I took a lesson today, the first in 26 years. Odd result and de-sync with teacher.

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by marc2211, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    I find a similar situation to you and others. I think in my case (and maybe yours) that the stuff you do know and understand your probably good at and better than you think. We all tend to practice what we know right?

    I find that my lack of confidence and limits on growth to be the gaping holes in some basic theory and other areas I dont really know or dont know I dont know, until im left exposed when playing with friends.

    Last time my friend (who has always been an amazing player) was surprised at my minor penatatonic playing (I was surprised to learn he doesn't really know much Minor Pent stuff at all) but he KILLED me with his major pentatonic, EVH type stuff. An instant gaping hole, I could barely recognise and certainly didn't know I had until that session.

    I mean I should have known had I thought about it... but thats the nature of playing at home to the stuff you like (and inevitably know) versus other people and their influences.

    He loves EVH and associated, I guess, 80's type bands (metallica and so on), Until recently EVH did nothing for me and Metallica still "meh".

    I Love Led Zep and earlier 70's stuff and Grunge / riff rock so we each have developed a variation in genres and styles. He's still way better than me though (damn it! :) )

    I suspect this is your inward (sub conscious maybe?) fear or brick wall re playing out, the chance of being exposed.


    Great thread, very interesting.
     
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  2. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    This is a super interesting point, and something I need to think about. I actually had the opposite feeling, I was very underwhelmed by their playing as it was really not my style. I can't think of any lick I'd liked to have copied.

    His playing was very technically impressive, easily playing scales and runs at light speed. He was much more contemporary than my playing. He had complete fretboard knowledge ... but there was no real soul to it. I run at the other end of the spectrum.

    On reflection, I’m definitely thinking of trying a few other teachers before committing.
     
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  3. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    This is an interesting thread. I've been playing for thirty five years or so, all self-taught, and have been considering taking lessons for the first time. I don't have a lot of technical ability, but I can write songs and guitar parts, and maybe most importantly, I sound like myself when I play. But playing now at home, alone, (I have hyperacusis, so my days in bands are long gone) I miss the give and take of watching another guitarist and picking up tips and tidbits from them, and then applying that new knowledge to my own style of playing.

    I've also realized that in a weird way, I don't want to get "that good." Meaning, I think my limited technical skills account for some of that originality. I've always had to work out what's in my head through trial and error and intuition, and I don't want to lose that openness or surprise factor. I guess I just need to jump into some lessons and see first hand how it goes.
     
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  4. John E

    John E Tele-Afflicted

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    Most (ok, well a great many) great players are very critical of themselves. And you can literally learn something from anybody you play with.
     
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  5. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    How good was this teacher?

    Did he/she have a music degree at a minimum?

    My impression from your post is this just wasn't that great of a teacher. There's a big difference between what a self-taught teacher is going to be able to teach you versus someone who has a lot more formal knowledge.

    At your level you want someone who has that formal knowledge + great playing skill & real world experience.

    Find out what's the renowned college/university in your area with a great contemporary/jazz type music program.. see if you can find a teacher who went there.

    I live close to Berklee.. there are a lot of fantastic teachers in the area as a result. Everyone I've interacted with who went there was an amazing instructor.
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think that at the end of the day what is most limiting is time. Time to practice, time to study, time to play in bands, time to record at home with a DAW.
    At least time is what is most limiting for me. In the beginning, for most skill activities whether it be a sport or music or whatever, it really helps to have a teacher get you up
    the learning curve quickly. A good teacher can make the path much smoother and faster in the early going and is well worth it. A good teacher can also help
    avoid pitfalls such as bad fundamentals-- whether it be how to throw a football or how to finger a chord.

    But once one gets to a certain point in one's development I think time is often the greater limiting factor. An intermediate player has a whole universe of information
    available at their fingertips because of the Internet-- fabulous YouTube videos, theory lectures, etc., etc. If you just want to learn new licks you can just watch
    your favorite guitar player on a YouTube video and cop their licks one at a time, slowly but surely.

