First lesson in 20 years. How to know whether to continue…

marc2211

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So I finally took the plunge and took my first proper first lesson today. I’ve been playing since I was 15 and am coming up to 45 now! I’m mainly self taught and picked things up from playing in groups when I was younger, and listening and playing to record - but I’ve been in a rut for about 10 years, just not improving, so thought I’d take the plunge.

First lesson was a ‘get to know you’, but turned into blues/rock improv. The teacher’s main emphasis for me was to concentrate on slowing down, hitting all target notes, transitions, turn arounds.

After 30 mins he said ok, I hear licks from Page, SRV, Albert King some Clapton… but don’t hear YOU.

We spent the next 30 mins really ‘going back to basics’… Chicago blues style, with minimal bending, concentrating on single notes and making sure I built my improvisation up musically, not diving in from the outset, using space in the music. Also starting to brush up on technique etc (I didn’t realize that nearly every bend I play is a double stop for example).

It was cool, but in was all a bit weird to really concentrate on simple stuff. It was probably really what I needed, but left feeling a bit weird.

The teacher/school does 2 hour group lessons only (2-3 ppl per group, of similar levels) - 1st hour working on core technique and theory, second on group playing and practice of the techniques from the 1st hour. The teacher proposes putting me in a more advanced players group, which is a bit daunting, but said that that was my level. Really recommended that I play with others more and live.

My issue is the frequency of the lessons and the pricing, so I’m unsure on whether to continue.

So you pay monthly, with lessons the same time per week (you can change the time up to 2 hours before and re-book), but all need to be taken within 6 weeks or so - 6 lessons are the equivalent 360$, so 60$ per hour. 20 lessons are 550$, so about 30$ per hour.

I have 3 kids, family commitments, and really am not sure I want to take *that* many lessons on such a regular basis. I’ve no desire to take a huge amount as I’ve no goal other than improving and getting out of my rut - I realize that my dream to be Keith has sailed a long time ago! :D

I decided to take 3 ‘bootcamp’ lessons for the next 3 weeks, for 70$ per lesson and see how I go after that.

Just wondering what everyone thinks about lessons and this kind of price/structure. Do you think that improvement is achievable with this, or am I better finding a 1:1 teacher? At Swiss prices this may be double, but willing to pay if it’s better for learning.

An insights would be really welcome!
 

HolmfirthNJ

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I like the idea of the three ‘boot camp’ lessons - a chance to focus on some simple things you might have missed, and perhaps get into a good practice habit, if that’s what you need.
I wonder if, after that, it might be a case of diminishing returns and you’d be better off playing with other people as he says, and getting inspired and improving that way?
Also, it doesn’t sound that flexible a plan, and as you say, quite a lot of money.
Also, also, that line about ‘I hear x, y and z but I don’t hear you’ is just a bit easy somehow, but the other things he went through with you sounded useful.
I hope that helps.
 

Mjark

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$60 per hour is what I pay even though my teacher still charges $50. Depending on who the teacher is you can continue to learn forever. Whether you get your money's worth depends on how hard you work on what your teacher has given you. One on one lessons are preferable.
 

Brent Hutto

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It all depends on whether you really dig the group lesson thing. That seems to me a fairly steep price per hour for group lessons, paid in advance. But doing it for six weeks might be a good experience if you found that format useful.
 

Controller

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Make sure it's the right teacher for you and they are willing to teach what is important to you. You should be excited and challenged after a lesson with this teacher.
 

chulaivet1966

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$60 per hour is what I pay even though my teacher still charges $50. Depending on who the teacher is you can continue to learn forever. Whether you get your money's worth depends on how hard you work on what your teacher has given you. One on one lessons are preferable.
Howdy M....

Wow....I would never have imagined that price for lessons.
I used to give lessons and quit back in 2002.
I was charging 20/hr. which was the going rate back then.

To your more important point, I agree:
"It's not the time spent with the teacher that leads to improvement or reaching one's personal goals.
It's the diligent, focused time spent between each lesson."


Back to it....
 
