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#1
I've been playing guitar for a little over a year, but I only took lessons for the first 2 months. I hadn't learned anything useful, so I stopped taking lessons. I improved quickly with a lot of practice on my own, but I get confused trying to learn how guitarists do certain riffs and solos. Is it all practice, or is learning specific techniques from a teacher more (or at least similarly) important?
#2
Depends.

Id say if you want a career in music, take lessons. Period. Forget that bullshit about "zomg, hendrix was self taught lololol." A teacher is infinitely useful if you have a desire to learn.

If your just interested in playing some songs with CDs, self taught is prolly fine
#3
lessons aren't necessary by any means. you can do just fine without them. if you take them, though, it really helps to have somebody there to guide your progress, to give you advice on what to work on, to correct things you're doing wrong, etc. they aren't a necessity, but they're damn useful.
#4
Quote by xATRx
I've been playing guitar for a little over a year, but I only took lessons for the first 2 months. I hadn't learned anything useful, so I stopped taking lessons. I improved quickly with a lot of practice on my own, but I get confused trying to learn how guitarists do certain riffs and solos. Is it all practice, or is learning specific techniques from a teacher more (or at least similarly) important?



Lessons with a good teacher can be very helpful. That being said, there are many paths to success, no one but you can choose yours.
shred is gaudy music
#5
Quote by SlashYourFug
lessons aren't necessary by any means. you can do just fine without them. if you take them, though, it really helps to have somebody there to guide your progress, to give you advice on what to work on, to correct things you're doing wrong, etc. they aren't a necessity, but they're damn useful.


Depends what you mean by just fine
#6
I went to a teacher for 6 months after I decided to take things seriously with guitar, and to tidy up my technique after teaching myself for about a year.

the reason why u hadn't got anything useful from ur teacher is most likely because u had just began, its like putting a 5yo into a physics class... it just won't work because they aren't properly familiar with the general idea of how it works. I'm sure if you stuck with the teacher he would have eventually got the ball rolling for you faster than teaching yourself, but the first few months of playing is an uphill battle.

I recommend you pick up a teacher now that you have an idea of where your fingers go and how to use your ear a bit better.
#7
Lessons, I believe, are very necessary. Because there are some things that you need to a real expert in person, not over the internet. Plus, if youre good enough, the teacher might hook you up with gigs. Networking is key**
#8
I really recommend having lessons, but always try to teach yourself. In my opinion this is one of the best ways to educate. If you are wise enough to teach yourself by consistent practice, then you should really take lessons from a beginning to learn the basics and have a teacher to correct posture, string muting and things that theoretically you can't learn, and then when you are at a good level you can rather continue with the lessons for some extra help or just teach to yourself.

I had lessons at the beginning for about two years and then last summer I took lessons just to learn musical theory (reading sheet music, modes, chord construction, harmonization) and the teacher realized I had some bad technique like anchoring and not muting the strings correctly so its really ambiguous.
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#9
Quote by Hadeed
I went to a teacher for 6 months after I decided to take things seriously with guitar, and to tidy up my technique after teaching myself for about a year.

the reason why u hadn't got anything useful from ur teacher is most likely because u had just began, its like putting a 5yo into a physics class... it just won't work because they aren't properly familiar with the general idea of how it works. I'm sure if you stuck with the teacher he would have eventually got the ball rolling for you faster than teaching yourself, but the first few months of playing is an uphill battle.

I recommend you pick up a teacher now that you have an idea of where your fingers go and how to use your ear a bit better.


As opposed to giving him a physics book and expecting him to just figure it out?
#10
Lessons are hardy, but remember to give your Teacher a trial period before you make it a regular thing.

Having a shitty teacher is even more detrimental than being self-taught.
#11
Quote by Orbit91
Lessons are hardy, but remember to give your Teacher a trial period before you make it a regular thing.

Having a shitty teacher is even more detrimental than being self-taught.


My teacher was on the national jazz album charts! yay
#12
Quote by rollininrhythm
As opposed to giving him a physics book and expecting him to just figure it out?


As opposed to letting the child mature and experience physics in a practical sense, then once they are able to get a general idea of how it works. Once that's in place, theory and more in depth practical exercises can be applied. <- which is an analogy that can be applied to guitar.

...don't try and be a smartass to me about my analogies.
#13
Quote by Schane
My teacher was on the national jazz album charts! yay

My teacher was a Guthrie Govan pupil
#14
Quote by Hadeed
As opposed to letting the child mature and experience physics in a practical sense, then once they are able to get a general idea of how it works. Once that's in place, theory and more in depth practical exercises can be applied. <- which is an analogy that can be applied to guitar.

...don't try and be a smartass to me about my analogies.


Whos trying to be a smartass?

Im just trying to make a point that everyone should take lessons at some point
#15
Quote by rollininrhythm
Forget that bullshit about "zomg, hendrix was self taught lololol."


Funniest thing I've heard maybe all this week.

Thanks!

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
I agree with Hadeed, but rollininrhythm is owning this thread.

Ultimately, I think the answer to the OP's question is "what do you ultimately want to achieve? What do you want to do with it?"

