#1
I feel that I'm not getting a lot of my guitar lessons. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be half as good without them, but lately it seems like I'm not accomplishing anything. Here's how a typical lesson goes:

We would start with a warm-up. Usually a variation of the 1-2-3-4 chromatic exercise. Then we would go over whatever I was assigned in the big sight reading book I have. After that, we would usually work on a song.

The problem is I pretty much can do all that my own. I usually warm up before the lesson so there's no point in doing that. Also I could also learn songs on my own. Well, it would take me way longer to do that but I still could do it if I worked really hard. Sight reading is the only thing that, I don't know, gives me a feeling of accomplishment each lesson.

I also started taking keyboard lessons, had my first lesson last Tuesday. Both lessons are right after another. Anyways, I only had one lesson and I felt that I learned a lot more in one lesson then I did with three years with my guitar instructor. What I mean by that is the very first lesson we went over triads (major, minor, diminished, augmented, suspended) and I don't even know how to play them. I can play all of those chords on guitar but I had to learn them on my own. The only theory I learned from my guitar lessons was 'this is what a major scale looks like.'

So my question is how can I tell my guitar instructor? I mean I don't want to say "You're teaching me all the wrong things" or something along those lines. I do enjoy taking lessons but they could be better.

Yes, I do realize in a way it's my fault. How can he know what I want to learn if I don't tell him? But my question is how can I? I can't just start rearranging everything all of a sudden.

Wow, long post. Thanks for any help!
#2
sure you can! you're paying for them so YOU'RE in charge
i had a similar problem when i tried taking lessons, but it turns out after two lessons when i said i want to learn ________ that i had more experience and knowledge than the teacher. i laughed, thanked him for his time and never came back.

make sure you dont know more than your teacher. and if he still isn't teaching what you want after you talk to him, find a different teacher. in my experience (and from hearing from friends) most aren't good. very few teachers actually are skilled players and are good with theory. try finding a teacher who has played professionally or who has a degree in it if you REALLY want to get anything out of lessons
#3
Well, keyboard lessons will teach you a lot more and it'll seem to progress more efficiently. Confront your guitar teacher, though. Tell him you feel unchallenged and that you feel you aren't being taught enough. If he's like many teachers (myself included), he'll listen and rearrange his lesson agenda to what it should be or what you want it to be.
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#4
My guitar teacher was great she helped me in so many ways. Of course she moved buildings and is too far for me to drive for a 30 min lesson every week. But she asked me everyday what i wanted to learn or she would teach me theory and some techniques to really improve my playing and it all really helped. And she taught at colleges and all that so she was experienced. But ask him what you want to learn cuz like the others said its your money. Also make sure he knows enough about playing and theory.
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#5
hey guys this is how my guitar lessons go:

-walk in say hello
-talk about the assignments I had
-do something totally different from two weeks earlier - for about 5 minutes
-get sidetracked on Yngwie (always him even though I dont like him) and classical music
-joke about Jimmy Page with my teacher and imitate his aweful soloing

thats about it. I cant believe I pay money for that but its really entertaining
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#6
Jimmy Page has awful soloing? Rrrrrrrriiiiiight. Next you going to say he knows jack about songwriting too
#7
I agree with most of the people in their response, however, let me approach this from a Teachers point of view.

What I teach, and what I have developed, is better than anyone else around. So what I teach, is what I specialize in. I can do it better, faster than anyone else. If what I do is what I believe in doing, your money isn't going to dictate what you learn. If you swing money at me and say you'd rather learn to tap a Jeff Loomis solo, then I'm going to tell you to find another teacher that will do that, because what I do, I do from conviction and belief, and not because someone throws money at me. Decide what you want, and get a teacher that will do it.
#8
Quote by ErnestoFidel
-joke about Jimmy Page with my teacher and imitate his aweful soloing


If you mean technique, then I agree, but if not, you make me angry.
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#9
Wow, I feel really stupid. Thanks for pointing that out. He's getting paid to teach me so of course I get to decide what I learn.

