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#1
I'm 32 and trying to learn to play electric guitar(blues/southern rock) and have a few questions as to if my lessons are going normal. I recently bought a guitar and signed up for 2 months of lessons with the store owner and have completed 4 of my 8 lessons. The owner/teacher has gone to a nice local university and studied music and has been playing for over 30 years, he is also in a few bands. I have total respect for him as a musician.

The problem is I feel like of my 30 minute lesson maybe 5-10 minutes is actually about guitar, and that time is spent pointing to a picture in a book that he wrote and I had to pay $10 for and saying ok go home and learn how to do this. Also this book is all pictures and no text, so there is nothing for me to read or explain to me what I looking at. He is also big into theory which is great, but there is definitely some difficulty with him making me understand(example- he told me to find the root. I asked "what is a root". His answer was "imagine the house is on fire, where would you go?" I replied "out the door". He says " yes, the root will be your door out". I told him "that makes no sense to me" and somehow the conversation changed..I still have no clue what a root is). I know I'm completely new to this and maybe things will start to improve over the next 4 lessons but I need some opinions on if his teaching style is normal, or if my money would be better spent elsewhere.

so heres a breakdown of my lessons so far.

week 1- Didn't even get to hold the guitar... Had to hang it on the wall and identify the strings.

week 2- Was taught where to place fingers on frets, bought a scale book, was told to learn the E minor Sliding Pentatonic scale

week 3- Played the scale for him once, I got nervous and messed up and hit a wrong string while I was descending. Didn't get a second chance to play it. Was told to go home and practice that scale and to also work on improvising. (WTF- improvise?)

week 4- Played the E minor scale just like his book illustrated only to find out that his illustrations are wrong. (been practicing this wrong scale for 2 weeks along with all the other sliding pentatonic scales in the book to try and get ahead.) Also played a little 6 note improv.

I was thinking that after 4 weeks I would have learned a chord or 2, or maybe even how to play twinkle twinkle little star and happy birthday.

Am I wrong in my thinking? Is the the normal for taking lessons? Should I continue after my lessons are up or buy the Hal Leonard books and practice on my own for a while?

Sorry for the long post and Thanks for any replies.
#2
His description of a root note honestly doesn't make any sense. Generally the term root note is used when talking about the notes of a chord. For example a C chord is made of the notes C G E and C is the root note. The root note can also refer to the parent note of the scale, if the scale is E minor then E is the root note. It can also sometimes be slightly incorrectly used when referring to the tonic which is the note that determines what key the song is in. It's the note that sounds like the whole song (or section of a song) is pulling toward and when that notes is played it sounds resolved, or like home. If the song is in the key of G that means the note G is the tonic.


Sounds like he isn't a very good teacher to me. He's trying to get you to improvise before you've even learned a song or chord? really I think you should be learning songs, chords, and proper technique at first and should wait for theory until you know how to play a little bit.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Nov 9, 2015,
#4
Sounds pretty bad. Sounds like he's a good player but can't teach at all. Being a good player does not mean that you can teach, even if you went to a university or whatever. He clearly assumes that you know more than you do.

A teacher shouldn't just tell you to play this and that. You can do that on your own - that's not something you should pay for. A teacher should be there to correct your mistakes. That's where you need a teacher - to tell you whether you are doing something right or wrong. To give you tips to improve your playing based on what he sees/hears. That's why you take private lessons - the teacher needs to actually see and hear you play. If he doesn't do that, he's not helping you any more than hanging out in UG will help you. (Not saying hanging out in UG doesn't help you - it does - but it's free. A teacher should provide something special - something that you don't get for free.)


Did you tell him what you want to learn? Did the teacher ask you about your goals or anything like that?


But yeah, what the teacher has taught you is more advanced stuff than what you should be learning right now. In the beginning you should learn some basic chords. You should also learn to play songs that use those chords. You need to learn to use them in practice. That's the first thing. Forget about scale improvisation for now.

I think you should start playing actual music from the day one. When you learn one chord, you should start playing music with it right away. I'm not blaming you, I'm blaming the teacher.

