General lesson opinion

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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chrose1201
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Hello all, I'm sure this topic has been covered in various forms, but I appreciate any and all opinions. My son is almost 16. He has been fooling around on the guitar for about 2 years now. He had some basic lessons in the beginning, but if I was to ask him to play me some basic chords quickly he would have a hard tme. He is into mostly lower register simple single string sounds. He likes Steve of course but also bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, Sum 41, Linkin Park, and lately Senses Fail.
He just got a new Ibanez for his birthday and we got a recommendation for lessons from someone. This guy charges $30/hr., so I could only swing twice monthly lessons. I would really like to see him play better, but I don't know quite what his goals are (I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask) but what is the general opinion on lessons from all of you.

Thanks for the help, even if you've answered this question before.
<Mike>
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The only thing that matters is that he wants it himself.

He should take the steps himself, if you try to force it onto him (even if you only push gently) he might feel pressured and quit.

And $30/hour... I dunno that sounds rather much to me. Maybe the guitar teacher is a real pro but I still think it's rather much. You should look around more, I'm sure you'll find some cheaper dude.

I guess you Could ask your son if he wants to go to a guitar teacher. But still, if he doesn't want to, let him do it in his own pace.

good luck :)
Last edited by <Mike> on Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
SoundCurrents32
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$30/hr doesn't sound that much too me, but as mentioned above, you can always shop around....look in local music shop windows, etc.

One bit of advice from me - in the beginning lessons, don't let the teacher teach him scales. Chords are fine, but scales are the most mind-numbingly boring thing for a beginner, and being forced to play them early on is a sure-fire way to turn your son off the guitar for life!

There's nothing more encouraging for a beginner guitarist than being able to play riffs that sound like the real thing....for me, people recognising what I was playing as an actual song was great encouragement. Even if it's just something simple like 'Smoke on the Water'...it just makes the beginner want to continue! So ask the teacher to teach him some basic rock riffs straight off. Pentatonic scales are also useful for basic soloing. That will hopefully draw your son into the instrument and make him never want to put the damn thing down!

(And once you've got him to that stage, you can teach some basic scales and get away with it! :) Haha!)

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chrose1201 wrote:Hello all, I'm sure this topic has been covered in various forms, but I appreciate any and all opinions. My son is almost 16. He has been fooling around on the guitar for about 2 years now. He had some basic lessons in the beginning, but if I was to ask him to play me some basic chords quickly he would have a hard tme. He is into mostly lower register simple single string sounds. He likes Steve of course but also bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, Sum 41, Linkin Park, and lately Senses Fail.
He just got a new Ibanez for his birthday and we got a recommendation for lessons from someone. This guy charges $30/hr., so I could only swing twice monthly lessons. I would really like to see him play better, but I don't know quite what his goals are (I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask) but what is the general opinion on lessons from all of you.

Thanks for the help, even if you've answered this question before.
I pay $60/hr as a student and charge $40-50/hr to teach. The cost of living is cheaper here than in Rochester, so I don't think the fees are exhorbitant. Often times I think biweekly lessons are more effective than weekly lessons because it gives the student enough time to accomplish whatever can be communicated in an hour. I would have him record all his lessons and review the recordings at least twice in between lessons. I use a boss Micro BR in my lessons both as a student and a teacher. As a teacher, I make an MP3 disc in the last couple minutes of the lesson so the student can take the lesson home and review it including use of slow down functions on their computer as I do when reviewing my own lessons.
Additionally, if you'd rather not spring for the lessons, you might consider buying some instructional DVD's as they are generally a great way to learn how to play.
Svelt Pen
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30 bucks an hour for lessons is a bargain...WHy not pay for half hour lessons, and then you could send your son to him every week?
<Mike>
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cause if you play only half an hour, you barely have time to warm up.
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another virtuoso
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30 an hour is about average. the store i took lessons from when i got started charges a a little over 15 for half hour lessons once a week.

lessons can help alot not only in improving your playing, but keeping your interest in the guitar. with lessons, your given a goal you want to meet every week. so you want to practice so you can show your teacher before the next lesson.

he'll probably spend the first couple months playing songs from bands he likes that include new things he doesnt know on guitar. the classic start is smoke on the water incorporating power chords. then a couple songs using different open string chords to improve his ability to switch between different chord shapes along with bar chords and the like. then throw some simple single note action in there like Sweet Home Alabama. by the time he's playing led zeppelins Black Dog and stairway to heaven he may not even need lessons anymore, unless he gets interested in music theory, which some people find to be a fun thing to get into.

