say. Motivation is the catch I think. I am starting to feel like we are not getting to new skills etc, simply learning a new song every week or two. Although I may be just getting a little impatient and blaming him.

I think I will try and priortize my goals better and then make sure I am working towards them. It is possible that in a few weeks "All Will Be Revealed" and I will feel I made a great leap.


   
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