If you have already paid for the rest of the lessons, ask him if he would teach you some chords or some simple melodies like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Happy Birthday. Those are what you want to learn - those are what the teacher should teach you.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#5
Yeah not really a good teacher. He seems all over the play insofar as what you should be learning, and that part where you had to go home because you messed up once is ridiculous.
#6
Thanks for the replies guys.

Yes, I did tell him my goals (he did not ask but I let him know). I told him that I did not want to learn to read sheet music, yet. I told him that I have no intentions of joining a band or ever playing on stage. I told him I would like to learn to play blues and southern rock and basically just be able to jam out and play some of my favorite songs at home.

I did mention during the last lesson that I would like to learn some chords and songs, he said it was coming... not sure if that meant during the remaining 4 weeks or next year.

He did admit that he teaches different than most. He said most teachers would have me playing box scales but that people can get stuck doing that and that's why I was learning sliding scales, but made it out like that was a good thing.

Anyway like I said I'm totally new to this but its getting frustrating when he starts talking about theory and roots and triads and crap that I know nothing about and then doesn't explain it to me. I even went as far as asking about some materials that would better explain theory to me and he then wanted to sell me a $25 theory book... I passed.

I'll finish out my 4 lessons and then start looking for a new teacher.. or do you guys recommend getting some books to learn the basics and then take lessons?
#7
As someone who has been teaching for years, that guy can fuck right off.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#8
Want a music theory book?

http://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Dummies-Audio-CD-ROM/dp/0764578383/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1447120175&sr=8-3&keywords=music+theory+for+dummies

There you go. That's what I used. It won't make you a maestro or anything but it'll teach you the basics very well.

As far as the teacher, doesn't sound like he knows how to teach very well. If you've already paid, I'd hate for you to waste your money, but at the rate this guy is going, you've probably wasted it already anyway. You should know G, C, D, and E minor chords by now. If he could somehow have justified not teaching them to you on the first day then he should have taught you at least G and E minor by the end of your second lesson. Before he started teaching you the minor scale, did he show you the chromatic scale? (Not necessarily from a theory standpoint, but as a fingering exercise?) Has he taught you to read chord charts and tablature?

If you haven't at least touched on these things after four weeks of lessons then you are way behind where you should be and are probably not getting your money's worth.
#9
I'm not sure what a sliding scale is.
You don't need a teacher or a book but they both help. I started with a teacher and Mel bay guitar method. I would actually recommend the whole series. But I would also recommend working on some other things at the same time as it is very good for teaching you all the basics. Chords, scales, positions, reading, but the songs are pretty easy. Because of this you may develop poor technique if you only care about getting through the book.

If you think the guy is good guitarist worth emulating, I would go get the fundamentals down somewhere else. Go back when you can tell him you know the basics, picking techniques, know how to improvise a little. Have him look at your technique if he has any pointers, and have him show you how he likes to play.

Right now you're paying him for shit you can find on Google for free. Best way to learn is to just absorb everything you can. Read about guitars, types, components, amps, techniques, pedals, music theory, rhythms, flamenco, finger picking, Travis picking, cross picking, economy picking, finger rolls, rasqueado, rumba, classical guitar, classical tremolo, sweep picking, tapping, hybrid picking, slap bass, hammer ons, pull offs, hammer on from nowhere, planting (picking), fretting technique, chord progressions, 12 8 and 16 bar blues, major chords, minor chords, Maj/min chords, altered chords, extended chords, triads, intervals, fifths, power chords, stacking thirds, diminished and augmented chords, the circle of fifths, Napoleon chords, scale degrees, borrowed chords, modes, diatonic pentatonic chromatic exotic Indian Persian Celtic melodic minor harmonic minor scales, bending, pinch harmonics, pick ups, gypsy jazz improvising, modal playing, sheet music.

