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Guitar/Instrument Lessons
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Guitar/Instrument Lessons

Not sure if this is the right sub - was originally going to ask about guitar lessons - but I'm curious - how many of you take or have taken music lessons (piano, guitar, cello, vocal etc.)? For those of you who have - what worked for you and what didn't? For those of you currently taking lessons - what are you looking to get out of them?

I think this is a cool community with lots of intersectionality between engineers and musicians, and I'm just really curious to hear perspectives from all different sides of the business.

I grew up taking piano lessons and had a great teacher, but my folks moved right before high school and I never found another teacher that I gelled with. I feel like it gave me a really great background in theory and improvisation (we did a lot of jazz) that I still use to this day. I had a guitar since high school and learned to read tabs but never took lessons, and am now getting really into it again and taking lessons from multiple teachers. For me, it's so nice to get away from the engineering side of things and just enjoy playing an instrument. It also makes me a better engineer as I start to understand more of the nuances of the instruments - not just the gear, although that has been an incredible journey as well (pickups, pedals, tubes, hardware, setups, strings, speakers, cabs, etc. etc. etc.)- but also just a much greater appreciation for the nuance of musicianship.

For me, lessons are mostly a way for me to force discipline and expose me to good habits and paths of progress that I might not encounter or push myself towards if I just play whatever I feel like every time I grab the guitar. I aspire to be able to play wicked dad blues someday, and maybe play in a bar band for fun, but more practically to be able to add guitar to my songwriting and recording projects. I love that I'm still actively learning and pushing myself everyday, and when I'm playing guitar, I'm not thinking about anything else, which is a nice escape.

How about you guys?
Old 5 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mikhael's Avatar
 

Well, I grew up playing trumpet in school, and guitar in a rock band. I learned both by ear and theory. When I started on guitar, I had a teacher that wanted me to play old folk classics, which I hated. However, I had three lessons from a jazz guitarist that taught me way more than three YEARS of anything else. He connected all that theory and ear training into one major blob of knowledge.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
PdotDdot's Avatar
The key is to find a teacher that will keep you inspired. Different people respond differently when it comes to learning. You want to keep it fun enough that any drudgery is still worth going through. Learning theory and proper technique is very important. So is learning to hear such that you can figure things out by listening - do not overlook the importance of ear training. Looking back I did not know what I was looking for in a teacher so I ended up being more self taught but I wish I had paid more attention to things like pick technique as I have developed bad habits that at my age have come back to haunt me.

Find someone who is passionate as that passion should translate and help make lessons and practice more pleasurable. You want to learn the technical stuff but you also want to make music and a good teacher should provide you with a path to both.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Well, I grew up playing trumpet in school, and guitar in a rock band. I learned both by ear and theory. When I started on guitar, I had a teacher that wanted me to play old folk classics, which I hated. However, I had three lessons from a jazz guitarist that taught me way more than three YEARS of anything else. He connected all that theory and ear training into one major blob of knowledge.
Man that sounds awesome. Right teacher at the right time... Do you remember specifically what those lessons entailed that made it all "click" for you?
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Mikhael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Man that sounds awesome. Right teacher at the right time... Do you remember specifically what those lessons entailed that made it all "click" for you?
Mostly chordal movement. Playing scales using chords, to see relative harmonic movement. Plus the use of diminished and augmented chords incorporating passing tones. Three lessons, and it opened up the world to me, connecting what I heard to the theory I'd learned.

I was floored for a while, incorporating all that crap under my fingers.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Snorktop's Avatar
 

Yeah, lessons are good. I am self-taught, but the few times I took lessons I always learned something new that I can actually use. Broadens the palette. I should really do it more, but I am so damn busy.
Old 1 day ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 

I took a couple of lessons at a local music store when I first started playing guitar and hated them. My teacher tried getting me to read music on the first day which is probably the worst thing you can teach a beginner guitar student. After that, a friend showed me how to use guitar tabs and I was learning songs that way for a while. I decided to take lessons again a couple of years after that, but I looked for a teacher that would focus on my technique. I found a fantastic teacher that taught me a lot so I'm grateful for those later lessons.

Lessons are definitely beneficial, but I think you need to find a teacher that is going to show you how to really enjoy playing your instrument, especially if you're a beginner. Either through learning songs you are into, or really listening to what you want to accomplish on the instrument instead of teaching a "basic lesson plan".
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