please help I'm not sure how to get over this

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Mrsz
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please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by Mrsz » May 2nd, 2012, 5:59 pm

I was having guitar lessons last year, which I stopped six months later, I'd run out of money and also the teacher told me to stop learning songs that he'd agreed on helping me learn from day one, which was the reason for me seeking help & lessons in the first place, plus the solo I was half way through learning he started saying "if you keep playing the same song over & over again I'd get to hate the song & you'll go mad & put your head in the oven, so stop playing that & play something else" which was aways only one of his selected songs.

I can remember that he would also repeatedly say things like you only need to practice for 30 to 40 mins a day & you don't need to practice for 2 hours to do a 2 hour gig 20 mins is enough, when I said I need to play them until I've learnt them he'd reply with an abrupt NO & that he was completely against the no pain no gain & told me not to do things like that.

ever since then I've been having a problem with playing reguarly & for longer more than 20ms/ half n hour, which I know isn't enough practice to achive my aim..(learning 70's rock songs) what often happens is I'll start playing, then 20 mins later for some reason I feel I need to put the guitar down and do something else even though I've planned excercies and songs to practice, sometimes I feel the interest slipping way even though I want to play the song or what I'm working on at the time, it's hard to get back into it so I don't often manage to continue with what I've set out to do..
I don't want to get another personal teacher, & can't afford it . any help, opinions would be apreciated...thankyou for reading

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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by Alan Green » May 2nd, 2012, 10:33 pm

Quick answer - I need to get in the shower and off to my first school of the day; "today" ends late tonight after Big Band rehearsal.

Your teacher was clearly one of those whose main aim in teaching was to separate students from their money once a week, so lessons became about what HE could play andwanted to work with. Let's rebuild the motivation.

Start by reminding yourself what it was about the guitar that made you want to play in the first place

Then, what are those songs you want to play? If we can't get you through them here then we're all in trouble.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by cnev » May 3rd, 2012, 5:46 am

I would have to agree with Alan seems like a very odd way to teach...if you could call it that. To a certain degree I understand what he is saying as I have doenthe same thing, you work so hard on learning a song that by the time you are playing it fluently you're sick of it. But that's just a matter of keeping things in perspective it's easy to get lost and work on a song for a couple hours straight if it's new or you are a beginner as you learn more and more they become easier and easier to learn to the point wher you can learn maybe in an hr or less.

But Al is right you need to get your motivation back in a way that works for you and if you have the time to practice for 2 - 3 or more hrs a day go for it and the end of the day you still have to put int he time. If you feel tired or unmotivated any particular day just put it down for awhile and come back to it later when you are fresh.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by s1120 » May 3rd, 2012, 6:12 am

OK, so maybe im on the flip side... But I have struggled in the past with motivation issues also. To me, I have to KINDA agree with the teacher. Not so much how he went about it.... but the fact that some times new and diferent will make things fresh, and kinda "wake you up" and get you back to playing. Wether its a new song, a slightly new style, or playing a diferent guitar. So maybe try walking away from those songs your working on for a bit.... not give them up, but lets get somehting fresh to work on, that you might be able to build up skills to maybe make those songs less work in the future. I know you said you want to be learning 70's rock songs, but maybe poke around for something you like thats diferent. Your not giving upon your dream....its not like you have a set ammount of songs you can learn in your life... find somehting diferent you like... and work on that a bit. Maybe find a song a close friend, or famley member likes.... somehting to shake it up and make it fresh. If nothing else when your done, those old songs you have been working on, will be eaven better when you come back to them with a fresh mind.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by cnev » May 3rd, 2012, 6:56 am

Well if it's a situation where you are a beginner that has decided to try and learn a song that is beyond your skill level then yes I'd say there is a point of no return where you will not get value continuing to practice it over and over in that case I'd take a break.
Last edited by cnev on May 4th, 2012, 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by EzraplaysEzra » May 3rd, 2012, 12:15 pm

Advice from a guy who has never taken a lesson and does not practice, so take from it what you will. Learn chords. Learn how to move from chord to chord. Find the songs you want to learn and figure them out from the charts. It doesn't sound like you were taking music or guitar lessons, it sounds like you were paying someone to teach you songs. And if you know how to play chords and keep rythem, you'd be better served learning them your self.
As far as solos, I'd try breakinh them done into licks and practicing them, slowly at first. And try some crude jamming around the licks.
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I can understand the motivation thing just from reading your posts. Learning songs, planned excercises, lessons, practice... Do you want to play guitar or write a book about it? To quote the philosopher Zappa; "Shut up and play yer guitar."

