Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Guitar lessons with a real teacher

I GET ASKED a lot about online guitar lessons. Of course my first reaction is to tell you to forget it, and to take lessons from a real human being in the same room, not on a computer screen.

Jim Bier and Rodney Hart give guitar lessons
at Second String Music.
As always, there's a little more to it.

I go online and to YouTube if there's a requested song I can't figure out. The latest example is a song by Incubus called "Drive," which is surprisingly acoustic and has some very cool chords.

I tooled around to a few different lessons sites, and a couple of them left me frustrated and almost angry. They were nowhere near close to what was being played and it was pretty obvious the "teachers" were bored and full of themselves. Eventually I did find a good lesson and I've gone back to that site since.

My best piece of advice is to be careful going online for guitar lessons. If the guy or gal showing you the song looks stoned and starts singing way out of tune while playing, well, you are on the wrong site. There are great guitar players out there who are lousy teachers, and there are average players who seem to connect.

Here's another thing about going to a real teacher for a real lesson - you will be a bit more motivated since you are paying for the lesson, and you'll get a lot more than just learning chords, strum patterns and technique. Playing music is only part of what makes a guitarist - and I guarantee if you take it seriously, we'll have a lot of fun. And you can ask me all kinds of questions that an online instructor can't ever answer.

Be careful when you click and watch, and rock on.

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