Guitar Lessons : An Expectation

So you are thinking of getting guitar lessons, you may be a complete beginner or an established player looking to brush up or learn something new. Let’s look at the situation from both perspectives, that of the student and that of the teacher. 

As a student you may feel apprehensive about this new unknown step. Good teachers are aware of this and will do their best to make you feel at ease. The more experienced they are the more they have seen this scenario over and over. In my two decades of teaching guitar I have encountered this so many times. Rest assured that the teacher is hoping to make as good an impression on you as you are on them. They want to assist you in your learning, for numerous reasons, including job satisfaction and it is their livelihood. It is natural to have some apprehension with any new and unknown experience, just embrace it and you will more than likely be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. 

Many students arrive as beginners and announce to the teacher that ” I don’t think I’ll be very good”. Well no probably not. We aren’t expecting you to be. If you were you possibly not have any need for lessons. We do not expect you know anything, but a desire to learn is extremely helpful. If you didn’t have that you need to address why you are taking a guitar lesson. Every single person who has taken up the guitar has started from scratch. No matter how good we are now, we all started has ham fisted clumsy tuneless dunces. We improved through the magic ingredients, practice and desire. I have reiterated so many times to my students that if they saw me as a beginner they would take great heart from just how bad I was. How did I improve ? I just kept at it, and still do. 
A teacher is not a magician. As much as we’d like to think we are, we aren’t. We can provide you with the information, the materials, the shortcuts, the ideas, but none of these will turn you into a guitar player. You do that bit. As teachers we can see things that you might be doing that are hindrances and can help you make adjustments to technique for example. We can suggest pieces you may wish to learn that would benefit your progression, they could introduce all kinds of ideas. 
I have found over the years that sometimes just listening and introducing different artists to students can be just as educational as being sat there going up and down scales for 5 mins. In fact I have been informed by numerous ex students that introduction to genres/ bands they didn’t know of paved the way to their musical world now. So if a teacher is playing tunes to you or showing you YouTube videos, chances are it is for a reason. Just be wary if that is all they do. 
As a beginner you will probably have no idea of what it is you need to learn. Make sure your teacher explains to you what it is you are being taught and why. Together try to map out where you want to be, explain your goals. No matter how far fetched they maybe, remember all the rock stars started as complete beginners.  Try to come to a consensus as to where your journey will be heading, it maybe learning to play various songs, it maybe to take exams, it maybe to address a technique issue. Whatever it is a good teacher will see your end goal and be able to plan the best path to get there.
Remember from both sides that lessons are about teaching students, not showing how good the teacher is as a player. I have acquired a large number of students who have left previous teachers when they have repeatedly spent the lesson either showing off or talking about their bands, gigs etc. There is a fine line between demonstrating something “flash” in order to to answer a question and just fluffing the ego. It’s a guitarist trait, but it has a time and a place and generally that is not at someone else’s expense when learning should be taking place .Being played at will not teach you anything nor will it keep a student very long so it really isn’t beneficial to either party.

The above covers a number of consideration, and with the desire not to bore you to death I will stop now, but there are many things that can be covered, but for now take those on board and go get yourself a good teacher and get learning.
For good teachers visit registry of guitar tutors
Make sure the teacher has some musical qualifications and experience of teaching. There are too many guitar teachers who are guitarist who fancy teaching a bit of guitar for some extra income. These are not career guitar teachers with all the understanding and expertise as professional guitar teachers.

 

 

 

 

 

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~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on October 25, 2013.

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