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A request of the guitar teachers here ...


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#1 OFFLINE   justinthyme

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 06:35 PM

Hi folks.

Just an idea ...

This morning I posted a reply to a newbie guitarist suggesting he think about getting lessons early on. I had a look around the forum and couldn't find anything specifically on the topic, so I provided him a link elsewhere. Then I got to thinking - this is a very important subject for beginners, and since ours is a beginning guitarist (and beyond) forum and we have several insightful and successful teachers here (grovel, grovel) - why not ask them to come up with an 'in-house' article.

So, here I am putting in a request for such an article - something that may save someone (or many people!) somewhere, years of less-than-optimal progress. Make it required reading lol.

There's loads of great advice here on the forum, and tons of support, but can we completely take the place of a good guitar teacher giving immediate advice and feedback? Good habits need to be developed early IMHO.

Anyway, I thought maybe the article could encompass some or all of:

1. the importance of having a teacher
2. How to find one
3. What to expect from your teacher
4. What a teacher looks for and appreciates from, a student
5. How to maximise your session etc etc

This might be extended to follow-up articles including say - how to plan/maximise practice time, goal-oriented and focussed practice, and so-on.

I realise that every student/teacher relationship will be different but I'm betting there will be at least some things common to all.

Anyway, esteemed teachers - what do you say? Fellow members - would you find this helpful?

Cheers, and thanks for reading :)
Ian

#2 OFFLINE   Fretsource

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 08:56 PM

That's a great idea, Ian. I'll give it some thought.:winkthumb:

#3 OFFLINE   joemerc

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:05 PM

what a brillant idea,i second that motion:clap: :clap: :clap: :winkthumb:

#4 OFFLINE   jimmyzowens

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:08 PM

AMAZING GREAT IDEA
:winkthumb:
Jimmy Z

Music is only limited to how deep the twine of life is woven into your soul

#5 OFFLINE   justinthyme

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:12 PM

Thanks, guys. Fret - I really appreciate that!
Ian

#6 OFFLINE   scotty_b

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:15 PM

I could offer up some thoughts on this if you like?
I actually go through much of those things over the phone or at the first lesson with my students.

#7 OFFLINE   justinthyme

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:18 PM

All input most welcome, scotty_b. Thanks :yes: I just came back from my first (probably last) lesson with a new teacher and it thoroughly re-inforced my thinking on this subject!
Ian

#8 OFFLINE   scotty_b

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

The importance of a teacher.
A teacher should be equipping us to be the best we can be. They should be encouraging and correcting us as we progress. Instilling a good work ethos and discipline.
A teacher can correct you when you are developing playing habits that are detrimental to your development. Hopefully the teacher can also introduce you to many new players and genres that you may never have encountered otherwise.
And they should also be instructing you on the art of teaching yourself.

How to find one
Word of mouth is always a good thing. I also find a lot of people approach me at gigs after they have seen me play, so you could always approach someone at a gig too.
A lot of teachers advertise in local papers and music shops, and on various websites.

What to expect
In addition to the introductory points above, a teacher should be professional in all aspects of the approach. As a teenager I went to a guy's house for a lesson, and he told me had to smoke a bong before we could start. I did not return.
It is important to find a teacher that can work with you, and you can work with them. If you are just starting out you may find that most teachers can get you started, but as you progress you may desire more specialised knowledge. I inform people of the styles I am confident to teach, and if they ask for more advanced lessons on sub-genres of metal, country guitar or 'true' classical or flamenco ( I play a lot of fingerstyle but not classical or flamenco) then I encourage them to look elsewhere. I believe it is good for a teacher to knwo their limitations as well.

What a teacher looks for
A willing attiude, the desire to learn, I appreciate courtesy too as I attempt to show that to everyone. Some kids are pretty rude. I had an adult turn up once drunk, and he started abusing me saying I thought I was so damn good, but he would be better than me soon. Being punctual is also a good thing. SOme people I teach arrive late all the time, and then complain when I cut the time of their lesson. I normally only do this when I have someone else straight after them,though I did it to one kid whose mother kept dropping him off late and then epxecting me to look after him until she came back - normally way past his lesson time. I had to go somewhere else, and so he arrived 5 minutes before he was supposed to finish and I had to be somehwere not long after. We had a 10 minute lesson, and then I left him to wait on the street for his mum. I had warned her of this several times, and she kept ignoring it. I felt awkward but I really did have to go.
It is also nice when people pay!

