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#1
I always thought that having a teacher and having someone there to help you along the way was the best way to learn. So why did the self-taught guitarists become the most successful?
#2
They worked harder to learn to play like their heroes instead of having some old man teaching them simple chords and crap like Mary Had a Little Lamb. More motivated, more driven.
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#3
electric guitar still isn't necessarily taken "seriously" in a university setting because the major focuses are typically classical and jazz, and if you haven't noticed, those aren't necessarily the most popular genres on the radio.

in fact, a lot of iconic players don't actually play anything particularly difficult. look at kirk hammett and the guys from poison. huge names, but you won't see them in a theory textbook for their contributions to their instruments.
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#4
Many that were self taught came up with their own styles, but in contrast many that were taught also sound like no one else and are also amazing. Check out the list of quality guitarists that Joe Satriani has taught for a start!
#5
i know but jimi hendrix and eric clapton didnt just pick up a guitar and know how to play a g chord... or did they?
#6
Well, lets define "Self Taught"... Stevie Ray Vaughan, for example, was taught initially by his Brother Jimmy, and then developed his own style later on. Now, granted, I'm sure that they weren't what most would call "Formal Lessons" and I'm sure that the Theory discussions were probably limited to Chord Progressions, and perhaps that the scales he was playing were pentatonic.

I'd consider myself taught by my Father. He taught me good posture, how to hold the guitar and a handful of chords. I didn't take any formal lessons until almost 20 years later when I'd decided that I needed to learn more than what I was doing. But, from the time that I exhausted my father's knowledge to late in my 20's, I learned a lot on my own.

The Lessons only lasted a few months, I learned quite a bit that I didn't know that I didn't know, and it helped me through the slump I was in. Now, I dont' profess to be a professor and a theory guru I'm not... But I wasn't totally self taught. I'll bet the guys that you're calling "Self Taught" didn't do it from scratch... So... I guess it depends on your definition...

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#7
There's a lot of guitarists that are famous that had a teacher too. Randy Rhoads had a teacher for one year when he first started which gave him the basics and he expanded upon them.

It's all about how far you are willing to expand by yourself. Those guys you listed had expanded on themselves from day one. They listened and learned and at some point started developing the style you hear today.

Having a teacher is great, I recommend finding one asap! But there should be a time where you turn the computer off, turn the television off, kill the radio, and hit the off button on your phone, and have some guitar time. Just you and your beautiful instrument.

This time should be set aside to try and play the melodies in your head, figure some chords out, or try and learn something by ear. Once you are able to play what you hear, you now can dive farther then playing with any scale will get you.

Look at George Lynch, amazing player (Not as good as he once was in my opinion), he learned all of Clapton by ear and jammed with live Clapton recordings. Jason Becker learned Eric Clapton by ear. His parents said he was able to play along with Clapton note or note. Stevie Ray Vaughan learned everything Jimi Hendrix did by ear. He even expanded upon a lot of Jimi's work. I could list so many more guitar players.

I'm not saying the key is learning Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix by ear! Learn whatever you desire by ear! In the end, your ear will make you your own style. You'll be able to play any melody by ear. Music theory is still important! Music theory can help you create new riffs, expand on ideas, or even compose a harmony for your melody.

In summary, learn to use your ear to compose, transcribe, and modify existing licks, riffs, melodys, and much more. While doing this, learn theory to help your creative side, and add to what you have.

Cheers,
Xter
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#8
Quote by Xter
....
In summary, learn to use your ear to compose, transcribe, and modify existing licks, riffs, melodys, and much more. While doing this, learn theory to help your creative side, and add to what you have.

Cheers,
Xter

I agree with all that you said, but that part sums it up very nicely.

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#10
I'm excited to see the complete results of this survey you've conducted

Fact - you don't know how many famous guitarists were "self-taught" or what other influences guided them through the learning process. Neither does anyone else here.

I'm assuming you're looking for one of two things...

Justification for not taking lessons or quitting them, or some kind of validation that being self taught somehow makes you better or more "real" or some other bollocks like that

If you've got enough discipline, patience, common sense and the ability to be objectively self-critical then you can certainly learn on your own with the resources available nowadays. However as with ANYTHING you don't know about, having somebody more knowledgeable to teach you about it is better than trying to figure it out on your own.
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#11
You have a lot of great music schools now. But 25 years ago there was a lot less of them, and people had less money to. It just wasnt as easy to get lessons.

I read that Eddie Van Halen was encourage to claim he was self taught and didnt know what he was doing because it would look more impressive. But he has now confessed that he actually took lessons, knows theory and can read music.