You could really go on for days. There are at least ten thousand different words or things or concepts. The more you split hairs the more higher the number. A c major chord in C is different than one in the key of G for example. But C is the root of C and G is the root of G. D Dorian and C Ionian are the same notes. Start with everything I just listed and Google it. If it is too complicated of an idea just skip it for the time being. Guitar is a really hard instrument to be a complete musician. Probably the only instrument you're guaranteed to never fully master. It's kind of like harmonica too in that some things are stupid hard to do on it but certain things you can only do on guitar, or perhaps guitar and a very few other instruments. You mentioned blues and that's pretty much what I mean. With the bending and the sliding and the different picking techniques and open tunings and slide guitar. And the chords, guitar chord voicing are unique to guitar. A lot of them are unplayable on say piano, so don't get discouraged if you can't play something. Just keep absorbing. You know how efficiently you are learning. If you're getting discouraged move onto something different or easier and come back later.

Or just you know look at some tabs.
#10
If you're not happy you should switch teachers. There's no one right way to learn guitar but I have a strong suspicion you can find someone who can have you playing chords a a few fun tunes faster than this guy will.

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#11
I'm on the far side of 60. As I look back, my first guitar teacher had me learn and almost memorize the first two Mel Bay guitar books. Was it hard - yes. Was it worthwhile - Yes! The Mel Bay books and my teacher taught me the basics of position playing, the notes on the neck, basic chords - open and bar chords. These two things laid the foundation for a life time of guitar playing.

Yes, I realize you only want to play for yourself. But please take the time to learn a little theory and the notes on the guitar neck. This stuff could pay off years later.

And I agree with the above posters, your teacher is doing a great job of self promoting. I wouldn't be pleased with his services either.
#13
Quote by Jet Penguin
As someone who has been teaching for years, that guy can fuck right off.

+1 to JP
Yep...
#14
This guy sounds like a truly terrible teacher. Like someone above said, you should be playing a few chords by now, typically G C D Em.

Your teacher could then show you have a large number of songs you know/love can likely be played using just those chords. And they'd teach you some strumming patterns.

By now you should be able to strum a few things that are staring to sound like music...

Get rid of this guy now, even before you have finished. I think he's doing more harm than good and you'll just end up discouraged and frustrated. Not to say that learning the guitar can't be discouraging and frustrating at times, but I think he's making it far worse than it needs to be!

Unfortunately there are quite a few of bad teachers out there... try and find someone recommended by people you know etc or talk to a few before making a choice.

Good luck, and enjoy.
#15
If i were you, i would just stop going and refuse to pay up. If you already paid, demand a refund. Because honestly, thats just bullshit. It reminds me of that one episode of friends where pheobe tried to teach joey guitar without actually playing, and naming the chords like "bear claw". Get out of there asap, becase all that will happen is that you will pick up some bad habits and learn things wrong.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#16
Ditch him. Use the internet there tons of good stuff (and plenty that isn't!). I'd recommend Justin Sandercoe's web site @ www.justinguitar.com. There's everything there theory, technique and songs to learn. Check it out.
#17
Your teacher sucks. Just learn to play the instrument by yourself. I never had a teacher that taught me how to physically play the guitar and I learned it by myself. If you have enough motivation and are inspired enough you can learn without a teacher. It takes a lot of practice, but it's so worth it.
#18
The terrible metaphor with the house on fire confirms he's a bad teacher. Almost any other teacher would be better than him. Make the jump. Chances are you'll enjoy it much more.
#19
Quote by Jet Penguin
As someone who has been teaching for years, that guy can fuck right off.


Haha! love that reply!
#20
Quote by bevans555
Thanks for the replies guys.

Yes, I did tell him my goals (he did not ask but I let him know). I told him that I did not want to learn to read sheet music, yet. I told him that I have no intentions of joining a band or ever playing on stage. I told him I would like to learn to play blues and southern rock and basically just be able to jam out and play some of my favorite songs at home.

I did mention during the last lesson that I would like to learn some chords and songs, he said it was coming... not sure if that meant during the remaining 4 weeks or next year.

He did admit that he teaches different than most. He said most teachers would have me playing box scales but that people can get stuck doing that and that's why I was learning sliding scales, but made it out like that was a good thing.

