That Amazing Guitarist Never Took a Lesson, Why Should I?
I'm sure you know someone who has never taken a music lesson but who
is able to captivate an audience by playing the guitar. That's
because a lot of people learn how to play the guitar by ear and
"feel." There are only a handful of shapes and patterns you need to
know in order to play hundreds of songs; so if you learn the feel
and sound of those patterns, you can play a lot of music on the
guitar without knowing a lot about music.
It is very important for
students to develop a good ear and have a good feel for the
instrument. In fact, those are probably the most valuable skills a
guitar player can possess. But there are a lot of other fundamental
concepts that help guitarists get more enjoyment on their musical
journey: Music Notation (Standard and Tablature), Chords and Scales
with the CAGED System, Chord Tones (Arpeggios), and Theory.
These fundamental concepts
have been around for hundreds of years, and beginning students can
save themselves a lot of time, money, and frustration by studying
them when they are first learning how to play the guitar. Guitarists
who don’t learn the fundamentals usually have to go back and study
them later when they realize that they can’t improve without knowing
Not everyone wants to learn the fundamentals of
music, and that's okay. It really depends on what your goals are,
and you can always come back to them later on if you feel like your
playing is stuck on a plateau.
Everything you need is on
the internet, and that may be the problem.
All the scales, chords, theory, songs and
technique exercises are all available online, anytime. But where do
you begin and how do you know what is most important to learn? How
will you know if you have a song right, or if you are developing a
bad habit that could lead to a permanent injury?
While there's a ton of
information available, nothing can replace the effectiveness of a
good teacher. A good teacher will create a plan that is specifically
designed to help you reach your goals in the most effective way
possible. Challenging concepts can be clarified quickly, and most
importantly, the learned skills are applied to the music that you
want to play. A good teacher will also be able to inspire you when
you need it.
Most students meet with their teacher just once
a week, so having access to more educational resources is something
that is welcomed by most teachers. Of course, just because something
is on the internet doesn't mean that it is accurate or helpful. Good
teachers will point students to the best resources and be able to
correct some of the mistakes found in others.
When I first started taking
so excited to practice and do everything my teacher told me to do.
But I soon discovered that my teacher did not have a plan for me.
Each lesson began with the teacher asking me, “What do you want to
learn today?” I felt overwhelmed and thought, “YOU are the teacher,
YOU should know what I need to learn.” I spent a lot of money, time
and effort trying to learn how to play, but I came away from it all
just knowing a handful of songs.
When I decided that I wanted
to teach professionally, it was important to me that I had a plan
for how I was going to teach each student how to play the guitar.
Most people want to learn how to play their favorite songs, but
first they need to learn the basics. My goal is to help students
develop basic skills quickly and effectively so that they can play a
lot of songs in a short amount of time.
What You Need: Clear Goals,
a Flexible Plan and Accountability!
If you want to learn how to play the guitar,
you need to make some goals, commit to a learning program, and
devote some time each day to practicing the guitar. But it doesn't
stop there. You and your teacher need to periodically evaluate the
your playing and the plan that you choose to follow.
A good plan is one that
offers small goals that can be met each week and larger goals that
lead to good playing and a good understanding of basic music
concepts in a year or so. If a student has been taking lessons for
more than a year and does not have a basic understanding of music
reading, chords, theory and improvisation, that person needs to
evaluate their plan and/or their teacher's ability.