Hey guys,

I have been taking lessons for about a year from my teacher. I have tremendous respect for him, but for some reason I am just not learning from him like I think I should be. He is a wizard with theory and he teaches guitar, bass, piano, percussion, and vocals. Music has been his life and his knowledge shows.

About a year in, my lessons are pretty much him playing chord progressions and he tells me to play a lead over it. We went over minor pentatonic, major, and all modal scale patterns so I am to take the progression he plays and fit something over it musically.

I find myself getting overwhelmed with trying to remember everything we squeeze into our weekly hour.

Does this sound normal or is it time I look for a different teacher that I can mesh with a little better?
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Happened to me as well.
Except I wanted him to teach me how to play lead, but he taught me how to play rhythm.
So I guess the problem for me was, boring lessons.
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ask questions, no question is dumb. if your not learning your not understand the basics so ask him question your paying him, your the boss, take charge

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Maybe ask to cover less in each lesson. I used to teach hour lessons (on the drums mind you) and sometimes I found the hour lessons tricky because it's hard to find a balance between keeping the hour fresh and entertaining and giving too much material to work with. I would suggest having "review" lessons too maybe at the end of every month or so to refresh the ideas you were taught and to reinforce them in your memory. I would stick with your teacher though, there are a lot of bad ones out there.
Sounds like a good teacher. He is trying to encourage you to learn to use your guitar to make music instead of trying to teach you a few metallica songs like most people do.
The problem is the length of the lessons. 1 hour a week? I'd be vague-as at the end.

I think that he is a good teacher, but I'll suggest maybe tone it down a little - I have 1 hour lessons every two weeks, but a half-hour each week would probably be the optimum.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
I had a genius of a teacher, great guitar player, could explain concepts plainly and simply, but he didn't always stick to my plan of what I wanted to learn, ( I think he followed a "set" lesson plan for every student) so what I finnaly did (as he was the only respectable teacher around), is I'd show up and try and spend the first twenty minutes asking questions, or playing a song or two, or going everything I practiced a week before. I learned tons in this part of the session. If I were to improvise, I'd make help endure a recording or two I made earlier in the week, and I'd make him discuss it with me for about 4-5 minutes. I got tons of useful applicable tips this way. We used the rest of the lesson letting him go over whatever he had planned, by doing this I was able to 1. Keep a managable collection of new things to practice over the week.(Which was great when it was things I didn't want to practice, or didn't interest me at the time) 2. Get feedback and review, and tips to improve upon what I could already do, and how I was applying the previous material taught.

Edit: This worked well for limiting what I received in the beginning. I couldn't handle the workload at the time, and it helped me get him to my pace. I send him the recordings during the week now, and so we use the majority of the lesson doing what he wants now, but this is how I managed my new lesson material early on.
Last edited by Shallon Dark at Feb 19, 2009,
I really like that idea, Shallon Dark. Most plans are probably set for younger students who have an hour or two every day. Being a working man, there are some weeks where I only practice 3 days or so. Good plan.
Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus w/ '60s neck
Ibanez JEM 7V
Jackson SL2H Soloist
PRS Singlecut SE
Marshall JVM410h
Marshall 1960a 4x12
Line 6 Pod x3 Live