Anyway like I said I'm totally new to this but its getting frustrating when he starts talking about theory and roots and triads and crap that I know nothing about and then doesn't explain it to me. I even went as far as asking about some materials that would better explain theory to me and he then wanted to sell me a $25 theory book... I passed.

I'll finish out my 4 lessons and then start looking for a new teacher.. or do you guys recommend getting some books to learn the basics and then take lessons?

As I said, he clearly assumes that you know more than you actually do. Your first lessons should have no theory in them. Learning theory when you can't actually play anything just makes no sense (and I say this as a to-be music theory teacher). That's why it's also hard to understand that stuff. First learn some practice, only after that learn the explanation for it and it will make a lot more sense to you. If you don't understand it in practice, it's really hard to understand it in theory. Yeah, you could learn to memorize some theoretic jargon, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't actually hear how it sounds like.

Just learning scale boxes does have its shortcomings (if you learn them like many people do - they learn one scale position here and other there and only stay inside of them and never learn to connect them) and it is important to learn scales both vertically and horizontally. But at this point you shouldn't even be learning scales yet (IMO). There's no use of them if you can't play any songs yet.

I would say the first thing you should do is learn some basic chords. As a guitarist you will be playing chords most of the time.

Quote by J23L
Your teacher sucks. Just learn to play the instrument by yourself. I never had a teacher that taught me how to physically play the guitar and I learned it by myself. If you have enough motivation and are inspired enough you can learn without a teacher. It takes a lot of practice, but it's so worth it.

Having a (good) teacher is more efficient in pretty much all cases.

I don't know... You could start without a teacher. Learning the basics without a teacher isn't that hard. Getting a teacher after you have some experience may make sense. Also, if you learn the basics on your own, it may actually motivate you more. But it doesn't work for everybody. A good teacher works for everybody. A bad teacher is just a waste of time and money.

Though having a (good) teacher from the day one also has its advantages. That way you can be sure that you don't learn any bad habits that you need to get rid of later.

But yeah, if you want to continue taking lessons, find a good teacher. A good teacher is somebody that actually listens to you play and corrects your mistakes/tells you that what you are doing sounds right (if it does), and teaches you how to practice efficiently (not just "practice these things" - he should also explain/show how to practice those things, that's not something to be taken for granted). A good teacher doesn't talk too much - the lesson should be practical. It should be about playing the guitar, not too much about talking about the guitar. A good teacher also listens to what you want to do. Oh, and if you don't understand something, a good teacher will be able to explain it clearly, not by using a poor analogy.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 10, 2015,
#21
I will be changing teachers, I just don't know anyone who plays guitar so it's difficult to ask around to see what teacher is good. Also, I don't know of any other teachers in my town but in the next city 30 miles away there is a guitar center that offers lessons as well as a couple of small music schools. I'll probably end up making the 30 minute drive there to try out those places.

I hate to throw away the money that I've already paid for the remaining month of lessons but I'm also pretty pissed right now, and am not sure how this next lesson is going to go after having my suspicions confirmed about his teaching style.
#22
As mentioned above, your teacher is a terrible teacher and sounds like a bit of a con really. Trying to sell you things is bizarre.

That being said, your 32 years old - use the internet and you tube to get started. Justin guitar - follow those for a while and then seek out a teacher after you've played a bit more and have a few hours under your belt.
#23
Wow! Just wow!
I can't think of a better way to turn off someone to music. Run don't walk away from this guy's lessons.

I am no hero guitar teacher, but the best ones do a few things really well:
-Evaluates where you are in your playing skills and your goals.
-Shows you what comes next skill wise on the path to your goals.
-Uses a language that you understand.
-Keeps it fun by learning songs that interest you.

I'd say your teacher rates a zero in these fundamentals. Find a new one that gets it. Ask him if you can apply the prepaid remaining lessons as a store credit for strings and other accessories for your new guitar. If he says no, move on and never darken his doorstep again.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Nov 10, 2015,
#25
p.s if it's any consolation, my first "teacher" (when I was 10) got as far as showing me something exciting like the melody for "three blind mice", and on 3rd lesson, literally had an epileptic fit. I was out of there like a rocket, with him hot on foot after me ... never went back, and didn't take lessons again till early 30's.
#26
Some people are not good at empathizing with someone that knows nothing. So, their explanations will sometimes assume you already know things you don't.