How to maximise your session
Make sure you practice during the week. keep a diary of your practice, and write down any quesiotns you may have as they come to you. You will probably forget by the time the next lesson comes around. Don't get up in talking to the teacher. Be there to play and learn. respect the teacher and their opinion, but also consider what they are saying against your own desires/needs. I encourage all my students to quesiton me at anytime they like, but I expect them to have a reason to support their argument.
'You know, 'cause, whatever' don't make me reconsider my position on something that often.

#9 OFFLINE   justinthyme

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 10:34 PM

Thanks for that very useful post Scotty. I hope that others will add to this/give their own viewpoint/insights etc.

My guy didn't smoke a bong (lol) but he took at least 7 phone calls in the time I was there. Luckily there was no-one following me, so we went on to 40 minutes, but I found the calls pretty distracting to say the least. Also no attempt to find out what my goals were or even to assess what stage I was at or what knowledge I had - it was straight into a finger exercise. 35 years of guitar teaching experience, apparently!

So - back to the drawing board for me. I like the idea of enquiring with players after a gig - might try that at the upcoming Steely Dan concert :smilinguitar: Or maybe not lol.

Thanks again, Scotty!
Ian

#10 OFFLINE   Stratrat

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 10:53 PM

justinthyme said:

...Also no attempt to find out what my goals were or even to assess what stage I was at or what knowledge I had - it was straight into a finger exercise...
That alone would've been enough for me - let alone the 7 phone calls! I've never had lessons, but I'd hope that an instructor would try to ascertain where I was (knowledge/skill-wise) and what my goals are before just launching into some "one size fits all" lesson plan. I could be wrong, but......
Mac


"I wish I could play that fast - then I would have the option of not doing that."


#11 OFFLINE   scotty_b

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 03:16 AM

Stratrat said:

I've never had lessons, but I'd hope that an instructor would try to ascertain where I was (knowledge/skill-wise) and what my goals are before just launching into some "one size fits all" lesson plan.
Just to add to this, I have a form I give to all students over the age of 10-11 when they arrive for their first lesson. It has some standard things such as name and contact details, but more importantly asks them for list their previous musical experiences, interests, goals, expectations from me and lessons, and what areas they need to improve in.
That way I can proceed without having to guess what they want/may not want, etc. I keep these forms in a folder, and every few months we review where things are at. I also encourage older teens and adults to give me feedback on the lessons, so that I may know if I am giving them what they need as a teacher.

#12 OFFLINE   knight46

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 06:10 AM

Great thread, thanks for starting it justinthyme and thanks for all of the input Scotty_B. Another great reason to follow this forum.

#13 OFFLINE   dutchman063

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:57 AM

Excellent idea..something exclusively for beginners to get them on the right track and point them in the right direction would be well worth it.. i,ve been practicing on my own for about 6 months now and i wish i would of took lessons right out of the gate.

#14 OFFLINE   __tsidewinder__

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:38 PM

Good posts scotty b, and great idea justintyme.
Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it.

-John Lennon

#15 OFFLINE   derek6107

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 03:02 AM

This is a great post scotty b and, a great response justinthyme.
Well done guys.

#16 OFFLINE   Fretsource

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:17 AM

justinthyme said:

Thanks for that very useful post Scotty. I hope that others will add to this/give their own viewpoint/insights etc.


That had been my intention Ian. But after reading Scotty's very informative post, I can think of nothing useful to add. I can only suggest that his post is moved to the member's lessons forum where it can be easily accessed by anyone thinking about getting a teacher.

The only useful addition is your own hard won experience where you discovered what NOT to look for in a teacher. :eek:
That scenario you described will probably sound familiar to quite a few members taking lessons, and hopefully inspire them to be more choosy in future. And Scotty's info will give them the means to do that.
Well done to both of you :winkthumb:





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