#1
Hello all. I'm new to guitar (I bought my guitar a couple of weeks ago). I have couple of good books about learning guitar and I was wondering how many of you are self-taught? is it better to take a guitar course?
#2
A teacher is ideal for your own sake. You can ask questions and get an answer that you can then discuss on the spot rather than ask questions to an anonymous majority of players as you would here. A teacher would be able to discipline you more into practicing weekly and can monitor your progress. Tell you what you're doing wrong if anything,

However, one is not necessary. I am self taught, and while not the greatest I still enjoy playing. I have however dealt with the issues mentioned above and would like to learn from a teacher sometime later in life
#3
Well, I'm completely self taught, and I'm not terrible at guitar.
Teachers can be a great advantage in teaching you and, as said, disciplining you to become a better guitarist.
However, I find with people I know who are taught, they tend to completely rely on the teacher, and then lack the personality within their guitar playing and writing. The perfect mix I would want is a teacher to teach me techniques, though, teaching yourself makes the whole 'guitar playing' package alot more personal and, well, you.
#4
To be honest, there's probably an equal (or thereabouts) number of players who take lessons, are self-taught, or a mixture of both, and this includes professionals. It's really just preference; if you aware of how to practice and how to progress properly on your own then you could teach yourself without difficulty.
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#5
you will gain a lot more from a teacher than those books in the same amount of time.
also a teacher can play something you have to learn and you can hear it and memorize it visually, see the words written down in action.

I was self-taught for 2 years and trust me, finding a good teacher is a must for a lot of reasons.
#6
Depends on what type of person you are,in my opinion.I am self taught because I can't get along with teachers.I have been instructed by various musicians during the 3 years I've been playing but I've never had lessons and I know shit about music theory.I know the notes on the fretboard,I can read chords and tabs,I can finger tap on guitar and slap on bass(after instruction) and I learn most of my parts on covers by ear.If you want to learn guitar as a hobby,self taught is better for you.I am more advanced than some guys here who have been doing lessons for 3 years,but that's the way I function,I use self teaching for pretty much everything.
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#7
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Depends on what type of person you are,in my opinion.I am self taught because I can't get along with teachers.I have been instructed by various musicians during the 3 years I've been playing but I've never had lessons and I know shit about music theory.I know the notes on the fretboard,I can read chords and tabs,I can finger tap on guitar and slap on bass(after instruction) and I learn most of my parts on covers by ear.If you want to learn guitar as a hobby,self taught is better for you.I am more advanced than some guys here who have been doing lessons for 3 years,but that's the way I function,I use self teaching for pretty much everything.


I bet you're not more advanced that most of the guys here

The best way is this without a doubt:

Get a teacher for a month/two months - he will set you on course and correct the really big questions to begin with and as you progress the smaller ones. The main thing is, a teacher is in person, and will set you off in the right direction immediately and you'll progress very fast (mentally atleast) with the instrument. As mentioned by others - the mental thought of knowing he'll be coming the next week (per sey) really disciplines you to learn whatever he's given you down pat - it's the natural instinct to not disappoint.

BUT - you have to find your own way on top of that, you have to play what you love in the end, you've got to play the instrument, develop your own personal understanding of that instrument and how it effects you. It took me about a year to discover that - that tends to be the trend, for some its earlier or later than that. It's more of a realization/epiphany than anything, playing time has nothing to do with it unless you play less than like an hour everyday.

After a month of lessons i got bored with "learn this scale!" etc etc - purely because i'd rather play Plug In Baby that some dull scales. However - keep the scales he teaches you and always learn new ones alongside your favourite songs. That way you do what you love and progress in two directions, technicality and passion.

Good Luck
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#8
I agree with Jerry, a guitar teacher will help you progress faster and will make sure you don't pick up any bad habits as you do, as well as providing you with the right practice schedules and material which is suitable to your current playing ability.

