Beginners Guitar Lesson — Your Guitar Teacher
To be honest I was never keen on taking guitar lessons, but I made a deal with my mum … if she bought me a guitar, I'd take lessons; as it turned out it was the very best thing I could have done I'm sure if I had not taken lessons I would have ended up as just another frustrated guitar player chasing my tail, I may have even given up playing altogether!
What makes a great guitar teacher?
There's no shortage of guitar instructors unfortunately most are not that good and some are downright dangerous, how do you sort them out? … I have five tips to help you spot the good ones.
Guitar teacher tip # 1: — Learn to read music
Right from the start lesson one, day one I learnt to read music … I didn't realize how important that was but because it was presented to me in small easy to understand lessons I always left the practice session with a sense of achievement .
Does your teacher read music? There's a very good chance he or she doesn't; most guitar players today only read TAB which locks them into guitar thinking, there's no way you can learn to think for yourself and grow as a musician without reading standard music notation.
Without the ability to read you are destined to a musical fringe dweller someone who doesn't speak the international standard language of music. Remember "you can't learn flying from a guy who hasn't been off the ground" if your teacher can't read music it's time to move on!
Summary: If you can't read you can only copy and you don't want to spend your entire musical life as a copycat do you?
Guitar teacher tip # 2: — Learn how to build chords
Understanding chord construction and how chords belong to particular scales is a fantastic way to learn how music works, my first guitar teacher had a nickname that stuck with him all his life; he was called "Bunny" in fact I had great difficulty remembering his real name, I'd only known him as Bunny.
Anyway, Bunny was obsessed with chords, we'd spend many a lesson chasing the lost chord until we finally tracked it down and mastered it on the guitar. Bunny would often ring up my home at random to try and spring a new pesky chord on me, this approach really worked never knowing what a chord would be tossed my way it kept me on my toes, my brother was in on the game and if Bunny rang with a scary chord my brother never let on it was Bunny he just handed me the phone and said "it's for you".
Guitar teacher tip # 3: — Learn to play by ear
I've spoke about the importance of reading music, equally important is the ability of developing a memory for sound often referred to as "an ear for music". I'm sure you have heard the old saying you've either got an ear for music or you haven't.
Well I'm one of those guy's who didn't have an ear for music and now I have so that should put that theory to bed! Essentially some people have an underdeveloped or sluggish memory for sound whilst others have a more developed musical perception.
It has been my experience that given the correct instruction your ear can be drastically improved a good teacher will work patiently on this aspect of your musical development and help you gain confidence in your own ability to trust your instinct.
Guitar teacher tip # 4: — Are you inspired?
Are the lessons inspiring or just tiring? I will never forget the thrill of being twelve inches away from the musical action. Fortunately for me, Bunny was one of those rare teachers who could also play, there's an old saying "those who can play … play and those who can't … teach!"
Unfortunately, it's my sad duty to report that in 95% of cases that's absolutely correct, if you are lucky to come across a player / teacher you can't help to be inspired … some of those lessons will stay with you for life .
Guitar teacher tip # 5: — Do you feel encouraged?
Do you feel your teacher wants you to succeed? I have been told be various players that they had studied with teachers who "gave them stuff to see if they could do it" a sort of musical dare without ever explaining 'why' they were doing it.
Important musical fact of life: Good guitar players do not necessarily make good guitar teachers and visa versa, just because somebody can do something they may not want to share that with you.
Often an insecure player will feel threatened if the student makes too much progress, trust your gut feeling on this, if you don't feel your teacher has your best interests at heart .. move on.
I sincerely how you find a teacher that will encourage and inspire you to keep developing your skills on guitar.