First guitar lesson, today!

Alex_C

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I'm 57, been consistently playing since 2009. My friend showed me a few things and off I went. I'm stuck in a rut lately, so figured lessons should help. Looking forward to some guidance. Planning to learn to read and learn theory. I'm hoping the teacher is inspirational. For historical reference, here is my current state of wanking. :rolleyes:

 

teletail

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Having a good teacher can be a game changer. Make sure you can articulate your goals and make sure his teaching style will fulfill those goals. Don’t get caught up in “he’s a good guy” or “he’s a great player.” The only relevant thing is “is he a good teacher for me?” Don’t be afraid to change teachers if it’s not working for you.
 

chris m.

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Check out this Cory Wong Show featuring Larry Carlton and Mark Lettieri. It is basically a wonderful master class on both lead and rhythm guitar. Lots of beautiful ideas here.

But pay special attention to the concepts discussed and then demonstrated starting at 31:20. They are explaining and showing the difference between making your lead lines sing with melodic intent vs. playing standard guitar box patterns.

That's what I hear in the video demo of your playing-- in some places you have melodic intention and phrasing, but in others you are playing the box without it really going anywhere. Everyone has to crawl, then walk, then run, of course. But hopefully your teacher will help you sound more musical on your instrument whether playing rhythm or lead. It requires theory, practice, technique, listening to lots of music, and lots of ear training. Basically you have to attack it from every angle, and the journey never ends.

 

Alex_C

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Having a good teacher can be a game changer. Make sure you can articulate your goals and make sure his teaching style will fulfill those goals. Don’t get caught up in “he’s a good guy” or “he’s a great player.” The only relevant thing is “is he a good teacher for me?” Don’t be afraid to change teachers if it’s not working for you.
The first lesson went well. The teacher asked me a few things (note names, octaves, intervals, and scales), which I actually knew answers to. We then went on to chords shapes (maj, minor, 6th, 7th, 9th, sus, and augmented) again, I knew more than I thought. The teacher (Brett) put me on the path of chord construction and how to spell things out in half steps. We got up to 7th chords today. This is rudimentary stuff, but I never sat down and learned these things. It will be me connecting the dots with the teacher's guidance. I learned what a leading tone was! Thus far, it seems like the teacher is good. I like the way he found my knowledge gaps and started filling them, in the first lesson.
 
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Alex_C

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That's what I hear in the video demo of your playing-- in some places you have melodic intention and phrasing, but in others you are playing the box without it really going anywhere. Everyone has to crawl, then walk, then run, of course. But hopefully your teacher will help you sound more musical on your instrument whether playing rhythm or lead. It requires theory, practice, technique, listening to lots of music, and lots of ear training. Basically you have to attack it from every angle, and the journey never ends.
Thanks for the video, I enjoy all of those players but have never seen this video.
You nailed some of my many issues. I can improvise ideas and sometimes come up with a passable melody but if I go for a pattern, it is more like 'insert scale pattern here'. It wrecks the flow. The first lesson went well and I learned some stuff. I have chunks of knowledge but I don't know how to connect them. I have a good idea of where I'm at as a player. I've arrived at the mountain, now I will start the climb. ;)
 
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Alex_C

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What are you hoping to learn?
Everything!? I want to learn and apply theory to my playing. I also want help with counting odd time signatures. I write many odd time things but it takes me a while to figure out what time signature it is.I also want to be able to read and play jazz chord charts. Like I said, everything. ;)
 

Milspec

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The first lesson went well. The teacher asked me a few things (note names, octaves, intervals, and scales), which I actually knew answers to. We then went on to chords shapes (maj, minor, 6th, 7th, 9th, sus, and augmented) again, I knew more than I thought. The teacher (Brett) put me on the path of chord construction and how to spell things out in half steps. We got up to 7th chords today. This is rudimentary stuff, but I never sat down and learned these things. It will be me connected the dots with the teacher's guidance. I learned what a leading tone was! Thus far, it seems like the teacher is good. I like the way he found my knowledge gaps and started filling them, in the first lesson.
With every instructor I have experienced, there is always a dating period where the instructor is on his/her best behavior and shows a personal interest in your progress. The trouble shows up a few months later when you discover that they might be less interested in your progress as much as your money.

That was my experience in 4 out of 5 instructors that I hired. Really helpful early on and then they started to be less organized and felt like they were just going through the motions with one eye on the clock. The final instructor wasn't that way, but when "c" hit, lessons ended and he never returned to giving lessons.

Be clear about your goals and keep him focused, I hope you found the good one.
 

Alex_C

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With every instructor I have experienced, there is always a dating period where the instructor is on his/her best behavior and shows a personal interest in your progress. The trouble shows up a few months later when you discover that they might be less interested in your progress as much as your money.

