Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: 5 Tips for Choosing a Guitar Instructor

  1. #1
    Registered Axe Offender Romp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    162

    5 Tips for Choosing a Guitar Instructor

    by Paul Felice
    http://www.myspace.com/paulfelice

    There are many, many choices when you’re looking for guitar instruction. Most players know that books and CDs are pretty ineffective. Primarily this is because these materials are designed to satisfy publishers, rather than students.

    Publishers are interested in selling the next book in the series. Students are interested in learning to play guitar.

    That being said, you’re left with looking for instruction in person from a guitar teacher. Even in this vein, there are many options. Below is some food for thought when you’re making this important decision.

    1) Choose a Teacher, not just a Guitarist.

    The most common mistake both teachers and students make is assuming that a good guitarist must be a good teacher. This is simply untrue. Some of the best guitarists in the world make awful teachers, and some of the best teachers aren’t the greatest players. This is an extremely important concept to understand.

    Therefore, as a general rule, if a prospective teacher flaunts his or her talents and accomplishments as a player, but not as an instructor, you should look elsewhere. Teachers who have succeeded in teaching make teaching the primary focus of their advertisements.

    On the other hand, if you just want to spend your cash and 30 minutes a week seeing how well your teacher plays, go for the guy talking about how many bands he’s been, shows he’s played and albums he’s recorded. But ask yourself, “If this guy’s primary interest has been performance, why has he resorted to teaching?”

    2) Look for a System.

    By far, the most common instructional “method” used by sub-par instructors is the “I-have-been-playing-this-way-all-my-life-so-let-me-show-you-how-I-do-it” method. The problem with this approach is that it limits you to playing in the style of the instructor. Worse, many teachers have a list of songs that they are comfortable with, and therefore those are the songs you’ll be learning, like it or not.

    A solid instructor follows a solid system. The attributes of a good system are that it is structured, logical, comprehensive, and progressive.

    Structured systems build on levels of accomplishment in order to keep you as the student aware of where you stand within that system. You should be able to easily look back and see where you were versus where you are now.

    Logical systems have a reason for everything. There should be specific reasons for learning each scale, chord, riff, technique, and song... none of the criteria should be taken for granted, and your teacher should be able to explain why you are learning what you are learning.

    Comprehensive systems include material for beginners through advanced players and span most genres of playing styles. If a system can only take you so far, it isn’t comprehensive, and eventually you will run out of things to learn. Good systems are built to adapt and grow with the student.

    Progressive systems contain information that is built upon and connected to other criteria within the system. A piece of instruction material shouldn’t simply exist on its own; it should be relevant to something you have learned or something you will be learning in the future.

    3) Find a Teacher who is Responsible and Reliable

    This one should be a no-brainer, but if you’re constantly lingering outside the classroom waiting for a teacher to show up, you should run and run fast. Teachers who can’t be counted on to show up on time and prepared to teach you aren’t interested in you developing as a student. Period.

    It should make you wonder what his or her true motivation is.

    Specifically, watch out for pay-per-lesson policies. This is often an indication that a teacher is more than prepared to cancel your lesson because, hey, it only costs him 20 bucks for a whole day off, right?

    Search for teachers who charge by the month, session or year. These teachers are showing you a vested interest in being accountable for your lesson and schedule. Make sure that, if a teacher is going to miss a lesson, you’ve already paid for it and are entitled to either have a qualified substitute teacher or some kind of make-up lesson.

    4) Learn Guitar, First and Foremost

    The alter-ego to the aforementioned “I-have-been-playing-this-way-all-my-life-so-let-me-show-you-how-I-do-it” teacher is the guy with the music degree who attempts to teach you a college course in 30 minutes once per week while you’re holding this guitar that you can’t play.

    Especially for beginner guitarists, your teacher should have one primary goal for you from the get-go: Learn to play songs on the guitar as quickly as possible.

    If you’re sitting down with your teacher and learning standard notation and how to read music, but your goal is to learn to play the guitar, bluntly you’re not making an efficient use of your time and money.

    Standard notation is, by and far, the BEST way to communicate musical ideas, but it is a POOR substitute for just learning how to play the guitar. If you can recite your circle of fifths and you know the difference between a quarter-rest and a fermata, but you can’t play “Smoke on the Water” then you likely have a problem as a guitarist.

    Your teacher should really be aware of all these things and capable of explaining them to you if you really want to know, but again the primary focus should be to play your guitar the way you want to.

    5) Look for More than Just Lessons

    Becoming a guitarist is more involved than the standard “take your lesson, work on the material, show up a week later, rinse, repeat” method, which is, unfortunately, the most common.

    Actively search for teachers who offer performance opportunities like student recitals, recording sessions, guitar jams with other students, direct connections to the music industry, and especially a website containing access to useful information for students (not just samples of the teacher’s music and/or accomplishments.)

    In summary, there is no shortage of guitar players out there looking to make a buck by meeting with you once a week. The question is, will you get what YOU want out of this time and money you’ve spent?

    Following these five tips in your search will dramatically improve the chances that you’re going to have a good experience as a guitar student, and also continually learn and grow as a guitar player.

    Good luck!

    pfelice@gmail.com
    "The definition of definition is reinvention."

  2. #2
    Since 1988 Carvinite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,350
    Got anothr Tom Hess on our hands..Ohhh bother.


    I apologize, that was tasteless....but I get a little annoyed sometimes.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,657
    Romp - are you advertising someone's commercial stuff above?

    Please reply here answering that question.

    Cheers.

  4. #4
    Registered Axe Offender Romp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads View Post
    Romp - are you advertising someone's commercial stuff above?