Despite saying this, I too am completely self taught, I've been playing for about a year and a half and have got good enough to play lead guitar in a band, so I'm not that bad. Although, I do have some bad habbits that could have been solved if I did have a guitar teacher.

A good way to go is get a guitar teacher for say your first month or two, learn what you can from them, get any questions you have out of the way, then try and go solo from there, it'll save you a lot of money in the long run, but will provide you with a good foundation of knowledge for later playing.
#9
I may be a minority, but i think a self-taught guitarist is a better way to take. Before you start sending hate mail hear me out. I think its better to be self-taught because you dont have someone telling when your doing bad, i think you would know if you were, and also if your self-taught you could learn the simplest thing and still be super stoked about without feeling stupid.

I am a self-teaching guitarist, ive been playing for two years now, and i remember when i learnt how to do finger tapping for the first time, its really simple but i was still really proud of myself, and thats wat i think makes a great guitarist. When he/she has tons of fun and has a desire to play.

a quote one of my dads friends told me, he has played the guitar for approximately 40 years, " How To tell your a true musician is when playing music feels as good as an orgasm", kind of weird i know but think about.
#10
I have two teachers, they both offer great variety and let me form my own play style, but they help me so much with questions and the mechanics of guitar.
#11
The way I "self taught" myself was by learning a lot of tabs. It's easy to take some techniques that other guitarists use, and using it to make your own sound.

Although if you want to learn faster and understand guitar better, get a teacher.
#13
im self taught, BUT i played bass for 5 years before playing guitar which i had lessons for
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#14
Yeah, I'm more or less self-taught, although my Dad plays too. He's not much of a teacher -- more like the old black guy from Crossroads that tells me I suck so I get better.

Looking back, I really wish my parents had hired a music teacher back when I was starting guitar. Being 9 or 10 years old when I started to really get into it, I didn't have a clue what I was doing or how to get better.

I'd recommend starting with a good teacher who will get you through that first rocky phase, then once you know how to practice, I'd cut back on the teacher and do it yourself.
#15
I started a year ago and got lessons from day one. I told my teacher that I wanted to learn theory so that is what we've been mostly working on and he definitely knows his stuff in that department. The way I see it if you want to learn how to bend, pull off, hammer on etc, you can easily find videos on you tube and ask questions in the forums. If you really want to get an understanding of theory then there is no substitute for a teacher.
#16
Self taught here, though I have asked my friends around and I jammed along with them sometimes, they used to give me advice. I can highly recommend jamming together with friends Grab a beer with it and you're good to go

Also, the internet is your friend, look up tablatures and just practice
#17
Self taught, i can play most intermediate stuff if i really try but im ****ing lazy. I'm gonna start getting serious though, i just **** around when I play, but i'm way better than my friend who gets lessons, we've been playing the same amount of time too. The way I see it, Teachers can teach you "what" to play.... but not ''how" to play, if that makes sense. I got a friend who plays bass, he's pretty good for the time he has been playing but when I jam with him, everything has to be in a scale... what the ****, scales are good and all and i want to learn them, I did teach myself the pentatonic scale kinda.... But I like using my imagination and playing from the heart.... Not a piece of paper.

Like Jimi Hendrix told Billy Gibbons... Just play Billy... just play...
#19
The question is what really is 'self-taught' ?

I actually tell people I'm self taught. Yep, I have been for 6 years.
But self-taught is a bit of a strong way to put it.

That implies I picked up a guitar and taught myself everything without even knowing it.
Now that's complex.
Difficult but possible.

I think a more suitable way to say it is internet-taught or book-taught.
And yeh, this definately saves money, but there is no way it saves time.
I would love to go back to when I picked up a guitar and get lessons straight away.
I would be SO much better than I am now because most of the time as a 'self-taught' guitarist you are beating around the bush.

And finding many internet sites actually created by Noobs. But at the time they seem right, you only realise 2 years later that you've been learning the wrong technique.