you should definitely ask him about where he wants to take his guitar playing though. and if he's really been wanting to get serious with it, may i point you towards this http://vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=22032
the guy who posted this thread sounds alot like your son, if he's got the desire to improve. i posted a sort of "beginners guide to becoming a musician" type of thing in response. i think your son could benefit from learning this. i'd suggest letting him read that post so that even if he's not interested in improvement, he'll at least be aware of the possibilities and know how to go about things should he change his mind in the future.
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guyver_dio
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Know any friends/relatives that know a little bit about guitar, even if they can only teach him the basics like chords that's a start and better then paying the ripoff price of $30/hr. It's amazing he hasn't taught himself these basic things (if he has access to an internet connection) or bugged you for lessons already if he had a genuine interest, you don't have to look far to see if he has an interest in the instrument, is he teaching himself things on his own accord (even if it's just tabulature of his favourite songs), how often does he even pick up the guitar. Also there's no harm in simply asking, would you like to start having guitar lessons again?.

I think lessons are fine, depends on the attitude of the teacher though. A lot of guys that are self-taught often have had the luxury of having someone musical around them they can get advice from, it's definitely best to have someone help you through the early stages in person, once you've got some of the basic things down you can pretty much teach yourself and usually if you have a genuine interest you'll always feel curious to find out more and learn all the skills that you can get your hands on.

Also I don't agree with that part about the scales, a good teacher can turn anything into something fun. If you make it into something he can use and see how it works straight away he'll see that this is really working and will want to continue it. When I taught a few students scales, I would show them the simple pentatonic scale at a certain position. I'd give them all the information written down so they could take it home and revise on it, like what the notes are in the scale and the tabs so they don't forget. Then I'd let them play with what they have learned, I'd break the scale up into a segment of just a couple of notes and tell them just pick these notes over what i will play. I'd play a simple rhythm and they'd begin to pick on the notes i told them to, getting more confident with it and experimenting, they'd hear it for themselves that it fits, they were jamming along to a rhythm and it really pumps them up, you can see it straight away. They were pretty much hooked then and just wanted to practice instead of it being a chore.
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another virtuoso
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j3 wrote: I pay $60/hr as a student and charge $40-50/hr to teach. The cost of living is cheaper here than in Rochester, so I don't think the fees are exhorbitant. Often times I think biweekly lessons are more effective than weekly lessons because it gives the student enough time to accomplish whatever can be communicated in an hour. I would have him record all his lessons and review the recordings at least twice in between lessons. I use a boss Micro BR in my lessons both as a student and a teacher. As a teacher, I make an MP3 disc in the last couple minutes of the lesson so the student can take the lesson home and review it including use of slow down functions on their computer as I do when reviewing my own lessons.
Additionally, if you'd rather not spring for the lessons, you might consider buying some instructional DVD's as they are generally a great way to learn how to play.
thats a good idea about recording lessons j3. i never thought about that, thanks for the tip!