    Please reply here answering that question.

    Cheers.
    This would be a pretty poor advertisement, since I haven't included links to or names of any products or services. Which is, actually, why you had to ask, because you aren't sure.

    The intent of this post is to disseminate pertinent and crucially important information for people, especially beginners, looking for teachers. I happen to be a teacher, but unlike Tom Hess, I don't do a bunch of Internet stuff and I'm not a shredder just teaching others to shred.

    I'm also not really looking for new students; I'm full.

    It's something I strongly believe in, that's all. I had thought this was a place for discussion and thought, but apparently it's a place for presumption, sarcasm and insults. I won't make the mistake of taking it seriously again.

    "Cheers"
    "The definition of definition is reinvention."

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,657
    Quote Originally Posted by Romp View Post
    This would be a pretty poor advertisement, since I haven't included links to or names of any products or services. Which is, actually, why you had to ask, because you aren't sure.
    Oh I'm quite sure about it, thanks .... and you have 2 links in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Romp View Post
    I won't make the mistake of taking it seriously again.
    "Cheers"
    OK, fine by me. So take a "holiday" for a while, and maybe see if you ever feel more civil and constructive in future .

    Ian.
    ps:- my sympathies to your students.

  6. #6
    Since 1988 Carvinite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,350
    Okay, let me just say one thing. This was written, as I see it, like an article, am I correct? You have it posted on your myspace (see, you got one person to check it out) so I hardly think that this is supposed to be a post to discuss a topic. I think that this should have been sent to guni, clive, or ericv for consideration as an article if that was what you intended it to be (which I have already stated that I think this is what you did intend.)

    I am sorry of my perception of your post was to hopefully gain more students, but there is a blatant call for students on your myspace page.

    I am sorry if I offended you because that was not my intent. However this should have went through consideration for an article.

    If you would like to discuss this topic you could have started the post out by saying "I've been thinking latley about what to do when choosing a teacher, here's what I came up with. Share your thoughts."

    Again, sorry if I offended you.

    Leaving your e-mail address in the 'post' really took away alot of credibility to me as a forum member. It showed to me that advertisement was what you were out for....

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,657
    Quote Originally Posted by Carvinite View Post
    Okay, let me just say one thing. This was written, as I see it, like an article, am I correct? You have it posted on your myspace (see, you got one person to check it out) so I hardly think that this is supposed to be a post to discuss a topic. I think that this should have been sent to guni, clive, or ericv for consideration as an article if that was what you intended it to be (which I have already stated that I think this is what you did intend.)

    I am sorry of my perception of your post was to hopefully gain more students, but there is a blatant call for students on your myspace page.

    I am sorry if I offended you because that was not my intent. However this should have went through consideration for an article.

    If you would like to discuss this topic you could have started the post out by saying "I've been thinking latley about what to do when choosing a teacher, here's what I came up with. Share your thoughts."

    Again, sorry if I offended you.

    Leaving your e-mail address in the 'post' really took away alot of credibility to me as a forum member. It showed to me that advertisement was what you were out for....
    I think so too. And I think that was quite clear.

    Shame about that.

    But there's nothing to stop him returning in future, if he genuinely wants to discuss ideas on how to teach music (without the self promo).

    Ian.

  8. #8
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,542
    I was going to post something too but I see you guys took care of him.
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  9. #9
    Mod
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland USA
    Posts
    1,334
    on the ball as per usual.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    11
    While this is blatant self-promotion, there are some good points in there.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3
    i joined a guitar instructor blindly and he just wasted my time . He had the skills to play guitar but couldnot teach them to me .I wish i had seen this points before .

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,657
    Quote Originally Posted by sikander View Post
    i joined a guitar instructor blindly and he just wasted my time . He had the skills to play guitar but couldnot teach them to me .I wish i had seen this points before .
    Well this is an old thread, but .... do you mean you found Romp's post helpful? Fine, though as noted at the time, that post appeared to be just self-advertising.

    However, leaving that aside - I've repeatedly made that same point here about music teachers (and all teachers). That is - their ability and willingness to teach is at least as important as their knowledge and ability to play ...

    ... the teacher may be the best guitarist in the world, and may know more about music than anyone who ever lived, but students wont learn a single thing from that if the teacher cannot, or will not, explain and demonstrate things in a really clear, helpful and caring way.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    16
    I would also add that the teacher needs to have sufficiant musical knowledge
    Check out the free chord player site http://www.jam-buddy.com

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,657
    Quote Originally Posted by jayx124 View Post
    I would also add that the teacher needs to have sufficiant musical knowledge
    Well it goes without saying that any teacher (of any subject) must know and understand the material he/she is trying to teach - you could not have a situation where someone who knew nothing about music/guitar tried to teach music/guitar, that's self evident.

    However, having tried to teach guitar a fair bit over the last couple of years, I think the problem is almost always with the students and not with the teachers. By which I mean ...

    ... people on internet guitar forums often complain about their teachers, but wherever I've been able to check further it usually seems the student was not truly committed to the lessons and not really committed to practicing and learning properly anyway ...

    ... as a teacher you can't force people to practice and succeed (students often like the idea or image of being a "guitarist", but equally often don't actually want to put in even a fraction of the study & practice needed, no matter how many times it's explained to them).

  15. #15
    good post!))

Similar Threads

  1. Poor guitar playin fools.....
    By AndyPollow in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-17-2009, 10:29 PM
  2. Learning the notes on the fretboard
    By Kerbache in forum Getting Started
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 08-07-2008, 08:50 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •