Just Hired A Guitar Teacher

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by frankv, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Sean0913

    Sean0913 Member

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    Good luck man - a lot of years can quickly get away from you. I hope he's a good teacher. I have found that there's a big difference in being a good teacher,and being a good player.

    I hope it works out for you. I know what it can be like. I teach now, but in my early days I took lessons for a short time from a guy in LA, who grew up with Eddie and Randy (yes those guys), and taught some of what Eddie later did TO Eddie, he later went on to play with David Lee Roth. Pretty cool right?

    Except he was a terrible teacher. I still have cassettes of our lessons (yes it was that far back) and listening to them now from the perspective of a teacher, he was arrogant, and full of himself, and could play like a monster....he was just no teacher. I think he literally hooked people in by them wanting to have his skills, and that was his selling point, and people would pay hoping that would get them there.

    So, I hope that it works out for you. I'm not dogging this guy at all, and I don't want to rain on your parade, but be very vigilant about the teaching content, his skills and lesson organization. Make sure that you have a clear path between what he's teaching and how its going to get you to your goals.

    Best,

    Sean
     
  2. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    Good luck man! I wish I had the patients to go back and take lessons as I am 100% self taught. I learned from listening and watching. So with no formal trying whatsoever I have always felt as though I am a subpar player. Although I have always played in bands and written my own music, I do it all be ear. The one thing learning this way did was give me a good ear, but there is so much I would love to learn to improve my playing and writing.
    So truly, good luck Frank!
     
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  3. Eddie 70

    Eddie 70 Senior Member

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    Looking forward to hearing how it went Frank. I hope it is all you want it to be and more.
     
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  4. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thank you man. I appreciate the story. I know what bad is so this time I can identify what is good. I had my lesson and I am happy to say I got homework to work on. Actually written out on paper.

    I left there on cloud 9. The teacher complimented me a number of times durning the lesson. I guess my playing has progressed into an middle skill level. Made me feel good that most of what he approached me with I knew already. He was happy we can get into a more advanced topic next time. Which is this Saturday.

    It's good to be able to ask questions of a person instead of reading it in a book or watching a computer. I especially liked that I could stop him when he was playing stuff and ask him "what did you just do there" then get an answer.

    So far so good. I feel different this time. Maybe it's because I'm further along in skill then I was with the other teachers.. The first time I went for lessons I was scared to death. This time my confidence was over flowing. The teaches thought I was on Blow. :laugh2:

     
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  5. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thank you Mike. We all think we are sub par players.. Maybe we are but I know thinking we might be sub par is better then thinking we know it all..
     
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  6. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thank you Eddie. I think this is going to be a good experience for me. Heading into lessons with a good foundation already can only help me excel that much faster.
     
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  7. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Well two lessons have come and gone. Second past today. I'm seeing a major difference in this teachers style and approach.. I actually have homework.. That's a welcomed addition for sure. He's still evaluating my ability after teaching myself for 4 years. i am happy to say he is quite pleased that I didn't pick up too many bad habits.. He is correct when he says my chordal work is lacking and has started to address that. I have to agree that I have spent far too much time with playing lead licks then i have in actually learning how to make pretty music with chords and inversions.
     
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  8. Otto tune

    Otto tune Senior Member

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    Since we're on the subject of teachers, I'd like to know if you think they're more valuable as you're beginning, or after you can play, but want to get better?

    Also, what about age? Close to your's or does it matter?

    How do you find a good instructor?
     
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  9. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Great questions... I'll tell you my experiences. Lets see, hire a teacher as a beginner or after you can play a little?.. Well I think I got lucky. Lucky because i somehow found the right stuff to learn from when i was studying on my own. I worked hard at it.. Forming basic chords were difficult, you guys all know what I am talking about. Can a teacher make it easier.. Yes he can... He can prevent bad habits from forming that would be harder to break in the future. On the other hand. I don't see spending money for someone to show me how to do a D chord.. Or how to hold a guitar correctly. Or how to strum.. So for me, I wanted to reach a point in my playing where I could play songs and knew the pentatonic scale in all positions backwards and forward..

