#1
I've been playing for a few years and I'm okay but I wanted to start taking lessons to get really good. Not just at guitar but with ear training and theory and all that. Anyway, my brother who's been playing longer than I have said it's a waste of time and money and that I can figure stuff out just by practicing a few different exercises and picking apart different songs. He took guitar/music theory lessons for about two years after playing for two or three and says they didn't really help. I don't really know what to think, so I thought I'd ask for other opinions. Would lessons really help or can I figure it out on my own?
Last edited by cowboy_jones at Jan 10, 2016,
#2
You're brother is an idiot and yes, start lessons if you possibly can. You can figure it out yourself, maybe. But lessons will speed that process up very, very much.

EDIT: I can't fucking believe I wrote "you're" there I'm losing my grammar powers...
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Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jan 10, 2016,
#4
Lessons with the right teacher really help. If the teacher sucks they wont help (Obviously). I myself never took traditional lessons (Ive played for over a decade at this point) and really started to improve when i started jamming with other people, learning there secrets one could say, and by teaching others myself. Ear training in my mind is something no one can teach you. you just have to do it. the longer you play, the more you know how to make the sounds you are hearing. Music theory a teacher could be very helpful, but only if they present it in the right way. I taught myself music theory, but more importantly as i learned it, i learned how to apply it, and basically ignore it. I use my ear more than anything when i play. I also improvise CONSTANTLY. SO, long story short, are teachers necessary. Not really. BUT If they know their stuff you will learn so much faster. I wish i would have taken lessons when i first started out.
#5
Hey man, I had my first lesson last week after teaching myself for the last year but only seriously for the past 6 months-ish. It was okay, it was hard for me to know if the teacher was any good or not because I have no other teacher to compare him to. That's the trouble for beginners, people tell them to get a GOOD teacher but how do you know they are any good as a beginner because, I myself when I was a beginner would consider anyone putting chords together good.

Anyway so the teacher looked at my playing, and basically said to me that I am playing at a grade 5 level... No idea what that means tbh lol and he was going on about a lot of theory to me, I know that's part of the lessons but I am more interested in my technique and getting tips and progressing with that. The thing is after the lesson he never asked if I wanted to book in for another lesson... Not sure what to do but I know a lot of guitarist teach them selves like me, then get stuck and want to get better! But I think its all about finding the right teacher! Find the right teacher I think and you cant go wrong, that's also advice to myself! lol
#6
Find a good teacher. A bad teacher will not help you progress or worse give you bad habits. Find a good teacher and you speed up your learning greatly as well as catching bad habits early.

For a new player a teacher is essential. For everyone else getting a teacher on occasion will also help, though if it isn't in your budget constant lessons after you nail the basics is something you can skip. If I could afford it I would be paying for constant lessons and I have been playing for many years. Although what I would look for in a teacher is a lot different than what I would have looked for years ago.
#7
I'm not really a new player I just wanna get more into technical stuff and theory. I just don't know if that'd help or if it'd just make me learn everything faster.
#8
Quote by cowboy_jones
I'm not really a new player I just wanna get more into technical stuff and theory. I just don't know if that'd help or if it'd just make me learn everything faster.

I found this one of the better sources for learning theory on your own. I would start with this and see where it takes you and then you can decide if a teacher should assist you along or after this.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html

Even if you just find a guitar teacher for a month they could help guide you and provide you with materials that will help you along, and catch common mistakes.
#9
everyone is different .. a lot of people have bits and pieces of "music" a few chords and maybe some scales..but they don't know how to connect them or use them in other ways then the ones they know..the word theory can mean different things to different people at different points in their music development

when I teach the first question I usually ask is.."what do you want to learn"..now that simple question can be difficult to answer if you have no idea of what is possible to learn from where you are at present..many don't know what they know..its like having pieces of a puzzle but not a clear idea of what the picture is going to be..

say you know blues in E..and you can play the chords and solo over it..I would show you the inversions of the main chords and how to connect them and use some of the notes in those inversions and turn them into some runs that can be added to your existing solo..but that is just an idea from my experience in teaching..learning the fretboard would be a major goal in the lessons..as well as learning all the chords in major and minor scales and progressions you can play over within the scales (and arpeggios)..while learning this type of stuff you are learning diatonic harmony and theory..in a non boring textbook way..

so do you NEED a teacher..?? did you need one to read and write?? the bottom line in taking lessons is how much do you really want to learn this stuff..it takes some work and quite a bit of constant practice..

if you decide you do .. do research and read reviews if you can..let the cost of lessons also be a factor.."music schools" usually want you to buy "blocks" of lessons...try to find a "one on one" situation where there is little to no pressure on learning...fun MUST be part of the learning process
play well

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#10
Lessons will hopefully speed up the learning process. It can connect together information that you may not realise relates to each other in a music theory and technique sense.

