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Author Topic: Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?  (Read 5132 times)

Apathy

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« on: 25 Feb 2005, 11:13 »

It's a question that's always been debatable but I want to hear some opinions.  I've been playing around a year or so, I'm 21, and I've never had a lesson.  I have a friend who has been playing roughly three years the same age and he is pretty damn good, however even I can tell he is limited by his lack of theoretical knowledge, and anything original he comes up with himself, is through varying things he has played before.  Don't get me wrong, that's one hell of a long list but it is something I feel is an issue with his playing.  I cannot question his ability, but I do sometimes wonder about his creativity.

This is why I thought about getting lessons.  Sure, I could teach myself, but after a year's worth of playing, I can't help but feel like I should have made more progress.  I always feel like I'm sort of stumbling in the dark a bit when it comes to composing anything, & any opinions or advice on lessons, and guitaring in general would be great!  Primarily though, I'm after opinions on whether lessons should be taken or not, to help me make up my mind.
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kilconey

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #1 on: 25 Feb 2005, 11:40 »

i self-taught myself for a year (and by self-taught i mean that i bought myself a book of chords and looked up a lot of guitar tab) and i got really good.  then i took lessons for two years to learn some jazz stuff (cos that stuff is a LOT of theory, something that i wouldn't teach myself) and got into my school's jazz band.  i'm not taking lessons now, i just practice a lot and make up stuff.  
so i guess...it depends on what you want out of your guitar-ness.
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say something funny.  like sloppy joe.

catflea

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #2 on: 25 Feb 2005, 11:43 »

group lessons are NOT the way forwards,
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MetaPop

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #3 on: 25 Feb 2005, 12:02 »

If you have any other musical knowledge prior to taking up the guitar, then you need no lessons. I played piano for 7 years before I took up guitar (3 years ago). I am now fairly darn proficient, and my theory is bolstered by my piano playing. It is useful to have theoretical knowledge.
That said, I wouldn't obsess over theory. The theory I know from piano was all gained through just playing. I took a Grade 5 Theory exam without attending really any extra classes (one or two for exam technique) and passed it, but otherwise have had no specific theory training. You can pick it up as you go along, you just won't know the names for what you are hearing/doing.
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blindsuperhero

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Feb 2005, 12:04 »

It depends how you want to play the guitar. If you just wanna play old-timey rock-n-roll you should be fine without lessons, but if you want to play really technical stuff then lessons would definitely help. I personally have a bit of disdain for people who have guitar lessons who don't play Jazz or Classical guitar, but that's just me :)
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Apathy

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #5 on: 25 Feb 2005, 12:45 »

Well I'm very broad minded - I'd love to be able to compose music that blended different styles.  I guess I would like to 'up' my technical skills, but I'm not sure where to start.
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Banana_Hammock

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #6 on: 25 Feb 2005, 14:25 »

I have for some time been thinking of lerning to play guitar. I'm 20 years old and have never played any instrument. I have about two months during the summer when I have nothing special to do, and I'll probably be living with my parents for most of that time and both my father and brother can play guitar quite good, and I just want to ask you guys how much can you learn during that period? I really don't want to play anything really advanced, just learn a bit for fun.
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blindsuperhero

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #7 on: 25 Feb 2005, 14:29 »

Quite a lot if you're willing to put the effort in. You'll have to play every day, just to get the basic skills up to scratch, but two months is plenty of time.
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Super Dave

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Depends
« Reply #8 on: 25 Feb 2005, 14:31 »

I suggest lessons for at least a few months so someone experienced can show you the ropes. However, if you don't want to take lessons, at least find some good info somewhere on the internet for refrence.
I myself took lessons for nearly 2 years and i'm glad I did.
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Kai

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #9 on: 25 Feb 2005, 16:21 »

I've been playing for about two years by myself for a while without a lesson and have gotten pretty good. Course, I  play for like, 3 hours a day, so maybe that tends to help. I am going to start lessons with my uncle who's really good at the guitar soon though, which should be helpful.
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Akbar

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #10 on: 25 Feb 2005, 16:54 »

I'm just playing guitar in group class once a week right now, have been for a year. I can't really tell if it's worth it or not, but it amuses me, so I'm sticking around a while longer. I don't doubt I could do much, much better if I put more time into it though, but it's not really my top priority at all; just a bit of fun and relaxation on the side.

However, what I think it all boils down to is that you have someone who's REALLY good around to help you out at first. I still feel that all the time I spent trying to learn it by myself was kinda wasted. I think I could have progressed much farther if I had taken classes right away - THEN fiddled about on my own.

Not to mention earlier on in life, but you and me both know we've already wasted that option.

Talk to your band-mates I guess, hear what they have to tel (though I guess you have already done that, othervise you'd be rather odd, even by NC standards. ;))

Best of luck, mate.
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Jooooosh

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #11 on: 25 Feb 2005, 16:58 »

ive played guitar for about 9 months now, and i can say lessons help alot if you have a good teacher.
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fast-food for thought

Johnny C

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #12 on: 25 Feb 2005, 17:01 »

They help more than you can possibly imagine. Being able to play different sorts of stuff helps you broaden your abilities immensely. Plus, you can have someone show you how to play, say, all the different forms of the scales, instead of piecing them together from books.
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rynne

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #13 on: 25 Feb 2005, 17:55 »

From my limited experience, I can tell you lessons won't help if you don't put in the effort to practice.

I took lessons for about a year after I got my first guitar, and I was all like "I wanna rock out!  I don't care 'bout practicing scales!"  So I didn't practice, and any goodness was lost on me.  Now that I've been playing for a while, I wish I'd payed more attention.
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misswired

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #14 on: 25 Feb 2005, 22:06 »

Hell yes. I'm taking bass guitar lessons right now. Before I had no experience whatsoever. I didn't think lessons could do anything for me, but I'm learning things I didn't know I could learn.
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Apathy

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #15 on: 26 Feb 2005, 02:22 »

Sounds like it's worth trying if simply to see if they help or not.  A guitarist friend I know who has been playing a while now, once tried lessons and ended up listening to a guy smoke and play in front of him for 20 an hour.  He wasn't impressed and it's tainted his opinion on lessons.  Another friend of mine has said that it's best to show yourself everything you can first, then get lessons, but I'm wondering - How can you guage where you're at?  I mean, if I go to get lessons, surely my tutor is going to ask me what stage I'm at.  I suppose if I explain I can play my chords relatively easily enough, & have been trying to show myself the many, many, scales then it's a starting point.
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ASturge

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #16 on: 26 Feb 2005, 03:12 »

YES
 
dont listen to those who say you dont need em. if you want to be a "great" guitarist rather then one that can play a few Nirvana songs then a teacher is vital.

under my teacher for nearly 4 years i can play a massive amount of musical styles becasue we are constantly trying new things. at the moment im learning to play like Miles Davis except on guitar rather then a trumpet.

we'll also covered classical and experimental.

i could play all the punk songs and do massive big arse solos within 5 months
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Akbar

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Guitar Lessons - Are they worth it?
« Reply #17 on: 28 Feb 2005, 08:10 »

Quote from: ASturge
at the moment im learning to play like Miles Davis except on guitar rather then a trumpet.


How funny, I did the exact same thing last week. xD

Great music, tbh.
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