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Pupil Seeking Guitar Teacher


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The first lesson is usually free. I would spend that time trying to find out if your potential teacher can teach you what you want to learn. If you are hiring him/her to teach you songs, make sure that he is capable and shares your musical preferences. It is an added bonus if he can transcribe the music in the form of notation and/or TABs or has access to the sheet music. If you want to learn theory, make sure that he has the credentials to teach theory and he has good references. I personally think it is a waste of time/money to pay a teacher to have a partner to jam with, but it is your money, and your teacher certainly won't mind. If you want to learn to read music, make sure he is a good reader. For me, the hardest part of site reading is timing and playing notes on the right beats, esp. dotted notes, and rests and notes with funky durations that come in on odd beats or are syncopated. Most of all, if you are taking lessons, most teachers expect a commitment from their students to practice. Most teachers don't care if you are a slow learner as long as you are making an effort. Good luck. IMO, taking lessons is the fastest way to improve. Having a good teacher will make that a lot easier.

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Guest Farnsbarns

Well thanks for all of the suggestions! I'll go with the common sense addage that the guitar teacher was taught by another guitar teacher at one time. :)


Eh? what? come again?

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I was a guitar teacher for over 12 years.

I am in the UK too.


A teacher can be expensive if you don't have a very clear idea of what you want. Of course, you don't necessarily know what you should be learning and a good teacher will guide you. Do you want to learn specific songs or do you at this stage just want to know how to operate the instrument?


"Where are you up to? What can you play already?" Would be my 1st 2 questions.

Here's some basics you may know;

5 basic major open chord shapes from which EVERYTHING else flows: C A G E D.

Notice this is the musical alphabet except B and F, which are barre chords. So you eventually need to know B and F major as well of course.

Which gets you into barre chord shapes based on E and based on A.

Then you learn the minor versions of open chords E, A and D.

Include C minor on the inside 4 strings with the G string open if you want to be really thorough - but you could leave it for now as it's difficult.

Please also note there isn't really a G minor open string chord. For the moment.

Then you learn the Dominant 7th versions.

Then the minor 7th versions (easy if you know the minor).

Then a diminished chord shape. Never mind the augmented for now.

Then you take everything you've got so far and learn it in barre chords.

Playing the 3 thickest strings of the E or A shape barre chord gives you a power chord. Easy.

You should eventually tackle the open C shape as a barre chord, please. Do not forget that.


Do you know all this? It's not music yet but gives you some of the tools to make music.

Learning all of the above PROPERLY from scratch except the last thing would take your hands and mind about 6 months at minimum 2+ hours a day. Absolute minimum but you know some of it already I think.

Your opinion on whether it's good or bad, whether you like bits or not, is completely irrelevant to gaining the ability to operate the instrument. Logic and the physical limits of your hands rule.

It gives you enough chordal knowledge and technique to understand a bit of how a guitar works and play a huge number of rock songs. The teacher can show you all this and can help you but ultimately only you can make it work.


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Just remember that the teacher only needs to stay one lesson ahead of you! Just kidding. Old joke.


I had a two piano teachers (classical and jazz) and a guitar teacher. Each had their own styles. My piano teachers were tougher on me in the sense that they'd make me feel bad if I didn't practice enough. My guitar teacher was much more relaxed and let me learn at my own pace.


The question is what do you prefer? Looking back I learned a more from my piano teachers. At jazz ensemble rehearsal he ran it like a normal "session." You had one chance to go through the chart and then we played it for "real." If you messed up you were sent home (it was last period). Yeah that was tough but it taught me what the real world is like, especially studio work.


Do you want to learn theory or just how to play tunes? Piano forces you to learn both, while guitar can be done without much theory. The most important thing is to tell the teacher what you expect from them. Then ask them if they can meet your expectations. Most are honest about it.

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Some good points already given. Here's 2 more things to think about.


How old are you? How well do you catch-on to learning thing's?


Age may not be a big deal but some people may feel more comfortable with some one there own age or vice-versa.


How quickly you learn in anything else you have taken lessons for or in school for instance. Some people can go over something just one or two times and have it in long-term memory right then while others need to use a more repetitive method of get it down.

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I just recently was thinking about taking guitar lessons from a guitar teacher. What are the qualifications one looks for in a good guitar teacher? Any thoughts? :-({|=


Make sure they are a better player than you are first. That is what I always did. I do not mean to sound like an a$$ or anything but really though, I always ask they guy to show off his style and play his best before I ever considered taking lessons from them. With lessons you do get what you pay for and if they cannot keep your interest up then I move on to the next one. Back when I was looking to get some good lessons and all there was no such thing as the internet. You have a lot of options these days with the internet and really you could learn just about anything you ever wanted to know about playing and styles now because of it. Good luck, Tim

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When I was teaching guitar, and were I to do it again, I was very up front about what I felt I could do for a student, and what a student should expect from me. If that wasn't what they wanted, fine... go somewhere else.


1. No beginners; no children. Teens... only if they obviously really were interested.


2. Basic accompaniment, emphasizing basic chord structures and basic transposition, alternating bass.


3. Not reading music, but understanding transposition and therefore a foundation of "theory."


4. Timing for performance solo.


5. Basic folk/pop solo performance accompaniment both finger and flatpick.


6. Basic finger style playing with folk/pop emphasis.


That's all I felt competent to teach to advanced beginner to intermediate performer students, some of whom had far more talent that I, and who sounded better with less technical skill that I might boast.


Note that it's chord, as opposed to note-based. However, <grin> simply having "sheet music" with chord changes and notation at least with a melody will almost give a bit of reading training as if by osmosis.


In effect, what I did was to guide self-exploration into "folk tradition learning" as opposed to "guitar lessons" per se.


By "folk tradition" I mean how and why most pickers picked things up over the last 150 years on guitar in the U.S. that brought us our basic style and performance traditions. Largely that came from a desire to play, watching folks play, considering how to play in different keys and performing. I mostly facilitated that exploration as opposed to a more "classical" sort of curriculum.


Frankly I'm not sure what might be the "best" way to teach guitar at all. But several of those students ages ago ended up playing for money and one had some major label albums.


Part of the "problem" is that there are so many, many ways to approach guitar playing and performance.



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