So these guys who say they are self taught may not be so self taught after all.
#12
Because being great really has more to do with composition than just being good at your instrument. If you have the mindset for it and you practice it, a guy who can play three chords and use them creatively can outplay a fella who knows his instrument in and out, but just wanks around with it.

So i think it's really about not neglecting either one, to become truly great. Learn and apply.
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#14
Quote by steven seagull


Fact - you don't know how many famous guitarists were "self-taught" or what other influences guided them through the learning process. Neither does anyone else here.

I'm assuming you're looking for one of two things...

Justification for not taking lessons or quitting them, or some kind of validation that being self taught somehow makes you better or more "real" or some other bollocks like that

If you've got enough discipline, patience, common sense and the ability to be objectively self-critical then you can certainly learn on your own with the resources available nowadays.


This is what comes to min when I see posts like TS just made.
#15
Quote by Xter
There's a lot of guitarists that are famous that had a teacher too. Randy Rhoads had a teacher for one year when he first started which gave him the basics and he expanded upon them.
Randy Rhoads was still getting lessons when he was touring with Ozzy.
#16
The moment you watch a youtube lesson, cover a song, learn someones lick, look up a chord or read a theory book you are not self taught anymore... only way to call yourself self taught is if you sat in your room for years totally disconnected from the world and then came out as a guitar god..

And the best did indeed have teachers/mentors/players they looked up to...
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#17
Consider this.. You're looking at the end result rather than the process. I think it's safe to say that most guitarists are "self-taught" in that they don't pursue formal lessons.

So, it's a good chance that many of the more prominent players fall into this category. But what's the "raw data"? How many guitarists are self-taught and either gave up or became three-chord, thumb-brush hacks?
You're looking, as the guys above have said, at the talented individuals who rose to the top of the heap.
They would have done so with formal instruction as well.
#18
I think it takes a whole lot more of thinking to get around something when you have no-one to explain.
You need to take more time if you don't get it, search for the answer yourself.
Which is at least double as efficient than someone telling you this is a major scale.
#19
but i mean how did they know the names of the notes and chords? in my opinion its kind of impossible to be "self-taught" or at least completely self taught
#20
Quote by liampje
I think it takes a whole lot more of thinking to get around something when you have no-one to explain.
You need to take more time if you don't get it, search for the answer yourself.
Which is at least double as efficient than someone telling you this is a major scale.


How is that more efficient?
#21
Think about what you want to achieve on guitar and/or music.

If you don't know where to start, are stuck in a rut, or want inspiration, then get a teacher.

I play with a lot of people, and sometimes I ask how they play a certain lick, or how to get something so tight.

Basically they are my teacher for 10 minutes then.

People here in MT, have been/are sometimes still my teacher for a few minutes.

Learn from every source and every person, and when you're not playing, think what you want to achieve, and think about or get informed on how it's done on guitar.

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#22
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
Randy Rhoads was still getting lessons when he was touring with Ozzy.


Yes but there was a time laspe invovled

When Randy first started he toke lessons only for a year. After exploring, learning, creating on his own, and some band experinces, he started gigging small parties. When he graduated High School at 16, he started teaching at his Mother's school. He primarily learned through his students during this peroid.

After he got the gig with Ozzy, they wrote "BoO" (exculding Ozzy, Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics, and everyone did their parts and they showed Ozzy what to do), and as they toured, Randy would call up the local classical guitarists and have them drop by for lessons.

When Randy returned home, He gave lessons again. He learned through some of his students a little more. Then the band got back and wrote "DOAM" and headed for tour again. I don't know if Randy got lessons here and there on the road this time, but knowing him, he probably did.

Cheers,
Xter
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#23
Quote by Xter
Yes but there was a time laspe invovled

When Randy first started he toke lessons only for a year. After exploring, learning, creating on his own, and some band experinces, he started gigging small parties. When he graduated High School at 16, he started teaching at his Mother's school. He primarily learned through his students during this peroid.

After he got the gig with Ozzy, they wrote "BoO" (exculding Ozzy, Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics, and everyone did their parts and they showed Ozzy what to do), and as they toured, Randy would call up the local classical guitarists and have them drop by for lessons.

When Randy returned home, He gave lessons again. He learned through some of his students a little more. Then the band got back and wrote "DOAM" and headed for tour again. I don't know if Randy got lessons here and there on the road this time, but knowing him, he probably did.

Cheers,
Xter

you completely skipped over the part where his mother taught him music on the piano as a child before he ever touched the guitar.
#25
Quote by sydrock
How is that more efficient?