instructional dvds are a good source of learning. some are GREAT, others are REALLY boring.
an instructional dvd i like to recommend is Paul Gilberts Intense Rock Guitar 1 & 2 which is available through amazon both volumes combined for like twenty bucks. i think this dvd is a good learning tool because even if you cant play as fast as paul gilbert, it will teach you everything from pick attack techniques, dynamics, phrasing, a batch of cool licks, and even how to pull a rabbit out of your guitar :lol: (seriously, lol)
Paul Gilbert throws in all these ridiculously hilarious things into his dvds so it definately stays entertaining lol. plus he's a professional teacher - he taught guitar at the MI in California.
j3
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guyver_dio wrote:Know any friends/relatives that know a little bit about guitar, even if they can only teach him the basics like chords that's a start and better then paying the ripoff price of $30/hr. .
Guyver Dio,
Wait til you get a job in the real world and have to live off of 50-70% of $30/hr with a random number of your 30-60 students per week occassionally cancelling lessons whenever they feel like it, sometimes on the week that rent is due. Then compare that $15-21/hr the teacher is actually making (the store always takes a cut) to the skill and knowledge base of anyone else in the workforce making similar wages. Before you start passing value judgments off on guitar teachers, you need to get a job and try to support yourself doing whatever it is that you're good at.
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guyver_dio
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j3 wrote:
guyver_dio wrote:Know any friends/relatives that know a little bit about guitar, even if they can only teach him the basics like chords that's a start and better then paying the ripoff price of $30/hr. .
Guyver Dio,
Wait til you get a job in the real world and have to live off of 50-70% of $30/hr with a random number of your 30-60 students per week occassionally cancelling lessons whenever they feel like it, sometimes on the week that rent is due. Then compare that $15-21/hr the teacher is actually making (the store always takes a cut) to the skill and knowledge base of anyone else in the workforce making similar wages. Before you start passing value judgments off on guitar teachers, you need to get a job and try to support yourself doing whatever it is that you're good at.
j3,
I was passing judgment based on back when I was considering guitar lessons and what I was told, compared to what everyone was quoting me, seemed high. What I pretty much meant by that statement was there would have to be cheaper guitar lessons around somewhere and that he should look before considering the $30/hr. Also I know a lot of kids here that have gotten quite advanced at their instrument like to make pocket money by giving lessons to others, have a talk, go to stores and try and find something like this. If you can afford the $30/hr then no problem, but obviously he's finding that hard to afford so it would be wise to have a look around first. Ofcourse I know nothing about other places in the world and if they are anything like where I live, so he has the choice to disregard to use any input anyone here gives him.
Last edited by guyver_dio on Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
j3
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guyver_dio wrote:
j3 wrote:
guyver_dio wrote:Know any friends/relatives that know a little bit about guitar, even if they can only teach him the basics like chords that's a start and better then paying the ripoff price of $30/hr. .
Guyver Dio,
Wait til you get a job in the real world and have to live off of 50-70% of $30/hr with a random number of your 30-60 students per week occassionally cancelling lessons whenever they feel like it, sometimes on the week that rent is due. Then compare that $15-21/hr the teacher is actually making (the store always takes a cut) to the skill and knowledge base of anyone else in the workforce making similar wages. Before you start passing value judgments off on guitar teachers, you need to get a job and try to support yourself doing whatever it is that you're good at.
j3,
I was passing judgment based on back when I was considering guitar lessons and what I was told, compared to what everyone was quoting me, seemed high. What I pretty much meant by that statement was there would have to be cheaper guitar lessons around somewhere and that he should look before considering the $30/hr. Also I know a lot of kids here that have gotten quite advanced at their instrument like to make pocket money by giving lessons to others, have a talk, go to stores and try and find something like this. If you can afford the $30/hr then no problem, but obviously he's finding that hard to afford so it would be wise to have a look around first. Ofcourse I know nothing about other places in the world and if they are anything like where I live, so he has the choice to disregard to use any input anyone here gives him.
Fair enough, I was responding to your quote "the ripoff price of $30/hr."
If there are good teachers out there charging less than $30/hr, I would suggest it is those teachers that are getting ripped off. I understand that money can be a problem for anyone, that's why I agreed with the less frequent lesson scheduling and suggested the videos. The internet is also a resource of endless lessons, so an adept student needn't take formal lessons at all-however, most students will benefit from 1on1 lessons and the inspiration that comes from taking lessons from an expert teacher. That is why I continue to spend >$3000/yr taking lessons despite having completed many hours of post-graduate studies.
Svelt Pen
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<Mike> wrote:cause if you play only half an hour, you barely have time to warm up.
How warmed up do you have to be for beginner lessons? The kids not gonna have to shred or anything like that....There's a guy I used to jam with who is a great teacher and all he does is half hour lessons at 17 bucks a pop. He gives the student tab or notation of the lesson, and gives the student stuff to work on for the week or couple of weeks before he sees them again. When I used to take lessons years and years ago, I'd practice the material I was given to practice before I went to the lesson, so I was both warmed up, and prepared to show the teacher the stuff I learned from the previous week so that we could move forward....
<Mike>
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Svelt Pen wrote:
<Mike> wrote:cause if you play only half an hour, you barely have time to warm up.
How warmed up do you have to be for beginner lessons? The kids not gonna have to shred or anything like that....There's a guy I used to jam with who is a great teacher and all he does is half hour lessons at 17 bucks a pop. He gives the student tab or notation of the lesson, and gives the student stuff to work on for the week or couple of weeks before he sees them again. When I used to take lessons years and years ago, I'd practice the material I was given to practice before I went to the lesson, so I was both warmed up, and prepared to show the teacher the stuff I learned from the previous week so that we could move forward....
heh ok I didn't mean exactly "warm up", it was just something I said. :) What I meant was that 30 minutes goes very fast and I think it's better to have an hour lessons, or at least 40 minutes lessons. That way they can also get to know each other a little and they won't have to rush things.

That's what I think.
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You sould ask your son what he whats to learn and what hes into. then ask what hes learning. dont push him to do somthing he doesent wanna do. and NEVER put him down. always complement and only give good critism
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