by Ryan Tunis
This article was written to educate you on some of the myth’s and misconceptions that have been spread over the years about guitar lessons.
1. Cheaper is better.
Everyone loves a bargain. Saving a few bucks on some household products, groceries or even some new shoes may appear to be the best way to go. Or is it? It seems great for the first few weeks when you wear your brand new $20 pair of shoes. But… What starts to happen? You hit your foot off of something and now there is permanent slash mark right across the toe. The stitching starts to pop out revealing an attractive hole that is just waiting for the next opportunity to indulge itself in a nearby puddle. Which in turn, produces results of unhappiness. Money well wasted.
The same thing is true for guitar lessons. You get what you pay for. If you want to learn improper technique and have a slow rate of progress, then by all means, cheap guitar lessons are for you. If you want someone who doesn’t put in the ultimate commitment into making sure you are achieving the results you signed up for, cheap guitar lessons are for you. Also, if you want to spend hours fixing mistakes that limit you from reaching your goals because the teacher is undercharging himself to the point where he/she thinks, “Well, I am only making $20 an hour for this, why should I care if my student improves?”, cheap guitar lessons are for you.
Or, if you are the opposite of everything that is listed above, and you are someone that wants to get all the benefits and value out of the money you spend on guitar lessons, you may want to consider what it is you are paying for, benefits and value vs cheap headaches.
2. It’s all about them.
For those of you that have taken guitar lessons before and ended up quitting because of this reason, you are not the only ones. There are plenty of students that feel this way and it makes no sense. After all, you are the on paying for lessons so YOU can become better, why does it matter how fast he/she can play? You are there for YOUR result, not to watch them play.
Most of the time your guitar teacher knows what is best for you to learn at certain stages of your playing. But if it isn’t relevant to your goals then it doesn’t need to be taught or learned. Lets say your only goal was to learn Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. Nothing else interests you, that is all you want to do. Then it would make sense to focus on actually working on the song and isolated practice of the techniques needed to play that song.
It would make no sense at all if he/she had you play 6 string sweeping arpeggios for a month and then had you improvising to backing tracks for another. I am sure you would get fed up real fast and discontinue lessons with that teacher, I know I would.
3. They are all the same, right?
Wrong. Guitar lessons are not the same everywhere you go. If that was the case everyone would be charging a standard rate or there wouldn’t be teachers that teach in a specific genre or niche. I have seen guitar lesson prices range from $20 an hour to $250 an hour (yes, two hundred and fifty).
If you are someone who is fixated on price you pay only, you should ask yourself how much you value your guitar playing and how fast you want to reach your goals. You can be sure the $20 an hour teacher won’t get you there as fast as the $250 an hour teacher. You can also be sure that you won’t obtain the same level of value from the cheap lessons.
In most cases, when you first sign up for private lessons, you generally come to the lesson and the teacher will ask you what song you want to learn, and that’s about it. Then next week that you come in, the teacher will try to remember what you did last week and teach you something new this week. This process continues into a never-ending spiral of new information until you have so much material to work on that you become overwhelmed at the possibility of keeping up to finish it all. Thus making you want to quit.
4. Private lessons are the best format to learn in.
This factor depends mostly on the student. Private lessons are great for people who need the reassurance of the teacher to make sure the student is doing everything the right way (Which is good). They are also for people who have a hard time learning on their own. They are even for people who just enjoy having one on one training, but lets not think that private lessons are the be all, end all number one choice for the quickest and most effective learning process.
Some people learn better on their own and don’t require the assistance of the teacher other than the material in written format. Some only need audio files and others need visual learning methods like a DVD. Your teacher will be able to determine what is most appropriate for your situation and will inform you of what he/she thinks is best for you.
5. Guitar lessons are boring.
This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Boring guitar lessons are boring. If you are constantly going to lessons and the teacher is teaching you something you never wanted to learn in the first place (providing you know for sure that you don’t need to be learning what you are being taught) then of course it will be boring. Nobody who wants to play heavy metal goes to guitar lessons to learn how to play Mary Had A Little Lamb and thinks its fun.
Well, that about wraps it up, but just to clarify:
1. Cheap guitar lessons are not better.
2. It’s not all about them (if you are with the right teacher).
3. Guitar lessons are definitely not all the same.
4. Private lessons are not necessarily the best option for learning.
5. Guitar lessons are not boring (if you are with the right teacher)
Now that you are aware of some of the myths and misconceptions about guitar lessons, it’s time to seek out the right teacher for you so you can become the best guitar player you can. If you are unsure about how to choose the right guitar teacher, then click here for more information.