Guitar Players, I seek your guidance . . .

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2009 10:32 PM GMT
    . . . so, after putting it off for a long time, I am now going to take guitar lessons . . . I'm mainly interested (for now) in learning the acoustic guitar so I can sing and accompany myself (pop tunes, folk and such) . . .

    my questions for you are:

    --should I look for a particular kind of instructor?
    --should an instructor have certain qualifications?
    --how frequent should the lessons be if a person is serious about learning?
    --should I buy a guitar before the lessons begin?
    --if so, what kind would be good for a beginner?

    . . . . thanks for any input and guidance . . . i appreciate it, guys. . .
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    Aug 22, 2009 11:17 PM GMT
    some general. non geetar specific answers:

    Qualifications: They should be able to play well and so should their students. You may laugh, but some people teach and really don´t play that well. there are all sorts of pro qualifications in the UK at least, but what matters is that they have shown that they can teach, hence listening to their students.

    Frequency: once a week is typical, with daily practice (10 mins a day to start with).

    Geeetars: don´t spend a huge amount on a geetar before you start. If you can borrow one to begin with that´s maybe best. It won´t be what you want, but you will be able to work out what you do want.

    Secret of getting good is consistency. A little every day is what you need: a 2 hour extravaganza on sunday mornings will do you a lot less good than 20 mins a day.
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:08 AM GMT
    wow... I really want to answer this thread, but I was self-taught.
    I'd say go for it, but see if you're still having fun with the guitar between lessons and set practice times. good way to tell if it's the right thing for you.
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:46 AM GMT
    noren said . . . so, after putting it off for a long time, I am now going to take guitar lessons . . . I'm mainly interested (for now) in learning the acoustic guitar so I can sing and accompany myself (pop tunes, folk and such) . . .

    my questions for you are:

    --should I look for a particular kind of instructor?
    --should an instructor have certain qualifications?
    --how frequent should the lessons be if a person is serious about learning?
    --should I buy a guitar before the lessons begin?
    --if so, what kind would be good for a beginner?

    . . . . thanks for any input and guidance . . . i appreciate it, guys. . .



    1. Look for someone who can teach you about music theory and not just how to play covers.

    2. See question one. Being a good guitar player does not make you a good instructor so be willing to move on.

    3. Once a week or once every other week.

    4. Probably. It will make the first lesson uneventful if you don't.

    5. Don't blow a lot on one. Epiphone makes great products at a reasonable price.

    Good luck.
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    Aug 23, 2009 4:21 AM GMT
    I reckon buying a guitar upfront is a great idea..guitar is all about practice, guitar lessons are typically set to once or twice per week, which is in my opinion, insufficient if you want to learn to play and sing at the same time. You need access to a guitar at home so that you can pick it up and practice whenever you're free. I bought mine before I even knew how to play, and I can tell you that having your own guitar will also motivate you to learn on your own outside of the class (should you choose to enroll in one). I'm self-taught and I learned how to play through youtube and ultimateguitar.com..there are a whole lot of free online tutorials that can get you started...there are tonnes of people doing acoustic covers of various genres pop/rock etc on youtube, which I enjoy watching and learning from..that's also one way you could improve your accompaniment skills on the guitar...hope this helps good luck ;) i'm learning to play poker face at the moment icon_razz.gif

    Oh one more thing, don't go getting an expensive guitar for a start..a reasonably-priced one will do, make sure you are comfortable with the width of the fret, if it's too narrow for your fingers, try out another one..another thing to keep in mind is the sound...strum on it a few times to see (or hear) if the sound generated is appealing to you..you can always ask the guys at the store for opinions, they're usually well-qualified and are able to recommend you a certain guitar based on your skill level.
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    Aug 23, 2009 7:40 AM GMT


    --should I look for a particular kind of instructor?
    Yes, an expirenced one.Someone that actually knows how to play and read music of course lol.


    --should an instructor have certain qualifications?
    Depends what your goals are.But If it's just for fun/hobby just make sure they know what they are talking about.You can usually tell if someone is experienced or not and a education in music is a good qualification to look for too.


