In order to know how to play the guitar, whether you’re doing it because you want to acquire a sufficient basis to play with your friends, or perform on stage with a band, or to discover a style, open your musical horizon or become a professional guitarist, there aren’t unlimited ways to do so. You have to take guitar lessons to learn how to play the guitar.
Even the greatest musicians who call themselves self-taught (the real ones are not so numerous) have passed at least once in their lives by the “guitar lessons”.
Guitar lessons bring many good things: learning the music scales, learning arpeggio, discovering new techniques, cultural enrichment, opening your mind to new kinds of music styles. If you want to learn to play guitar it’s going to be more than just strumming and playing a couple barre chords.
Learn about the guitar and the culture that surrounds it
On the personal level, guitar lessons also have many benefits: personal development, sharing a passion, expressing one’s personality, enjoying playing pieces that one loves.
To take guitar lessons with an private independent teacher is to be able to accomplish all of this, it is to have a passionate professional who answers your expectations, your desires and that adapts to your level.
Not only will he explain and guide you to learn about the guitar (practical and theoretical exercises), but he will also be present to make you hear and play other styles, another type of music to which you wouldn’t have thought and didn’t expect.
By taking private lessons, you share a common passion, a singular universe.
But how best to use these particular guitar lessons?
The benefit with taking private guitar lessons is that whatever your method, whoever your guitar teacher, he will leave you deep learnings in the way you tame your guitar.
Indeed, private lessons are there to help you develop your skills, to create new habits that you will keep all your life as a guitarist.
If you adopt good habits and the right movements, then you will be able to play all styles of music. If not, you will at some point or another stagnate and you will never know how to play the guitar properly.
Taking individual private classes helps you to acquire a solid foundation, both theoretical and practical.
To maintain this new learning and always have the right reflexes, good movements of the right or left hand, prepare your private lessons in advance, train at home or with friends. Practicing with a metronome to do your basic exercises can be a great way to progress between two classes.
Do not hesitate to repeat the exercises you have seen with your guitar teacher, rework them slowly and then increase the tempo.
Don’t forget one thing: it is with regularity and constancy, with repetition and patience that your guitar skills will get better and that you’ll be able to show progress.
That should be your main objective in learning to play the guitar!
Then, if you feel comfortable with what the teacher proposes to work on, do not hesitate to talk to him about it: review your level together (as a professional, he will know how to easily evaluate yours) and adjust your guitar classes depending to that and also according to your desires.
If you know how to do it, tune your guitar before class
Ask your teacher for sheets of music to work in the style of music you like, ask him if there are typical exercises to perform at home such as different scales: major scale, minor scale, pentatonic scale, blues range (which is a pentatonic scale with a blues note), seventh chords, various modes, and so on.
There may also be pieces that are more or less simple (depending on your level) that may be within your reach and that may help you improve or even surpass yourself.
Obviously for a guitar lesson to be as interesting as possible, you have to make sure to be always on time, that’s a minimum.
Not being late will highlight your respect for your teacher who is present to pass on a passion and feed yours, but it is also a pledge of commitment to music and to learning how to play guitar.
Your teacher can show you how to tune your guitar, recognize and change the different parts of the guitar but you need to show up to classes with all your gear.
Don’t break it your guitar
It sounds a bit trivial but your teacher is not the one who has to carry your exercises, your scores, your chord charts or your tabs, let alone the material to play the guitar like a capo, spare strings or picks.
For guitar lessons to be always interesting, so that they always bring something new to you, you must be an actor in your lessons and not just endure them.
It is at the level of your relationship with the guitar teacher that everything is going to be played: it is up to you to nourish your relationship, to seek his opinion, to ask him about possible exercises to work on, tracks he can advise, pieces to listen to so as to enrich your musical culture, etc.
The more you ask your teacher, the more he will be happy to help you and guide you on your way to develop your taste for the guitar.
You have a common passion so talk about it, feed it, discuss about the musical news with him, ask him his opinion on the playing techniques of so and so, on the possible difficulties to play such a piece.
Given your enthusiasm and your investment, the teacher (who most of the time comes to your home) will not back up in sharing information to please you.
Obviously, your private guitar lessons do not stop once the class time is over.
Before the class ends, begin by defining what the next one will be like, determine your teacher’s expectations.
Make sure you’ve set your goals and what you need to practice for next time
Do we have to come back on specific points? A picking technique to rework, a placement of fingers on the neck to adjust? A chord sequence or a solo to redo so that it becomes more fluid?
During your guitar lesson, your teacher certainly had to correct you, give you tricks to perform such technique or advised you to play a certain scale or even try yourself at a new piece.
Don’t wait for days to pass between your last lesson and the next one and repeat as soon as possible what was said and done in the previous course.
Your memory will still be fresh, the instructions still present to your mind.
In addition, when you are at home, you can also prepare for the next lesson: if you find that it is difficult playing a song, if you can not make your harmonics more fluid, more natural by performing the arpeggios requested, write it down somewhere, in a small exercise book that you always keep with you, in a small notebook that you will store in the guitar cover or in a memo on your smartphone.
The important thing is to not let anything pass and then to speak to your teacher: this is how your guitar lesson will be successful and that you will come out of it having learned something new.
The more you talk to your teacher, the more you will discuss your difficulties, the more the teacher will know how to adapt his class so that you bring out the best of yourself.
Finally, you can complete your learning with other resources.
Obviously, with the Internet, there are dozens and dozens of possibilities to help you play the guitar.
Internet is a revolutionary tool that can be a great support in learning how to play the guitar but you’ll need to know how to use it!
No need to re-listen to the songs note by note to decipher them, today the videos and the tutorials of the many helpers online offer very sharp exercises and at the same time accessible for the general public.
Many websites offer quality training and instructional videos. You can find for example:
Learn how to play the guitar with an online private lesson
Printed books are also very enriching (and you can even find most of them as ebooks in that better suts you) such as Jon Chappell’s “Guitar for Dummies”, Roger Evans’s “Guitar Without a Teacher”, Thierry Tisserand’s “I Become a Guitarist” or “How to Begin the Guitar” by Thierry Carpentier.
Other sites and books also offer to learn solfeggio with a pedagogical method, with exercises online.
As you can see, guitar lessons are a real complement to learn the practice and handling of the instrument but it is also a great opportunity to enrich your musical culture, to broaden your horizon by discovering other styles of music.
Set yourself the goals of your guitar class and find the best teacher for your guitar lessons!
It is the opportunity to share a passion with a professional who wants to transmit knowledge and a science both in music theory and in practical know-how.