Kamis, 22 November 2012

Common Mistake When Learning How To Play Guitar

I have been lucky enough to have the pleasure of teaching a young girl named Angela how to play the guitar. Her parents came to me and explained that she had been taking lessons for nearly a year with another instructor, and that they had not seen her make the progress in her playing that they had hoped for. So when she started taking guitar lessons with me I told her to check everything she had already learned at the door and that it was time to start fresh. I came to find out that her instructor obviously didn't care much for her to learn but was more interested in taking her parents money and claiming he was doing his job. One day she brings in a gigantic binder full of songs that was given to here by her previous instructor. Granted, the songs were cool but they were far beyond her skill level at the time and beyond her understanding of music.

This is where most instructors go wrong, they have a broad and definitive understanding of music but they can't put themselves in the shoes of a beginner again. Her instructor assigned her such difficult material and barely explained the concepts behind how the music was put together, why it was written in such a way, why it is played in such a way, and how all of that links back to the fundamentals. When you're learning how to play guitar it's easy to want to jump right in and go for gold with the Stairway To Heaven Solo or Back in Black but that's just not the right way to do it. What Angela was missing was the core concepts and knowledge of music as a whole. I'm telling you right now that it's so much easier to master your instrument, no matter what it is, when you understand how music fits together and your not just memorizing.

All to often this is where aspiring musicians go wrong as well. They are eager to jump in but they get in over their heads and get discouraged. Believe me it's OK to start from square one, that's where you're supposed to start. There is a lot of hype about online guitar lessons these days as well, or just learning from YouTube. If you can really do it then more power too you, but my guess is that it's not the right way, you will suffer as a player because you will develop bad habits and have a lack of true understanding. A YouTube video can't give you advice or show you how to improve. You can't ask a question, or tell it your goals. You need a mentor for that.

Well to jump back to the beginning of this story, I'm happy to say that Angela is doing excellent she is developing as a musician is understanding what is what as far as guitar and music and is making outstanding progress. The point of the story is, if you want to learn Wonderwall and play it as a party trick go the YouTube route, if you want to develop true musicianship, start from square one and commit.

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