Guitar Lessons--if you did, for how long?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Flouswa, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    7 years, two teachers, i should be better than i am
  2. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    Dec 29, 2009
    In 78 age 13 I had a series of lessons. Not much theory but more learn to play songs...
    80- 84 Punk taught me I could write a song...
  3. Gregor

    Gregor Synchromatic

    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Never had a lesson from a "professional" live teacher in my life. ...and it shows. I was shown a few cowboy chords by my aunt when I was a teenager and am completely self taught after that. Of course with all the online technology available today, we have many sources to rely on which I have certainly can be overwhelming to say the least. One advantage I see in having a teacher is accountability. One, I would think, would be more inclined to keep up with the necessary practicing to steadily improve....and also have the availability to have questions answered directly. I have used several very good online teachers in my quest to improve but don't expect to get past my present designation as an intermediate player...although I'm still working on it. The journey is better than the destination(if indeed there ever is regarding our proficiency in music).
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  4. LongJohn

    LongJohn Synchromatic

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Grew up with music all around me, sang in church and school glee clubs, took guitar lessons for no more than 2 years (age 13 to 15). Good foundation let me develop at my own pace and here we are today brushing off the cob webs and keeping the finger tips calloused.
    Flouswa likes this.
  5. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    Do Doug Marx books and cassettes in the ‘80s count? Other than that and tabs, never. It likely shows if you’ve ever heard me play
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  6. johnny g

    johnny g Country Gent

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Dad taught me at age 13. A few country licks and all the chords I could handle.
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  7. Wjensen

    Wjensen Gretschie

    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    I decided to take up the guitar late in life. I started out with lessons at the Guitar Center, but had unsatisfactory results because they could not keep instructors. Also, their method books were written for kids, so included a lot of licks. After about 6 months I quit that place.

    Took up with a teacher at a different place. I've been with him for 2 years, and making progress. If the goal is to be a better player today than I was yesterday, then I am meeting that goal. As someone said, one of the advantages of a teacher is accountability. I practice for an hour to an hour and a half every day. If I was playing for others, I would probably practice several hours, but I don't expect to be gigging.

    My teacher assigns interesting additional work such as moveable scales and chords, Hanan for Guitar, in addition to lesson materials. Soon enough I need to find someone to jam with-someone better than I am, but someone with patience.:rolleyes:
    Flouswa likes this.
  8. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    I took guitar lessons for ages, first started when I was 8 on acoustic which was just more learning about the guitar and music in general so about as much as you can at that age with out getting to bored of it, went through 2 music teachers in that phase of lessons then had a break.

    Moved onto electric guitar in primary school, another teacher later which is where I really started to learn fundamentals and more of your classic rock stuff, then another teacher at the same school which then learnt a bit about lead work and all that but then it just turned into a weekly jam session really as nothing more was really taught and I was happy just doing that, then as I was nearing the end of my high school days I then had another teacher as my old one left, this time he was a younger Jazz guy so was starting to learn the basics of Jazz but then he went a bit funny and left the school and at that time I was having more fun with cars so quit lessons and put the guitar as the secondary hobby for awhile.

    So yeah that's me, now I just learn what I want through videos, articles and all that, am thinking of going back into Jazz/Blues lessons as that is starting to interest me a bit more now especially blues, that and older country music as I believe those styles are where the real talented players either are or have backgrounds in, that and I can't afford to play with cars anymore lol.
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  9. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    I started at 11 and took radon’s in and off for years until I found the right teacher that changed things for me. I studied with him for two years.
    Sometimes you can burn out even a good teacher, you just learn everything you can from that person and it’s time to move on. A good teacher will teach you how to teach yourself. It’s like the buy a man a fish or teach a man to fish saying
  10. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    Good to see you back, Flouswa.

    I understand that place where you have achieved what you wanted, and maybe you're starting to wonder where things are going from there. If that's any where close to where you are, then I would suggest either a heart to heart with your teacher to work out the direction of future lessons so you know where you are headed, or taking some time off if you need to figure out where you want to go next.

