Are Lessons Really That Helpfull?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by FenderStrat, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. FenderStrat

    FenderStrat Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Are Lessons Really That Helpfull? If you are disciplined enough to practice 1-2 hours per day couldn't you just use something like
  2. brad347

    brad347 Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Wow, that is a big question that will likely get lots of varied answers. I would probably say "yes and no."

    If you had a teacher and a student who were both willing to be disciplined and patient enough to "take it slow" rather than worry about "progress," then yes it could indeed be very helpful. It will be more helpful the more inexperienced the student. As the student gains more experience, he/she will be able to "self-teach" a bit more.
  3. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    A real teacher will be able to point out things like flaws in technique such as fretting with too much pressure and causing chords to intonate sharp.

    There are tons of things that books, websites, magazines, DVDs, etc. are useful for, but I think there is definite value in studying with a real person. Especially when you're just starting out.

    For example, in the early 90's, I flirted with playing tenor sax. I took one lesson with a local jazz musician and author who frequented the record store where I worked. He taught me so much in just one lesson... A friend who played alto in HS band commented that my tone was so much better than what he could achieve in four years. Although this teacher was generous with his time, I just couldn't afford to take regular lessons with him at that point. I wish I could have.

    I haven't taken guitar lessons for years, but I'd like to find an interesting, inspiring teacher.
  4. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    In a van down by the river
    Yes, for a whole host of reasons. Problem is, not easy to find a good teacher. My regular suggestion is to ask around at several places and several people. The same handful of names should keep popping up.
  5. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2006
    A teacher can be very useful, regardless of your level. There are a couple of guys I study with occasionally. What I get from these sessions is insight into approaches they use to make music. From a book, you can learn about a topic and have be given examples. That is different from sitting in a room and have a player who mastered the idea show you how he uses it in a variety of situations.

    The diagnostic evaluation a skilled teacher can offer is useful. Having someone point out problem areas and offer tips for improvement is useful.

    I am also inspired to work when I take lessons. Seeing someone with skills I admire is motivating. Also, I find having some accountability for learning is helpful.
  6. marcher5877

    marcher5877 Member

    Jan 13, 2006
    A teacher is only as good as the student.
  7. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    May 22, 2008
    Depends on the student, and the teacher. A book, computer program or webpage can't see you making mistakes.

    A good teacher will help you learn in creative and interesting ways and will motivate you.

    A motivated, eager student with a talented knowledgeable teacher can be magic.

  8. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Denver, CO
    A good teacher will help you advance more quickly. Taking a year of lessons when I first started saved me 2-3 years of figuring stuff out on my own. Additionally, a teacher can point out flaws in your technique that you would not recognize on your own. It's a bit like curing a slice in golf - would you rather read how-to's in magazines for years or spend 30 minutes with a teaching pro?
  9. KRosser

    KRosser Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    Pasadena, CA
    The problem with these online as well as video things is that the teacher can't observe YOU and call you out.

    If you want to make real progress, a complete waste of time - IMHO.
  10. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    we eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of beer

    Depends what you want to learn. If you're looking at stuff like the website in your post to teach you, then yes, you'll get much more out of real lessons with a decent teacher. But the truth is everything you need to learn is right in front of you, on your favorite records. It's just a matter of if you have the drive and discipline to figure it out on your own.
  11. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    so you learn a milliion licks, what the fuch good are you, a teacher should teach you much more than just a few licks, being able to play anything with anyone is where you really want to get, and its pretty hard unless you have a teacher showing you how to get there.

    and your spending time practicing, are you progressing, generally a teacher can make your practices more meaningful, working on the stuff you really need to be working on, not just the stuff you like.
  12. ihasnogear

    ihasnogear Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    A teacher is always necessary to point out the holes that the student can't see. Self study is an important part of learning anything, and ideally the teacher's role would be to push the student harder and enlighten the student beyond what he/she would normally have learned.
  13. MichaelX

    MichaelX Member

    May 21, 2006
    Lessons are huge imo. Finding the right teacher for you is a challenge but it is worth it. Those licklibrary DVDs are really good by the way. If you can find a teacher that can really help you with your technique then the licklibrary stuff is good to supliment your studies and build your repertoire.
  14. GBStratman

    GBStratman Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I have taken weekly lessons for the past 3 years (I'm 44) with someone I respect both as a musician and a teacher. When I picked the guitar up 3 years ago, I had a very specific goal which I told the teacher on the first day: "I want to be able to play with other people."

    3 years later have I achieved that goal? Most definitely, and having a blast doing it. Is it because of my teacher? Hard to say. What I can say, is that he has helped me immensely with technique, especially left and right hand exercises, even stuff as basic as how to hold the pick (there are many ways, none right or wrong, some better for certain situations). He has made me aware of the importance of rhythm, and even helped with mental attitude. These are not things I would have expected to get out of lessons, but they are integral to becoming the musician I would eventually like to be.

    I guess wouldn't recommend lessons unless you can articulate what it is you want to get out of them. Otherwise it will be frustrating for both student and teacher.
  15. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Close to the burn zone
    A teacher is only as good as the relating between student and teacher.

    Not all teachers are available to listen to students wants/needs.

    Not all students are availabe to recieve insruction.
  16. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Sure you can learn/practice on your own, but there's a jillion things you could work on, and then you could work on them the wrong way, hindering progress. Happened to me, and I wasted many, many years working on technique the wrong way. When I finally figured out the right way to do a certain thing, it took a week and I had it! A good teacher could've saved me all those hours and quite possibly avoiding some tendonitis.

    Reality is, in real life, the fairy tale ending does not always apply. A teacher sees you once a week (usually). The main things they can apply is direction and motivation. But they can only lead the horse to water.
  17. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

    May 30, 2007
    Yes. My jazz guitar teacher taught me chord construction and my current pick utilization technique, which continues to be invaluable to me to this day.

    If I have 1-2 hrs available in my day for guitar practice, I would not use it on websites such as the one you referenced. Instead, I would use the majority of that time on learning and mastering songs, especially the timing. Even for technical practice, I now prefer to use real music (eg. Bach pieces or even just excerpts, jazz melody lines, etc.) instead of mindless scale/arp exercises.
  18. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    May 20, 2003
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    Anyone see the irony in posting about teacher in a chat forum?
  19. mrodrigues

    mrodrigues Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you want to just learn licks and regurgitate lines we've all head before, sure.

    If everything could be learned from a textbook (or a website etc) there would be no universities in the world.

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