#1
Hi guys,
ive been learning to play guitar by myself (using videos and so) and i was wondering what is the difference between learning to play alone or with a teacher. By difference i mean what are the benefits from each way and what will i gain by learning from a teacher that i wont gain by learning by myself

P.s im learning to play alone because i have no time to go to a teacher because of school and stuff

By the way did i post this question in the right place? if not please tell me where to post this
Last edited by eitanmordecha at Jul 26, 2015,
#2
Learning yourself is free.

...That's really the extent to which the benefits go to.

Getting a good teacher will ensure you don't pick up bad habits. Without a teacher (or, you know, with a bad teacher), you're going to pick up bad habits and not even know it.

Getting a good teacher will shift all the work of finding a suitably difficult song to the teacher so you can concentrate more on practicing. If you're on your own (or, again, with a bad teacher), you'll find something awesome, proceed to try to learn it, and succeed in learning and playing it badly or demoralizing yourself.

Getting a teacher will financially and mentally stress you to actually practice. I was regularly practicing for at least an hour a day when I took piano lessons a few years ago. My repertoire grew very quickly (when I wasn't forgetting the boring stuff of course ). I stopped my lessons when I was more of going through the lessons with my teacher than actually learning. My progress plummeted very quickly, and now I'm sitting at an average of... an hour's practice a month? At that point it became more like paying somebody to force you to practice just so you don't feel bad. Whether that's worth it or not I guess is up to the individual.

By extension, I suggest getting a teacher only for a period of time, depending on how much you can learn from him. Once you feel you're not progressing any more, ditch him. This is especially so with teachers who aren't very good at putting into practice concepts that they'd like to bring across. Don't waste your money.

There are situations where people can learn themselves and not end up a sloppy mess, but those situations are very rare. For the average Joe like us, it's usually better to get a teacher at first.
Last edited by triface at Jul 26, 2015,
#3
Quote by triface
Getting a teacher will financially and mentally stress you to actually practice.


All good points, but this one in particular doesn't get enough mention. You definitely practice more when you have a teacher. I know I sure did when I had lessons.
#4
I've been self taught for about 11 years now, and I've been teaching for about a year. As mentioned above, you don't have to waste time finding material to learn, especially a most of it will be too easy or too hard to really keep you moving. A good teached will obviously help you learn things you want, but taking all the concepts a higher level guitarist will have learned, and putting them into an order and timeframe that makes sense is a huge advantage. I've got students that started six months ago that are further than I was after three years, because I simply didn't know how to progress further.
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#5
Man,

Im so glad you asked this question. Ive been fairly serious about guitar for about 4 months now. Ive got all the chords down, as well as the major scales. I reward myself with easy songs Id like to learn.

however, as much as I study via the interent, Im finding that I just have more questions. Modes, progressions, theory, etc.

It took me looking up how to hold a guitar pick, to see how to do it correctly. My wrist was all bent. These are the things that would be a non issue with a teacher.
#6
thanks for all the answers.
will it be any good if i go to a teacher for only 1 month (or less). the reason for this is that i will have a very hard school year this year and i wont have time for a teacher when the school year starts.
#7
I think, even without a teacher, you can improve technique. There are a lot of videos where professional guitarists will demonstrate proper technique right down to the last detail.
#8
Quote by gweddle.nz
I think, even without a teacher, you can improve technique. There are a lot of videos where professional guitarists will demonstrate proper technique right down to the last detail.


there are also 10x as many where guitarists demonstrate improper technique

if you teach yourself, do your due diligence and double and triple check all the information going to you. a lot of people in the guitar world are professionally wrong about pretty much everything and feed off your inability to understand that they're wrong
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#9
Quote by gweddle.nz
I think, even without a teacher, you can improve technique. There are a lot of videos where professional guitarists will demonstrate proper technique right down to the last detail.


Yes, but you also have to take that instruction and ensure that YOU do it properly too. Some people are good at self critiquing, others don't notice.
#10
Quote by SpiderM
Yes, but you also have to take that instruction and ensure that YOU do it properly too. Some people are good at self critiquing, others don't notice.


