How Long Have You Taken Lessons For?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ChalmersCharles, Dec 21, 2015.

How Long Have You Taken Formal Lessons For?

Poll closed Mar 30, 2016.
  1. Over Five Years

    13 vote(s)
    18.1%
  2. Between Two and Five Years

    16 vote(s)
    22.2%
  3. Between One and Two Years

    6 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. Less Than a Year

    12 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. Never Had Lessons

    25 vote(s)
    34.7%
  1. Skub

    Skub Friend of Leo's

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    I played with folk better than I. It rubbed off.

    In this day and age I can't understand why anyone would take lessons when it's all on the internet for free.
     
  2. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Many reasons.

    Some people need immediate feedback to correct errors or encourage successes.
    Some people need things explained to them differently or have questions as they are being taught.
    Some (like me) actually enjoy the time spent learning.
     
  3. adeiderich

    adeiderich Tele-Afflicted

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    Between two and five years but they were piano lessons! Learned all of my theory and practice techniques from three different teachers, each added their own insight.. second best thing I've ever done!
     
  4. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think there is a substitute for a good teacher. You can learn a lot online, but a good teacher will inspire a student and help them sort through the misinformation online. That said, if a student practices diligently they'd probably only need to see their teacher every few weeks... or even monthly
     
  5. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    There are so many things that a good teacher can do. He (I mean he/she, of course) can impart an attitude, give a sense of context and continuity to the material, can find good songs that can be arranged in ways that apply what you are learning, and serve as a model for expression and style.

    Just playing along with a teacher in lessons is valuable in its own right. The best lesson I ever had was on Thanksgiving Day, 1974. My lesson time happened to fall on that day, and he said he didn't have any other plans, so let's meet. We wound up spending 4 hours sight-reading flute and clarinet duets, and anything else we could find in his stacks of books. No talking, at tempo, no break downs, and keep going at all costs.

    The other best lesson I ever had was when I was studying jazz improv with a pianist who had become a sort of magnet for players on all instruments to work on improvisation. I wasn't doing so well, and we both knew it. I was putting in a lot of effort, but my feel was just off. Not incompetent, and no stumbling around, but definitely not working. I remember being focused on hitting the chord tones, until one day she stopped and said, "You are always landing on beat one." No other explanation was necessary, and from then on, I sounded much more like a jazz player.

    As I became more advanced, the lessons in improvisation, and especially composition, were based more on a critique model. What works, what doesn't, what is going on with form, communication, and, periodically, an insight that might shake me to the core. There were more than a few times when suddenly everything that I thought I understood about music and my relation to it, was called into question, not infrequently becoming a pillar in my evolving conception of music.
     
  6. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'd agree that time spent playing with my instructor has been extremely valuable, Larry. Again, there's instant feedback available to you. In addition, you (hopefully) have the luxury of watching and listening to a very skilled musician.
     
  7. danlad

    danlad Tele-Meister

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    No lessons, do I regret it? Sometimes. But mostly learned off Who, Stones & Husker Du records. And an Arlen Roth video with a few basics on.

    Not much of a lead player, never have been, but learned a few inversion and voicing tricks off the Who & Du songbooks that serve me well. Sometimes wonder if lessons might have given me confidence for lead lines more though. Or I might have become an egotistical, flashy player & not picked up the restraint from having more or less rhythm players as heroes from day one. Who knows?
     
  8. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    At 56 and after 40 odd years of on and off playing and of being a self taught hack, I finally decided it was time to get some proper learning. I live my life without regrets but I sincerely regret not taking lessons as soon as I picked up a guitar.

    Maybe next time.
     
  9. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    I have played for 33 years or so. I took a break around 15-20 years ago for several years.
    I've probably had around 5 years worth of lessons in guitar, including 4 years at a music college with a number of other musical topics in addition to the guitar.
    My first teacher was a classical guy, old school. But he tried to teach me the rock songs I was interested in. He also did some method style stuff of the basics of guitar. After around a year or so of this one of my friends told me that his teacher just taught him any song he wanted as long as you brought in a cassette tape of it. I switched, and took lessons there for a couple years. I learned to pick stuff up off cassettes myself by watching him, so I quit those lessons. I played in a garage/cover band, so for several years I just learned and played the songs we played. Then I went to the music college, and had private lessons the whole time, and for part of it I had two private lessons a week from two different teachers. Since then, I took one lesson from a bluegrass teacher, and one bass lesson where I went prepared to interrogate them about the stuff I wanted/needed to know :p
    I benefited greatly from the lessons, although I could have gotten a lot more out of them if I was a better student/practicer when I was young. The two one offs taught me enough to take it from there on my own, and they were when I was older, wiser, and more focused and motivated.

