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Hi, I know this seems like a really simple question, but I was wondering if there was anyone here on the boards who is completely self-taught, meaning you've never had lessons, and if so, what level are you? I am currently learning guitar by myself and was wondering what level of playing I could hope to reach? BTW, are there any famous guitarists who were self taught? Thank you for your time.
Loads of pros were self-taught. none come to mind at the moment but I've read about a fair few. Even when taking lessons, most guitar players don't rely solely on the tacher, but use them as more of a mentor to nudge them in the right direction when they start to go of the rails.
Getting a teacher is strongly reccomended but its totally possible to teach yourself and become just as good.
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dont sweat how quick your progressing, i heard that Jimi hendrix didnt get his legendary guitar skills until he was dead

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Self taught me, and I know more about the guitar than my friend who has lessons!

I'm cool like that though..
Cam Sampbell's my hero
i've taught myself on keyboard, but it applies to all instruments when i say there's really only so much you can do without lessons. yes, it can be done, but it's rather limiting when you don't really know what to do next to progress. although guitar and keyboard are completely different since guitar has strings, so it'll take some getting used to strumming and fretting correctly. but i see no reason why it's not possible
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Well, I've been playing self-taught for a little over 6 months now... and I'm not that great... =(
You can learn guitar easily by yourself, get lessons if you're into theory or if you really serious about guitar I guess.

Otherwise, save your money for a new guitar
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Best theory lesson EVER!
I've never had a lesson and I'm happy with how good I am.
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How young would you consider no-pedo attempt
i played without lessons for about a year then took lessons for a couple months and i found i had so many bad habits that once my teacher told me about i corrected and in the first month or so i advanced more then i had in like the previous 6, only reason i quit was cause i moved
I played guitar for 5 and a half years without lessons, and just started taking them now, and to be honest, you don't really need them.

"Perfect" guitar technique is so ambiguous(sp?), and so many virtuosos have wacky technique, i think it's 100% possible to get to that level self taught.

That said, I have to say that it's much harder to get really far on a theoretical level and your own. Learning proper modal improv and stuff can be tough on your own, which is why I got a teacher.

So yeah, I've got a teacher with a jazz degree from Grant MacEwan in Alberta, and a performance degree from Berklee, and while he's not improving me THAT much technically (he has eliminated some tension), he really helps me on a deeper musical level.

Hope that helps.
good luck
My teacher will give me little licks to practice etc

But 90% of my skill is down to myself
Well I never had lessons, I am pretty good. Yngwie Malmsteen never had a lesson and he is awesome, Jeff Loomis, Hendrix I am pretty sure never had a lesson, Eddie Van Halen I don't think ever had a lesson, and I am not sure if Joe Satriani had lessons, but I if he did I don't think he had many.

So you can become great, it all depends on how much drive, and time you have to work on guitar. Also,, He does this thing called riff of the week, you can look it up on youtube, and he teaches tons of stuff. Also this site has tons of lessons that can get you started.
Yeah, I was self taught. I have been playing for a 4 or 5 years and I am very happy with how far I have come myself. Not saying a teacher is a bad thing, if it works for you, go with it.
I'm pretty sure Eric Clapton was self taught.
I'm self taught and alright. Ive been playing for about 2 years now. Besides alot of my favorite guitarists are self taught
Think of it this way, the guy who invented the guitar, who gave him lessons? Certainly one can learn by themselves and with the internet, it's easier now than ever. With that said, you generally won't progress as fast without lessons, but they are not required.
I am self-taught. You can listen to my stuff if you would like to (note: Air Raid is very old and was recorded on very bad equipment that really didn't allow for extra takes).
While I like what being self-taught has brought me as far as developing my own way of playing, I really have to recommend against it. The reason is that because playing with people who are the real deal who really know their s*** is truly humiliating no matter how well I can play my own stuff. When someone will start talking about 5ths and major 7ths and even just basic concepts, it is like I turn into a kindergartner. It's awful when everyone else is going "oh yeah! ok" and I'm all "uh, do my fingers go here?". I can't read music, so I can't write it down. I could never be a studio musician ever. On the surface, I really think I can smoke a lot of players, but at the same time it's all worthless because I can't even tell you what I'm doing. It is really worth it to learn music the right way. It opens up the whole world of music to you. You can transpose things to other instruments, you can converse, you can be valid as a musician. In the long run, it is worth it. If you can, do it the right way.
ive been play for a lil over a year and i can belt out a few sweet metallica solos....its all about determination and what u hope to acheive...if ur really into it and u wanna make ur own stuff learn some therory...i did it totally on my own and i think it makes it more interesting then it being forced on...if u wanna get good fast jus dedicte and hour a day to guitar....15 mins for sclaes and improvisation...15 mins learning new things (chord progression/scales/arpeggios/licks etc....)....and 30 mins of practisin songs and solos you know and learning new ones....and listen to your guitar elders and there advice....and always ask questions no matter how stupid they are....and ull be shreddin in no time
i played without them for 9 months and was doing okay now in lessons i have improved a fair amount, i guess it depends on you teacher
Determination is what makes you a good guitar player. Lessons are certainly going to help you along, but in the end it's how dedicated you are that will decide how good you are. I of course recommend lessons, no reason not to have them.
To get good at anything requires a large measure of determination, motivation and practice. You'll need to be fairly self-driven whether or not you have lessons.