A teacher will tell you the right way to do it when you need to do it.
And this is much better than surfing around on the internet for a week trying to find a decent website that tells you the CORRECT way to do something.

TEACHER hands down. You will progress so much faster, and learn everything Right.
You couldn't learn a martial by watching videos and reading books could you?
(If you're answer is yes here, you're clearly an idiot.)

Which is why I'm getting a teacher in september.

Although, saying all that, eventually, I have got to where I want to be at guitar.
But very slowly, and badly.

If you do decide to be 'self-taught.'
Heres one piece of advice.
Learn by EAR!
Don't use tabs. (Most of them are wrong and even though your playing will get better, your understanding and creativity will NOT!)
#20
Honestly man a teacher CAN help, but they aren't required just as long as you do a s***load od research on what to do/not do so that you don't develop bad habits. Try to learn the notes of the fretboard and don't rely solely on tabs. Personally I believe the best motivation is to get together with a friend and learn how to play guitar together or get with someone who is already playing as go to him as a mentor. This usually helps me more because while you gain information over techniques/guitar parts etc, you also establish a friendly competition which helps you both improve faster.
I am self taught and honestly I know alot more than teachers in my area so take that into consideration before you decide to go for a teacher because you'll think they know everything, make sure they know their stuff beforehand
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#21
A good teacher is better than being self taught, since a good teacher will give you basic knowledge along with the tools you need to teach yourself in his/her absence... look at it as a two for one deal.

A bad teacher, on the other hand, might actually keep you from learning as fast as you might learn on your own.

Good luck with your search if you do decide to take lessons.
#22
I learnt from a teacher for a long time, and it really established me well as a player, and got me into good habits etc. I'd recommend it but its not necessary, some of the greatest guitarists just picked one up and taught themselves.
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#23
In my opinion, there's no substitute for a good quality teacher.

I had lessons for the first 3 years i played - this definitely helped my technique.

Out of every 1000 people teaching themselves from scratch, 995 of them will be using poor technique in some area or other - because people want to progress as quickly as possible and try to play too quickly etc. A teacher will stop you from doing this, will build you from the ground up and will teach you quicker than if you're teaching yourself. Without question.
#24
Quote by GilbertsPinky
In my opinion, there's no substitute for a good quality teacher.

I had lessons for the first 3 years i played - this definitely helped my technique.

Out of every 1000 people teaching themselves from scratch, 995 of them will be using poor technique in some area or other - because people want to progress as quickly as possible and try to play too quickly etc. A teacher will stop you from doing this, will build you from the ground up and will teach you quicker than if you're teaching yourself. Without question.

Sorry to bring this topic back up. But what makes a technique bad? I'm self taught and "internet taught". I stopped using tabs, If i want to learn how to do stuff, i just improvise my own licks and riffs. Is that bad technique... I wanted to learn slide..I couldn't memorize the notes...So i just made up my own things, I played simple slide licks too, like You Shook Me or Seven Nation Army.... Or i wanted to learn how to finger pick... I just did my own thing, I'm not the best at it but i can do it a little.
#25
While it's completely possible to become a good self taught player. A good teacher is a lot more beneficial in the beginning. Right now, since you're just starting, if you were to start with a good teacher, follow his instruction and stick with him, you'd be set on a really good path. A good teacher will help your playing now and later.
#26
I am self taught, for the most part, and I'm allright for a guy who's only been playing for a couple of years and has never had a lesson. That being said, stack me up against somebody who's been playing for the same amount of time as I have and has been receiving regular instruction, and I suck.

Get some lessons, it'll make a huge differeance. I'm planning on it.
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#27
I've taught myself for the last 2 years...my advice...don't do it. It is cheaper. But if you cna get a teacher then things will become so much easier. I wish i had started taking lessons when I first started in hindsight.