    Then I looked for the teacher. First at a local music store... then online in my area.. Both of those were failures.. The first guy was just not my style and the second guy didn't take me under his wing and just treated me as a student that would pay him each week. I had no feeling that he cared about me and what i wanted.

    Fast forward 2 years.. My playing got way better.. Playing every single day for hours will do that to anyone.. I found this current teacher really by accident. I wasn't suppose to be at a bar he was playing at that night.. I was blown away by his playing.. Especially when he did a tribute to BB king playing "The Thrill Is Gone".. I had seen him before and admired his playing but this time he was over the top...

    After the set I went over to him just to tell him how much I enjoyed his playing.. We chatted awhile about gear and stuff.. and then in passing he said he taught.. Well that was it... He is now my teacher..

    Whats most impressive about him is he gives me the feeling that he really cares about me.. That I like. He is my age 56.. and has been all over.. Los Angles, Nashville, Overseas... Tell me he was almost signed a few times but things always fell through. He's a theory oriented player and teaches me with with the angle that I should learn why I am playing what I play.. I think that's important but also cherrish letting my ear guide the way..

    in any case I think I'm going to be with Jimi Fiano for quite some time. I want to play like him.. His style and the way he plays.. So I quess that's part of choosing a teacher... Finding someone whos style is what you want.
     
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  10. Codeseven

    Codeseven Senior Member

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    I think in the distant past getting a teacher right away was much more common. As a kid (I'm 56) I remember a couple friends of mine that were learning to play instruments outside of school music class (piano and clarinet). I remember it was just a given that you had to hire a teacher to do that.

    Nowadays, with the tremendous amount of excellent learning aids available on the internet, 'at least' having the basics down 'should' be easy. Once you have a decent beginner foundation established, and your ready to venture into the more complex realm of an intermediate player, and you have a feeling for what you want in a teacher (this is important, some players I know that I thought were awesome players that I wanted to learn from when I started out, I only now realize are actually terrible players with very little working knowledge of a guitar), I think that's when face to face instruction can really make a difference.

    I've only been playing a year and find myself poking around intermediate level stuff more and more and it's not making sense as easily as the beginner stuff did. I've been contemplating getting a teacher lately and it might be about the time in my guitar learning journey to do so. Unless I know somebody that can recommend me their teacher, I'm really dreading the prospect of going through several till I find the right one, 'for me'. But, I think that's just something you gotta go through.
     
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  11. winexprt

    winexprt Senior Member

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    Shameless plug of my teacher Anthony Dalleva. This is from a gig last night here in nYc:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPBsIS4pKEY&spfreload=10[/ame]

    :D
     
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  12. Sean0913

    Sean0913 Member

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    I don't think it's something that you necessarily have to go through any more. But, I think it helps to have an idea of your goals, and also to know where the holes might be in your playing. There are many thing I do when establishing if I'm a good fit for someone.

    I take in account where they are and where they'd like to go. Short term and long term. And then I tell them realistically if I think I can help them, and if not, suggest a resource that might.

    I might be able to help at least shave off the time a bit for you. I'm not a believer in the selection of a guitar teacher based upon their "playing skills". Playing skills is going to be more about what you do, than what he can do. That's what I've come to find. Playing skills can inspire you, good players can even encourage you and give you the roadmap, but I'd debate that ultimately, it's going to be a matter of your own personal drive, and much immersion into music.

    I have students all the time tell me how grateful they are that they found me, and I mean this, it makes my heart warm to hear it, there's nothing like connecting with those moments when you get to see how you have had a positive impact into the musical life of someone, truly; but I always look at them and say "You did everything I told you to do. You put in the work at home. If you had not done it, you wouldn't be experiencing what you are right now."

    I get the credit, but the reality is, I don't think the credit is mine. I think the opportunity was given to me to sow into their life, and I was entrusted with that. I was given a place and time in their life to help, but they did the work. That's why my ability does not translate into what they have done. That was my work....they put in their work.

    For example, I don't do epic displays of shredding and sweep picking, but the mechanics are still the same, and I know what they are. But, I can teach someone how to sweep pick, and they apply what I taught and in a couple of months, they can do it, when they apply what I showed them. They put the work in. I don't, so even though I taught them, it's theirs. They put in the time, and the metronome, and the careful fine tuning of the practices that I gave them to do. I didn't.