If you just want to play in a weekend rock band, go nuts all you want with the self-taught angle. If you want to shred like Nuno, Vernon Reid and Satriani, don't kid yourself about not needing lessons. I know I'll get flamed for this, but as much as Vernon Reid worships Hendrix.... Reid is the player that Hendrix would have aspired to be if he were still alive. Yep. You read that right.

If you want to learn the Bach Lute suites and some Villa Lobos studies, and some Tarrega, etc. so you can qualify for government arts grants to go on tour.... you will not even be considered without top-notch formal training.

If you want to jam out some great pop tunes that will make you a big rock star like Jack White... no lessons are necessary.

But in any case.... as much as they might not be necessary, finding a good teacher is always more efficient than trying to find your own way yourself. Your teacher can show you something in five minutes that might take you months to figure out.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
I firmly believe anything a teacher can teach you, you can also learn by yourself. It may just take a little more work.
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Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#18
Not _necessary_ at all. That doesn't mean they're not worthwhile. I never took lessons, but I'm sure I'd be better in some aspects of my playing if I had.
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#19
Quote by Orbit91
Lessons are hardy, but remember to give your Teacher a trial period before you make it a regular thing.

Having a shitty teacher is even more detrimental than being self-taught.


Exactly. Do not, DO NOT settle for a bad teacher (of which there are too many in the world, unfortunately). If, for some reason, it turns out that you cannot find a good teacher in your town, teach yourself. A poor teacher can, quite frankly, turn you off to your instrument.

EDIT: But, oh yes, if you can afford them, certainly get lessons. They'll help you immensely.
#21
I agree with GuitarMunky's post.

But IMO, I would reccomend getting some formal training, just to make sure you're playing correctly and to have someone to set achievable goals with you (and then help you achieve them)
#22
Quote by The_Sophist
I firmly believe anything a teacher can teach you, you can also learn by yourself. It may just take a little more work.


Disagree.

ex. right-hand classical guitar technique. Oh, sure you can read about it and watch videos, but it is the application that takes supervision to ensure consistency so you learn to get it right.

ex. proper singing technique

While it is true that any knowledge aspect of playing can be researched, and a LOT of physical 'executions' can be learned through copying a model, there are subtleties about proper techniques that you would never pick up as a self-learner. Never under-estimate the importance of good technique.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#23
Quote by Myung-trucci
I agree with GuitarMunky's post.


The only problem with his post is that it ignores the fact that some people's goals have very few paths toward that success, and all of those very few paths for that goal will require formal lessons without exception.

ex. Arts Council grants for classical musicians who want to tour
ex. becoming a music teacher in a school (as opposed to a music store or whatever)
ex. becoming a conductor
ex. becoming a college or university instructor or professor
ex. becoming a total shred master like Nuno or Satriani (nobody self-taught could arrange a track like flight of the wounded bumblebee from a compositional standpoint, I wouldn't think)

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#25
To an extent lessons can help, but if you want a career in music today, you have to develop your own style. A teacher wont always help you do that, but just messing around with the guitar for hours will.
#26
thanks alot for the advice. Theres really only one place to get lessons in my area, but the guy seemed like a good teacher, so I'm gonna start lessons again and see how they go.
#27
You dont have to take lessons i say its a waste of dough...when u can just teach urself on the internet..... and if u became famous one day would u like somebody saying "yeah that dude ATR is some crazy shit he fauking taught him self thats good!" or "yeah i heard he had lessons" but u might not become famous but i just say MAINLY its a waste of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
#28
yes stupid heart also has a point i played guitar for three years.. for the first 2 i messed around with a first act cream colored 21fret telecaster...then last year i got a new nice devlin guitar and i can play lots of songs know u just got to mess around plus when i first started my dad helped me a lil bit.he played for 21 yrs and has a 1972 fender strat.(thats worth like 5k)
#29
i taught myself, an got into the guitar institute...so it cant hurt....

now im having private lessons...an it is the best thing ever, having someone put a boot up your ass, making you do things, correcting all your flaws...i thought i was a top shredder untill martin goulding looked at me play

get a teacher
#30
i have been playing a year and my friend has been playing around a year and a half with lessons like 3 times a week....and i am at teh same skill level as him....and i could sweep and he hasn't even picked up on that yet....

but i am a kind of person that learns way better on there own....
#31
Quote by Sixxology
i have been playing a year and my friend has been playing around a year and a half with lessons like 3 times a week....and i am at teh same skill level as him....and i could sweep and he hasn't even picked up on that yet....

but i am a kind of person that learns way better on there own....

I don't see what people's obsession with sweep picking is.
#32
Quote by axemanchris
The only problem with his post is that it ignores the fact that some people's goals have very few paths toward that success, and all of those very few paths for that goal will require formal lessons without exception.

ex. Arts Council grants for classical musicians who want to tour
ex. becoming a music teacher in a school (as opposed to a music store or whatever)
ex. becoming a conductor
ex. becoming a college or university instructor or professor
ex. becoming a total shred master like Nuno or Satriani (nobody self-taught could arrange a track like flight of the wounded bumblebee from a compositional standpoint, I wouldn't think)

CT

I never took guitar lessons, I learned on my own reading about theory and just learning from playing with other musicians constantly. I'm playing in 3 different bands right now, and doing what I want with music..