    That said, if you find just the right teacher, that teacher might be able to make some really keen observations and provide some key tips that quickly take you up
    another level-- probably a lot faster than you would do it yourself. That would be well worth it, but it could be quite difficult to find a Zen Master level teacher
    of this type. We all know who Neil Peart is. I watched a documentary about Rush and one interesting tidbit is that at the height of being considered one of the planet's
    best ever drummers Neil Peart actually started taking lessons again. But it was from a real Yoda Zen Master drummer type-- no one else was going to be able to
    show Neil anything he didn't already know or couldn't figure out for himself.
     
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  7. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    No! Keep studying with him for a while. Absorb all you can of his fretboard knowledge, and his fast and smooth phrasing. Think what you could do with that combined with your own phrasing, soul, and style. Think of his skills applied to music that you want to play.

    You’ll benefit a lot more studying under someone who is strong in areas you’re not strong in!
     
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  8. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is absolutely possible. Even the best are still learning. One thing I’ve learned is that you never get “good enough” for yourself. I’m a good player and confident in my element and style, which covers a healthy amount of genres. But if I’m trying to be someone else in my playing, it’s a mess ;)

    It’s important to balance pushing yourself in practice and playing within your ability in more public forums.

    Enjoy what you do and keep learning! That’s the journey!
     
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  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I took lessons for a few years when I was starting out. I went through teachers quickly because you progress much faster when you are young and have much more time to practice. I stuck with my first teacher for about 6 months before he said it was time for me to find a new teacher. It was great of him to do that and not just milk me for more lessons as at the time I was a little upset he was moving me on. I then went through something like 5 teachers over the following 2 years. I would take a few lessons with a guy and decide if I liked what I was hearing and what he could offer. If not I moved on to another. I still picked up things from each lesson. All my teachers were gigging guitarists in rock, blues, fusion bands. Most were writing originals and recording as well as playing covers.

    I learnt the most and progressed the fastest with a guy who couldn't read music and didn't teach theory but played by ear and could tab out a complicated song very quickly and accurately. He had the chops to back that up. I can remember bringing a cassette tape recording of Eruption I recorded off the radio and he tabbed it out for me in lesson and had time to play through some of it with me. I think from memory a lesson was half hour back then. I don't play super fast and flashy these days but if I want to I can if I put the time into practicing that style and pull it off. Another guy was a great blues player with great feel and we would jam for most lessons and he would teach me blues licks and work on my improvising. It's much more fun and productive learning from guys who you want to sound like when playing imo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  10. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    As a teacher I always give the most honest feedback I can.

    I have a woman who I’m teaching banjo and she’s hit a bit of a plateau. She’ll get through it. But she doesn’t believe me when I Tel her she’s actually doing very well.

    Teacher stiudent relations are based on a chemistry. It sounds like you have a good teacher. Listen to him. And if he thinks you’re there. Then you likely are.


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  11. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    Music theory doesn't help "playing", it's the opposite, it hampers it. You only need to know the basics to play. Music theory is nothing more than a way of analyzing and explaining "Music", it does not help you "play" better. Practicing, and getting muscle memory makes you play better. If you are "thinking" while you are trying to play, you are not "playing".
     
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  12. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    Also, if you have innate talent and musical ear, you will deceive yourself into thinking that you can't be good unless you "learn" some abstract thing like those who have no talent need to do. It's a paradox. Does the lion need to learn how to kill? Not really, but what if they had a more developed cortex like humans, then their would be alot of "lions taking kill courses" and self help for lions to figure what they can't kill like other lions. Also, if you are truly very talented, you will have moments where you encounter a teacher, and if this teacher is any good, they will instantly recognize your ability, but then they will be extra hard on you, and set high goals for you, so this will make you feel less talented than you really are.

    It's just the opposite for un-talented guitar players, their Instructor will pat them on the back and make them feel extre,mely talented just for little tiny improvements.
     
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  13. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d argue it’s a bit more complex than that. Theory is good in that you learn a concept. And you learn it so you don’t think about it.

    So when you learn your pentatonic scale you spent a lot of time getting it under your fingers. You then don’t really think of the relationships between each note etc.
    Or take a c chord. You practice and practice till it is smooth and clear. Then you never think of it again. This is true of the higher concepts - substitutions, tri tones, harmonic concepts. Etc.

