I've been taking guitar lessons for about a month and a half now and have been told that generally people only need to take lessons for about 3 months. I'm wondering when would it be a right time to stop taking lessons and learn the details on my own? What is the absolute thing that must be learned before I stop taking lessons?

When you stop learning.
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when you feel that you aren't learning or gaining anything from the lessons would be a good time to stop. I took lessons for about 4-5 months (split up between 2 teachers).

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When you stop learning.

This ^

Bear in mind that, depending on your goals as a guitarist, you are never likely to stop learning. However the curve will slow down. If your teacher is a good teacher I would keep going for as long as you can until you feel it is time to leave. Whoever told you that 3 months worth of lessons is enough is talking sh!t (again, depending on your goals as a guitarist.)
Stop when:

a) You run out of money

b) You're better than your teacher*

*Find a new teacher
I never took lessons but my guess would be the same as them. When you stop learning or it slows down to the point where you get bored with lessons and want to try things on your own.
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There's always someone out there who can show you a thing or two. Even really great guitarists take lessons.
A month and a half isn't that long. I took lessons at first for at least a year until I could figure out songs myself - so I had the ability to play chords, strum, bar chords, hammer ons/pulloffs...and developed my ear enough to figure out songs.
Then when I wanted to learn a new style (jazz) I started taking lessons again. so it's combination of self learning and guidance especially for new styles/beginners so you don't develop bad habits.
john 5 still takes lessons and Randy Rhoades always looked up teachers when he was in a new town. Theres proof enough you are never too good to take lessons.
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I've been taking guitar lessons for about a month and a half now and have been told that generally people only need to take lessons for about 3 months. I'm wondering when would it be a right time to stop taking lessons and learn the details on my own? What is the absolute thing that must be learned before I stop taking lessons?


There is no set amount of time that people "need to take guitar lessons". In general people that are serious about and enjoy their lessons stick with them for years.

The best thing you can do is to not worry about it for now. Be a good student and allow your teacher to guide you. If you get to a point where your no longer progressing....... move on.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 4, 2009,
well i remember my teacher in school is in his 60's and was a great guitar player and he said even he still takes lessons every now and then. my friend takes lessons for fiddle now and then but its mostly to bounce ideas off an experienced player. he usually doesnt actually teach her something new everytime. sometimes they just jam.

if you are at a point where you feel the teacher isnt teaching you what you want, or you've reached a point where lesssons wont really help anymore, then stop or find a new teacher. i never took lessons. mostly because i didnt have the time or the money. but when i did have the time and money, i had advanced enough that really the only thing a teacher could teach me was maybe some songs and maybe a couple of licks and techniques. but i could learn those things on my own. if i were to maybe try a whole different style of music, id consider getting a teacher. but for what i play now it would be just paying to jam with someone really.
When you feel that you aren't learning anything new, when you can play more advanced songs than the teacher, or when the teacher isn't teaching you techniques that are used in your genre after you finish up with the basics. I had a teacher who played only jazz, and coffee house music, and did itt all with finger style. I however, play metal/hard rock, and after I learned the basics, didn't really progress in the direction that I wanted to go in. I wanted to learn the super fast, EVH style of tapping, whereas she only really knew how to tap in some way that I don't have a name for. She also didn't know about common metal techniques, such as pinch harmonics, or sweeping. That was when I knew that wasn't going to go anywhere.
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a teacher can inspire you , but you have to put the work in to learn .
if the teacher purely spoon feeds you everything you probably want learn in the best way .
by sounds of things you need goals to work on in-between lessons .
your side of the bargain would be that you PRACTICE !
what ever you learn on your own , you will only be able to assess from your perspective which by nature will be more one sided than an outside perspective .

here is the teaching cycle used by many teacher in high/school school etc.

assessment, (scales are good ,aural not so good )
diagnosis, (work on aural skills )
preparation,( listen to examples , then give a simple test)
instruction, ( have a listen to this interval is a major or minor 3rd ? )
assessment ( knows major 3rd not sure of minor 3rds)
on so the cycle continues
it depends if you still think youre learning anything. When you are as good as your guitar teacher then consider stopping. Some styles of music require more time than others like blues and rock and different soloing, slap and pop techniques take time and lots of practice to ace. i play blues and rock jimi hendrix style soloing and i need to keep playing to make sure i know every type of technique there is in blues. So it depends on what style and how much practice you do.
When you feel ready to learn on your own.
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this is the ONLY right answer

you will never know all there is to know, even joe pass for example who had learnt more than pretty much anyone said he still wasnt close to knowing half of what there is to know

you can however need a new teacher at times but if youre any kind of serious about music, never stop taking lessons!
Who told you to stop after three months? People spend years earning BAs and PhDs in music.

Stop taking lessons if:
1. You can't afford them
2. You become better than your teacher (get a new teacher at this point)
3. You want to spend your music-time on writing music or playing with a band...this will probably take up all of the time you can spend on music
4. You want to

You may want to change teachers, but needing a new teacher (for more adanced lessons) is quite different from stopping.
I've been taking lessons for about 3 years and there is no end in sight with my teacher and I keep improving so it will be a long time before lessons stop for me.
I enjoy Music

Honestly, you never stop taking lessons. Even professional musicians still take lessons. Although they are not "regular" one hour once a week lessons.

In the classical world, say you have a trumpet player who makes a living in a brass quintet. He would go to a college professor (lets say at University of Illinois because they have great faculty brass) and take one lesson thats probably about an hour long and would probably cost at LEAST $75. But in that lesson, the focus is not on technique, but concepts. Concepts like tone, and style, and general musicianship. Whereas the lessons your taking are probably based more on technique.

To give you an idea of how long you can take "regular" private lessons for; I am a classical tuba player by trade. Ive taken a lesson once a week since I was in 4th grade and I will continue to receive that individual attention until I graduate college.
All I'd say is if people give you a time limit "3 months" or whatever then don't listen to them. Take lessons for as long as you can afford it or as long as you feel you are getting benefit from it.

If you feel that teacher has nothing left to offer you find a new teacher.
to me it depends on the teacher. I say 3 months is enough to get the basics down and be able to learn on your own, but if you have a good teacher you'll keep progressing a lot faster than if you decide to go your own way.

I had a teacher for the first 7 months or so, but he wasn't a good teacher really. he got me going, taught me the basics, and then when he started teaching me theory it was a mixture of half right unorthodox bullshit. then he got fired from the place he was at for some reason and I started learning on my own. it was probably about a year before I'd relearned all the stuff he taught me wrong (stuff like scales and chord construction that were only partially true and poorly taught so that I misunderstood most of it)