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Hey_you

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Give it a try. How can you know in just one lesson? It took me 6 months after starting lessons to unlearn , not-so-good habits. Also, know what you want to get out of the lessons, and transmit that to the instructor. If you knew as much as a decent instructor, I doubt you'd be having lessons. Just saying.
 

MickM

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60 bucks an hour? Maybe I should take on a couple students again. I had a few over the years(early 90s) and only 1 or 2 were dedicated and I charged them $10 hr. The one kid was like a looper almost. I'd show him something a few times and he'd spit it back at me and have it down pat at the next weeks lesson. I carried him half the time: his parents were split (my wife was friends with his mom) and after she'd drop him off his loser dad would pick him up and not have the lousy 10 bucks half the time but my guy was a good kid and loved the guitar so I had no problem showing him what I could.. (dad would say he didn't want to break a 50 or I'll get you next week. Never did)
 

Mjark

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Howdy M....

Wow....I would never have imagined that price for lessons.
I used to give lessons and quit back in 2002.
I was charging 20/hr. which was the going rate back then.

To your more important point, I agree:
"It's not the time spent with the teacher that leads to improvement or reaching one's personal goals.
It's the diligent, focused time spent between each lesson."


Back to it....

He’s been charging $50 since at least then. He hasn’t raised his rate because he wants to be affordable to musicians. He’s a pro. All he does is teach and gig.

He’s well worth it. I met him on another forum found he was local, went to see him play. When we talked he said he taught. I knew he was qualified after hearing him but over the years I’ve come realize what an amazing amount of knowledge he has.
 

teletail

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I’d move on. Find a good teacher that does private lessons. With Skype you have the world to choose from. I’ve taken a few lessons from TDPRI’s own Ment Morris who is very good, along with a handful of others. You need one on one feedback.
 

marc2211

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Well, just had the second lesson. I really enjoyed this one.

The Teacher analyzed the first lesson and came with a plan on what I needed to work on, and we went through a set of exercises;

They picked a slow backing track in E (chosen as it’s something I’d usually never play over - I’m fast Texas style blues, rock or nothing!!). We covered:

- soloing with only one string (went through the top 4)
- soloing without vibrato
- soloing only with slides
- soloing only with hammer on/offs
- soloing only with 3 note runs
- soloing without bends
- soloing with only bends
- soloing without using the position 1 pentatonic (my crutch)

- changing note ranges, limiting what note ranges I can play at different times in the I/IV/V

It all really made me think for the first time in years about note choice, and got me playing very very differently to how I usually do. By the end they got me thinking about the guitar, note choices and musicality of what I was playing rather than going all out, all the time.

We then looped round and reviewed how I sounded, and I have to confess it was much much more musical. The teacher noted that as I very rarely play with people, I initially sounded like ‘X and their band’ rather than being part of the music itself… reviewing what was recorded, I had to agree.

Definitely enjoyed this one.
 

HelloJonnyJoy

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Well, just had the second lesson. I really enjoyed this one.

The Teacher analyzed the first lesson and came with a plan on what I needed to work on, and we went through a set of exercises;

They picked a slow backing track in E (chosen as it’s something I’d usually never play over - I’m fast Texas style blues, rock or nothing!!). We covered:

- soloing with only one string (went through the top 4)
- soloing without vibrato
- soloing only with slides
- soloing only with hammer on/offs
- soloing only with 3 note runs
- soloing without bends
- soloing with only bends
- soloing without using the position 1 pentatonic (my crutch)

- changing note ranges, limiting what note ranges I can play at different times in the I/IV/V

It all really made me think for the first time in years about note choice, and got me playing very very differently to how I usually do. By the end they got me thinking about the guitar, note choices and musicality of what I was playing rather than going all out, all the time. But what surprised me the most was that at the end of the lessons, I would have to write about what I learned and how I see my development in the future. I did not expect this at all and have already begun to look after the graduate paper writing service to meet the teacher's expectations. That's how I found out about this source https://edusson.com/graduate-paper-writing-service which I'm sure will help me. We then looped round and reviewed how I sounded, and I have to confess it was much much more musical. The teacher noted that as I very rarely play with people, I initially sounded like ‘X and their band’ rather than being part of the music itself… reviewing what was recorded, I had to agree.