Guitar monkeys post simply said theres more than one path to becoming a sucessful musician.. it wasen't inaccurate.

you do not HAVE to take lessons to learn how to play the guitar, if you can afford them theres also no reason not to take lessons
#33
I'm self taught. If you're enthusiastic and aren't the type to give up when some thing's difficult it's entirely possible to become a very advanced guitarist using just what's available on the internet these days.

That said, I'm not a particularly advanced guitarist after 4 years and I have some pretty big short comings that probably would have been avoided had I had a decent teacher.

Some self taught people I know however, are ridiculously good.
Last edited by rizo299 at Oct 25, 2008,
#34
Quote by HammeredSlide
You dont have to take lessons i say its a waste of dough...when u can just teach urself on the internet..... and if u became famous one day would u like somebody saying "yeah that dude ATR is some crazy shit he fauking taught him self thats good!" or "yeah i heard he had lessons" but u might not become famous but i just say MAINLY its a waste of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


TS, please ignore trolls/ignorant posts like this.

Would you try to drive a car without taking drivers ed? No. Would you try to fly a plane without taking classes? No. Obviously, I could continue in this manner for a while. But the fact of the matter is, unless your just interested in jamming and playing tunes with a CD, a formal musical education is basically a requirement.

Theres people that say they are better then their friends, even though their friend takes lessons. For one, I doubt this. Id like to hear side by side recordings. For two, they almost assuredly have less of an understanding why and how the things they know work, and where to use them.

My point is, with a good teacher and a will to learn, youll be countless times better if you take lessons
#35
Quote by Sixxology
i have been playing a year and my friend has been playing around a year and a half with lessons like 3 times a week....and i am at teh same skill level as him....and i could sweep and he hasn't even picked up on that yet....

but i am a kind of person that learns way better on there own....



Neither has Eddie Van Halen.... your point?
#36
I think some people naturally have a gift for music, and even the guitar in general.

Someone who is just naturally a better guitarist could show more improvment in short periods of time than someone who takes lessons.

It really all comes down to how much you practice on your own, and your desire to get better.

Alot of things can't be taught in lessons that really make the guitarist, like creativity, superior sense of timing. If you're taking music seriously you should want to learn as much as possible, if your parents are willing to pay for guitar lessons for you.. you definantly shouldn't pass the opportunity up.

Most really good teachers charge quite a bit for guitar lessons, i dont think its really worth it if you don't have that kind of money. You CAN learn alot on the internet, and you CAN learn how to play without any lessons. Like I said, I learned just by surrounding myself with superiour musicians, who taught me alot.. but I didnt waste 30-40$ every time we played together
#37
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
I think some people naturally have a gift for music, and even the guitar in general.

Someone who is just naturally a better guitarist could show more improvment in short periods of time than someone who takes lessons.

It really all comes down to how much you practice on your own, and your desire to get better.

Alot of things can't be taught in lessons that really make the guitarist, like creativity, superior sense of timing. If you're taking music seriously you should want to learn as much as possible, if your parents are willing to pay for guitar lessons for you.. you definantly shouldn't pass the opportunity up.

Most really good teachers charge quite a bit for guitar lessons, i dont think its really worth it if you don't have that kind of money. You CAN learn alot on the internet, and you CAN learn how to play without any lessons. Like I said, I learned just by surrounding myself with superiour musicians, who taught me alot.. but I didnt waste 30-40$ every time we played together



I will address the bolded points in the order they are bolded

1. No one is naturally better at guitar then anyone else. Theres only one 2 words that define your ability at guitar. Practice, and focus

2. A guitar teacher cant necessarily teach you how to be creative, but he/she CAN point out things in songs that musicians do to make songs creative. And timing is certainly something a teacher can help with. It helps to have someone show you how bad your timing really is

3. This is relative to where you live and how good your teacher is. If your a trumpet play, and wanna take a lesson from the principal trumpet of the CSO, then you can expect to play over $100 for an hour. My bass teacher though, only charges $20 for half an hour, my guitar teacher only $45 an hour, and my tuba teacher only 15$ an hour.
#38
Quote by rollininrhythm
TS, please ignore trolls/ignorant posts like this.

Would you try to drive a car without taking drivers ed? No.

Depends on the person (nutter).

Would you try to fly a plane without taking classes?

Depends if you're an Afghan Hound (I'm allergic to certain dogs btw), or just your normal everyday passenger pilot.

Besides, both of those without lessons are illegal, playing guitar ain't.
#39
Quote by mdc
Depends on the person (nutter).


Depends if you're an Afghan Hound (I'm allergic to certain dogs btw), or just your normal everyday passenger pilot.

Besides, both of those without lessons are illegal, playing guitar ain't.


I think you missed the point
#40
Iv been playing guitar for a couple years now. I only took guitar lessons for one month in the begining of my playing. Sure a teacher could help you learn new solo patterns but I got alot more done just self teaching. I dont really think lessons are need to be a good guitar player.
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