Thinking about getting a teacher
So I'm self taught and have been playing for about three years now, Started with Hal leonard guitar method book 1 and after that I messed around with some classical before turning to rock.
Big thing is I don't really know what I should be practicing. Right now I'm just going back and cleaning up my alternate picking and trying to learn a couple of songs(I suffer from "Learn to play half a riff badly and move on" syndrome :haha: ).
I don't have a problem with practicing, heck I've put in a lot of good practice time (apparently practicing the wrong things though :shrug: ). I just need some direction and I'm thinking a good teacher might speed my progress up.
So is a teacher worth it?, what makes a good teacher, what quality('s) should I look for, how many lesson should I take?,
Thanks in advance for any help
If you can afford it then I would definitely say having a good teacher is worth it. There's a lot about the face to face interaction that being taught by video or text just does not and never will have.
For a teacher, you don't want to be impressed by someone's playing ability; a good player is not automatically a good teacher. You need to find someone who can understand what you want out of the instrument and who can communicate effectively, that's really the entirety of teaching - communication. Also if you go to a teacher and they give you a bunch of songs to learn without explaining why or what the benefit will be, move on, that's not the kind of person students should be giving their money to.
As for how many lessons to take... keep taking lessons until your teacher has run out of things to teach. Then find a new teacher and learn everything they have to teach. Rinse and repeat until you're dead or you run out of money. Seriously, all good teachers will have something to teach any student so learn as much as you possibly can from all of them.
Finally, and I cannot impress this upon you enough: if at any point you have any uncertainties or questions about what they're teaching you or something you feel they've missed or anything like that: ASK THEM. You're going to be giving this person money in exchange for knowledge so make the most of it. I can't tell you the number of times someone has come in here with a question and somewhere in the question have been the words "my teacher said" or something similar; get your money's worth and ask any questions you have, if they can't deal with the questions or tell you to stop asking then move on. No one should ever be told to stop asking questions.
Yes definitely, a teacher is a fantastic move for a motivated musician that feels a bit lost in the sea of guitar and music in general. There is so much to practice and so much to learn. I was mostly self taught at the beginning and the only teacher I had was the Internet, it wasn't until I got a real guitar teacher that things started to click together better and faster. Unfortunately the guy didn't have a stable home life and we only worked together for about six months before I was back to teaching myself. Now that I'm a teacher myself, it's so much fun working with the motivated ones. So go find a teacher, but have a good idea of what you want to learn when you go in and hopefully the teacher can give you the skills to build up to where you want to be... And if they are a good teacher they'll give you skills that you don't know you need yet and when you realize you have them you'll be thankful that you got a good teacher.
Zaphod makes some excellent points.
If you feel like you are lost and don't know what to practice to grow (FASTER), then getting a teacher is an EXCELLENT investment BUT only if you find a good teacher
So, my Golden advice to you:
1) Do not buy a package of lessons. Sign up for ONE lesson. Then if you like the guy and you feel like he is meeting your needs, take another. Once you have 2 or 3 and can tell you'll like him over the long haul, sure you can buy a package.
But it's important to be able to cut your losses and move on if it's not a good fit (just like a girlfriend)
2) Make sure that you feel this guy is feeding you information, NOT just blazing through examples and showing you how good of a player he is
"Yeah, you are good. How does that help me???????"
3) Embrace your Foolshness/Shame/Embarrasment. Admit to yourself right now that this guy is going to be WAY awesome and when you play you are going to sound like Shit AND Stop Caring This guy is Yoda. You do NOT need to impress him. He will share the secret of all your weaknesses. It is your audience you need to impress.
Once you drop your ego and focus on learning you will grow WAY faster.
You should make mistakes in front of your instructor - so he can help you correct them and grow past them.
You should ask "dumb" questions that make you feel silly - so he can answer them and you will now be wise.
4) Be Honest about what Your most important goals are right now. Don't be afraid to change your goals and "make" him work with you on someting different from last week. He is your employee, you don't work for him. ;)
If you don't know what your goals are, just tell him you want to work on your foundation.
5) I highly recommend splitting your time between
a) learning songs
b) learning techniques
It doesn't do you any good if you practice 100% technique - you still can't play music.
It doesn't do you any good if you practice 100% songs - you technique is probably horrible and it's starting to get engrained FOR LIFE.
Happy Jammin! :D
All the advice give here is excellent and thorough. You've got your checklist to begin the search :cheers:
My advice, make sure you find a teacher that you have, well, chemistry with--one that you want to work with, not just because of what they can teach you, but one you are truly comfortable with and would look forward to seeing. Hey when you get right down to it, it's still practice, and motivation is IMO the most valuable asset a player must have!
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