Ear training is much better with someone else challenging you. Otherwise there are expensive ear training software programs to try.
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#11
Lessons do help providing that the teacher can show you techniques and correct bad habits.
But you still have to put in the time and effort. Going to a teacher to show you how to play songs is a big waste of time in my opinion and a money maker for the teacher. Now that being said there is nothing wrong in having a teacher break down a part of the song that you're having difficulties in or are unsure on how to proceed with that part. Make sure you let the teacher know what you want to work on, and make sure he is well qualified to show you as such. Many teachers teach on a beginner level to acoustic players, if you're into shred, jazz, or blues it would be a asset to find a teacher that has experience in the style you're headed into.
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#12
Gods, yes, lessons help *a lot*. I played for years on my own, then I took a teacher, and I made more progress in a year than ever before. Even when I wish he gave more advice, the simple fact that he's here to push me out of my comfort zone helps immensely.

Obviously it has to be a teacher that is familiar with the style of music you want to play. I had a couple of "jazz, blues, rock, all styles" guitar teachers before, and it never went anywhere. Now that I have a teacher who plays in a prog metal / djent band, I get to work on the guitar technics that I need (in the past, I was appalled by the number of guitar teachers who have never heard of sweeping or are unable to teach playing with high gain properly).
Guitars: Music Man JP7 2009 (piezo) and JP6 2013, Fender Stratocaster US 1991
#13
I started out taking lessons from a ''every style'' teacher as well. I developed bad picking habits for the next 2-3 years. Until I booked 8 lessons with a lead guitar virtuoso. He told me right off the bat ''You won't get away with this inappropriate picking technique, it's totally detrimental to your playing and progress''.

After those lessons, I was FINALLY understanding what solos were made of, I could also reproduce solos from my lead guitarist from that time, and within 2 months of correct practice and fixing bad habits, such as posture and picking, I progressed more than the 2 previous years.

It definitely helps to stay focused on your goals and objectives.
#14
A good teacher is a huge help. When you teach yourself you will often have huge blind spots or practice into a dead end. Someone who's spent a decade working with hundreds of guitar players will probably be able to give you better advice than you can!
#15
I really wish I could go back in time and teach my younger self. Lessons can really help, but in which way, how much, and all that, depends on the person takign them, and the teacher. A good teacher should be able to adapt to the student. But I think it can often be luck. One teacher might not be able to adapt well, and would be very bad for some students, but great for others.
#16
Yes, it does help in many ways. If you keep practicing you'll eventually get the hang of what it is you are trying to do and you will be great at it. teachers can be a lot of help with this so find an expert. when I was in band class I'd stay after and practice on drums. I was percussionist.
#17
I think it depends on who you are. I'd actually enjoy lessons but I can't afford them. I've spent the last year and a bit really knuckling down and trying to progress beyond simple chords.

I spent a LOT of time watching and reading many many guitar lessons. That way I was generally able to filter out the good advice from the bad advice (or advice that wasn't that necessary). I ended up completely reworking my technique, and now I'm focusing on my rhythm/groove. In that time I've also become fairly good at fingerstyle, and I've got into the nitty gritty of music theory which has helped a lot in allowing me to understand what I'm playing.

In other words I've progressed a hell of a lot over the last year. I've still got a LONG way to go, but everything is starting to fall into place. This isn't easy though. I've wasted my time on poor technique and practice routines that did little for me. I hit low spots where I felt my progression was pitiful. At the end of the day, it's about identifying what is poor about your playing, and correcting it. That's a hell of a lot easier than it sounds.