In my opinion you cna always teach yourself songs, but find an instructor for actual Music theory and such.
Have a good one,
Phoenix
#28
i'm self taught in guitar, but took lessons for trumpet first

i think it's better to learn music in general from a teacher, and learn enough to do your own thing.

jimi hendrix and jimmy page (the only two i know off the top of my head) were self-taught
#29
I am a self taught guitarist and the way i leaned was just by trying to play the songs i loved,,you'd be surprised how many great songs are so simple to play,,some easy tabs to look at are,( aerials: system of a down, dammit: blink 182, bro hymn:pennywise, seven nation army:the white stripes) just to name a few,,Nirvana was a huge starting point for me, all there songs are basic 4 chord power chord progressions, these songs will definetly help you learn your rythme and provide you with techniques that start you in the right direction,,i never took a lesson in my life, the trick is you have to enjoy playing, and to play for yourself! Ive been playing for about 7-8 years now and have greatly improved on my own(not to be cocky, but i can shredd ass!)Also don;t get discouraged if you cant play a song good, just take your time, forget about it for about a month, learn some other songs, then go back to the one you wanted to learn and HEY!!! what do you know,,alot easier than it was before!!!
just a simple thought from a simple person,

anyone has anymore questions about being self taught on guitar,or vocally, just add me as a friend and id be happy to help out.
#30
i taught myself man, but skipped alot of the theory and technical stuff and now im going back and learning it wishing i would have earlier. getting a teacher would be legit but just make sure you get an understanding for music not just looking up tabs
#31
Im not saying tabs are the way to go, but it is an essential starting point, once you learn the basic rythms and styles of the bands you are influenced by, you can begin to understand your instrument and create your own style of playing that is suitable for you, as opposed to being showed how to do things,(im not saying lessons are bad,i know alot of ppl who are amazing at guitar that took lessons). But stick with it and grow to love and enjoy the guitar, and feel what you are playing as opposed to "Trying hard to learn" , just have fun, take your time, and progresivly move forward comfortably at your own pace.

Another good thing is to jam with people that are better than you, these people can teach you alot...put aside your ego and take the time to learn from them.

When i joined my band, i was like a 3/10,(NOT VERY GOOD), BUT our other guitarist is amazing and just playing with him and learning new techniques over time has turned me into what i can say ( dont judge me, im not this cocky!But..) an amazing guitarist.

I don't know how you feel about the guitar but to me, its second nature.
When i get home from work i sit down and play guitar, not cause i need or want to practise, but just cause its what i do, i enjoy it, it makes me feel good, and it should for you too.... so have fun
#32
someone who just started guitar
can choose to get a teacher or learn by themself
but the important thing is to get all the positions right
if we start wrongly, it will be a big problem later on
although one might have reached professional/performing level
#33
First of all I'm self taught and I've been playing for one year. I'd say I'm reasonable for one year's playing without a teacher but I think it is better to have a good teacher if you can afford one. It gives you more drive and you simply just learn more stuff like technique but if you do do a lot of research on the internet and if you really fo have a lot of drive and motivation then you can learn guitar by yourself.
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#34
Many schools of thought on this seeing these posts and such. Having a teacher "can" be of great advantage but I also think there are many people who believe you have to be taught to do everything. In some cases this is true but doesn't apply to music necessarily. You can teach yourself calculus and trust me, if you can do that you can teach yourself guitar. The nice thing I found when I had a teacher was that I had someone to jam with. That's probably the most important thing I found. He would play a chord progression and I would solo over it and vice versa so that was nice. Damn I need more friends who play guitar. Sometimes the line between teacher and student can get blurred as has been mentioned here. You might find yourself emulating your teacher which would basically make you a clone of your teacher. Guitar is such a personal thing and you need to develop your own style. It's hard to achieve that with a teacher. Luckily my former teacher knew this and was constantly telling me to develop my own playing style. Now I'm completely self taught/teaching. I would go back to an instructor (maybe) for some really advanced techniques but I doubt it. Some of the world's greatest guitarists were never formally trained or had only minimal lessons and that's the road I've chosen to take. Yes it takes longer but the reward is worth it.
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