His explanation of the root, i think is because if you are improvising, then you really can't go wrong by playing the root of a chord.

Imo, he is going about some roundabout way of teaching you. If you took lessons with me though, I don't think we'd start with a guitar in your hands in your first lesson, but definitely the next, and after the first, you'd be far less lost than you are now.

I suspect that teachers that teach poorly like that are quite common, and finding a good teacher would probably take some trial and error.
#27
Yea, I think this is going to be a trial and error thing.

He is charging me $75/ month, 1 lesson each week. Which is about average around here.. Guitar center I think charges $85/ month and the music lesson shops in the other town charge $80/month.

When I first thought about getting lessons I remember reading online about people complaining that you shouldn't go to "guitar center" for lessons but instead find a locally owned music store that offers lessons because you could find better qualified instructors if they owned their own shop. Well, that didn't work...

I'll probably do the Justin website deal for a while, buy some Hal Leonard books and then look back into lessons in a few months or when I hit a road block. I just know how I am, when I get a hobby I jump in headfirst and invest all my spare time trying to learn as much as possible but when I start to lose interest it's over and I'm on to the next thing. That's why I really wanted a teacher, just someone who might help keep me on track and challenge me to keep my interests.
#28
Quote by bevans555
Yea, I think this is going to be a trial and error thing.

He is charging me $75/ month, 1 lesson each week. Which is about average around here.. Guitar center I think charges $85/ month and the music lesson shops in the other town charge $80/month.

If it makes you feel any better, I pay $90 a lesson. So look at it this way $75 dollars a month is extremely cheap.
#29
Normally I tell people to have a little faith in their teachers and try the method before making any judgments... but it doesn't sound like the lessons are very organized or useful. I'm also not seeing any repertoire, which is kind of essential to learning music.

That said, don't expect to spend your lessons just jamming, no matter who your teacher is. Like lessons or classes in any subject, you will spend time being confused, because confusion is the first step towards understanding. The idea with pretty much any teaching method is to give you something just a bit beyond your understanding, send you home to work on it, and then put all the pieces together so you get an Aha! moment in the next lesson.

If you want lessons from people who are trained to teach, go for someone who has Masters in music or music education. There are duds at every level of qualification of course, but pretty much anyone who gets a masters has spent probably 20 years receiving lessons, and at least a few years actually teaching classes. They should have good idea how to put concepts and repertoire together.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 11, 2015,
#31
I lol'd. He's terrible. Find a new teacher.

Never heard a better explanation of root note. not_vague_and_confusing_at_all

But it would be way too easy to just tell you, right? Life isn't fun if it's too easy.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Nov 12, 2015,
#34
Quote by bevans555
I'm 32 and trying to learn to play electric guitar(blues/southern rock) and have a few questions as to if my lessons are going normal. I recently bought a guitar and signed up for 2 months of lessons with the store owner and have completed 4 of my 8 lessons. The owner/teacher has gone to a nice local university and studied music and has been playing for over 30 years, he is also in a few bands. I have total respect for him as a musician.

The problem is I feel like of my 30 minute lesson maybe 5-10 minutes is actually about guitar, and that time is spent pointing to a picture in a book that he wrote and I had to pay $10 for and saying ok go home and learn how to do this. Also this book is all pictures and no text, so there is nothing for me to read or explain to me what I looking at. He is also big into theory which is great, but there is definitely some difficulty with him making me understand(example- he told me to find the root. I asked "what is a root". His answer was "imagine the house is on fire, where would you go?" I replied "out the door". He says " yes, the root will be your door out". I told him "that makes no sense to me" and somehow the conversation changed..I still have no clue what a root is). I know I'm completely new to this and maybe things will start to improve over the next 4 lessons but I need some opinions on if his teaching style is normal, or if my money would be better spent elsewhere.

