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The Reasons Guitar Players Struggle

Poor Teachers

After self-teaching, the worst road to learning guitar is taking lessons from a well-meaning but ineffectual friend or family member, or worse... an ineffective "professional" teacher. This can end up causing more frustration and take you even longer to progress. I have taken on students from time to time who have told me horror stories about their previous teachers. Maybe you too have experienced this?

  • Teachers who spend each lesson showing off and playing for their own amusement?
  • Teachers who spend more time talking about themselves and their band than they do about you?
  • Being taught stuff you are never shown how to actually use?
  • Old-fashioned and stifling one-to-one lessons that never offer you the chance to apply your skills interacting with other musicians?
  • Random, unstructured teaching with no indication of a plan to take you where you want to go with your music?

Not only is this behaviour damaging to the student’s progress, in some cases it drives the student into quitting altogether.

Be wary of choosing a teacher based purely on his/her location and/or price, since it may cost you more money in the long run and take you longer to reach your goals than investing a little more in a quality, experienced educator. Always look for student testimonials on the teacher's site or in his/her literature... Better still, get some first-hand referrals from his/her other students.

Self Teaching

We commonly receive inquiries from guitar players who have become frustrated after trying to teach themselves (often for many years). With the advent of the Internet, many guitarists now reach for free resources like Youtube in order to try and grow as musicians, under the mistaken belief that it will save them time and money.

The problem with teaching oneself via Youtube, books or DVDs is that it’s just not effective. How can you be sure that you fully understand what you've learned and can integrate and apply it in your own music unless you have an ongoing dialogue with the tutor? Have you ever tried to teach yourself and found yourself jumping from one thing to another across a variety of media, unsure whether you're learning anything in the right order, or even whether what you're picking up is actually moving you towards your musical goals?

Self teaching often leads to gaps in knowledge, lack of momentum, and becoming overwhelmed with practice material, leading to stagnation and becoming stuck in a rut. Are you happy learning slowly by trial-and-error or do you want to learn fast under purposeful direction?

DVDs and the Internet can be valuable aids to playing and certainly have their place but such resources can never be a substitute for the continual guidance and support of an in-person teacher who regularly examines your technique and your practice pattern, and who understands what you want to achieve with your music. A good teacher also acts as a coach and mentor, supporting you and helping you to overcome the challenges you will inevitably confront as you continue your journey towards becoming a better musician.

Uninspiring School Music Lessons

Whilst it may seem that music lessons offered in school are more convenient and cost-effective than arranging private music tuition for your child, this is erroneous. Music tuition provided in this environment can never be as effective as that offered by a dedicated music school. Click here to read why.

I had been playing for just under a year.  I had always wanted to play the guitar but always found a reason not to take the plunge. Initially I bought a book and watched videos online as a source of learning but after learning an approximation of a few riffs I felt that I was lacking in the fundamental knowledge and skill to play guitar ‘properly’ – in a more complete and accomplished way. I also felt like a bit of a fraud picking up a guitar at a relatively late stage and felt that I needed help to set me on the right path.

There are so many styles and techniques to learn I found that I was jumping from one thing to another without appreciating what and how I was trying to play.  Initially I was very nervous and didn’t even want to practise at home in front of my family.

Having a structured lesson means that as well as having excercises and material more suited to my skill level, I feel I am working towards what I think will be a more complete skillset and understanding of playing guitar.

James Rose

Poor Study Environment

Another reason for students not making effective progress is practising in a less than ideal environment. For a student to learn effectively, there should be no distractions such as TV, young children or pets playing nearby, or other potential disturbances. Therefore, studying at a designated premises set up for the task is far better for concentrated learning than doing so in your own home, unless you can be sure of having privacy and time to yourself.

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Play • Learn • Transform

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Play • Learn • Transform

Guitar & Bass tuition for students in Huntingdon and South Cambs.

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Servicing students in the Huntingdonshire area, including:
Alconbury - Stukeleys - St. Ives - St. Neots - Brampton - Godmanchester - Ramsey - Bury - Buckden - Hemingfords - Houghton & Wyton - Cambourne - Swavesey - Cottenham - Bar Hill - Hilton  - Sawtry - Needingworth - Somersham - Papworth