Definitely enjoyed this one.
I also think about finding a teacher, but to be honest, I put everything off for later, afraid to leave my comfort zone. Reading about how you enjoy your lessons inspires me. Thanks.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Manassas Park, VA
So I finally took the plunge and took my first proper first lesson today. I’ve been playing since I was 15 and am coming up to 45 now! I’m mainly self taught and picked things up from playing in groups when I was younger, and listening and playing to record - but I’ve been in a rut for about 10 years, just not improving, so thought I’d take the plunge.

First lesson was a ‘get to know you’, but turned into blues/rock improv. The teacher’s main emphasis for me was to concentrate on slowing down, hitting all target notes, transitions, turn arounds.

After 30 mins he said ok, I hear licks from Page, SRV, Albert King some Clapton… but don’t hear YOU.

We spent the next 30 mins really ‘going back to basics’… Chicago blues style, with minimal bending, concentrating on single notes and making sure I built my improvisation up musically, not diving in from the outset, using space in the music. Also starting to brush up on technique etc (I didn’t realize that nearly every bend I play is a double stop for example).

It was cool, but in was all a bit weird to really concentrate on simple stuff. It was probably really what I needed, but left feeling a bit weird.

The teacher/school does 2 hour group lessons only (2-3 ppl per group, of similar levels) - 1st hour working on core technique and theory, second on group playing and practice of the techniques from the 1st hour. The teacher proposes putting me in a more advanced players group, which is a bit daunting, but said that that was my level. Really recommended that I play with others more and live.

My issue is the frequency of the lessons and the pricing, so I’m unsure on whether to continue.

So you pay monthly, with lessons the same time per week (you can change the time up to 2 hours before and re-book), but all need to be taken within 6 weeks or so - 6 lessons are the equivalent 360$, so 60$ per hour. 20 lessons are 550$, so about 30$ per hour.

I have 3 kids, family commitments, and really am not sure I want to take *that* many lessons on such a regular basis. I’ve no desire to take a huge amount as I’ve no goal other than improving and getting out of my rut - I realize that my dream to be Keith has sailed a long time ago! :D

I decided to take 3 ‘bootcamp’ lessons for the next 3 weeks, for 70$ per lesson and see how I go after that.

Just wondering what everyone thinks about lessons and this kind of price/structure. Do you think that improvement is achievable with this, or am I better finding a 1:1 teacher? At Swiss prices this may be double, but willing to pay if it’s better for learning.

An insights would be really welcome!

I have officially given #30 lessons (over 2 years, on SKYPE) to an older guy who loves Classic Rock /folk/blues like me

But every time we get together it's like 'Groundhog Day!'
He doesn't retain anything ( even though he can record sessions) and his hands always hurt, forming chords and changing.

But he loves doing this so we just do the SOS, and I make fun of him- good guy!

( House of the Rising Son, Let it Be, blues.....)
 

Patshep

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It’s weird how lesson prices vary. I used to give for $50/hr. I also took lessons from a guy waaaay better than me for $35. I’ve asked other guys and some charge like $140. It’s so random
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Apr 26, 2003
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Augusta, Maine
So I finally took the plunge and took my first proper first lesson today. I’ve been playing since I was 15 and am coming up to 45 now!
Hm. I know I'm math-challenged, but I'm pretty sure 45 - 15 = 30.
I’m mainly self taught and picked things up from playing in groups when I was younger, and listening and playing to record - but I’ve been in a rut for about 10 years, just not improving, so thought I’d take the plunge.

First lesson was a ‘get to know you’, but turned into blues/rock improv. The teacher’s main emphasis for me was to concentrate on slowing down, hitting all target notes, transitions, turn arounds.

After 30 mins he said ok, I hear licks from Page, SRV, Albert King some Clapton… but don’t hear YOU.
Probably a fair assessment. Brutal, but fair. Most competent players I hear fit that description.
We spent the next 30 mins really ‘going back to basics’… Chicago blues style, with minimal bending, concentrating on single notes and making sure I built my improvisation up musically, not diving in from the outset, using space in the music. Also starting to brush up on technique etc (I didn’t realize that nearly every bend I play is a double stop for example).

