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  #1  
Old 12-02-2017, 06:10 PM
goldenboy goldenboy is offline
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Default How did you find your guitar teacher??

Hey everyone, I would say I'm in the beginner/intermediate range in my playing and my goal in 2018 is to make a point to take lessons and really focus on progressing.

My issue.....how do you go about finding a good teacher? And, what do you look for when selecting a teacher?

I have a GC and Sam Ash near me but I haven't really heard good things about taking lessons at the retail shops. I'm sure there are good teachers at each, I just haven't received any feedback pointing me to one or another.

Are there other ways/options to locate possible teachers?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:26 PM
Nailpicker Nailpicker is offline
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All you can really do IMO is ask about locally for teacher recommendations. Other than that it is really trial and error. Interview them before the first lesson. I've utilized 3 different teachers over the course of 12 years of formal lessons. Each had a different forte, something different and something good to offer me. But in my life I've had many other teachers in that trial and error process that I "fired" after just a few lessons. Some were fired because they were incompetent, some good players, but lousy teachers, some borderline psychopaths, some fairly decent, but simply no good chemistry or communication between us. Good Luck.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:31 PM
Mooh Mooh is offline
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Word of mouth is the best way to find a teacher.

The best teachers of private music lessons have great student retention rates, inviting lesson studios and sensible policies, an evolving and personalized curriculum, and they will be able to motivate and mentor.

Current and former students, parents and families, will eagerly and enthusiastically tell you about their best experiences. If a teacher has been in the business long enough, it shouldn't be too hard to find a web presence for them, and working musicians who were their students.

In my case, I do advertise a little, posters and cards in music stores, a website and Facebook page (both of which I keep relatively private, as in private lessons), brochures, swag with the business logo, and so on, but what really matters is what people say about me. It's cool to see my book bags, case stickers, and baseball caps around town, and I've also given out water bottles, travel mugs, pencils, and picks, all emblazoned with my logo. But again, none of that would have value if people didn't like me...word of mouth is first.

So, ask at shops and schools, ask teachers/coaches of other instruments/things (we do refer to each other), ask local musicians and bands where they got their instruction, talk to parents of school age kids, put out an all call on social networks, ask one teacher who taught them...etc.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:59 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Good advice so far... check message boards at music stores, talk with your friends who play, paying close attention to any of them who are BETTER players than you!

I am from the era that learned as we went... back in the early 60's, there weren't videos and dvds, no Youtube instructionals... and I learned by listening - both to records and to players who knew how to do things I did not...

When I'd hear someone playing something that caught my ear, I'd make the time to find an appropriate moment to ask them if htey'd show me "how?" they did what I wanted to do... most would oblige and give me a quick lesson; then, I would go home and practise that until I had it down, then I'd go find them again!

In many ways, it was a far more regarding and valuable method of learning; it forced me to LISTEN and PAY ATTENTION, it made me aware of the importance of having relationships with other musicians, and it always gave me a good dose of humility as I realized "my place" in the hierarchy of guitar players! These are things that are lacking in the "online" approach...

It's important to realize that you can (and do) learn from a multitude of sources; if you keep your eyes and ears open, you will find them along your way.

It is VERY important for you to know what direction in which you wish to go with your playing...
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:33 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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I found mine on lessons.com

I got back 5 or 6 very informative replies within a day or 2 of posting. They were all very qualified "on paper" with degrees and lots of gigging and teaching experience.

Picked my guy based on chemistry in the initial phone call. It has been about 3 and half months now, every week for half an hour. I'm very pleased.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:52 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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I went down to the local music store and was introduced to Mel Bay. It was all downhill from there.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:29 AM
polarred21 polarred21 is offline
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It really all depends on what you have locally available for you or how far you want to drive. I found mine on Craigslist and he teaches lessons locally at the cultural arts center and it has worked out great for me.

I believe a telephone conversation with a prospect with a few questions of what your expectations are would be a place to start. If it doesn't work out you can always end the lessons and find another instructor.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:11 PM
Ditch Ditch is offline
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I found my current teacher at a local jam. Great teacher and I have learned a lot. When I first moved here I went to a music store for lessons. This guy was horrible. I don't think he could teach a fish to swim. You have to do your homework and ask around. Best advise I can give is don't sign up for any sets of lessons. Pay as you go. You will know in a couple lessons if it will work out for you. Go with a list of goals you would like to reach and what you like to play.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:39 PM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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Teachers like guitars and guitar strings are hit-or-miss. Of course recommendation are always a good place to start. But ultimately you need to find a guy that specializes in the kind of music you aspire to play but can provide a step-by-step pathway and strategy for you to improve. Cost and frequency come into play as well.

