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Learn to play an instrument: with or without a teacher?

By Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Music > Guitar > 5 Good Reasons To Take Guitar Lessons

With such a vast history and American rock contemporaries, alongside classical artists and various other musical genres, it comes as no question that the guitar is at the head of favorite instruments for Americans.

Whether classical, acoustic or electric, it is the indispensable accessory of rockers and the inescapable asset of evenings by the fireplace.

The guitar provides a wide accessibility and a variety of repertoire that allows anyone to interpret them anyway they would like.

While learning to play with a violin will not begin to show results until several months, it is possible to pretend to play a piece decently after only a few weeks of learning the guitar.

But what kind of learning is it exactly?

Here two different schools confront one other, that of the self-taught and the other that prefers to take lessons.

Even though social networks have greatly contributed to facilitating knowledge sharing through dedicated video tutorials, forums or groups, the pedagogy and experience of a good teacher can prove to be very useful, even salvational!

To give you a little glimpse of the pros and the cons, Superprof presents you 5 good reasons to take guitar lessons:

Which guitar style would you choose?
Dry guitar, electric guitar, electro-acoustic guitar… it is a versatile and popular instrument.

Reason #1 – Do not develop bad habits

If the bases of the guitar are for the most part accessible by self-teaching, it is nevertheless an easier occasion to develop bad habits alone.

Hand position, sleeves, string plucking, rhythm and others in guitar learning are much more subtle than is believed and these bad habits are most often what prevents you from developing your full potential as a guitarist.

You are obviously free to adopt your own style throughout your career, we encourage you to do so!

How to start the guitar? Quickly avoid bad guitar habits!

Many experienced guitarists will tell you that it is not necessary to have done music school, spent several years at the conservatory or learned musical theory to be able to make a guitar based music, and we aren’t contradicting them.

There are, however, certain rules to be followed in order to start learning the guitar in the best way possible, avoiding small flaws which may go unnoticed at the beginning but which would make the task more complicated as you progress.

You can learn how to tune a guitar, read a tab, or use a metronome on your own, you’ll find a lot of YouTube tutorials that will show you how to do it.

On the other hand, some more technical aspects such as shuffle, tapping or picking involve the mastery of a particular know-how and are best learnt through a personalized teaching.

Reason # 2 – Stay motivated, do not give up

Learning the guitar or any instrument can be complicated, especially when you are playing alone.

Most plateaus usually occur after a difficult and uncertain period or you feel you are no longer moving forward, reducing your motivation to nil.

Unfortunately, this is the case for many students who decide to embark on this solo adventure.

In these conditions, it is difficult to have the necessary space to isolate your small failures that may be responsible for this situation, and therefore in turn, to improve on the guitar. This is why it is important to set clear and achievable goals, and an experienced teacher can always adapt them according to your level.

Do not panic! If you encounter an obstacle that jeopardizes your career as a guitarist, a teacher will always be able to help you overcome it or bypass it with their wise advice. The beginning of all learning is a crucial period, it is an opportunity to build solid foundations in terms of motivation.

This will help you to avoid those periods of doubt and discouragement that could jeopardize your desire to learn and lead you to give up. A teacher and patient will know how to cheer you up and get the best out of yourself.

Reason # 3 – Have a regular follow-up

Learning an instrument requires rigor, patience, discipline, time and a lot of passion. If you are determined to become the next rock-star of the moment, the best way to achieve this is to impose a concrete and rigorous planning.

But in 2017, this is no small matter!

The numerous external distractions make the task at hand difficult, and it becomes very easy to postpone practice sessions to the following week, in favor of an outing with friends or surfing social media.

Unfortunately, there is no special secret: the regular practice of an instrument is the key ingredient to reach the level that you want.

There are a number of benefits to taking private lessons, and consistent tracking is one. Whether it is weekly, monthly or even one-tile, it helps evaluate the progress of the student and verify course content assimilation.

Challenging and stimulating lessons will keep you from stagnating or getting bored during these first few difficult weeks, and your teacher’s eye will help you adjust your practice accordingly.

It is also an opportunity to book a few hours of your time dedicated to playing, leaving the usual distractions aside. Believe us, it can be hard but it’s good!

Take time to regularly train in order to improve yourself.
There are no secrets, the regular practice of your instrument guarantees you to progress.

Reason # 4 – Expand your musical repertoire

If you are convinced that the guitar is your instrument of choice, it is probable that you already have some titles in heads that you hope to be able to reproduce as soon as possible.  Stairway to Heaven, No Woman Co Cry, Come As You Are or Highway to Hell are timeless hits that have all been heard somewhere.

Whether it’s rock, jazz, bossa nova, reggae, pop or even electronic music, the guitar has the advantage of being a very popular instrument used in many musical compositions.

To have help from a private teacher is also the opportunity to open up to a wider and denser musical repertoire.

Learn to play the guitar in all kinds of registers! Discover new musical horizons!

If you share your favorites with this person, they will probably help you discover similar artists or approach and learn different pieces that will likely please you.

This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your musical education and stimulate your curiosity, while working on guitar techniques.

In this way, you will avoid playing the same titles, you will gain confidence and you will be more likely to favorably respond to your audience’s requests when they ask you to play a particular song.

Reason # 5 – Meeting people with the same passion

What better way than to form a small network of enthusiasts who share the same desires as you to learn guitar chords and strings with flying colors?

An experienced teacher will probably have the opportunity to connect you with profiles that are similar to yours, and may help in allowing you to share this passion with many others.

The advantage is that the guitar is best exercised alone as well as within a group, so feel free to choose the route that suits you best!

On the other hand, human contact greatly facilitates knowledge sharing.
Evolving in an environment that is dedicated to this activity will allow you to learn faster than practicing solo. This may be the case for learning languages, but also for instruments or music in general.

Some of the best guitarists on the planet like Jimmy Hendrix, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Neil Young or Wes Montgomery to name a few were self-taught, but they were always in contact with other musicians.

 

Whether by copying, watching, comparing, or simply listening, the ultimate goal is always the same, to go further and enrich ourselves from what surrounds us.


Jimi Hendrix, rock legend and master guitarist.

If music is an art, it is important to also see a certain playful aspect, and what could be more playful than improvising with your guitarist friends, exchanging scales and progressing together?

Pick your picks!

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