#1
Hey

I started guitar in august 2006 and I took lessons till the end of 2007. But at the beginning of this year I had to stop taking them due to school and stuff so I've been teaching myself since.

Its going well but I was wondering if thats okay. Should I get more lessons? I'm worried I may play with incorrect form or something. I know that lot of people don't even get lessons and just teach themselves.

Also for all the picking songs that I learn I use my fingers...but even the ones which you can use a pick for I still use fingers to pick. When I try using the pick I suck at picking with it so I don't. Is it best to start practicing picking with a pick not just fingers?
“Any problem you can't solve with a good guitar, is either, unsolvable or isn't a problem.”

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“My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who i am.”

- Joan Jett
#2
p.s I probably should have called it a plectrum or plec to avoid saying pick pick picking picked pick
“Any problem you can't solve with a good guitar, is either, unsolvable or isn't a problem.”

- unknown


“My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who i am.”

- Joan Jett
#3
i'm kinda the same i took lessons for about 2 months when i started but quit cuz it was boring and started teaching myself. I necer really used pick cuz either had lost all of them or had to be queit cuz i wasn't that great yet and some people found it annoying. Once i got better i started using a pick and it wasn't kinda ackward at first and i really couldn't do it as good as w/o one. Now i'm fine. Just keep practicing using a pick and it will get easier.
#4
yes you can teach yourself i never had lessons till college were i am a guitar performance major and am required to take them just learn to read music teach yourself some theory memorize the notes on the neck and ull b fine i didnt even learn scales there just patterns if you know theory and the notes of the neck you can make a scale everywhere and connect it everywhere and its alott better

and it depends on what you want to play classical use fingers metal use picks rock use picks blues you can hybrid pick using pick and fingers or just fingers and acoustic probly pick cus mostly strumming
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#5
To answer the thread title, yes, there's no reason you can't. Jimi Hendrix never took a lesson.

Having said that, you're not Jimi. It NEVER hurts to take an occasional lesson (most guitar shops offer them for as low as $15 a session, and a lot of them will let you take 1 session at a time, you just have to know what you're trying to learn so you don't waste time). However, as with the Jimi reference, there's nothing that says you can't progress on your own. As long as you play, you'll improve. Period.

As far as the fingerstyle question, I started the same way. Plectrums felt strange and unnatural to me. Now that I can use one, I love it. At the same time, I also love my fingerstyle ability and the songs I've learned with it. Just because most people do it, doesn't necessarily mean you have to (Tommy Emmanuel has done very well for himself playing fingerstyle).

However, ask yourself if you've REALLY given it a fair chance. Have you ever sat down, even for one solid month, using nothing but a plectrum and really trying to learn it? Or did you pick it up a few times, say "this is uncomfortable", and toss it to the side? I did the latter, and I kick myself for it because I could be so much more progressed and well-rounded then I am now. I'm not saying it is or isn't for you, because I don't know. I'm just saying give it a real chance.

Iunno. Personally, I took lessons for six months and quit to play in a band, and while I have yet to go back, I know I defenately will at some point. However, I've progressed dramaticly since my last lesson. Basicly, don't worry. As long as you play, you progress.
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#6
I strum with the pick and stuff I just don't use it in any picking songs.

Yeah, I've noticed my progression signficantly, its weird because I think I've progressed more in my time without lessons than in my whole time with them...or maybe thats because in lessons a lot of it was building a foundation to start on. Hmm...
“Any problem you can't solve with a good guitar, is either, unsolvable or isn't a problem.”

- unknown


“My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who i am.”

- Joan Jett
#7
Well, if you want to use a plectrum, try playing pentatonic scales using alternate picking, but start slowly and gradually increase the speed until you think you have it down. Also, are you trying to learn Classical Guitar or just acoustic, because if you are trying to learn classical you're gonna pick up a lot of bad habits most likely (that's why I'm waiting for lessons ), otherewise, I been teaching myself since I begun, and I think Im progressing at a decent level
#8
Quote by natalie13
I strum with the pick and stuff I just don't use it in any picking songs.

Yeah, I've noticed my progression signficantly, its weird because I think I've progressed more in my time without lessons than in my whole time with them...or maybe thats because in lessons a lot of it was building a foundation to start on. Hmm...

Now you're getting it
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
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Woods Acoustic
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Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#9
There's no reason why you can't teach yourself, and as long as you play decently without messing around your bound to improve. Myself i can only fingerpick, terrible with the pluctrum but that hasn't stopped me from progressing.

Another note, if you want to learn how to read notes then it would be worthwhile to take a few lesson so someone could teach you the notes and give some advice... it never hurts having a few lessons, except maybe your wallet.
#10
Quote by selkies
yes you can teach yourself i never had lessons till college were i am a guitar performance major and am required to take them just learn to read music teach yourself some theory memorize the notes on the neck and ull b fine i didnt even learn scales there just patterns if you know theory and the notes of the neck you can make a scale everywhere and connect it everywhere and its alott better

and it depends on what you want to play classical use fingers metal use picks rock use picks blues you can hybrid pick using pick and fingers or just fingers and acoustic probly pick cus mostly strumming


Please, before you post information that you see as important, translate it into something that is readable by everyone else.

As for your question TS, the answer is 'absolutely'. I haven't ever had lessons, and I'm doing quite reasonable for over 2 years of teaching myself. There was also a time where in order to play quietly, I would only use my thumb. I didn't use a pick. But then I realised that in order to progress further, I would need to use a pick (because I never developed true fingerstyle, just a single thumb). Then the only problem was learning, as it was a little awkward.