Not to digress, but in terms of frequency, I always found it interesting (if not appalling) that serious sports guys are expected to get coaching every day, while we musician (especially developing musician) feel that once a week is considered "frequent". Heck, a beginning skier would go to a resort and have lessons every day for a week (or more). Where did we ever come up with our concept of lesson frequency?

When you find a teacher you have to make sure his teaching skill matches his playing skill; that he will have a lesson plan for you from week to week; that the cost is such that you have adequate time in each lesson to cover what needs to be covered. I would also suggest that whomever you select you give them and opportunity to give you 3 or 4 lessons before deciding. That first lesson is only a "getting to know you" session. Lessons 2-4 will be the deciding factor. If you're not seeing it in 3 lessons, look for someone else.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:38 PM
jawjatek jawjatek is offline
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Don't think I've ever had a formal teacher. I took a folk guitar class way back in high school, and that was it. Self-taught ever since; I use books, vids, and learn from other players by watching them live whenever possible. I've been friends with great players (the late Sean Costello, for example) and have had them show me things now and then. Mostly I use CDs and a slow-downer application (Anytune) to learn tunes.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:28 AM
BFD BFD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
...My issue.....how do you go about finding a good teacher? And, what do you look for when selecting a teacher?

I have a GC and Sam Ash near me but I haven't really heard good things about taking lessons at the retail shops. I'm sure there are good teachers at each, I just haven't received any feedback pointing me to one or another...
You live in a big metro area w/probably at least a few really good, independent guitar shops. Go to each one and ask for their advice.

Also, depending on your genre of interest, I can highly recommend Artistworks online lessons. You can study with a national level pro, with a comprehensive curriculum. Cost is very reasonable, cheaper than lots of local lessons, with some cool perks. Not associated, but was enrolled for a while.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:30 PM
_zedagive _zedagive is offline
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I found him to be quite arrogant and a always showing off what he can do. Had much better luck with instructional books and videos that let me learn at my own pace.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:50 AM
beninma beninma is offline
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I got super lucky. My wife got me some Guitar lessons as a gift for Xmas last year and she picked out a fantastic teacher by luck.

But.. there are a bunch of fantastic teachers at the same place. Some things I've noticed they have in common:

- Most have been playing 30 years or more. They're either older, or they have been continuously playing since they were little kids.

- Most have a degree

- Most toured in bands and had record deals, and still record and/or play with bands

- Most of them play both acoustic and electric

- Familiar with playing both by ear and sight reading with deep knowledge of theory

- Have actually been trained on how to teach

Those are the things I'd look for. I had several piano teachers when I was taking piano lessons before I picked up guitar, both my teachers would not have been able to check off most of the list I just mentioned, and the lessons were not as good IMO.

It probably helps to be in a metro area near some colleges/universities with well known music programs.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:30 AM
amyFB amyFB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
I found my current teacher at a local jam. Great teacher and I have learned a lot. When I first moved here I went to a music store for lessons. This guy was horrible. I don't think he could teach a fish to swim. You have to do your homework and ask around. Best advise I can give is don't sign up for any sets of lessons. Pay as you go. You will know in a couple lessons if it will work out for you. Go with a list of goals you would like to reach and what you like to play.
My experience was similar to what Ditch described.

The best success I had was signing up for a workshop that was run by two teachers. One of them turned out to be a good match for what I was hoping to accomplish with lessons.

Be prepared for differences in how individual teachers approach lessons, and have an idea of the challenges you are facing that you want a teacher to help you conquer.

check the phone book, search online, stop at every music store in a 25 mile radius, no matter how small it is - I believe everyone music store knows at least one teacher and that teacher is likely to know another one.

word of mouth will ultimately be your best friend I suspect.

good luck
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2017, 05:12 PM
colchar colchar is offline
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I had a couple of teachers but didn't make the progress I was hoping for. I then started taking lessons with an old friend from high school who is a great player. I have made more progress with him than with any of the other teachers and I think part of it is how comfortable I am with him. I bring this up in order to ask - do you have any friends who are good players who might give you lessons?
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