Pretty sure no self taught guitarist does everything properly, no matter how hard they try. They don't know any better and they can't identify things they're doing incorrect. Even with a teacher you're bound to pick up bad habits, but it will be significantly less if you have a good teacher compared to being self taught.
#11
Quote by eitanmordecha
Hi guys,
ive been learning to play guitar by myself (using videos and so) and i was wondering what is the difference between learning to play alone or with a teacher. By difference i mean what are the benefits from each way and what will i gain by learning from a teacher that i wont gain by learning by myself

P.s im learning to play alone because i have no time to go to a teacher because of school and stuff

By the way did i post this question in the right place? if not please tell me where to post this


Depends on the teacher. But what you want in a teacher is someone that knows what order to teach everything to you, and what is most suitable for you to learn for what sort of guitarist you want to end up being.

When you learn on your own, you don't know anything about what anything is, how useful a scale will be to you, when you should learn modes, what chords you should learn first, how frequently they are used, or anything like that. So you have to learn by a lot of mistakes, until you understand it all. It is a lot slower.

If your teacher sucks though, it also won't help you that much.

If all you want to do is learn campfire tunes, you don't need a teacher imo. If you want to learn more, get better, improvise, understand music and play at a high skill level, you're better off finding a good teacher if you can afford it.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 26, 2015,
#12
You can learn well on your own, but it takes a lot of effort; because it consists of a "trial, and error process". You don't really have anyone sitting down with you correcting you on the mistakes you're making. I'd definitely recommend you getting a teacher if you can afford it, but make sure He/She has the proper credentials.
#13
It all depends on how good your guitar teacher is a guitar. I hired a kid studying Music Theory at UCSB(who knows how to play almost every instrument ever) to teach my son how to play guitar and he just completely excelled at guitar. You just have to know your teacher's musical background before you ever hire.
#14
Quote by Black_devils
You can learn well on your own


IMHO everyone is different, so I don't think you can say that for all people trying to learn.
#15
i'm self taught. been playing for like 35 years now. though at one point that i'd try a teacher just for something new. i burned the poor guy down. he told me that "you're just too advanced and i don't know what to do with you" then he hit me up for money on my "first free lesson". it was a joke. i'll never do that again. it's quite possible i picked a bad teacher. in hollywood there are "berkely grads" who have recorded with (insert grammy award winning musician here) offering lessons on every phone pole in town so choose your teacher wisely.

i would suggest:
-get all of your fingers going correctly.
-get a good sound going.
-know your fretboard.
-start playing with others in jam situations. you will learn really fast doing this.
-train your ears to hear and too listen.
-make the time to play.

teachers:
find a good one if this is what you want to do. but then you say that school is going to eat up your time so how are you going to commit?

videos (i'm old) and dvds:
i did this for a while. trouble is so many players are great at playing and lousy at teaching. looking at the camera and speaking clearly seems hard for them. don't get me wrong here, i can relate to this completely and i am the world's worst teacher, the trouble is though i don't put out instructional media and hope to get paid for it. folks who can't finish their sentences probably aren't the best instructors. there are some good videos out there but sometimes it comes down to just watching the fingers fly.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 27, 2015,
#16
Quote by eitanmordecha
thanks for all the answers.
will it be any good if i go to a teacher for only 1 month (or less). the reason for this is that i will have a very hard school year this year and i wont have time for a teacher when the school year starts.

It's still better than nothing. I've noticed that you learn the most in the first 10-20 (a completely arbitrary range, obviously) lessons, then after it starts to taper off after you know enough to figure things out yourself. The effect probably won't show within one month, but you'll probably learn more things than you'd expect.
#17
It depends on your goals with your wanted guitar skills.

Next it depends on you the person! Can you teach yourself anything at all??

Back in late '80s and first guitar lessons I had no clue and my teacher I guess was not that good to put any inspiration in me. But I was into rock before I realized that.

Going electric was the thing for me and once I early on found tab books on what I wanted to learn like songs by my favorite artist or riffs or any cool licks so that is what I taught myself. I could hear the recordings and follow along to get it to sound right.

The big benefit is that you sound like you!! You taught yourself that.

Besides sitting down and learn is not really that difficult then practise it to you got it. The key thing is always learn what you want at any given time.
#18
I taught myself guitar for the sole reason to write my own songs, and I love it! I try to pick my guitar up everyday and I don't force myself either because I just love writing music.

