#1
"There are many ways to skin a cat", so the saying goes (aside from desperate hunger, I can't figure out why someone would do it. But that's me). Well, there are even more ways to learn the best instrument in the world: the guitar.

Which do you think is best: formally taught or self-taught? What's your experience?


-6SV
#2
Quote by 6StringVeteran
"There are many ways to skin a cat", so the saying goes (aside from desperate hunger, I can't figure out why someone would do it. But that's me). Well, there are even more ways to learn the best instrument in the world: the guitar.

Which do you think is best: formally taught or self-taught? What's your experience?


-6SV


If u've got a good teacher, self taught. It helps having someone to tell u what what your doing wrong.
#4
How did your favourite guitarists learn to play? Be like the people you want to be like. There are so many resources available on the internet these days for free that weren't around when I was learning. Teachers are everywhere.
#5
Well, my local guitar "teacher" was a Classical Guitar Snob, and I took lessons from him for about a year, then went Self-Taught.

I agree with stoltobot, and I also believe in the "ear taught" method of guitar, in which you use little to no tabs, and figure songs out by ear.
Gear:
Fender FSR Standard Stratocaster SSS (MIM Gilmour Black Strat) -
Agile AL-2000 CSB -
Fender Super Champ XD -
Homemade Talkbox -
THE BORG COLLECTIVE
#6
I prefer self taught, i'm not interested in being as technical as possible or knowing a lot of theory, i'm interested in trying to develop some kind of original sound to my playing and trying to avoid just sounding like 'any other guitarist'. The better you become at guitar, the easier it is to just sound like a generic alright guitar player.
#7
Quote by Zoot Allures
I prefer self taught, i'm not interested in being as technical as possible or knowing a lot of theory, i'm interested in trying to develop some kind of original sound to my playing and trying to avoid just sounding like 'any other guitarist'. The better you become at guitar, the easier it is to just sound like a generic alright guitar player.



to me, learning theory is just like learning different techniques; They are both tools to help you express yourself more fluidly through your instrument, not things that serve to limit you stylistically. Although with guitarists like Rusy Cooley, that's exactly what happens.

I feel like whether or not you're paying somebody, if you listen to music or study other guitarists there's always a teacher in your life. You're learning to develop your own style through analyzation of others. I think when you're just starting to learn how to play guitar, a teacher can be incredibly helpful because honestly, guitar is a confusing instrument and there's so much you can do with it that it can be overwhelming just starting out. But when you begin to have more experience and know what you want to do with the instrument, i think if you have the determination and perseverance there's really no difference in whether or not you teach yourself or have someone help you.

Bottom line, it doesn't really matter and a great musician is a great musician regardless of formal training
I'm a dude, he's a dude, she's a dude, we're all dudes HEY!
#8
Quote by ItsThatDude
to me, learning theory is just like learning different techniques; They are both tools to help you express yourself more fluidly through your instrument, not things that serve to limit you stylistically. Although with guitarists like Rusy Cooley, that's exactly what happens.

I feel like whether or not you're paying somebody, if you listen to music or study other guitarists there's always a teacher in your life. You're learning to develop your own style through analyzation of others. I think when you're just starting to learn how to play guitar, a teacher can be incredibly helpful because honestly, guitar is a confusing instrument and there's so much you can do with it that it can be overwhelming just starting out. But when you begin to have more experience and know what you want to do with the instrument, i think if you have the determination and perseverance there's really no difference in whether or not you teach yourself or have someone help you.

Bottom line, it doesn't really matter and a great musician is a great musician regardless of formal training

Well there's 'knowing theory' and then being taught it. I mean, i know some theory or i wouldn't be able to play anything, but the things i do know sometimes i don't know the name of the scale that the thing is in, or why the notes work but i can hear that they sound how i want for instance.

One riff i made with my band uses the chords B,A,G,F,D which is apparently dorian mode but i was told this after i asked my drummer a few weeks later but if it sounds right then it is right is what i'm trying to say , in regards to a lot of this.

