First published May 6th 2011
You would think that learning to play the guitar has never been easier, what with the internet and Youtube videos. Music shops have shelves groaning under the weight of ‘how to’ books and DVDs of poodle-haired rock stars from the 80’s promising to reveal THE secret to learning to play the guitar, with little or no effort – like Joey from Friends, “you won’t even need a guitar!”?? Based on my twenty years of learning the guitar I can tell you that there is no hidden secret to reveal, nor are there any shortcuts .
No matter how many videos you watch or books you read there will always be unanswered questions which no amount of re-reading or rewinding or will answer.
The truth is that there is simply no substitute for having a real live teacher sitting across from you, tailoring your lessons to your exact needs, structuring and guiding you in the best and fastest way possible to develop your skills.
Eventually the day will come when you decide to stop spending money on books that you’ll never read and DVDs which end up propping up a wonky table, and you’ll decide to invest your hard-earned cash in booking a lesson with a guitar tutor. A good teacher will inform, enthuse and inspire you to practice day after day, week after week and learn to take control of your own musical journey – not spoon you feed old rock guitar riffs and country songs for months on end. They will ensure you understand what it is that you’re learning and show you how to get the most out of your precious practice time. They will structure your learning, motivating you, pushing you.
It’s not impossible to learn on your own, but having someone who is experienced guiding you will save a lot of wasted time, space on your bookshelf and importantly, hard earned money! They won’t however, be able to prop up your wonky table leg – you can use your old books and DVD’s for that.