I honestly don't think I would of picked up a guitar if it wasn't for my passion of song writing, but so glad I did learn it. At first I was worried about learning it because it looked so difficult and I also play drums and felt I would kind of be cheating on my drum kit (and felt I would loose out on my drumming skills) :P

But I do find that teaching yourself gives you your own style, even though you may pick up bad habits, its not illegal the guitar police wont arrest you, loads of famous guitarist have so many bad habits and I for one will no doubt have some bad ones.
#19
Quote by anders.jorgense
Next it depends on you the person! Can you teach yourself anything at all??

The key thing is always learn what you want at any given time.


I definitely agree with your first statement, I was trying to say that above.

With regard to the other statement, I tend to find that I use my lessons to do pretty much the opposite. I rely on my teacher to guide me along the path of things that I should know to become a good all round guitarist and these things aren't always the things that I want to learn at that given time but will benefit me later. I've had times where the thought of the upcoming lesson and $$$'s I pay are the thing that keep me going with an exercise that I would either give up with on my own or say 'good enough' and move on.

I satisfy myself with the stuff I really want to do when practicing for and playing with my band but I often find that the, not so fun stuff I do in my lessons really benefits this too.
#20
I learnt mostly by myself for some years. Progress fluctuated quite a bit, depending on my motivation. Since I moved from town to town too often to get involved in bands, even though I managed to do some nice things, I missed out on a number of topics that are important but that may appear boring. As a result, after a few years of quick progress, things started to stagnate and I grew frustrated.

When I started to take lessons, my teacher forced me to expand my horizons, pushed me to pay attention to a lot of details and, even though he's always nice, provides the necessary pressure for me to keep working week after week. I learnt more in a year than ever before.

What I'm saying is, it's important to have some external source of motivation / pressure in the long run. It could be having a band, or studying with a teacher, whatever. But very few people are actually able to go through with all the tedious but necessary parts over extended periods of time on their own.

Also, try to find a teacher that suits your musical tastes. I'm mostly into prog metal (Dream Theater, Versailles, Symphony X, things like that) and I was surprised how difficult it is to find a guitar teacher that actually knows some topics I took for granted (sweeping, tapping, economy picking, fast alternate picking, tone control with high gain amps, and so on). Finding such a teacher changed everything.
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Last edited by Yuka66 at Jul 29, 2015,
#21
Quote by Yuka66
I learnt mostly by myself for some years. Progress fluctuated quite a bit, depending on my motivation. Since I moved from town to town too often to get involved in bands, even though I managed to do some nice things, I missed out on a number of topics that are important but that may appear boring. As a result, after a few years of quick progress, things started to stagnate and I grew frustrated.

When I started to take lessons, my teacher forced me to expand my horizons, pushed me to pay attention to a lot of details and, even though he's always nice, provides the necessary pressure for me to keep working week after week. I learnt more in a year than ever before.

What I'm saying is, it's important to have some external source of motivation / pressure in the long run. It could be having a band, or studying with a teacher, whatever. But very few people are actually able to go through with all the tedious but necessary parts over extended periods of time on their own.

Also, try to find a teacher that suits your musical tastes. I'm mostly into prog metal (Dream Theater, Versailles, Symphony X, things like that) and I was surprised how difficult it is to find a guitar teacher that actually knows some topics I took for granted (sweeping, tapping, economy picking, fast alternate picking, tone control with high gain amps, and so on). Finding such a teacher changed everything.


glad you found a teacher that worked for you! it is hard i've heard, to find a teacher for certain styles.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 29, 2015,
#22
Quote by SpiderM
Yes, but you also have to take that instruction and ensure that YOU do it properly too. Some people are good at self critiquing, others don't notice.

I think this is the main reason why you should get a teacher. Online lessons can tell you about a lot of stuff, but they can't tell if you are doing something right or wrong. A teacher is not there to just provide information or to tell what kind of exercises/songs you should play. That's the stuff you can figure out on your own (a teacher can of course also help with that kind of stuff). A teacher sees and hears what you are doing. You may not know if what you play sounds right/good. You may not know if you are using proper technique or not.

Beginners usually think they are the shit, but actually they are just shit. Back when I recorded some of my first riffs and song ideas, I thought they sounded just fine, but today when I listen to them, my playing is horrible. It sounds out of tune, my timing is way off, I play the wrong notes and my tone is also pretty bad (I just didn't have any ear for good tone). Back then I didn't notice it and I thought it sounded pretty good.

