Says he doesn't teach songs, only style, technique, etc. Wants to teach out of a hal leonard book. This guy has his own studio, has been playing over 50 years, and says he wants to teach music that will allow someone to play for a lifetime.

What do you think? Worth it or should I look for another rock and roll teacher?
you gotta learn technique and the basics before you can learn songs, then you can learn them on your own, this guy sounds like he'd be a good teacher
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No point in trying to build a house if you don't know how to use bricks and mortar.

I'd give him a go.
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a good guitar teacher dosent really need a book for reference, or to teach from a book, especially if hes been paying half a century, that being said, if hes been playign for 50 years, he probably knows his stuff.

He will be teaching you scales and theory then. But, you do need to have songs to put it into practise with to learn typical examples of musical styles, and things to base playing off of. both go hand in hand: lmake learning songs an independent study. i would have a few more lessons with him. if you arent satisfied, get a new one but he sounds good enough
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Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 8, 2010,
if you just want to learn the notes that other guitarists have played, why are you looking at lessons when there is a free tab search located on this website? Personally, i would never pay someone to teach me how to play some old Led Zeppelin tune, but I'd pay to learn the whole theory thing, and different styles.
Songs are more fun to learn... at first. If you only learn songs, you're soon gonna be wishing that you could improvise the hell out of some scales. If you learn scales and technique first, it's gonna be really really easy to pick up songs. Technique is far more important (and, in the long run, more impressive).
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Eh. All of the best all-round guitar players learnt by listening to records and working out songs for themselves by ear. Typically the people who go hardcore into theory and traditional technique right away with context tend to be the ones that end up making very specific and frankly rather boring music all their lives.
My favourite example is Aerosmith, where you've got Joe Perry who taught himself by learning songs by ear and isn't as technically sound but is a much more interesting guitar player, and next to him you've got Brad Whitford who is a traditionally trained guitar player who is a technically superior guitarist but is boring as hell. No surprise which one is almost always playing lead and which almost always plays rhythm.

I don't think there's anything objectively wrong with either route, it's just a question of where you would prefer to end up. Do you want to be the guy who's played for half a decade and has his own studio or do you want to be Clapton?
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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I know people who've been playing for years but only learn songs. It takes them so long to learn new songs that when they do it it makes them look like beginners all over again.

Honestly, the only reason to pay to learn a song is to get chicks.

Where's Waldo?

Learning from method books is great if you care about music theory and want to come at things from an academic perspective. But if you do study this way you need to make sure to get out and learn to play songs with other musicians or you’ll never know if what he teaches is too esoteric to be useful or even just plain wrong. I wasted a lot of time and money on a teacher like that and only figured it out years later!
50 years.
unless he only plays once a year. i wouldn't dare thinking about finding someone else.
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a man who teaches you to fish will teach you a life long skill you could put to use.

anyway good luck.
i wish i had a tutor like that..

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Thanks everyone. I wasn't expecting this many responses. This is great.

I agree with the "I can learn a song by myself, teach me the foundations" methodology explained above by many posters. I guess my biggest thing is that I have all of these theory books and feel why should I have to go to some guy's house to learn when I can study at home?

I guess mainly I would be going for technique reasons and trying to increase my accuracy
I think you should look for another teacher. The bottom line is that this person does not seem to teach what you want to learn. A solid foundation in the basics is all well and good, but far too many limited teachers hide their limitations by claiming that "I don't teach you to be a guitar player; I teach you to be a musician who plays guitar." That sounds good until you realize that there are certain styles and techniques that are essential to you, but that this teacher either cannot or will not teach them (most likely the former).

One of the most important things to consider when looking for a teacher is whether he or she listens to the same music that you do. If they don't, then it is unlikely that they will be able to get you very far toward becoming the kind of guitarist that you wish to be. That critical connection just isn't going to be there.

Ask any potential teacher if, in addition to the basics of theory and technique, he or she will teach you such things as lead playing (if they say it's just patterns in scales and leave it at that, then find someone else), developing speed and fluidity, shred technique (if they don't seem to know it it is to shred, then find someone else)...you get the idea.

The search for the right teacher is a lot like the search for the right guitar. It can take a long time, involve a lot of heartbreak and frustration and it can often be expensive, but in the end it is well worth it.

Good luck.
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a proper teacher should have is own structured way of teaching if you want to learn the hal leonard method go buy the books and teach yourself, it`ll be alot cheaper than paying him £30 per hour....proper teachers in the uk are registered with the RGT, i`d say give him a miss and find a better teacher, also get references off other students.
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I'd give him a go.


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Quote by Rangor6363
If you wanna learn how to play something, first you gotta listen it!

This happened to me, once. I was shocked. When i first met my teacher he was just getting into jazz but had been a metal/shred player. Was very good at all the music i wanted to learn, then for the second lesson, said, bring in a book and we'll teach from that. I saw him for the next lesson and that was it. The teacher wasn't into it that much and was not very enthused about teaching.

I would say give this guy about 2-3 lessons, if after that you don't feel a connection to the teacher, get some one else. Good luck.
I started my musical education by teaching myself out of a book, but it became a problem when I realized that I had questions that the material didn't cover. I also found myself wondering if the technique I'd taught myself was "proper" technique, or whether I was just shooting myself in the foot and hadn't figured it out yet.

So, in my opinion, if you want to learn theory, even if you have a book it's still handy to have a teacher. They can answer questions and provide guidance, as well as set up study plans using the material you want to learn from. I'm lucky in that my instructors teach me a mix of both theory and technique, and then help me to apply that to the songs I want to learn by offering me guidance on either overcoming the rough spots, or a watchful eye to make sure I'm doing it correctly.

I agree with the other folks. Give the guy a whirl for a few lessons and see how it goes. It really depends on what your goals are; me, I wanted to learn both theory and songs, and my instructors accomodated that. It is proving a lot easier to learn songs on my own knowing the theory, so it makes sense to go that route. YMMV, of course.
My teacher uses a Hal Leonard book for teaching music reading for about 15-20 minutes in a lesson. It may not be the most exciting part of it, as the tunes are very cheesy, but it helps you learn the fretboard, play in time, learn keys, scales, technique, and other theory stuff.

During home practice, I use the exercises from the book as a warm up for about 20 minutes and this is enough for me to progress. I agree it's not the most exciting part of playing the guitar, but it's probably the most important and useful part of my lessons. As a side note, if you read up on theory on these forums and other places, then your lessons can progress quicker as you already know the answers to his teaching and therefore don't use as much time in your lessons on it.

If your teacher is ONLY using this book, then I would be concerned. But if he mixes it up with blues riffs, a bit of metal, etc, and gives you new songs to learn each week then I would recommend that you stick with him as he sounds a good teacher. I believe it has to be a compromise of stuff that you NEED to learn, and stuff that you WANT to learn.

At the end of the day, it all depends on you and how good a player you want to be. Do you want to be one dimensional, or do you want to be a good all rounder with a good understanding of everything?

Give it a go, and see how you get on.