    I've had very little by way of professional instruction. I had someone who taught me a few basic cowboy chords early on, and then I moved on to learning chords that I needed for specific songs. I tried some lessons through a local music store, but I couldn't figure out where things were headed, and that's something that I need to stay interested. I moved on to YouTube videos, and more recently, I found an online teacher that teaches in a way that fits the way that I learn - as I said, I need to understand where I am headed, rather than rote lessons that seem disjointed. So far, so good.
    Flouswa likes this.
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    A couple of months worth while in Jr high. Nice guy, good teacher, but jazz-fusion and prog was not my style at all, although the technical aspects have probably benefitted me for the rest of my life.
    For each hour lesson I had to cycle for 45 minutes(and back) into the nearest town. Not the best part of it. One time I was almost mugged but drove away, and another time some ******* deliberately hit me with his car totalling my bike. So much for wanting to learn.
    Flouswa likes this.
  12. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    To me, lessons (of anything) are as worthy as much the teacher it’s good in keeping you interested.
    When I was 17 a friend of mine (a bass player) taught me the basic chords and I’ve been ok with it for months. Then I decided I wanted to take a step further and got a very good teacher (actually, the best available at that time in my small town. A touring musician, with orchestras and pop groups). He started wanting me to learn Wish You Were Here solo, and I was into Setzer and hated Floyd. It lasted 3 months, then I decided I had to do it on my own. I tried to learn from the players I liked in my town, or from the bands that came in for festivals (where I grew up they used to run a very good rockabilly fest, nation wide attended), sometimes even showing up backstage with my guitar to learn some trick :).
    But what I really wanted to do was write my own compositions and started touring (that it’s always been my only goal) so, once I mastered some classics, I moved on from learning and never looked back.
    That’s why I’m just an average player ;)
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  13. RomanS

    RomanS Gretschie

    May 26, 2010
    Vienna, Austria
    As a kid I learned to play the clarinet, and got some musical theory training.
    Wanted to learn the guitar, but there were no teachers where I lived (and my parents wouldn't have paid for learning that darn rock music noise, anyway), so I had to teach myself from books - never got good.
    So I switched to bass, and played that in a punk rock band for a few years.
    Later I got bitten by the photography bug, had my own darkroom, and a collection of vintage cameras - so guitar playing was limited to strumming chords at campfires and parties.
    In my early 30s, after seeing Calexico and some other & Americana bands live, I wanted to play again - so I took lessons for about two years with a teacher - started from the ground up - scales, triads, reading sheet music, etc.
    Then I played in a cover band for a few years (classic country, 60s soul, folk rock). Later I started my own band, even recorded an album, but that fell apart when the singer died from cancer.
    Joined a friend's band, we've been playing together for a couple of years, recorded a vinyl EP, played live in front of 1500 people. We play early rockabilly, Westen swing, honky tonk country - everything strictly pre-1960s. When I started playing with these guys, I didn't feel secure playing those styles, so I took lessons with a local swing & rockabilly player for about 1 1/2 years.
    Currently I'm only doing TrueFire lessons - Travis picking, swing jazz, etc.
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  14. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Nov 16, 2013
    Once on twice. My parents would have paid for the lessons, but the old acoustic guitar that I had for that purpose was horrible. Strings mountain high, impossible to do anything but open chords if not even those. The teacher-to-be, an older guy from our village looked at it and his face told me too that it was no use to continue.
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  15. bhatta

    bhatta Gretschie

    Jun 29, 2020
    Tried to learn twice and lasted a total of 5 months. Learnt basic chords, reading sheets that's all.
    Post that,all self taught with some guidance from friends, philosophers and guides...
    With internet era just randomly used to pick up tabs and nowadays with YouTube and all there's hardly a need for a teacher if one wants to learn.
    Flouswa likes this.
  16. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    As soon as I got a guitar I joined a band first, then I was too busy playing to take lessons.
  17. CousinWarsh

    CousinWarsh Synchromatic

    Jun 24, 2018
    Western NY
    I’ve tried a few times and never lasted with a teacher for more than a month until about a year and a half ago. I was introduced to a guy who is an accomplished player and all around good guy. I go for a weekly lesson that’s turned into a mentor type thing. We’ve become friends, he’s asked me to back him up at some gigs. My playing has improved along with the “how” stuff of sounding good in a band.
    Flouswa likes this.
  18. MentalTossFlycoon