Because if you keep at something for quite a long time thinking over and over again, it just plants in your brain.
Also how I learned to forget modes here, I learned to forget them after a year of whining about how they were real.
Because I've been so long obsessed with modes and forgot them now I know it better.
Below in my sig are quotes from a modal misconception thread, Sean and Jazz Rock Feel are music theory seniors and they agree with me.
#27
Quote by mrbabo91
Doesn't Joe Satriani still have lessons ?

As far as I know no.
Never heard him say that.
Btw he's pretty acomplished so I don't expect him to still have lessons.
#28
Quote by liampje
As far as I know no.
Never heard him say that.
Btw he's pretty acomplished so I don't expect him to still have lessons.


you are never too good to have lessons
#30
Quote by mrbabo91
you are never too good to have lessons

Yes but if you take 2 people who just started playing, and Satch and Steve Vai.
Who are the ones most likely to have lessons?
#31
The better people get, the more likely they seem to be to take lessons. Good players often have a greater appreciation for what is offered by the alternative viewpoints of various teachers.
#32
Quote by z4twenny
you completely skipped over the part where his mother taught him music on the piano as a child before he ever touched the guitar.


Isn't this a guitar forum

But yes she did. She taught him how to read music also. From what I've read, I understand he didn't enjoy the piano though.

Plus I skipped the part about his sister Kathy who played Folk guitar (might need correcting on whether it was folk style guitar or another style, but i'm 98% sure), and he learned a little from her. Not directly though.

Cheers,
Xter
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#33
Quote by liampje
As far as I know no.
Never heard him say that.
Btw he's pretty acomplished so I don't expect him to still have lessons.


FP posted the other day that Satch still takes guitar lessons.
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#35
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#36
Quote by sydrock
i know but jimi hendrix and eric clapton didnt just pick up a guitar and know how to play a g chord... or did they?

Yes and no, most of us leant a few chords from the many books that flooded the market in the early 60s with little or mostly no theory content.
I bought my 1st bass on Saturday having played rythm for a few months and gigged the following Friday. 6 months later we'd developed to a stage where we were good enough out of all the local bands to be jointly considered for the support slot when the Beatles came to Sheffield when they'd just reached No1 for the first time.
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#37
Quote by John Swift
Yes and no, most of us leant a few chords from the many books that flooded the market in the early 60s with little or mostly no theory content.
I bought my 1st bass on Saturday having played rythm for a few months and gigged the following Friday. 6 months later we'd developed to a stage where we were good enough out of all the local bands to be jointly considered for the support slot when the Beatles came to Sheffield when they'd just reached No1 for the first time.


Who got the support slot? Did they go onto bigger and better things?
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#38
Quote by sydrock
i know but jimi hendrix and eric clapton didnt just pick up a guitar and know how to play a g chord... or did they?


I seem to remember Clapton acknowledging Bert Weedon's guitar book 'Play in a Day'. I'm almost as old and i can testify that there just weren't many guitar teachers around and that the few that were taught 'Spanish' guitar. They wouldn't look at anything with steel strings let alone electric.

They are self taught because they had to be but they used books and any advice they could get. They got to be so good through talent, but mainly hard work. It's easier with a teacher to guide you but you simply have to put in the hours.

My generation didn't grow up in a vacuum, there were books and records and a dynamic music scene and musicians from a previous generation who shared what they knew.
#39
every guitarist i have ever met has had some kind of lessons..the guitar is a difficult instrument..its illogical..unlike keyboards..

many players, myself included, were motivated by an internal need to know how to play what we hear other play or just the music in our head..and the frustration level of trying to find it on our own became unbearable...

i was fortunate to be able to get a degree in music..and get the basics out of the way..met alot of very good players who shared some great stuff with me and then study with ted greene for a year..

ted was like a guitar computer .. he would anticapate what you wanted before you even asked..and then show you 5 ways to play it...during one lesson he said was going to study with george van eps..

i have seen van epps books..and at some point i have to breath..they are so thorough..and he leaves no motion untouched..it would take years to absorbe the information in his books..

i still have lesson sheets that ted gave me that i still go over that will keep me busy for years..

there is no end to learning music..and thats the goal..not the destination..

play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Jan 30, 2012,
#40
Quote by sydrock
I always thought that having a teacher and having someone there to help you along the way was the best way to learn. So why did the self-taught guitarists become the most successful?


It's hard to teach creativity, and being successful (at least in rock genres) comes down to writing really good songs.
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