    One of my teachers was a guy named John Damian, and his lessons started with a guitar duo every week where the student got to call the tune. It was great as an ice breaker, for me to learn and get experience playing with a great player, and also for him to get an idea of how my playing was coming along. I thought it was great.
     
  10. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I would have agreed with you at one point, but one of the lessons I had, the guy showed me a couple of things about how I held my hands. And counter pressure with my thumb when doing a 9th chord slide. It would have taken me months to find the lessons online that told me what I needed to know in that case.

    The guy I'm working with now helps me sort out all the BS I have heard and read over the years. He's more of a guide in my journey.
     
  11. Bernie

    Bernie Tele-Afflicted

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    If your teacher was Jon Damian, author of "The Guitarist's Guide to Composing and Improvising," wow - I'm about halfway through this book and he has a lot of really great ideas, very inspiring. It must have been great to share time with him face to face.
     
  12. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. He is a great. Talented player and teacher, and a quirky hilarious character as well.
     
  13. ChalmersCharles

    ChalmersCharles Tele-Meister

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    But I like to be chastised more often than that!

    Thanks, everyone for your good answers.

    First time through, I took one year of lessons, reading and playing standards from the Hal Leonard books. Took a break for six months to just play, and then did eight months, with a different mostly doing work on improvisation and lead playing. Now I'm on a break and trying to decide how to proceed.

    Think I may just play my guitar, studying chord theory from Ted Greene's book, but learn piano and singing to help me become more rounded. I would like to be able to be a multi-instrumentalist. I've seen some guys play keys and guitar at the same time, and that seems very versatile and desirable.

    Merry Christmas!

    Yrs.

    CC
     
  14. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Self taught the first three years, me and Mel Bay. Building on four years of clarinet in grade school band. Took three month of lessons in 1967, working on chord melody and old standards. Learned to play with my thumb on the neck instead of my palm (OMG, who knew?).
     
  15. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    Self taught for a few months. Lessons for 6 months. Self taught for 8-1/2 years.

    And I suck as a teacher.
     
  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    If we are taking lessons from the RIGHT person, teacher, etc...even ONE lesson is better than 100 Internet UTube lessons. More often than not, it's not about the music of the lesson but rather the instructors explanation of HOW to get there and more importantly , WHY. We can't ask questions to a U Tube video. It's a one way conversation.

    If our teacher ( in front of us ) can't actually tell us the HOW and WHY, get a new teacher ! Because all we are doing at that point is learning licks with no connection to the fret board.


    Video lessons are good resources, I don't disagree, I use them as well, but generally I break them down into the WHY factor after the lesson is completed. What am I playing, how does it relate to what I may already know about the fret board. It turns the light on !:lol:

    A quality teacher along with conversation keeps the light glowing !
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  17. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Been playing for 40 years, and early on I took a year or two of lessons from a guy named Jerry Hossa at the local music store. He was a great teacher who really set me up on a good path, I think. After I left him, I had the chops and knowledge to play anything I wanted.

    A couple of years later though, I decided I wanted to learn fingerpicking, so in a real overkill move, I decided that the best way to learn that was to study classical guitar. So I took a couple more years of private lessons with a guy named Norm Ruiz, who is still performing. He was / is solely a classical dude.

    Then about 5 years ago I decided I was deficient in improvising over jazz changes and went to a guy named Frank Rumoro. I quit that when I realized I already knew all of that stuff from my first teacher and actual real world gig experience and I just needed to apply it.

    I am pretty certain at this point that I can learn anything I need to on my own, but I am totally grateful for the early private instruction I had, because it gave me the musical understanding and facility on the instrument to do it.

    I probably wouldn't do anything differently with my instruction. Like I said, the knowledge is there, but the real work is in applying it and mastering it. That always continues.
     
  18. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    About four years of guitar (through high school) plus five years of school band, plus some random theory classes and workshops.

    You'd think I'd be better... :(
     
  19. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I could find a hot female guitar instructor half my age, you bet I'd take lessons
     
  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lol!

    Four years of public school orchestra (viola) when I was a kid - I really wanted to play guitar but that was the closest I could get with strings since no family cash for private lessons. Paid for a few formal guitar lessons when I finally bought my first guitar a couple of years ago, should have gotten it a long time ago. Youtubing and 'dvd' since; I know the fretboard and eight chords so I will probably sign up for a few lessons this spring.
     
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