    MentalTossFlycoon Gretschie

    Dec 22, 2018
    Lets see.....when I was about 7-8 years old started on lap steel with my brother taking lessons from a lady in Ft Worth Tx. Most of the lessons were tabbed out songs that incrementaly increased in picking and bar handling techniques. Not much music therory but a good start to lay a foundation. We moved to Seattle Wash, for a couple of years and started taking lessons from a lady named Gerry Allen. I converted to playing standard electric guitar to accompany my brother on steel. The little bit I know about music theory I learned from Miss Allen. You could ask her ANY question about anything music related and she could clearly and concisely answer it for you and explain why it was that way. Almost all of her lessons where written out by hand on music staff paper. No Tab. My father had a couple of songs he wanted us to play so Miss Allen wrote out the steel and standard guitar arrangements on staff paper for us to practice and learn. I learned alot in the 2 years I spent with her. If I could have spent another 7 years lessons with her I might be some kind of session guy right now.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  19. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    When I took up the acoustic guitar I already had 8 years of piano lessons under my belt.
    My mother wanted me to learn it the correct way and paid for some group-lessons.
    The teacher wanted us to learn some basic notes and find them on the fretboard first.
    Since I was able to read even complex sheetmusic at that point of time I got really bored after three or four lessons. In fact the teacher doubted that she could teach me more than I already knew and refunded my mother.
    After that I picked up the electric and worked with it for a vew months. There was a local guitarist that I really admired. I asked him whether he could give me some basic advice. He charged 15 Deutsche Mark for a one-hour lesson. I had the money to get three lessons from him. Among other little things he taught me how to held my pick the right way and work with a metronome. Money well spent.
    What really helped me was finding a bassist who was a classically trained flutist. His instrument was as new to him as was the guitar to me. So we begun to jam and learn together. Pushing each other.
    Up to this day we play together in bands.
  20. Teledriver

    Teledriver Gretschie

    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Mid 70's, I was maybe 9 years old, lessons for a few months. In winter. Who wants to go out and learn guitar in winter in Iowa? Anyways, there was a coupon of '2 for 1' from our local mini-chain of music stores. Parents had gotten a nice Sears guitar a year or two earlier for me and my sister. With this guitar (a nice red sunburst) and a Yamaha rental we set out to learn. Like I said, I was maybe 9 and my sister was 11. Our instructor was (let's face it) a tofu/vegetarian/frizz-hair hippie who was NOT into chords. What's a pick? Nope, all finger-style baby! 'When The Saints Come Marching In' and 'Michael Rowed The Boat Ashore' are the only two things I remember attempting to learn. My sis and I still laugh about those times. Our little fingers trying to finger-style. I know our fingers/joints hurt trying to get there. Started to just coast after about half way, but every once in a while the two of us actually sounded okay. Times pass, I'm a teenager and discover Led Zeppelin and the Stone (nice, cause it twas the 80's and no offense, pointy guitars and hair-spray.....guh!). I wanna play guitar!
    1990 in college I got the funds and I get me a Squier II Stratocaster. What I learned was 90% Guitar World/Player, and some by ear or taught by a friend. After I got into the internet, I've looked at some things, maybe learned 1 or 2 things along the way, but it was all basically through the printed material. Thank God the tablature! I know it ruins you, and ruins your ear, and unless you have the audio music to follow along with (hard to do with a cassette tape of album, btw) you're ruined. But hey, it opened the door and really kept it wide open. Bands, gigs, jams, new friends, and a lot of fun and enjoyment.
    I wish I'd had a teacher when I was maybe a few years later when I was 'bigger'/older/more into it , but maybe before I wanted to sell out a football stadium. By the time I got my Strat I basically jsut wanted to learn a few songs to start then go from there. Maybe it would have better if I'd actually learned scales and modes, and all the sharps belong to which key, etc, THEN learned some songs. Hard to go back now an un-learn or re-learn (correctly) those things. I've been asked more than once to teach me, but really id should be done by an experienced teacher who knows the path better than my shortcut method. In other words, we need music in schools!! (but really should be voluntary not mandatory, in my opinion).
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