A teacher could have pointed out all the timing issues. He could have told me that my guitar is out of tune. He could have also showed me how to get a better tone. The thing is, as a beginner you just don't hear all of this stuff. You don't know how to listen. No Youtube lesson can really tell what's wrong with your playing, because the guys in the video can't see/hear you.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 29, 2015,
#23
Quote by vayne92
Pretty sure no self taught guitarist does everything properly, no matter how hard they try. They don't know any better and they can't identify things they're doing incorrect. Even with a teacher you're bound to pick up bad habits, but it will be significantly less if you have a good teacher compared to being self taught.


I dunno. If you have bad technique it tends to manifest itself eventually. Either by making something too difficult to play, or through pain and discomfort.
#24
Quote by gweddle.nz
I dunno. If you have bad technique it tends to manifest itself eventually. Either by making something too difficult to play, or through pain and discomfort.


Right. There are also lots of cases where what is considered "proper technique" could be classical style, and a different technique is better for some other style.

Technique, at the end of the day, is just people that got really really good at guitar, and figured out everything they had to do and change in order to be able to do that without discomfort or at all.

You can trial and error it yourself, and that will be long and slow. Sometimes you might not know why you can't get faster, and it is a technique thing, or something like that.

So, you could reinvent technique and arrive at conclusions others have already arrived at, or you could just ask someone that already got there, and they can just show you.

If someone is a monster at guitar, then they have "proper" technique, whatever that technique might be. You can be a self taught monster. It's just slower, and you could be a bigger monster more quickly if someone helps you. That's essentially all technique is, "how you have to play in order to be a monster."
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 5, 2015,
#26
Get a good teacher and nail the basics very well. After that, you can learn songs by yourself.
Amateur guitarist straight from the oven !




#27
Quote by gweddle.nz
I think, even without a teacher, you can improve technique. There are a lot of videos where professional guitarists will demonstrate proper technique right down to the last detail.


I know there are tons of instructional videos/websites but they are not there to personally demonstrate to help out on your specific obstacles.

You find yourself going round and round, watching different videos by different people talking about the same thing but phrasing it in different ways.
Amateur guitarist straight from the oven !




#28
A good teacher will be of massive benefit for you, a bad teacher can be a huge waste of money but sometimes even a bad teacher can still make you a better player due to keeping you accountable and motivated but obviously you don`t want to waste money on a bad teacher.

My advice is take 1 lesson with 5 different guitar teachers in your area. You can be honest and tell them you are trying a few different teachers out. They will understand and often quickly cut through the fluff in the first lesson to show you some stuff that will help you right away.

Once you have tried out all 5, go back to the best. If you hit a brick wall in the future do the same process again.
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#29
Quote by Williamerchal
I think the teacher is not need for learn. I am learn my self with out any teacher.


Sure, so did I.

But you must still have a lot to learn, because at some point, you will recognize that you could have learned much faster and much more if you would have had someone show you some things.

I can recognize that if I had myself today, as a teacher way back when I was starting out, I could have reached where I am am now, a good while ago. I know a number of hurdles I figured out. A number of things where I was like "oooooh" and wished I knew that before, and could have known it much earlier.

But of course teaching yourself is possible. Many have done it, and many are still very good musicians having done so. But they could be more advanced and more able, had they had a good teacher.

You could be better than you are now. You could already know a number of things you have yet to discover. You are not a world class musician, right? So you have much to learn still.

I still have many things to learn also, but I don't know which will be the most pertinent. I have some good ideas about what to work on, and developed a good system for practicing things and all that, but hindsight is 20/20, and I have to make progress and mistakes before I build hindsight. Or, I could benefit from someone else that has obtained it already.

But sure, lots of people can learn without a teacher. And they will learn many things, many things they could just tell you, rather than learning from your mistakes. You are committing a bunch of mistakes right now, that you are completely unaware of.

But it also depends on how good you want to be. If you just want to learn to strum chords, it's not a big deal. If you want to become highly skilled, then that's where you push the limits of what the body can do, and you have to be more picky with technique. You also have to organize and learn your instrument if you truly want to master it, so that you can get out of it anything you instantly desire.