You know what? I don't need to keep talking, because Garou has done an excellent job. I agree with his post entirely.
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#11
You can absolutely teach yourself how to play the guitar...it only takes a lot of practice. I personally have never taken a guitar lesson, and I can play a variety of classic songs and different styles of music. Keep on learning songs by looking up tabs and you'll be fine. If you really want to improve and get really good quickly, take lessons. But a bunch of my friends are really good and they taught themselves just like me. You can do it man. Plus, if you teach yourself, you can easily pave your own path...in other words, if you teach yourself, you make your own style of music.
#12
You will never be able to become great without the ability to teach yourself. You may spend all the time in the world learning from a teacher, but they can never translate the feel for the instrument. That's something you need to build yourself over time. That being said, it is helpful to have a resource in someone who is more experienced than you. I have personally never taken a lesson and have run into situations where I thought something was impossible until I discovered, by chance, the correct way to do it. A teacher can help you find that right way a little quicker. However if you do teach yourself, you need good information and it is out there. I would recommend starting here:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=503032

You only need two things to be successful. First, you need to be able to honestly evaluate your play to know when something doesn't sound right. Your ear is the best tool for correcting mistakes. Second, you need the dedication and work ethic to consistently practice. It takes a long time to become good but if you're willing to put forth the effort it's well worth it.
#13
I never had any lessons and I am doing fine. Had I taken lessons it would have zapped away the fun of playing. Learn however you feel you should.
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#14
Hey again!!! i've never had a lesson and i've been learning myself and i'm doing alright... i guess its fun because you can do things your way...i've been learning from books, videos. and advice! I guess i like learning myself because i can find out my own mistakes my way and improve if i thnk i've done something wrong =D
#15
it's okay to learn by yourself. it's what i do.
i think it's better to practice picking with your fingers first. when you move to a plastic pick, it takes time to get used to it. practic makes perfect my friend.
#16
well, since you used to take lessons, i think you probably know the basic stuff, so yeah you could probably learn by yourself. I am currently taking lessons and they are a rip off, but i want to learn it professionally, i pay 600 dollars for a month, and the lessons are only 1/2 hour one day of the week, so yeah. But well i learned a song a in my first lesson, and they teach you how to read the music sheet and stuff, if you know how to read your fret board and your music sheet, you can teach yourself!
#17
I havent taken lessons in the year i've been learning guitar. I have yet to meet any 1st year guitar player better than me though(even the ones who take lessons). If you have enough determination and free time just to play you'll slowly but surely progress. I know I have.

Personally, I just play for leisure and I don't really care if im doing everything right or if im the best. The only important thing to me is that I thoroughly enjoy my instrument.
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#19
no reason why you can't,some of the best and original guitarists taught themselves but IMO if you can afford tuition then take all the advantages you can get afterall it can only help your playing!!!
#20
I am a fingerpicker; I use a thumb pick. I started out fingerpicking and eventually picked up picking, even though I don't use it too often. I have heard its an easier transition to start fingerpicking and then learn to pick, as opposed to the other way around. The best method imo which you would benefit greatly to practice from the beginning, is hybrid picking where you use a pick and your other 3 fingers (including your pinky) to fingerpick.
#21
Another guy whos never had a lesson here. Yeah man learning on your own is fine, and nowa days with youtube you can practically just take lessons from there if you wanted.

When I first started i didnt use a pick for like a year or so either which was good cause I got decent at finger picking and whenever I'm playing rhythm I almost prefer no pick since I seem to get more percussion with my bare hand. I would start using a pick after a while tho and get good at alternate picking, works way better than just using your thumb when playing lead. Its gonna be awkward getting use to it, might feel like no position is comfortable but just force yourself to stick with it and of course practice and you will be rockin it out in no time. Good luck bro.
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#22
We're just alike. I've been playing for under 2 years so I'm by no means a "professional" But, i taught myself and never took lessons. Key word, dedication. I also started playing without a pick as well and I hated using one. Once I started to work on scales and faster licks that required fast pickings, I realised my fingers wouldn't cut it. It took me, I'd say, about two months to finally feel comfortable. Your gonna try and try and it's going to get boring. You're not gonna like it. But in the end it really pays off. I find that using a pick (and yes, i like calling it that) makes your playing sound so much brighter and even the strumming can be diverse. Meaning, you can pick the low strings and strumm the high strings in a dave matthews kinda way. It takes time but alone and with no lessons, i become amazed everyday.
#23
no, its ok without lessons, i never took a lesson, and been playing for a year and im doing pretty good.. i think.. u jst need to learn some techniques,, thrs some online lessons that can help, and their quik, try www.zentao.com.. anyway, i always find music theory to be jst boring, and takes the fun out of guitar. jst play wtvr comes to ur mind,, learn tabs, and ul progress on ur own
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#24
I took lessons for a while, but I never learned much, and I found I progressed much more quickly when I started teaching myself. My opinion is this: If you take lessons, you learn to play like someone else. If you teach yourself, you learn to play like you. You can definitely teach yourself. Many famous guitarists have.

I would recommend using a pick at least occasionally though. I used to play primarily without one, but I found that many songs sound better or are just easier to play with one. Also, it will help if/when you begin playing electric guitar.
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