I'd say he's a decent teacher but it's different sometimes. Like one time I brought in a piece for jazz band for him to help me with. We spend only a couple of minutes on it and I later found out some of the chords he gave me had completly wrong notes in them. I had to figure it all by myself. It's like "Now that's out of the way, lets play some Iron Maiden!" Well you could see it as becoming more independent, but that defeats the purpose of having a instructor.

Other times, however, it's like 'Wow, I never would of never got that on my own. I'm glad I have him to help me.' The point is, it's not like he's a horrible teacher.
#10
Quote by ErnestoFidel
hey guys this is how my guitar lessons go:

-walk in say hello
-talk about the assignments I had
-do something totally different from two weeks earlier - for about 5 minutes
-get sidetracked on Yngwie (always him even though I dont like him) and classical music
-joke about Jimmy Page with my teacher and imitate his aweful soloing

thats about it. I cant believe I pay money for that but its really entertaining


That's funny, my teacher and I usually tell funny anecdotes about Jimmy, learn his songs and then discuss briefly how f*ckin rad he is. Sounds like I'm getting the better deal :P
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#11
Just have a chat with him and tell him you'd prefer to focus on technique and theory (or whatever it is you want to learn) in your lessons, rather than learning songs (unless they are songs he's specifically choosing to cover specific techniques/theory he's teaching you). You could make the warm up more interesting and useful too if you wanted - my teacher always starts the lesson by throwing a rhythm line at me, and we take turns improvising over it (which means I get to play rhythm and lead, I get some hints at what I could do over it from what he plays, and we both get to warm up).
#12
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
I feel that I'm not getting a lot of my guitar lessons. (...) lately it seems like I'm not accomplishing anything.
When you start out, everything is new. So naturally you learn a lot. You have to. After some years, you mainly learn to improve slightly. It's natural that you don't feel like every lesson moves mountains. But believe me, you do improve. If you want to convince yourself, record one of your practice sessions at home. A simple tape recorder will do. And do the same six months later. Listen to both tapes and you will hear the difference.

Personally I think teachers can help you mostly fixing your position. You know, the way you hold the neck, the way you hit a string. But to really improve, you have to experiment a great deal by yourself. At some point you have to become your own teacher.
I also started taking keyboard lessons (...) I only had one lesson and I felt that I learned a lot more in one lesson then I did with three years with my guitar instructor. What I mean by that is the very first lesson we went over triads (major, minor, diminished, augmented, suspended) and I don't even know how to play them.
Well, in principal, an instrument teacher is not a music theory teacher. If he teaches both, then much the better. But it's not the main intent. Now, a keyboard, being the ultimate polyphonic instrument (more so than a guitar), is a very good teaching tool for music theory. I believe your keyboard tutor knows more about music theory than your guitar teacher, but that doesn't make the guitar teacher bad.

Also, after a while you'll be able to use your (keyboard) music theory knowledge on your guitar. You're already kind of doing that.
So my question is how can I tell my guitar instructor?
Ask him questions. Something like 'what's this chord in this song called and why does it sound so good after that chord?'. Ask him if you can learn more songs together. A teacher can help you analyse a song, but you still have to study it. Make sure you know those songs next sessions and ask for more. Prove him you can handle the extra workload.
#13
Finding the right guitar teacher can be very hard. First things first, you should make sure that your teacher has your goals in mind. If it's cookie-cutter, traditional lessons, it's likely to not get you where you want to be fastest. But if your teacher approaches helping you reach your goals from a 'geometric' approach as opposed to the traditional 'linear' approach you'll reach your goals much faster. And you should maintain some amount of say in what you want to learn, especially if you're wanting to learn jazz and he's teaching you Iron Maiden. All in all, your teacher should be more concerned with helping you become the guitarist YOU want to be, not the guitarist HE wants you to be.
#14
Thanks everyone!