    This has started to feel tangential, so I'm going to stop. I just feel as a teacher, that our role is actually overvalued, based upon our abilities. Chet Atkins himself could have taught me to play, but if I didn't put in the practice and do the work, not even he could make me a better player in that style.

    Best,

    Sean
     
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  13. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    I never had any formal lessons, there was'nt that many teachers around back them,if I wanted to play the flute or violin there was tons of them. So I made everyone who played guitar a teacher, they just did'nt know it.

    As a sidenote, one of the advantages of being a lefty is its incredibly easy to sit opposite someone and see what there doing
     
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  14. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for posting Sean. Of course it's the students work that gets the results. However I think you underplay the role of the teacher. I look at the teacher as my GPS. He puts me on the path and guides me to my destination. Without a route mapped out all the hard work put in leaves you travelling in circles.

    I was this way. I have all the books and courses anyone could use in a lifetime. Do they help. Hell yes they do, but there is no map. No one saying "learn this first then that will be easier"

    It is this I most needed in my learning because otherwise all the "work" I invest is scattered and without focus.
     
  15. Codeseven

    Codeseven Senior Member

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    That's a good point, just because someone can shred does not mean they can also teach. Knowing something and effectively relating that information to someone else is a skill that not everyone has, no matter how well they can play.
     
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  16. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yes indeed.. that's why I am blessed that my teacher can play and teach...
     
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  17. WholeLottaIzzy

    WholeLottaIzzy Senior Member

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    I've always been very dedicated to my guitar playing. I practice every day. And I mean practice, not noodling. I have made myself practice schedules in the past, too.
    I have been having guitar lessons since January this year. I have improved a lot, I feel. My teacher knows exactly what I want to achieve and he always gives me something that keeps me creeping towards my goals. You also have to do the boring stuff. Sometimes the most boring stuff is the most useful.
    I've been playing for seven and a half years now so my progress has slowed. Although since taking lessons, I have become a lot better much quicker.

    I think the main thing is working songs out by ear. I think that is the single most important thing you can do for your guitar playing. When you hear people say they want you to play what you feel, you simply cannot do that if you do not have a trained ear. It's like asking someone to describe how they feel when they haven't learnt the language. How can you play what you feel when you don't know for sure what those notes you're about to play will sound like? You need to pick the right notes that best suit your feelings. You need to be able to look at a note on your fretboard and know how it will sound. Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than guessing. Or an educated guess, at best. You also need to hear a note and be able to look at your fretboard and without even touching it, know where that note is on all the strings all over the neck. Soon, you'll be able to hear the thickness of the strings and then you can hear where it is played. When you hear a guitarist improvise and they sound bad, they probably sound bad because they are guessing, or reciting what they know. And it shows in their playing.

    Once you have a solid understanding of that, then you can feel what you play. And you only get that by working things out by ear.

    Good to hear you've got a great teacher, Frank. Sorry for the rant, it's just something I feel strongly about.
     
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  18. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Hey man...thats what this thread is for. I wanted others to share their student experiences. This way others at the crossroads of lessons or not can make a better decision. :thumb:
     
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  19. Sean0913

    Sean0913 Member

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    Appreciate your thoughts. My reward is seeing them happy and loving music and reaching and even surpassing what their goals were. I see it as a privilege to have the opportunity to inspire their lives in a musically positive way .

    A GPS is a great analogy. They can help you see where you are now, get the place you want to go, and help set the route to each place. It sounds like you have your head on right, and now I'm in the stands cheering you on hoping that you got the right guy for you, and by all accounts, it sounds like you feel that you have.

    I hope you'll continue to post updates on your journey and let us know how things are going.

    Best,

    Sean
     
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  20. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks Sean. I have been frustrated enough in not having a focus. Jumping from one book to a DVD and back to a magazine for years. Never really feeling like I have accomplished anything. Of course I have but it just seemed like professional guidance was the next step for me. I will still use the books to "fill in" but only material that my teacher is currently working on.. Staying focused this way will benefit me in ways teaching myself alone would not.
     
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