Hello, I recently starting playing the guitar, I've been playing for about 2 months now. I know quite a bit of people who play are self-taught, but I can't help but wonder how much more efficient it may be to learn under a skilled instructor.

The first question: Is it really more efficient to learn from an instructor? I know alot of it is how much you practice, but one of things with me is there is just so much stuff to learn I have trouble deciding what to learn next, or if I have any bad habbits while I'm doing things. Also, how would someone go about finding a decent instructor? The local guitar shop does offer lessons, but only 30 minute lessons and you cannot take more than 1 lesson a week. I've got a reasonable amount of fair time, I'd like to put in more time than that.

Second question: Several sites I see are really stressing alternate picking. Is it good practice to always alternate pick? For example: I learned the intro solo for fade to black, and I originally played it without alternate picking, after I got it down I forced myself to alternate pick every note. I'm messing around with Sanitarium and I'm doing almost entirely downstrokes up untill the opening solo. Is this a bad habbit? Should it always be alternate picking? Thanks in advance for any replies!
Here's how I would break it down:

If guitar is a hobby - Teach yourself. If you want to take this seriously and go this route..It will "PROBABLY" be more difficult.

If guitar is a dream profession - Get a teacher. Get one by calling up a few guitar stores and ask for refrences on teachers in the area. More than likely a good teacher has given their cards to guitar shops just for people like you to call up and ask for them.

Either way you go, YES you MUST learn how to alt-pick. Don't think of it has a plus to playing more like a necessary skill to learn to play. PERIOD.
Quote by ComplistiK

Either way you go, YES you MUST learn how to alt-pick. Don't think of it has a plus to playing more like a necessary skill to learn to play. PERIOD.

Well that is kinda wrong as I read I think it was in guitar technique mag that Eric Clapton cant alt pick!

But im with you alt picking is neccessary as you can generally play much quicker and more comfortably rather than playing economy.

Plus get a teacher as you will learn a load of useful stuff only good guitarists know!!


Once you learn alt picking you never use any other type apart from sweep and finger picking. It makes it much easier to play faster stuff and scales better.

On the instructor part i chose not do get a teacher cos i wanted to do my own thing and my friends who have been taught for years are at the same skill level as me.
i started out learning 2 months ago and started with an instructor at a local guitar store. i am really pleased with how it is going so far. i only go once a week for 30 minutes but the fee is good and he shows me enough to go away and practice with for the rest of the week till i get back for the next lesson. sometimes i think i would like to go more often or for longer but it works for right now. i still have a long way to go before i am any good but compared to how totally lame i was before i went in for my first lesson i would have to say i have definitely made progress.

and learn to alt pick. it's not too hard to do once you concentrate on doing it all the time.
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