Also i get annoyed at all the lessons about how to hold the neck and such, i've never had any problems and neither has my dad (who never got lessons) with his hands and he's been playing for years and years.

edit: regardless of me knowing theory or not though, even now i can see how easy it would be to become 'just another guitar player'. It's hard to get a signature sound in a world where everyone plays the guitar anyway, but often people who know next to nothing have more of a 'sound' to them. I probably had more of a sound when i was very nooby in some ways.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Jun 18, 2011,
#9
I agree with most of that article actually. Quite refreshing compared to the ones similar to Tom Hess' about being self taught. I thought it presented most arguments in a fairly non-biased way.
#10
i wish i had been classicly taught, but my older brother showed my D,G,C,F,A. everything else i play is purely from trial and error. The one thing I think is an advantage of the way I learned it, is I have a pretty good ear for music, and I use some unconventional styles because of it.
I guess to each his own!
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
It really depends on what you want to play and whether or not you want to write new music. If you want to play like most rock guitarists you can get by just fine with DVD and internet lessons. If your idea of solos is just noodling arpeggios up and down the neck at breakneck speed you can even play lead without help. But if you want to play and write complex, genre-mixing stuff like Chet Atkins, Prince, Brian Setzer, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Tom Morello you're probably going to need some serious training with master instructors.

But formal instruction is only good if the teacher is good. I had years of teaching under a guy who was supposed to be great because he taught a few local guitar prodigies. All he did was confuse the crap out of me. It was only later that I realized he never explained theory, taught some things flat-out wrong, and left gaping holes in stuff like only teaching me chopped up chunks of scales. He was known as a great teacher because he happened across some great students. But I would have been much better off spending those thousands of dollars on a nice guitar and a $100 mail-order course.
#12
Quote by Zoot Allures
Well there's 'knowing theory' and then being taught it. I mean, i know some theory or i wouldn't be able to play anything, but the things i do know sometimes i don't know the name of the scale that the thing is in, or why the notes work but i can hear that they sound how i want for instance.

One riff i made with my band uses the chords B,A,G,F,D which is apparently dorian mode but i was told this after i asked my drummer a few weeks later but if it sounds right then it is right is what i'm trying to say , in regards to a lot of this.

Also i get annoyed at all the lessons about how to hold the neck and such, i've never had any problems and neither has my dad (who never got lessons) with his hands and he's been playing for years and years.

edit: regardless of me knowing theory or not though, even now i can see how easy it would be to become 'just another guitar player'. It's hard to get a signature sound in a world where everyone plays the guitar anyway, but often people who know next to nothing have more of a 'sound' to them. I probably had more of a sound when i was very nooby in some ways.


Your drummer is an idiot, just so you know.

OT: I'm all self taught, it's more of a pride thing than anything. I've always had this do it myself or don't do it at all thing though, so take that as you will.

My things:
Bowes SLx7
Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

#13
I'm self taught but I try to learn music theory as well because I know it will help. Stuff like learning scales, and then re learning them in different tunings, then trying to apply them to a solo or a riff or something.
Gear:
Shecter Omen 6 with Seymour Duncan SH-6
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Fender Frontman 25r (crappy)
MXR CAE WAH
Digitech HardWire TL-2 Metal Distortion (Makes the amp sound not shitty)
#14
Quote by stoltobot
How did your favourite guitarists learn to play? Be like the people you want to be like. There are so many resources available on the internet these days for free that weren't around when I was learning. Teachers are everywhere.


This is what I was thinking. Most, if not all, of the musicians that inspire me where self taught, and I hope to continue that.
#15
both - good to figure stuff out and find your own style but its also good to have a teacher help you understand important concepts. many things in music are not easy to understand if you dont have a musical background and a teacher can force you to learn techniques you wouldnt normaly use

its like going to a gym. if you pay the fee, your probably more inclined to go. if you pay for lessons and are sitting in front of a guy for an hour, your going to learn new stuff rather than playing zeppelin at home

i would nto understand modes and scales without a teacher