That was my experience in 4 out of 5 instructors that I hired. Really helpful early on and then they started to be less organized and felt like they were just going through the motions with one eye on the clock. The final instructor wasn't that way, but when "c" hit, lessons ended and he never returned to giving lessons.

Be clear about your goals and keep him focused, I hope you found the good one.
I'll keep this in mind. I never thought of the 'honeymoon period' as it applies to a teacher but it makes sense, as it pretty much applies to everything (dating, guitars, effects, amps, etc.).
 

chris m.

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Theory is good, but it won’t help your lead playing or phrasing until you get it under your fingers. Hopefully your teacher has ideas on exercises you can play that actually change the way you go about playing. Doing it is harder than knowing in theory what you’re supposed to do.
 

teletail

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The first lesson went well. The teacher asked me a few things (note names, octaves, intervals, and scales), which I actually knew answers to. We then went on to chords shapes (maj, minor, 6th, 7th, 9th, sus, and augmented) again, I knew more than I thought. The teacher (Brett) put me on the path of chord construction and how to spell things out in half steps. We got up to 7th chords today. This is rudimentary stuff, but I never sat down and learned these things. It will be me connecting the dots with the teacher's guidance. I learned what a leading tone was! Thus far, it seems like the teacher is good. I like the way he found my knowledge gaps and started filling them, in the first lesson.
Sounds like a great start!
 

Alex_C

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With every instructor I have experienced, there is always a dating period where the instructor is on his/her best behavior and shows a personal interest in your progress. The trouble shows up a few months later when you discover that they might be less interested in your progress as much as your money.

That was my experience in 4 out of 5 instructors that I hired. Really helpful early on and then they started to be less organized and felt like they were just going through the motions with one eye on the clock. The final instructor wasn't that way, but when "c" hit, lessons ended and he never returned to giving lessons.

Be clear about your goals and keep him focused, I hope you found the good one.
The honeymoon is over and I'm trying a different teacher at a different studio. The teacher I started with felt somewhat disorganized, imo. He kept telling me that I'm his most advanced student and he had to brush up on how to teach these types of concepts. I was cool with it, but it seemed like he wasn't properly prepping and blamed printers twice.
We also ran into things where he would quiz me, say the answer was incorrect, we'd go over it and he'd say, 'wait you were correct'. I don't mind being wrong, that is why I want a teacher. If I'm working things out in my head trying to keep remember how many #'s in the key, while building a chord (in my head) and you tell me I'm wrong when I'm not, that shatters my tenuous grasp of the material for a minute. This happened twice in four lessons. It also eats up my lesson time. I have learned some things and can apply them, but my last lesson felt like a waste of $30. I want to walk out with a feeling of accomplishment or an idea of how to target a weak spot. I didn't get anything like that this week.
I'm trying out a new teacher next week.
 

Milspec

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The honeymoon is over and I'm trying a different teacher at a different studio. The teacher I started with felt somewhat disorganized, imo. He kept telling me that I'm his most advanced student and he had to brush up on how to teach these types of concepts. I was cool with it, but it seemed like he wasn't properly prepping and blamed printers twice.
We also ran into things where he would quiz me, say the answer was incorrect, we'd go over it and he'd say, 'wait you were correct'. I don't mind being wrong, that is why I want a teacher. If I'm working things out in my head trying to keep remember how many #'s in the key, while building a chord (in my head) and you tell me I'm wrong when I'm not, that shatters my tenuous grasp of the material for a minute. This happened twice in four lessons. It also eats up my lesson time. I have learned some things and can apply them, but my last lesson felt like a waste of $30. I want to walk out with a feeling of accomplishment or an idea of how to target a weak spot. I didn't get anything like that this week.
I'm trying out a new teacher next week.
You will likely run into that a few more times unfortunately. I think most teachers are geared to teach children rather than an adult. Things like being organized and having a structured plan seem to be missing from most and those that do, just revert back to a textbook.

So many of my sessions over the years started with "What were we working on last time?", "Want to learn this cool lick?" , or other signs that he was just going through the motions for the money. Hell, I had one that taught from his home studio that was 90 minutes from my home. I would often get there only to be left standing on the porch for 15 minutes trying to wake him up. It was a shame, he was such a good player, but not an instructor of any kind.

Keep looking for the right one and never be afraid to fire them, no sense in wasting time and money.
 

Alex_C

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My best friend is a Boston College of Music graduate (Masters) and has taught for over 25 years. He has been battling cancer so I haven't asked him to teach me, but if this other teacher fails to do it for me, I will ask for his assistance.
 
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