Or, also if you want to be a classical musician, or to read notation, or be more of an academic, you will want schooling as well. You could teach yourself again, but it's more difficult, and a lot more rare for those types.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 6, 2015,
#30
Quote by Williamerchal
I think the teacher is not need for learn. I am learn my self with out any teacher.


I'm not sure if that was genius or if you have just demonstrated that a teacher looking over what you are doing can give you feedback that will help you straight away.

I realise that English may not be your first language but guitar is no-ones first language and a teacher may help......
#31
Quote by fingrpikingood
Sure, so did I.

But you must still have a lot to learn, because at some point, you will recognize that you could have learned much faster and much more if you would have had someone show you some things.

I can recognize that if I had myself today, as a teacher way back when I was starting out, I could have reached where I am am now, a good while ago. I know a number of hurdles I figured out. A number of things where I was like "oooooh" and wished I knew that before, and could have known it much earlier.


Any examples of "ooooh" moments? I still maintain that if you cross reference technique against multiple sources and check the technique of good players you will be heading in the right direction. I'm pretty switched on when it comes to researching this stuff though, and perhaps others are more easily led astray as there is a lot of bad advice out there.

Having a teacher offers only 1 perspective.
#32
Quote by gweddle.nz
Any examples of "ooooh" moments? I still maintain that if you cross reference technique against multiple sources and check the technique of good players you will be heading in the right direction. I'm pretty switched on when it comes to researching this stuff though, and perhaps others are more easily led astray as there is a lot of bad advice out there.

Having a teacher offers only 1 perspective.


I have a bunch of those. Idk which would be most pertinent to you. Depends on your level, and what sort of guitar you play.

I play acoustic fingerstyle barehanded. The length of fingernails I have is one, discovering the major scale, and my version of CAGED is another, 3nps, medium gauge strings. A barre style I use, technique for tapping, and for fingerpicking quickly. A lot of things that once I saw it, I immediately took it in, and didn't look back. For my fingernails as an example always used to bite them. I tried playing with longer nails once, and then never bit my nails since. Now I'm like a woman with my nails, and I have yet to find a way to be able to file my nails without looking/feeling like a girly man.

The speed for fingerpicking was the most difficult one to discover. It is sometimes hard to know if your limitation is just a lack of more practice and more repetition, or if you need to change something in your technique in order to gain that extra level.

I think the order you learn things is important though, and how it all builds with the knowledge you have. Every step is sort of important. I could name a bunch of things I find useful, but if it is all sort of any which way, the value won't easily be as apparent, and won't really be there.

You could go to any theory site and see tons of scales and chords, and a lot of those are key. But that's not the most useful thing in a journey to learn guitar, because guitar is many smaller steps, and an understanding, and assimilation. So, I don't know what would be the most useful for you. But I guarantee you, if I saw you play, saw where you were at, and things like that, I could find at least one a-ha thing for you. And I'm sure people that have more expertise in the specific style you play, could find even more, or better ones.

A teacher only offers one perspective, but I think if you find a good one that suits you, that's a huge step up from running around aimless on your own. But sure, it's always good to take as much as you can from as many sources as possible.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 6, 2015,
#33
Quote by RSGuitarTuition
A good teacher will be of massive benefit for you, a bad teacher can be a huge waste of money but sometimes even a bad teacher can still make you a better player due to keeping you accountable and motivated but obviously you don`t want to waste money on a bad teacher.

My advice is take 1 lesson with 5 different guitar teachers in your area. You can be honest and tell them you are trying a few different teachers out. They will understand and often quickly cut through the fluff in the first lesson to show you some stuff that will help you right away.

Once you have tried out all 5, go back to the best. If you hit a brick wall in the future do the same process again.



WOW! I really appreciate this advise. That's exactly what Im going to do. Im just stuck right now, trying to learn by myself. As I mentioned. I know most chords, and major scales. However, Im getting mired down in everything beyond that, and not sure where to turn.

Thanks man!!
#34
Quote by fingrpikingood
I have a bunch of those. Idk which would be most pertinent to you. Depends on your level, and what sort of guitar you play.