so heres a breakdown of my lessons so far.

week 1- Didn't even get to hold the guitar... Had to hang it on the wall and identify the strings.

week 2- Was taught where to place fingers on frets, bought a scale book, was told to learn the E minor Sliding Pentatonic scale

week 3- Played the scale for him once, I got nervous and messed up and hit a wrong string while I was descending. Didn't get a second chance to play it. Was told to go home and practice that scale and to also work on improvising. (WTF- improvise?)

week 4- Played the E minor scale just like his book illustrated only to find out that his illustrations are wrong. (been practicing this wrong scale for 2 weeks along with all the other sliding pentatonic scales in the book to try and get ahead.) Also played a little 6 note improv.

I was thinking that after 4 weeks I would have learned a chord or 2, or maybe even how to play twinkle twinkle little star and happy birthday.

Am I wrong in my thinking? Is the the normal for taking lessons? Should I continue after my lessons are up or buy the Hal Leonard books and practice on my own for a while?

Sorry for the long post and Thanks for any replies.


I don't like the way that he's structuring those lessons at all.

I'm okay with week 1 - helping you identify the parts.

Week 2? No way - I'd start you on chords and get you playing your first songs, and building your confidence as well as core fundamentals. It's stupid...yes I will say it, to start a dude with scales on week 2.

Week 3 - You're on a drip feeder. Moss will grow faster than you will develop with that sort of feedback, and involvement.

Week 4 - I'm convinced he's a clock watcher, and $ collector and a book teacher. He's merely a facilitator, and a poor one at that.

Best,

Sean
#35
That sounds awful. Get out now, as everyone else is saying.

Quote by bevans555

week 3- Played the scale for him once, I got nervous and messed up and hit a wrong string while I was descending. Didn't get a second chance to play it. Was told to go home and practice that scale and to also work on improvising. (WTF- improvise?)


I had a drum teacher like that when I was at school. Luckily he retired pretty soon after I started or I'd probably have quit (and luckily the new teacher was awesome... and a far better player too, which I suspect wasn't a coincidence). Anyone can make a mistake, almost regardless of how much you've practised it. And knowing you're going to get jumped on if you make a mistake will increase your chances of making said mistake. It's just a terrible way to teach IMO, it makes you anxious when the teacher should be trying to help you.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 21, 2015,
#36
yeah change teacher or learn to read guitar tabs and try to learn some easy blues songs It's not that hard
I'm self taught the first songs I learned were come as you are by nirvana, mission impossible theme and smells like teen spirit
#37
I had my 7th lesson today of my 8 paid for lessons and I'm officially done with my teacher. Every time I leave that place a piece of my guitar playing dream dies. He literally makes me want to throat punch him and quit guitar... which is not an option. I ordered the Guitar for Dummies book and cd and will be watching more justinguitar videos until I get the basics down, then I will start lessons with a different teacher.


Just for lols

5th lesson- I tell him straight up i'm not happy with the progress, I want to learn a song. He assures me that I'm so far ahead and that I'm doing things in just 3 weeks that most players learn in 3-4 months of lessons. We kinda argue back and forth for a while. Again all I have learned is sliding pentatonic scales from lesson 2. I tell him that most people I know learn songs in the first few lessons, so he gives me a sheet with 3 chords that's suppose to be the song Wild Thing, he just didn't tell me how many times to strum each chord or the pattern in which to play the chords. Lesson over.

6th lesson- I walk in and he mentions they have some really nice new guitars that came in. I told him that I wasn't buying any more guitars. He asks how wild thing was coming along, I replied it didn't sound right to me. I plug into his amp and strum the chords to 'wild thing" he says it sounds perfect, and it did sound better on his amp with distortion on. I told him that it sounded better through his amp versus mine and that my next piece of equipment would be a fender tube amp, probably a BJr. He tells me how the BJr is a POS and he gave his away, I tell him theres a large population that would disagree. He then begins to start talking about growing up in the 70's, what bands during that era were using, what tubes I need etc... Then looks at the clock and says "times up, I guess we'll call this a Tone Lesson". I literally strummed wild thing 1 time, and received no instruction in this lesson, just him reliving his youth at concerts. As I'm walking out he tells me he'll give me back 100% of my money on my amp if I want to upgrade to another amp. He only had a couple Vox VT series and a Mustang 3 all of which sounded really digital to me. I passed, not giving him another cent- went to GC ordered a new Fender Super Champ X2- Cant wait for it to come in.