It was cool, but in was all a bit weird to really concentrate on simple stuff. It was probably really what I needed, but left feeling a bit weird.

The teacher/school does 2 hour group lessons only (2-3 ppl per group, of similar levels) - 1st hour working on core technique and theory, second on group playing and practice of the techniques from the 1st hour.
I'm generally not into music lessons, but I would love that.
The teacher proposes putting me in a more advanced players group, which is a bit daunting, but said that that was my level. Really recommended that I play with others more and live.

My issue is the frequency of the lessons and the pricing, so I’m unsure on whether to continue.

So you pay monthly, with lessons the same time per week (you can change the time up to 2 hours before and re-book), but all need to be taken within 6 weeks or so - 6 lessons are the equivalent 360$, so 60$ per hour. 20 lessons are 550$, so about 30$ per hour.

I have 3 kids, family commitments, and really am not sure I want to take *that* many lessons on such a regular basis. I’ve no desire to take a huge amount as I’ve no goal other than improving and getting out of my rut - I realize that my dream to be Keith has sailed a long time ago! :D

I decided to take 3 ‘bootcamp’ lessons for the next 3 weeks, for 70$ per lesson and see how I go after that.

Just wondering what everyone thinks about lessons and this kind of price/structure. Do you think that improvement is achievable with this, or am I better finding a 1:1 teacher? At Swiss prices this may be double, but willing to pay if it’s better for learning.

An insights would be really welcome!
The regimen sounds good, the prices reasonable. If you can swing it, why not? Go check your budget and talk about it with your spouse or partner, if you have one.

Your goal is getting out of a rut. Sounds like this could do it.
 

Alex_C

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Well, just had the second lesson. I really enjoyed this one.

The Teacher analyzed the first lesson and came with a plan on what I needed to work on, and we went through a set of exercises;

They picked a slow backing track in E (chosen as it’s something I’d usually never play over - I’m fast Texas style blues, rock or nothing!!). We covered:

- soloing with only one string (went through the top 4)
- soloing without vibrato
- soloing only with slides
- soloing only with hammer on/offs
- soloing only with 3 note runs
- soloing without bends
- soloing with only bends
- soloing without using the position 1 pentatonic (my crutch)

- changing note ranges, limiting what note ranges I can play at different times in the I/IV/V

It all really made me think for the first time in years about note choice, and got me playing very very differently to how I usually do. By the end they got me thinking about the guitar, note choices and musicality of what I was playing rather than going all out, all the time.

We then looped round and reviewed how I sounded, and I have to confess it was much much more musical. The teacher noted that as I very rarely play with people, I initially sounded like ‘X and their band’ rather than being part of the music itself… reviewing what was recorded, I had to agree.

Definitely enjoyed this one.
Sounds like a good, fun teacher. I was taking jazz lessons and was on the fence about continuing, mainly because it was heavy on theory and I don't have much time to play. I enjoy learning, but missed just playing. The hurricane hit and that was the end of lessons.
I'd love to find a teacher who evaluates what and how I play.
 
Last edited:

Milspec

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$60 per lesson is a pretty common rate and if the instructor is organized and has a plan for you, it can be a bargain. The problem is that few instructors seem to be that way. The 4 that I worked with at different times started out really great for 3 weeks and then seemed to lose all interest. I would show up and they would have no plan for the lesson, just wanting to show me some new licks he has been working on followed by asking me what I wanted to work on.

I live in the Midwest, if I want to drive to drive to Miami, I would never just wing it and drive SouthEast hoping to get there. I would plot a map on where I was going first and then plan all the steps to get me there. The same should be true with an instructor in my view. If he/she doesn't have a laid out plan, they will be no better than what you have already been doing that trapped you in a rut.

I think you will know by the end of a few lessons if this is a path to success or just a distraction that wastes your money. I have yet to find an instructor in my area that worked out for me. I spent my money on Gibson's instructor courses which are actually pretty good. It can't tell you what you are doing wrong, but at least it is structured with a clear path to a finish line.
 

brookdalebill

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My personal criteria is super easy.
Are you getting information that you feel is useful?
Some teachers are better presenters than others.
I’ve had aa 50/50 success rate.
Six teachers, three that really helped.
 




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