PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- May 9, 2017
- Guitar Lessons
Learning any trade under an instructor or tutor is both desirable and recommended. A mentor can pass along valuable life lessons as well as practical and technical training. Having someone to show you the ropes is an advantage some others won’t have. Many go it alone and form bad habits that sometimes can’t be broken. You certainly don’t want to form one of these bad habits that would keep you from reaching your potential. An instructor is carefully watching to make sure your form and position is good and many other details like fingering and fretboard position. Your teacher is overseeing while you learn to play guitar. It’s more than just learning the latest boyband song or hip rock tune. It’s a balanced diet of theory, fretboard exercise, and good music. Don’t limit yourself to an instructor who only teaches the latest hipster tunes and ignores or doesn’t know himself the theory behind the music. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why you should learn to play guitar from an instructor.
An Instructor's Point Of View
You should learn to play guitar with an instructor because he or she watches your development. When you hit a wall, the teacher can help you break through it or steer around it. Every student is different and has different challenges. Your instructor can help you navigate the hard stuff and get you to the next level. A teacher's experience will mean the difference in the time it takes to get you playing quickly and correctly. You could go it alone and it might take days or weeks to learn something an instructor could help you achieve in a couple of lessons. An instructor has you on a track for success. He or she has a method and watches for signs of struggle and alters the plan to help you stay on track. Some students take more time to get melody and struggle with chords and vice versa. Your instructor can help you learn to play guitar in balance.
Structure and Discipline
Not many individuals, and especially musicians, have the gift of organization and scheduling. Many music types struggle with staying focused and on track. If you plan to learn to play guitar on your own and discover you just can’t seem to find a consistent time to practice. You’re not alone. Others struggle with it too. A weekly guitar class with a quality instructor will give you a scheduled class time you have to prepare for. If you don’t, you will simply show up unprepared and frankly a bit embarrassed. You’re also paying for the time slot, so if you try to cancel, it’ll just cost you the money for nothing. It’s a commitment. A weekly class time with an instructor forces you to step up and go for it. Your instructor will monitor your progress and tell you how much time you should be spending daily. He or she will offer some advice on when to practice based on your busy life.
An Instructor’s Influence - Learn to Play Guitar
Hopefully, you can find an instructor with a great reputation in your area. He or she may have played in the local scene successfully or toured the world with a known artist. They may have even been a successful studio musician or worship leader in town. Whatever life experience and college level training they have, they bring all of it to the table. You get to hear firsthand stories that will help you avoid certain potential disasters. You get the successes and failures of a guy or gal who’s paid their dues and survived it. Just because your instructor is sitting in a cubicle with you doesn’t mean they’re not well respected. Instructors may teach for income but it takes a special type of teaching and they are in it as much for you as they are for the money. Instructors love to see students excel, even just a little, and when a student does really well and the instructor sees potential, it’s a whole other matter. To reproduce yourself in someone who shares the same passion and leave a legacy behind you are two things near to a good instructor’s heart.
The Weight Of The Matter
Years after you have applied all that an instructor has taught you, you will still find yourself in situations where you feel inferior to the other musicians or facing a performance that requires more skill than you feel prepared for. Your teacher may be long gone, even passed away, but you will still draw strength from the classroom sessions you had. You can see him or her saying “give it one more try, you can do it.” You heard it hundreds of times from the instructor’s lips and you may have even broken down in class and cried, but he or she carefully and patiently waited for you to rise up and try again. It’s times like this when you will remember, square your shoulders, step out on the stage and give it your all. The second you decide to press on, you’ll feel the winds begin to shift in your favor. When the performance is done and you have given it your all, then you can be at peace and know it was a success. You can smile and know that there’s a teacher somewhere who is very proud of you.
The Golden Opportunities
Every teacher will make plans to have you showcase your new skills either in a recital or local scene. It’s just smart on the instructor’s part to offer you an opportunity to perform and feel the pressures of being in front of an audience. It’s just part of the training. Often recitals are held so parents and grandparents can see their loved one perform what they’ve worked so hard to learn. Sometimes local festivals or church events offer a place to have students perform. It helps the student get out of the bedroom and onto a stage in front of people. This is so much fun. Seeing the student’s knees knock together and hands tremble as they approach the performance. Instructors love to see their students conquering their fears. After a great recital, families brag and the student’s confidence grows. We all know what that can do for a kid. Going it alone will certainly deprive you of some real good opportunities and leave you on the outside looking in.
It’s not the end of the world if you can’t afford music lessons. There’s a lot of free stuff online that will help you learn to play guitar on your own. We can assure you that if you get around a great music teacher and he or she finds out you are passionate about learning, they’ll make a way to spend time with you. At the very least they’ll give you some pointers. Don’t give up! You’ll find a way.
One great way you can learn to play guitar on a shoestring budget is to pursue online guitar lessons. When you sign up for one of the lesson plans at Pro Lessons, you’ll get to learn from a number of great guitarists on a number of different topics. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking below.