Well had my first guitar lesson......Not sure how it went.

Discussion in 'Jack's Place' started by Saturn, May 25, 2010.

    May 25, 2010
  1. Saturn Model Citizen 0 Disipline

    So I posted like 3 weeks ago that I found a guitar instructor and sounded from talking to him like we were on the same page. I was supposed to start last week but had a server project due at work so we pushed it off to this week. Now I haven't ever taken guitar lessons but had many years of trumpet and piano lessons. I picked up the guitar 25 years or so ago and just kind of started playing.

    I know the first lesson is a lot of figuring out where each other are at but I plaid a couple chord progressions and riffs and we talked over where we wanted to go with the lessons and I think he got kind of nervous. He definitely knows more of the technical side of playing than I do and that is what I want to learn but I don't think he was expecting me to be where I am at in my playing. I got the feeling he was a little intimidated by me. I agreed to a month of lessons so hopefully it will go better and we will gain some ground but I have the feeling I may be looking for another instructor. I told my wife how it went and she said "I knew that was going to happen". When I asked her what she meant she said that I'm just a really good player and always have to be the best at everything I do and that can be real intimidating.

    Well I have to go and spend 5 minutes to learn the stuff we went over today.
  2. May 25, 2010
  3. Mark Wein :mad:

    I guess give him a couple of lessons and if you still feel that way look around for someone else. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it just happens that way.
  4. May 25, 2010
  5. Saturn Model Citizen 0 Disipline

    Ya that's my feeling......And the other thing that was kind of weird to me and not that it's a bad thing in the least was when I showed up he had a big cross on his guitar strap and plays in a worship band. Now I have nothing but respect for anyone that gigs and if a worship band is your thing that is completely cool but heres me a tattooed guy that played in some scummy bar bands drank, smoked and partied sitting there with a kind of strait laced dude. I'm sure parents that bring their kids to learn from him think that is great but it made me feel kind of strange.
  6. May 25, 2010
  7. OGG Master of the Meh

    What Mark said.

    It's ultimately important that the instructor and the student are on the same page and can create a bond.

    My first flight instructor was a great guy, an awesome pilot and probably would have made for a brilliant instructor were it not for the fact that he was a Hungarian Immigrant and I couldn't understand a word he said. :D
  8. May 25, 2010
  9. Mark Wein :mad:

    Sometimes its just about personal chemistry. I happen to think that I'm a great teacher :)o) but sometimes the personality thing just doesn't work. I have no problem referring a student to another teacher if I think its not working..better that then getting a reputation for being a jerk or whatever the soon to be ex-student is going to think...
  10. May 25, 2010
  11. Saturn Model Citizen 0 Disipline

    Well at least we both speak the same language so I guess that is a plus. I can just imagine him going home and telling his family that his new student is Satan. We'll see how it goes the next few weeks. Maybe he'll really impress me once we get past the feeling out period.
  12. May 26, 2010
  13. Phlat Phive First Position Strummer

    If you have mutual respect for each other's convictions, without even having to agree on them, I don't see why this should be a problem. Hell, there's no reason why it should even come up during guitar lessons.
  14. May 26, 2010
  15. telecaster911 Kick Henry Jackassowski

    Roll back 20 years... I was already playing guitar, gigging in bars for about 8 years, and I decide to take some lessons just to see what happens. Well, it was near impossible to find someone that wasn't BSing me at some point in the lesson. The best lessons I had was playing in bands when I was 18 with guys that were 40. I had played the trombone since the 5th grade, so I'm sure that helped a great deal.

    As far as theory, I've found everything that I needed to know in books. Picking a book can be tougher than picking a teacher. I kind of like the Hal Leonard book "Music Theory" written by Tom Kolb. Most books have great sections along with sections that aren't so great. For beginners, Marks book is quite good. Now I'm not saying that there is not someone out there, but it will be a challenge to find "the guy".

    Also this book, but it's tough to understand.


    On another note...I keep tossing the idea around of doing some web lessons with Mark.

    Are you looking at theory lessons to help with improvisation and doing fill in work? To help jamming with others?
  16. May 26, 2010
  17. aliensporebomb Fretted instrument fan

    As humiliating as it could be my best teachers were the slightly older kids who were way better than me when I was starting out. If I saw them do something I wanted to learn I'd go "show me that again. Show me exactly." I always had my head in a book carrying it around too.
  18. May 26, 2010
  19. Jbird Kick Henry Jackassowski

    I happened to notice....that's a drawing of a Carvin DC 150/160 on the cover of that book :weebz:
  20. May 26, 2010
  21. John Watt Banned

    Music is always about more than just notes. What have I seen here so far? You've been in a few bands, standing up rocking out. You feel you may be an intimidating presence with your size and tattoos. Your wife says you are a driven perfectionist, and you're saying you only need to work for five minutes to get your lesson down. You describe your teacher as a Christian band player who seemed taken aback by your attitude, while admitting he has more technical knowledge.

    I see a challenging balance between personalities here. If your teacher is humble enough to acknowledge our God in his life, he's probably cutting you more slack than you'd like to think, if you've progressed beyond hard rock into being a slacker. I'd pay for more technical knowledge. A great guitarist showing off in front of students, laying his own style on them, is not good teaching. I'd respect your new friend for having dedication. That's what makes musicians great, being dedicated to their art and instruments.