I play acoustic fingerstyle barehanded. The length of fingernails I have is one, discovering the major scale, and my version of CAGED is another, 3nps, medium gauge strings. A barre style I use, technique for tapping, and for fingerpicking quickly. A lot of things that once I saw it, I immediately took it in, and didn't look back. For my fingernails as an example always used to bite them. I tried playing with longer nails once, and then never bit my nails since. Now I'm like a woman with my nails, and I have yet to find a way to be able to file my nails without looking/feeling like a girly man.

The speed for fingerpicking was the most difficult one to discover. It is sometimes hard to know if your limitation is just a lack of more practice and more repetition, or if you need to change something in your technique in order to gain that extra level.

I think the order you learn things is important though, and how it all builds with the knowledge you have. Every step is sort of important. I could name a bunch of things I find useful, but if it is all sort of any which way, the value won't easily be as apparent, and won't really be there.

You could go to any theory site and see tons of scales and chords, and a lot of those are key. But that's not the most useful thing in a journey to learn guitar, because guitar is many smaller steps, and an understanding, and assimilation. So, I don't know what would be the most useful for you. But I guarantee you, if I saw you play, saw where you were at, and things like that, I could find at least one a-ha thing for you. And I'm sure people that have more expertise in the specific style you play, could find even more, or better ones.

A teacher only offers one perspective, but I think if you find a good one that suits you, that's a huge step up from running around aimless on your own. But sure, it's always good to take as much as you can from as many sources as possible.


I ask because I'm learning fingerstyle too and I'm only a year in. Already got nail care and length down - yes my wife thinks I pay too much attention to them! Speed could probably do with some work, as well as finding a system for scales/CAGED so I can get better at improvisation. Right now though I'm still working on getting the technique down pat. I want to be able to play the pieces I know without messing up. I feel like I still need to get more comfortable with my right hand. I don't have any pain or discomfort and my hand positioning looks very similar to all the great performers I've watched (and teachers), but I just don't feel super comfortable around the strings quite yet, especially for more complicated parts. Probably just time.
#35
Quote by gweddle.nz
I ask because I'm learning fingerstyle too and I'm only a year in. Already got nail care and length down - yes my wife thinks I pay too much attention to them! Speed could probably do with some work, as well as finding a system for scales/CAGED so I can get better at improvisation. Right now though I'm still working on getting the technique down pat. I want to be able to play the pieces I know without messing up. I feel like I still need to get more comfortable with my right hand. I don't have any pain or discomfort and my hand positioning looks very similar to all the great performers I've watched (and teachers), but I just don't feel super comfortable around the strings quite yet, especially for more complicated parts. Probably just time.


For some of those things I would need to study you specifically to be able to really give you any sort of good advice I think. Being comfortable around the strings can take some time, but it's not just time. It's also how you practice. There would be different drills that are suitable for different difficulties you are having in whatever song. That's why the physical aspect of guitar takes quite some time. Getting one thing down is not so bad, you can get a few basics quickly. But there are lots of different things that require strength and dexterity in different ways. So, it ends up taking a while.

But, just playing through things is not the most efficient way to improve. It's like playing a sport. Sometimes you need to just play the game, and you'll improve in some ways like that. But also, sometimes you just need to isolate some specific muscles you need, and find the correct exercise to work it in the right way, and then it becomes easier.
#36
Quote by fingrpikingood
For some of those things I would need to study you specifically to be able to really give you any sort of good advice I think. Being comfortable around the strings can take some time, but it's not just time. It's also how you practice. There would be different drills that are suitable for different difficulties you are having in whatever song. That's why the physical aspect of guitar takes quite some time. Getting one thing down is not so bad, you can get a few basics quickly. But there are lots of different things that require strength and dexterity in different ways. So, it ends up taking a while.

But, just playing through things is not the most efficient way to improve. It's like playing a sport. Sometimes you need to just play the game, and you'll improve in some ways like that. But also, sometimes you just need to isolate some specific muscles you need, and find the correct exercise to work it in the right way, and then it becomes easier.


Fair enough. I have been learning some fairly complicated techniques, such as slapping the bass strings with the thumb while simultaneously playing the higher strings (for a percussive element). Still working on that one, but it's been a good exercise because it's increased my right hand dexterity. I've also started trying to play the major scale with two fingers on the one string for increased speed. Oh and I started practising with a metronome - which has been a huge boost to my playing.