I think self-taught artists are great despite the fact they have had no instruction. Think of how good they could have become if they had more mentorship, especially when they started out!

Take lessons if you can, as it will definitely improve your playing and motivation to practice. If you can't take lessons, play with others who are more experienced than you. If you can't do that, don't despair, but recognize that your progress will be faster with lessons and mentorship.

Why spend time trying to re-invent the wheel when you can be initiated into the great guitar traditions by people who have gone before you? All styles worth learning share a foundation in basics.
That dude that did Canon Rock on YouTube was self-taught. It's certainly possible to reach that level of skill without lessons, but a teacher will help you improve your technique and can teach you new techniques (pinch harmonics, etc.) more easily than a video can.
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im self taught. when i got my first guitar when i was 13 (25 now) a friend of mine showed me the all mighty power chord. other then that it was just listen to the radio and play by ear. i guess i lucked out with having an "ear" for music. if i couldnt do that i cant even imagine how hard being self taught would be. as far as advanced techniques and stuff like tapping, harmonics, octaves etc... i learned most of that from going to live shows and watchin the guitarist the whole time and was also fortunate enough to get backstage and meet a few famous guitarists and annoy them with 20 questions
Quote by Lil Macker
Self taught me, and I know more about the guitar than my friend who has lessons!

I'm cool like that though..

yeah I'm self taught too, but I took like a weeks worth of lessons and WAS CRAP. all i learned was basically chords. the guy would just put a song to jam with, and he was "supposebly" teaching me how to solo. bunch of BS

lol and my friend was been taking lessons and I know way more about guitars, and accesories, amps, etc than he does
not much of a big deal but it feels good to know more than the other
I was self-taught and it really depends on the person and how he is determined on everything he does. Lessons are very useful coz they will teach you different theories and how to do everything right. It takes a whole lotta time to learn everything and it includes not only lessons but a whole lotta practice as well. Let's say you spend half of your day reading guitar lessons but you're lazy on picking up that guitar and apply everything you've learned. It's a waste of time then. What's important is how dedicated a person is. But nothing beats taking lessons and putting them into practice at the same time.
i'm self taught, but i have only been playing for less then 3 months. i'm still at a fairly novice level. i can only play songs with simple chord progressions, and picking/strumming patterns that isn't too complicated.
there are times i wish i had a teacher to consult and point me in the right direction. but then again, playing guitar is all about having fun. and i don't really think i need a teacher to teach me how to have fun, if you know what i mean. i suppose it would be great to have a teacher, and i'm sure most people would progress much faster with some mentoring. but as long as you're having fun, it doesn't really matter.
just to share my 2 cents worth.
playing 5 years and never had a "lesson" per se and am completely self-taught. But I have learned a lot of theory by reading lessons here on UG and from jamming with other better players. I would say that it's probably easier with a teacher but the UG community has kinda been like my teacher... That's sounds much more mushy than I though it would. I need to go watch Rocky to regain my testosterone level.
Stop whining and learn your theory!