    For all your and the ensuing attitudes in this thread, no-one has mentioned what kind of guitar and amp you or he was using, what tunes or progressions you tried, of if he had a Jimi thing showing somewhere. My favorite lessons came while I was on the road playing full time, and a local band or another band in the same city would be in the audience, and when I was visiting to share my interests, and pay respects, maybe the guitarist would say I used to play that song, or I got this Ritchie riff I'm using, and tell me about it. In one band we ended up doing "Deja View" by Dionne Warwick with the same atmosphere and riffage as "Little Wing".

    Sometimes I'd be walking around town and see a Conservatory or local lesson place and just walk in, saying I'd pay for a half hour if someone can show me something I don't know. It might have ended up being classical, but once the thrill of synth sounds wore out, getting classical on guitar, palm muting when even Jimi didn't do that, blew my mind all over again. You might think letting geeky little twerpy types crawl all over me as a guitarist is not the distance you want to keep from fans or your audience, but when they're clueing me in to what tunes are hot for them and showing me the chords to get me going, I'm still only just learning. That's when I get generous with pop and munchies, making a real party.

    I was commenting with your first thread, and you've kept my interest here. Riffin', not stiffin', let's get picky.

    as always, John Watt
  22. May 26, 2010
  23. StringJunky COIN Collector

    Started out coherent, and I admit I was a bit worried. By the end however, we had our old John back.
  24. May 26, 2010
  25. matou 無帽の猫

    John always delivers.
  26. May 26, 2010
  27. Eminence_Front Osiris Chickenfingers

    The hardest thing for me about lessons is asserting myself. You have to be really honest about what you want out of the lessons... Sometimes good instructors aren't great players (great = phenomenal.)
    I have had lots of technology training sessions where I had more experience than the person leading the class. However, when I was open and discussed what I wanted out of it, it was easier for them to fill my gaps..

    I am usually very neurotic about things / services I am paying for. However, with guitar lessons, I really had to take a step back and realize the reason I am there is to learn from a seasoned vet / pro. I was a pure rookie, novice. I knew 2 chords when I started going to Mark. And over the course of just shy of a year of lessons, I didn't really get everything I could have out of MArk's lessons, due to my own procrastination and busy travel schedule, but what I did get was more comfortable with the instrument, I learned "how" to practice, and I became aware of my own learning-pace. Unique to each individual.

    You should never feel anxious about asserting yourself, or asking for a specific goal out of the engagement to an instructor. If this guy seems like he has nothing to offer you, then just say it, tactfully.
    Ask him to prepare a "skills assessment"
    Tell him to "challenge you". Pop Quiz, etc.

    That way, he can really understand where you are, which will make both of you more comfortable, and you won't waste a month of your money, and his time figuring out he has nothing to teach you.

    It's their business, and it's your money. I'd bet they'll be real flexible to keep that arrangement. . . .
  28. May 26, 2010
  29. John Watt Banned

    Hey Eminence_Front! It's not always about the money, and musicians certainly don't start out that way. I was asked to take over the guitar lessons at Central Music, my local store, when the guitarist there started recording and touring with The Spartan, the bassist also a Central employee. After two weeks I had cut back the number of students in half, keeping the ones I thought were into playing, and after a month was teaching them all one afternoon at my parent's house, a nice place for lessons of all kinds.

    I put students together who had similar interests and a couple bunches started bands.
    One of them became an insurance company owner, inheriting from his father.
    That's still my insurance company. That's about the money.

    as always, John Watt
  30. May 26, 2010
  31. matou 無帽の猫

    ^clear-headed and insightful post^
  32. May 26, 2010
  33. Saturn Model Citizen 0 Disipline

    I'm sure he has something to teach me that's why I went ahead and booked a month of lessons. I want to give him a chance. I think he is a nice guy and has some good knowledge. I just kind of got a weird feeling in the first lesson. Nothing against him being into worship I could care less what his belief system is just kind of different from me and different can be good. I think part of the weirdness is being in music lessons after so many years. My last formal music lesson (piano) was when I was 17. I was all into the idea of sharing musical ideas and just got the feeling that he was really nervous when he played something and I played it back with no effort. I had the feeling that he may have thought he was in over his head. He said he has advanced students and has even given lessons to professional players. Maybe I just knocked him a little off balance because I wasn't what he thought I was from our conversation. I actually feel bad if he was intimidated by me. I'm really a nice guy but for some reason everyone thinks that I'm some mean scary person.

    Either way I have 4 more lessons booked with him and maybe they will be good. If not I will move on or just keep on doing what I've done for all these years.
  34. May 26, 2010
  35. matou 無帽の猫

    At your level of playin', if I learned one or two things from him, I'd say it was worth it.
  36. May 26, 2010
  37. DdBob Dogue in teh desert

    Just curious as to why you're taking lessons in the first place. Don't get me wrong even pro's and big name players takes lessons, learning in any field should never stop but....

    You say you've played in bar bands and have been playing for 25 years, etc. So obviously you know your way around the fretboard and can play. Are you looking to join a regular band or perhaps make a career of it or something? You say you've taken lots of trumpet and piano lessons so you should have a knowledge of theory. Maybe all you need is some books and just self study?
  38. May 26, 2010
  39. Saturn Model Citizen 0 Disipline

    I'm not a technical player and have always admired guys that have that are technical. I have the theory back ground but just have never taken the time to apply it to the guitar. Or at least I never thought I did. One thing I did find out in the first lesson is that I know way more than I thought I did. The things I asked him to teach were more playing with modes and gaining the ability to play from sheet music. That may sound kind of funny but with piano I can take sheet music and play. I would like to do that with the guitar. Maybe be able to grab the sheet music for a old jazz standard and sit down and play it. Or maybe I'm just bored with my playing and want to see if I can learn something different.

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