    Music theory will enhance your playing but if you have to think about it you’re not ready to perform it.


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  14. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    @marc2211 ,

    I play guitar since 39 years. I Never took any lessons. I do not read music sheet, have nearly no musical theory in mind. But :

    Exactly. I think that I am one of those Guys "who knows nothing but play it all", conversely to "who knows it all and play nothing"... Below, I'm the Lefty guy with hat at the left :D

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So don't worry too much, listen, work and play - it's also a way to learn, you know it after 26 years of personal guitar practice, @marc2211 !

    And of course : join a band, if it's not already done - don't wait anymore ! A great experience... :cool:

    A 26-year self-taught playing Guy like you is more than valuable : you use your ears, like me - and trust me : this is the 1st step to adapt your playing to a band's tune, while keeping your personal style, and the other musicians will really appreciate it... ;)

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    A+!
     
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  15. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    Of course Music Theory is complex, that's the point of it.
    The question to OP is how much does he want to complexify his musical journey. OP? Why did you go this lesson, what was the event that put you over the edge? Do you feel like you are just missing something? Sure, that could be solved with learning more theoretical aspects, but it could also be something else, something almost entirely un-related.
     
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  16. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    It will explain why the Music was Musical... in a general overall sense. It won't practice scales on your fretboard for you though, neither will it listen to your musical inspirations for you. It won't explain why your date stood you up, that would require a different theory, but then, that is still only just a Theory.
     
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  17. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I have never had a teacher i just learnt myself, i dont think anybody is ever happy with their playing, and i agree to much theory can hamper ones playing. I use my ear alot and just make up tunes and riffs/ licks now and that gives me more confidence. Also just think of the simple scales like chromatics and whole tone and add them in at times and some different techniques also, i think if one is to happy with their playing it can hamper as well.
     
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  18. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I can understand where you are coming from, and where the teacher is coming from. I don't think either of you are wrong, but I think that worrying - at all - about "how good you are" is not important and not what you are paying a teacher for. A teacher needs to first assess your strengths and weaknesses and then find specific things for you to improve, through focused practice. You should be leaving every lesson with "homework" designed to get you to the next place you want to go. Unfortunately, music teachers (any teacher in the arts, really) are usually terrible because teaching is 100% not what they want to be doing, and they generally receive no training of any kind in teaching - their qualification is that they are better than you.

    So what you want to look for is that this new teacher of yours is going to show up to your second lesson with specific, tailored activities - songs, drills, exercises, readings on theory - that will get you closer to where you want to be. It's possible that you haven't expressed yourself very well in order to help that happen. Just saying you "want to get better" makes it hard on the teacher. Do you want to be able to nail Little Wing? Improvise better? Understand why some notes are "clams" and others are not? Play with more variety of style? Gig in a band? Identifying your own specific goals is an important part of the process. And worrying about whether you are "good" or not is really a waste of time at the end of the day.

    BTW I don't consider myself a "good" guitarist either, in fact every time I go to play a solo in front of anyone I feel like the wheels are surely about to come off and I'll be exposed as a fraud. But my teacher also recently told me, "oh you can play" and I just watched a vid of a recent gig and - sure enough, I CAN play! Crazy...
     
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  19. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It will tell you what scales to practice. Or what chords to play. Etc.


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  20. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    I took a couple of guitar lessons a long time ago. When I was asked what my goal was I told the guitar teacher that I just wanted to make music with somebody. Basically I was renting the teacher as an experienced band member to create music with. I didn't know what it was like to be in a band and wanted him to show me. Anyway, I was pretty inexperienced, but I could play barre chords and open chords and a few songs. I was beginning to learn to sing and play simultaneously. Anyway, my request seemed to throw off the teacher. It became clear that he didn't want to make music, but wanted instead to teach. I dropped the lessons soon after. At any rate, I think some guitar teachers get set in their ways. They're expecting clueless beginners. I suspect intermediate players with some skills, who just come out of nowhere, might throw them out of their routine.
     
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