Yeah, like I said before, it's not like he's a horrible teacher. I would be nowheres close to where I am today if it wasn't for him.

To be honest, he probably thinks he is teaching me what I want. A couple months ago, what we cover in lessons would be perfect. Well, then I there was this time where my playing ideas completly changed. I started to get into different types of music (blues and jazz especially) instead of just metal. I also started thinking what I want to go for when I go to college as I'm now a junior. Music education is my main focus as of right now. Anyways, originally I would be okay with just learning songs. Now I'm getting into all sorts of things like different styles, theory, ear training, improvising and things like that.
#15
you can talk about goals...
ok, pick 3 short term goals (6- 10 weeks )
and 3 long term goals ( 30 weeks )
the short term goals could be a way of getting to the long term goals.
say if you took a guitar exam in 10 weeks, then maybe you would be at the point to join a band in 30 weeks and book some gigs?

my point is goals are good as they will focus your learning.
i have had tutors who have made mistakes,but i had/have the upmost respect for them. they have been my tutors,if they make a mistake we laugh,but i know im the student they are the teacher.im the empty cup,fill me up!
on the other hand i have students,some can play faster than me,some can play pieces they have studied better than i can play them.
if i find out what there goal/s are.we will work towards them.
i see that as a key role,for me as their tutor.its not about who is the best guitarist.
#16
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Thanks everyone!

Yeah, like I said before, it's not like he's a horrible teacher. I would be nowheres close to where I am today if it wasn't for him.

To be honest, he probably thinks he is teaching me what I want. A couple months ago, what we cover in lessons would be perfect. Well, then I there was this time where my playing ideas completly changed. I started to get into different types of music (blues and jazz especially) instead of just metal. I also started thinking what I want to go for when I go to college as I'm now a junior. Music education is my main focus as of right now. Anyways, originally I would be okay with just learning songs. Now I'm getting into all sorts of things like different styles, theory, ear training, improvising and things like that.
So tell him that That way you don't even have to worry about thinking you might upset him, as your saying that your goals have changed, and you want to get more serious about your playing, so you want to learn more about music rather than continuing to just learn songs
#17
Just ask to be taught some more guitar based theory and then have some licks that help show it be implemented into songs. Stuff like that. My teacher is pretty bad as well so I get alot of my theory from asking my music teacher stuff during my composition class at school.
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#18
Repeating what's been already said, you're the paying customer, you have all the right in the world to change and alter what you're being taught.

If you're a responsible player you should be warming up before your lesson, so as to get the most of your time. After 3 years of doing that you shouldn't be doing that while he's there.

Start taking a pro-active direction and telling him what you want to be doing and he should restructure his lessons to suit you.
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#19
Record your lessons. Re-listen to them a few times. Many times the lesson is in what the teacher tells you, not what he shows you. Re-take the same lesson a few times and see what you get out of them.

And yes, they are your lessons. A good teacher will be able to show you what you WANT to know, and in turn show what you SHOULD know while he's doing it.
#20
Thanks again for all the help.

Well, I had my lessons again today. Everything seems to be going good. He takes things slow if I don't understand anything. I'm just going to keep at it and just ask for help when I need it. I'll just ask him if we could take a short break with the songs after we're finished with the one we're working on now. Maybe work on something like improvising.

My keyboard instructor pretty much covers everything else. He makes sure I know my theory, which is what I'm most concerned with as of right now.
#21
I reckon if your keys teacher is covering theory you're better off not trying to learn it from your guitar teacher too anyway - it could get really confusing if both of them were trying to teach you theory in different ways and covering it in different orders. I'd just pick his brains when you're stuck on how to apply somehing to guitar

And don't worry about your teachers reaction to you asking to do something slightly different. I'm betting he'll be pleased your being proactive, and happy you are interested enough to ask to learn something a bit different