    --how frequent should the lessons be if a person is serious about learning?
    once a week an hour each lesson.Also,you need to be practicing atleast an hour a day or half an hour if you can't practice for long


    --should I buy a guitar before the lessons begin?
    yes lol the music stores do have rent to own also,so ask to make sure if they do

    --if so, what kind would be good for a beginner?
    hmm I don't know? When I played cello I tested the instrument before I bought it and my teacher was there with me. You can do the same if you want a good quality guitar that's going to last you a long time
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    Aug 23, 2009 10:03 AM GMT
    Playing guitar is something most people don't need an instructor for, of course I already had a musical background in band, piano, and choir, so it made things a bit easier...But in 3 months I learned enough so that if I wanted to play a specific song, I would simply look up the chord progression on ultimateguitar and jam away using my own strum patterns or picking patterns..It all comes from the soul :]

    Youtube videos help out a lot too. Check out Aaron's channel on youtube..this guy is a great teacher. Horrible singer though.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/gally042
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    Aug 23, 2009 12:10 PM GMT
    Since I am a full-time guitar and piano teacher, perhaps I should chime in!

    Look for a guitar teacher that you connect with on a personal level...it's not all about their qualifications (a great player does not necessarily equal a great guitar teacher) ...if they don't have a web site that has testimonials from students...ask if you can contact some of their current/former students....Most important: many guitar teachers do it as a sideline...teaching is NOT their priority...find someone who does it full-time and treats it like a business....musicians are notoriously flakey...but, your guitar teacher should not be...

    It's a good idea to have weekly lessons at first, this will build a strong foundation...however, remember that you're not gonna learn to play the guitar by only playing during lesson time...you gotta practice...there's only so much you can pick up during a lesson..the actual "learning" happens between lessons....also, having weekly lessons will allow your instructor to address any "bad habits" in technique that may crop up...it's much easier to correct problems right away, than to try to correct them after they've entered your "body memory"

    Call your potential instructor and ask for recommendations....I always suggest that a student get their guitar before the start of the first lesson...

    as far as what kind....you don't want to get a guitar that's too inexpensive...as they are not well made, and are actually more difficult to play...and can cause frustration....that being said, there's also no need to go out and get a 3000.00 Martin Guitar either...Yamaha, Ibanez and Epiphone make some perfectly nice starter acoustic guitars in the 250.00 range....as you get more into it...you can sell it on craigslist to another beginner...and put that money towards and upgraded guitar...

    good luck!! If you have an specific questions feel free to send me an email..

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    Aug 23, 2009 1:51 PM GMT
    noren said . . . so, after putting it off for a long time, I am now going to take guitar lessons . . . I'm mainly interested (for now) in learning the acoustic guitar so I can sing and accompany myself (pop tunes, folk and such) . . .

    my questions for you are:

    --should I look for a particular kind of instructor?
    --should an instructor have certain qualifications?
    --how frequent should the lessons be if a person is serious about learning?
    --should I buy a guitar before the lessons begin?
    --if so, what kind would be good for a beginner?

    . . . . thanks for any input and guidance . . . i appreciate it, guys. . .


    Well, I'm not a guitar player, but I am a piano and organ teacher. The teacher should have excellent technique and have a methodology for transferring that to the student. Ask the prospective teacher how long he has been in business. Ask for a copy of his studio policy. What are the resumes of the teacher (credentials) and his students? Who did the instructor study under? How long are the lessons? In my opinion, a serious student should have weekly lessons of no less than an hour. Does the instructor teach theory in adequate amounts? Does the teacher have occasional group lessons? I often hold masterclasses, which helps students overcome performance anxiety AND obtain additional feedback. Does the teacher have recording experience? Does he teach a variety of music?

    Some teachers will allow prospective students to sit in on a lesson. This can give insight into the instructor's competence and ability as a troubleshooter.

    ** Forgive me for only employing masculine pronouns. "His or her" becomes obnoxious after a few uses.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2009 2:18 PM GMT

    If you use a Mac and have a recent version of GarageBand, there are a few guitar lessons built in; I think Sting does some of them.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2009 4:56 AM GMT
    Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful, informative responses! . . .

    and isn't this RJ at its best? Decent, helpful guys sharing their knowledge with others . . . it's very sweet . . .