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I'm doing fine, but I'm sure it's easier with a teacher.
Like music theory for example.
a lot of guitarists are self taught. i cant think of any right now but i can look and post a few up. i havent had any guitar lessons and i wouldnt say that i am amazing, but i like to think i dont suck... as long as you are willing to give it your all then you can totally do it.
Im self taught also...

I can play 95% of songs I like little time.
Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John Frusciante (RHCP) etc. etc. as far as I know never had a single lesson and there are countless others. As most on this thread have already said if you're looking to learn theory then a teacher would be best to at least consult with if you're having trouble identifying keys, major and minor and stuff like that, but the above examples prove beyond a doubt that you can become GREAT without formal lessons. I played guitar when I was younger and am just now getting back into it and I can say that I'll probably never pay for a lesson. There's too much information out there for me to have to do that. It might take longer but it'll be worth it.
The problem is in order to be self taught you have to teach yourself correctly, and that is very hard to do. I was self taught for years, and improved astronomically once I took lessons.

Didn't Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante and others take some sort of lessons?
Didn't Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante and others take some sort of lessons?

Pretty sure Eric Clapton didn't and I know for sure that Jimi didn't. John Frusciante didn't take lessons and I "think" that Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page didn't. Not sure about those last two that's just what I've heard. Some of the really great guitarists become great and then take lessons?? Maybe it's just to see what they missed out on when they were teaching themselves. An interesting note to this is that some of Jimi's friends went on record at one time and suggested that Jimi really didn't even know that much about music theoretically, but he did understand chords and built a foundation on that. The rest was just an awesome talent and complete undivided love for the guitar.
been playing three years, but hit a wall, started lessons and gone right back but i know it'll be worth it. Sometimes bad habits can limit your playing that much. So its worth keeing a open mind. Its ok either way
I am completely self taught, with loads of help from the lessons on UG. I don't even have friends or family that play that I can ask questions. I have been playing for a little over two years now and I consider myself intermediate or so. I cannot break out in an improvised solo and make it sound like a master piece, but I can play stuff like Master of Puppets all the way through without missing a note.
im completely self taught so far...been playing 8-10 months or so. and id say im kinda between begginer/intermediate.
im self taught but i had a friend who helped me along and i guess im ok well i had lessons for about 3 mos but i missed a bunch and all i learned from them is the e pentatonc scale
I have lessons. But what I do Is I learn what I need to know from lessons and output it in songs and tab. Like now I'm learning Panama. In my lessons I'm learning fingerpicking and we are about to start Stairway to Heaven (which if we were not going to play it, I would have used the fingerpicking skillz to do stairway to Heaven.) The teachings I have been taught helps a load with Panama. Half of the song is actually chords, that I had learned and had been explained for a easier way to complete them, with little bits and peices added on or took off.

The thing is, guitar with lessons is possible. But many things like Stairway to Hevan or Panama can be explained by a good teacher alot better than sheet music itself. It's like asking a peace of paper, "How do I do this," or a simple, "Whaat?" Teachers can explain it a whole lot better even if the author of the tab gives a thorough explaination, as some questions need to be asked and are not stated. Yet, you can ask the author for a explaination of the music, it may take days for them to answer except with a teacher, that question gets answered on the spot.

So, yes, it is possible to learn without a teacher. It's just not going to help you when you need a very thorough explaination of piece of music.
It's really not about lessons how well you end up.

It's about "Studying" guitar if you want to call it that. Come on here, learn thebad habits and make sure you're not doing them.

Then it's about practicing in a good sequence. Don't start off with solos and wicked fast stuff until you're ready.

Start slow and once you have a peice down, move on. Don't play it over and over until it's 100% perfect, you will end up progressing much slowly. Just make sure it's clean, that's it.

As for me, I took a few lessons...I didn't like it. I'm a very fast learner and I learn better by myself.
I've taken maybe 2 lessons when I first started, didn't like them so started on my own. Those 2 lessons didn't really teach me anything. Now its 8 years later, I'd say I'm intermediate to advanced, most recently I really started to study music theory(on my own) after being dumb and neglecting it for so long, also I can't sweep too well, my picking hand's technique is fine, but my fretting hand doesn't like to cooperate but I'm slowly coming along with that.

So in short, its actually not too hard to learn on your own, as long as you are completely committed to learning.
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Think about this..:

How were the first ever guitarsts/teachers taught when there was noone else..?
thats right... self taught. YAY
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