#1
I've been playing guitar for roughly just over a year now and only really seriously tried to get better about 6 months ago, ive tried learning a lot on my own from chords to scales on the internet etc.. And feel ive done okay so far ( I only learnt guitar to write music in the first place), but i just want to get better so Ive now decided that I am going to take some lessons in the new year.

My question to people who have done the same thing is, how did you see yourself improve when you started taking lessons? did you get a better understanding of playing guitar and did playing become easier for you? ( I know lessons on there own wont make me better as Ive gotta put the work in too) But i am interested in what progress you made from where you were before having lessons

Thanks guys for any answers given
Last edited by heaven086 at Dec 27, 2015,
#2
Lessons made me what i am today. I've studied with some of the best jazz professors in my country, and also been in several masterclasses/clinics with great jazz players of today (Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Potter, Jonathan Kreisberg etc)

One of the best benefits of studying with a good teacher is that they have experience, they have been practicing for 3-4 times longer than you, they have been gigging more than you, they have been taught by other people and they are just in general a more complete musician. They have had many students and know how to tackle different problems from technique to tunes to improvisation to theory.

One of the best things about having a good teacher is that they can set you on a path. Often you are overwhelmed with things to practice, and there are tons of different ways to practice things. A good teacher will feed you chunks of information that you can handle, and when you have grasped that bit of information they will continue forward. As you progress you will get bigger chunks of information to practice and more complex things to practice, they will be able to judge when you are ready for certain things.

The important thing is find a good teacher, not just a teacher. I know teachers that have killed peoples love for music, teachers that have made their students clones of themselves and teachers who flat out just can't teach. A good teacher will make you love music even more, motivate you to practice and make sure practicing is fun.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#3
I had a teacher for the first year of playing, teaching me the basics and setting up a decent foundation. He wasn't an awesome teacher or anything, and he ended up being fired from the guitar shop he was working at (I heard it was something to do with drugs, I don't know) but he did a good job with the basics and getting me going. After that I mostly taught myself by learning things on the internet. Reading articles and asking questions in these forums and lurking other people's threads. I guess if I'd had a good teacher I might have learned things in a better order and had better direction and might have avoided occasionally learning things wrong and then having to relearn them, but I still managed to progress pretty quickly just because I enjoyed it so much and put in a lot of time every day. I think having a teacher definitely would have helped, but I did well enough without one. One of the main drawbacks about the way I did it was that I only worked on whatever random thing caught my attention and interested me, instead of things that were more important whether I knew it at the time or not, but then again, that also made it so that I always enjoyed what I was doing.


But yea, I think a teacher could make a big difference, as long as it's a good teacher.
#4
Mostly, you tend to get lost with huge piles of material at first - a teacher's job should be to focus you, to cut the material to bite-sized pieces until you know enough to do that for yourself.

That's precisely what my old teacher did
#5
The advantage of having a teacher is that a teacher can give you immediate feedback. After you have played something, the teacher can tell you what you did right/wrong right away. A teacher also teaches you how to practice something efficiently and what to focus on when practicing. The advice online may not always apply to you, but the advice coming from a teacher always does because the teacher sees what you are doing right/wrong and bases their advice on that.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#6
I have been playing guitar for about 8 years now, give or take a year. I have started taking actual lessons about a year ago, and i have just recently stopped. About two months ago my teacher told me that i move my thumb in a weird way when i play, and its holding me back big time. And he was right, i barely made any progress in that one year, and now after basicly relearning how to play with my right hand, i managed to get more progress in a month or two than in a year before. But i stopped taking lessons because im pissed at the guy that he didnt notice it before. I was paying for lessons for an entire year, with him staring into my hands the entire time, and he didnt notice? Well thats some bullshit right there boy. So yeah, i think lessons are all fine and good, but like people said, you need to find a good teacher, and you also have to be motivated to practice alone. Im planing on taking more lessons, as soon as i re-train my right hand, but im surely not gonna get the same teacher.

I do also take vocal lessons, and those have greatley helped me. The teacher is great, since she is a professional opera singer, so she has some grasp on how to teach singing. Not to mention she is ridiculously hot.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#7
Great comments guys, am enjoying reading your experiences and progress when starting to take lessons!
#8
I have no experience in having a teacher I taught myself and I'll never seek a teacher..
My take on it is don't wait for a teacher to get better.. Theres a lot you can do by yourself to improve your playing. But do get one If you want, what I'm trying to say is don't wait for the teacher to do the work for you because he won't.. I heard a couple of your songs and they where good I'm guessing you want to become a better lead player..
here's some cool exercises for you to be able to get your alternate picking right.. it's not a lesson on musicality but a 30 minutes exercise you can do to improve your technique.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_zUV2YyBik

this other one is for finger independence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfIxcNHeHqU

so If your willing to spend 30/40 minutes a day this would really pay off
20/30 min vinnie more exercises
10 min finger independence

as for being able to play solos I'd just improvise over a number of songs you like
maybe even your own you'll notice that the same pattern's are allways there.
or learn some solos you like..

The hardest thing is becoming an exact player meaning you do very few mistakes, the ones that only other musicians would notice. This comes with lot's of recording because when you play and make mistakes it's kind of ok, but when you want to play a piece perfectly to record it, that's when you'll see how many mistakes you make and by recording a lot you'll become much more exact in your playing you won't even have to practice that much...
Hope I helped
#9
Quote by João1993
I have no experience in having a teacher I taught myself and I'll never seek a teacher..
My take on it is don't wait for a teacher to get better.. Theres a lot you can do by yourself to improve your playing. But do get one If you want, what I'm trying to say is don't wait for the teacher to do the work for you because he won't.. I heard a couple of your songs and they where good I'm guessing you want to become a better lead player..
here's some cool exercises for you to be able to get your alternate picking right.. it's not a lesson on musicality but a 30 minutes exercise you can do to improve your technique.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_zUV2YyBik

this other one is for finger independence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfIxcNHeHqU

so If your willing to spend 30/40 minutes a day this would really pay off
20/30 min vinnie more exercises
10 min finger independence

as for being able to play solos I'd just improvise over a number of songs you like
maybe even your own you'll notice that the same pattern's are allways there.
or learn some solos you like..

The hardest thing is becoming an exact player meaning you do very few mistakes, the ones that only other musicians would notice. This comes with lot's of recording because when you play and make mistakes it's kind of ok, but when you want to play a piece perfectly to record it, that's when you'll see how many mistakes you make and by recording a lot you'll become much more exact in your playing you won't even have to practice that much...
Hope I helped


Great man, thanksfor those videos ill use them and youre right man i do want to tighten my lead playing andgetting a better understanding of it as well as accuracy going from chords to notes etc

Thanks dude
#10
I was a self taught guitarist and now a guitar teacher. What I find with students that start lessons after self teaching is that I can connect together information for them. It may be music theory concepts they may not have seen connect together. It helps students get a better understanding of why we play things.

Then it is introducing you to the next possibility with the information students already have. Like if you understand natural minor scale how to use either Dorian mode or when to use harmonic minor.

This can be a short cut to accessing more sounds (different scales and chords) to include in your writing.
#11
I never had a teacher, but if i went back in time, I'd be able to quickly explain a number of concepts, how they are used, and why I don't need to worry so much about those. Learn more important things for me, and how they are used, and how to practice and learn them the most efficiently and fun. What technique I need, and if I need a new technique or just more practice with current one. I'd know good songs for practicing certain things, and stuff like that. Everything would just have gone a lot faster, and I'd be well ahead of myself as I am now.