Do I even need a teacher?

On this site "The Whole Guitarist" I have assembled hundreds of pages of advice, based on my own experience of performing guitar on stage and in many styles. This advice can help you. It can save you time. Lots of time.

But there are limits - serious and real limits to what you can get from a website, book or DVD.

The physical aspects of playing music on the guitar take place in 4 dimensions:

  1. Height
  2. Breadth
  3. Depth
  4. Time
... and that is just the physical movements. Learning to juggle encompasses the same types of skills. But playing music is much more than a mere athletic endeavour (with all due respect to athletes!).

So - do you expect to master all this own your own? Well - it is possible. But - you are very much more likely to waste a lot of time. In fact I have seen people go their entire lives without being able to express the music they had within, because they were handicapped by bad technique.

So... if you want reasonable chance of playing well... you need a teacher !

Let me repeat that more loudly:

You need a teacher!

Sure, you can learn on your own if you enjoy pastimes like:

  • Reinventing calculus
  • Devising a better periodic table... without having studied the original periodic table, or in fact, any Chemistry at all...
  • Perhaps you could have another go at transmutation of metals?
  • Reinventing the wheel....
..... or, maybe you could get a teacher and get stuck into actually making music?

Don't waste time re-discovering HOW to play music - use your valuable time instead to play as much music as possible.

Every 6 months reassess, and maybe change teachers if you are not progressing towards your goals. The main thing is to find one you can communicate with. If they don't seem open - move on. GOALS

By the way - you do have a set of goals for your music, don't you? They can be as simple as - "I want to play 3 simple songs for my friends.. in about 3 months time." That's a plan! Now you can get to making it happen. THEORY

Look at doing theory or musicianship in a class - it's more fun, social and cheaper. Try the local Conservatorium and Adult Education colleges.

There isn't a shortcut to theory - except that:

  • It isn't that difficult
  • If you don't relate it to the music you play then - yes it will seem baffling to most people.