7th lesson- Again half of the lesson is wasted with him talking about shit I know nothing about, I just kept hearing the words relatives, diminished, progressions, hes pointing to roman numerals on scratch paper, Major 7th Barre chords.... I stop him and tell him again "I don't understand any of this" he assures me it will sink in, I tell him hes giving me way too much info and credit and that I just want to learn the most simple song that he can think of, like "come as you are" by Nirvana and that I think the theory should be introduced after he teaches me some basics. He tells me its a waste of time, that if I learn theory first then everything will make sense. I tell him NO MORE THEORY! He then tells me to play a "C" chord, to which I reply "I cant because you haven't taught me any chords just sliding pentatonic scales". He says "oh, with the way you took off with scales I assumed you already knew that. It took everything not to just get up and walk out right then... I reminded him that I told him at just about every lesson we had that I have never played guitar or any instrument ever. So, he finally gave me some sheets that show chords, went over a C and D chord and then the lesson was over.

I will never step foot back in that shop again. 7 weeks wasted. Also was it hard for everyone to play a D chord in the beginning? The A and C are not so bad but the D chord is killing me.
Last edited by bevans555 at Nov 23, 2015,
#38
Man, what a waste of cash. I feel for you. One of my students was already playing a pretty difficult tune for beginners by week 7.
Oh and for the D chord, use your index finger on the 3rd string, your ring finger on the 2nd string, and your middle finger on the 1st string. Remember that your thumb needs to be BEHIND the fingerboard. If it's sticking above the 6th string, move your wrist forward. The D chord is by far the easiest chord to play, most of my kids get it within the lesson.
#39
Quote by bevans555
I had my 7th lesson today of my 8 paid for lessons and I'm officially done with my teacher. Every time I leave that place a piece of my guitar playing dream dies. He literally makes me want to throat punch him and quit guitar... which is not an option. I ordered the Guitar for Dummies book and cd and will be watching more justinguitar videos until I get the basics down, then I will start lessons with a different teacher.

[lols snipped]
Your instincts are good. Justinguitar is worth sticking with, and the only disadvantage is he can't check what you're doing!

You're right it should be songs first, theory later (if at all). (Theory only makes sense when you can (a) hear how it sounds, and (b) play it yourself. Then you can decide if the jargon matters to you.)

The trouble with a lot of teachers is that they know a lot of stuff, but forget what it was like not to know it. They take basics for granted, and rip through topics too fast.
Good teaching is about really getting back to basics - trying to remember what it was like to know nothing: giving clear and simple demos, and always listening to the student, encouraging them to ask questions all the time. Focussing on the student: their issues, their goals, their fingers, their level of knowledge and understanding. Tailoring the material to fit.
It's a real skill - teaching is a profession after all - and just being a good musician doesn't qualify you.

When (if!) you check out another teacher, make sure you're clear about what you want. Respect their knowledge and experience, but remember you're the client. You're not at school. You're hiring them to do a job. The results need to suit you, not them. You need to understand every step, and why it matters, and not trust that it will become clear later.

(A masterclass for more advanced students can be different - when the students have enough skill and experience to know exactly what they want to get from the master, and it matters less if he/she doesn't have great teaching skills.)

As for the D chord - GG is right it's one of the easiest, but it might depend on how big your fingers are (and how narrow the guitar neck). The common problem is getting the 1st string to sound, because it's easy for the 3rd finger (on 2nd string) to get in the way. You need to make sure all fingers are arched (curled), so the tips come down at right angles - as near as possible. (Good tip for all chords in fact).
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 24, 2015,
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