I always try and pick songs just out of my skill level or comfort zone so that I'm improving. But I admit my practice time isn't entirely productive and I tend to end up messing around with one song or technique for AGES when I should really do it in 10 or 20 minute bursts.
#37
Quote by gweddle.nz
Fair enough. I have been learning some fairly complicated techniques, such as slapping the bass strings with the thumb while simultaneously playing the higher strings (for a percussive element). Still working on that one, but it's been a good exercise because it's increased my right hand dexterity. I've also started trying to play the major scale with two fingers on the one string for increased speed. Oh and I started practising with a metronome - which has been a huge boost to my playing.

I always try and pick songs just out of my skill level or comfort zone so that I'm improving. But I admit my practice time isn't entirely productive and I tend to end up messing around with one song or technique for AGES when I should really do it in 10 or 20 minute bursts.


Bursts can be good. I practice difficult things the same way I would workout at the gym. Push and push and push as many reps as possible, and then when you need to quit, do some more, and then stop for a bit.

For speed with my right hand, I actually have different techniques for different strings, sometimes 3 fingers, sometimes a finger and thumb, or just thumb. I found that I used my middle and ring finger a lot more when I got faster, whereas I started out using my first two fingers. My index is actually used less now, and probably my most used finger I think would be my middle finger. I also use my pinky sometimes. I tried it out for if I play 4 notes per string, but that never really took, and I don't find 3 fingers a limitation at this point. But I often use my pinky when it is more convenient on the top E string.
#38
hi guys,
thanks for all the great answers!!!
i think i will be going to a teacher (it wont be hard to find a teacher that plays hard rock and metal like metallica, iron maiden and ac/dc) just for the basics just like Stuck_nomore said.
and again thanks for all the answers
#39
I am also teaching myself and have little experience. Though I have taught myself other instruments (flute, sax, clarinet) and have noticed the same thing. You get to a certain point where you don't know what to do next. I had an audition to play in my schools band on Clarinet and I played an oboe (my primary instrument) piece and once I had finished the clarinet teacher just said "ok, now play it without vibrato" and once I did I was able to play in the band. I had no idea that North American classical clarinetists didn't play with vibrato. I only listened to jazz.

What I'm getting at here is that I was good enough to play in the band with the Clarinet majors but I was clueless to a lot of things even after reading forums and everything because there are certain things people don't talk about because its 'common knowledge' or because it's accessed by people all over the world or whatever. I have no idea what rep to look at for flute or clarinet.
I'm advanced enough on my primary, which I have had lessons on for 5 years, to know the culture surrounding it and the rep and the people and connections and skill and everything so it's hard to immediately be at such a lower level on other instruments and just not know where to turn next. Though I have noticed that my learning time has improved because after teaching yourself one thing all other things are easier to learn.
One thing about self-teaching that is awesome is that you were there for the entire journey and you didn't take any shortcuts which makes for complete learning. Like when learning a chord you can pick out each individual note and learn it that way or look it up on a chord chart. If you pick it out yourself it takes more time but then you know all of those notes and exactly how it all works.

One huge lesson I learned was in the two years before I got formal training on oboe I had already developed a terrible hand injury that I still have and could disable me and prevent me from continuing to play and pursue my career. So, as long as you learn technique that doesn't hurt you then I would say go for it with your self-teaching. Full steam ahead because you will know everything about your learning and it will be something to be proud about. I don't do it for this but it's always cool to see peoples faces when you say you taught yourself. Eventually you may need a teacher to clean up some of your bad habits or help you of your plateau but until you feel the need for that just keep working. As for the teacher being monetary motivation. I see how it can work but if I'm not self-motivated then I don't want to do it. I don't want this to be a skill to have on the shelf just in case so I won't treat it that way while I'm learning it. To each their own though. Goodluck!
#40
I've learnt alone for 12 years um maybe 7-8 of those not playing at all. I would strongly suggust a teacher.

You can learn alone but you're just reinventing the wheel...You know Roger Federer has a tennis coach and you need a guitar teacher.

So many things I wasted time on that a teacher could of told me: powerchording with my pinky finger and first finger for one, not using my little finger at all, doing chords wrong, HOLDING the pick wrong so many little things that I wouldn't had to go through if I was with a teacher.