I think self-teaching is possible. But I suspect it takes a lot longer than someone guiding you and letting you know where you need to improve.
#18
Quote by cowboy_jones
I've been playing for a few years and I'm okay but I wanted to start taking lessons to get really good. Not just at guitar but with ear training and theory and all that. Anyway, my brother who's been playing longer than I have said it's a waste of time and money and that I can figure stuff out just by practicing a few different exercises and picking apart different songs. He took guitar/music theory lessons for about two years after playing for two or three and says they didn't really help. I don't really know what to think, so I thought I'd ask for other opinions. Would lessons really help or can I figure it out on my own?


I can tell you it is a waste of money, When I had guitar lessons I got shown some scales and got given songs to practise, Pretty much shit you can teach yourself, Learning theory would be the only good reason to take lessons, Even basic theory can be pretty confusing and would help by having someone explain it in a more simplified version.
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#19
Nowh, ov corse thay wunt alp. Eye av nevver add anne inglish lessen inmi lyfe an luck oww gud I yam attit!
#20
Quote by nanna_guy414
I can tell you it is a waste of money, When I had guitar lessons I got shown some scales and got given songs to practise, Pretty much shit you can teach yourself, Learning theory would be the only good reason to take lessons, Even basic theory can be pretty confusing and would help by having someone explain it in a more simplified version.


Maybe you just had a bad teacher. How advanced are you at guitar? Because for me, I can definitely see a large number of things I learned, that took me a long time to figure out, that could have really gone a LOT faster if I just had someone tell me all of those things, and present them in logical order so that I learned as quickly as possible.

I can also tell you that when I was just a kid I took piano lessons and quit because I hated them, and then later I tried bass lessons for a little bit, which I learned basically nothing, and did much better on my own. I would much prefer to learn the way I did, by teaching myself, than follow those philosophies of lessons. However, if I could go back in time and teach myself at that age, knowing what I know now, I would have learned much much faster.

I'm sure it's very easy to find teachers that aren't the best, and that do little more than present what you could find on any website, and really only add a sort of deadline, which is still something in and of itself. But the right teacher with the right method for the right student, is incredibly helpful.

You can see here, in this thread, some people saying how helpful it was for them. That you did not find the teachers you had experiences with very helpful, does not mean that teachers are not helpful, point blank.
#21
I had lessons when I was starting out, and they were quite invaluable. I was in there for about 1 year-1 year and a half, and had to quit because of time and money issues. If I still had the time and money, I would have taken lessons for much longer.

Having a teacher really helped me with not developing bad habits, what to practice, keep a better track of my development, etc. I feel like my improvement halted a bit when I had to quit the lessons and started teaching myself, but it would be waaay worse if not for the lessons.

As long as you have time and money, and you like your teacher, lessons are very very good. If you ever feel like you're not improving, maybe you need to look for another teacher.
Last edited by DanyFS at Jan 19, 2016,
#22
Well it depends very much on yourself!

For me well I had a brand new acustic guitar back in 1988 and lessons followed for a year or so. Needless to say I was hardly inspired and aware of what I wanted to play so the few bits still stuck somewhere in my skill department I learned back then. I don't recall anything special like songs, chords, scales or theory. I did bring a tape of Smoke on the water by Purple and he showed me the main riff on the low E. It is actually in G!

After hearing thrash metal in my next 2 years at school I knew what I wanted to play and nobody around seemed to be able to teach me how and I never really looked for one either. Nope I got my first electric and 2 tab books by Metallica around 1991. Then tuaght myself what I wanted to play!

So the key for me is to be inspired enough to do it, what is the that I want to learn and then find how to do it. Practise is key to master things in life.

If you know what you want a good teacher should guide the way but it is more simple today with internet that came around 1994-5 for free lessons. You just need to know what you want to gain from all the free stuff as you can get easily of focus.

Also learning on your own to read and hear develops you to be you and the best thing of guitar playing is there no rules but the ones you set for yourself.

You should pick what would work for you the best to get to your playing goals the fastest under your belt.

One rule that will help you: Always practise your weak spots to a metronome. You will never run out.
#23
I got jack shit from the 2 lessons I took, but I don't blame to the teachers.

I'd like to find a good fingerstyle instructor in my area. Las Cruces, NM in case any of you guys are teaching in the area.
#24
Quote by TobusRex
I got jack shit from the 2 lessons I took, but I don't blame to the teachers.

I'd like to find a good fingerstyle instructor in my area. Las Cruces, NM in case any of you guys are teaching in the area.


Well, I unfortunately don't live anywhere nice and warm like that, but I could maybe show you a few things on skype or something, if you're interested.