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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by Alan Green » May 3rd, 2012, 2:26 pm

s1120 wrote:.... when your done, those old songs you have been working on, will be eaven better when you come back to them with a fresh mind.
Not sure that was implicit in the OP. Maybe I didn't read it right but I didn't get the impression that going back to a song was on the agenda.

Good logic though - I took Sultans Of Swing into Music School one Saturday, even though we'd played it in the summer concert a year before, and my students practically snatched it out of my hands with a "We haven't done this one for ages" look on their faces. It always makes for a good practise session when you go back to an old song; you always discover something new about it.

So, Mrsz, what songs are we talking about. The songs you want to learn
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by Liontable » May 3rd, 2012, 3:42 pm

I have to admit the teacher has a point, the phrasing however could have been handled a bit more diplomatically.

I'd have to fundamentally disagree about your comment Alan, regarding the separating money from students, and even argue the exact opposite. A good teacher doesn't simply do what a student asks, he does what's best to achieve the goals the student would like to reach. If you believe your teacher doesn't know better than you (and some are really horrid), then why are you wasting your money on him? If he's good he'll explain why it works that way, and make you understand that a different approach might help.

You really don't need to practice 2 hours a day to become a good guitar player. It sure helps immensely, but an hour of working focused on something is better than just putting in a few hours of sloppy practice. A lot of people try working out while they hate it: they don't keep it up. Putting up with something to reach a goal seldom works, enjoying what you do is many times more effective. That's why you try to make scales and exercises fun, simply the goal won't do.

Find enjoyment in what you do, not simply in what you want to reach. Try to keep things fresh with new challenges and experiences so you stay sharp and don't burn out. If you don't want to do something, don't do: you'll simply make it even worse by forcing yourself.

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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by NoteBoat » May 3rd, 2012, 4:52 pm

Liontable wrote:A good teacher doesn't simply do what a student asks, he does what's best to achieve the goals the student would like to reach.
That's very true. And from a teacher's point of view, my most frustrating students are the ones who will dictate what I show them. Those students are really rare - but at the moment I have one.

He's in his teens, and rejects pretty much everything I show him as useless. He refuses to count - because doing rhythms by imitation is "easier" (despite the fact that I've showed him how long it took him to learn a song with a nearly identical rhythm to one we did a couple months ago - if he'd bothered to learn to count, he could have it in about 1/4 of the time.

This week's lesson was miserable. I had a lesson plan, but as I started presenting it, he said "I don't want to do that". I started explaining how important it was, but he cut me off and said "I said I don't want to do that". In frustration, I said "Ok, what is it you want to do?". He said he wanted to learn a song he had on a CD.

We spent the 30 minutes learning ONE measure of the song. Why? Because he won't count. I probably played the one measure, broken into three short elements, a hundred times. By the end of the half hour, he sort of had it. But I'll bet next week we'll be starting over on it.

And it's with students like that I feel I'm just separating them from their money.

Anyway, rant over. For the OP, the teacher putting limits on practice time is dead wrong. I'm a big proponent of working EFFICIENTLY, because you can learn skills faster if you go about it the right way. But if you want to practice, practice. It's only ineffective if a) you aren't focused - just wiggling your fingers around won't make you much better, or b) you've gotten tired and your attention is flagging. When that happens, you start to get sloppy, and that's counterproductive.

But if you're focused, the more time you put in, the better you'll get. It's that simple.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by greybeard » May 3rd, 2012, 8:44 pm

I'm sort of going to have a foot in both camps.

I agree, to some extent, with your teacher. I also disagree with him. You should practice for as long as you feel you are progressing and enjoying practice. Once you reach the point, where you can't concentrate any more, it's time to take a break.

Whether that point is reached after 5 minutes or 5 hours is not really important, you have to be involved. When you are mentally no longer involved in the practice it is not getting you anywhere - stop.

Start again when your mind and body are ready.

The amount you practice is less important than the amount that you are learning.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by Mrsz » May 3rd, 2012, 11:18 pm

I think I've posted this in the wrong place as I'm new to the board... It said experienced guitar player or teacher will get back to you. I wasn't sure where else to post.... sorry... I've been playing guitar on & off for a few years so I'm not realy a beginner, but thank you for all the advice ...I feel the dark cloud is lifting thankyou . ..

The reason I started lessons was I wanted to do a Sahb tribute & I needed to learn to play lead, also I was a bit stuck on The Amos Moses riff...I had a Guitar Techiques mag with some Sahb riffs tabs I was learning from.

On the first lesson took along the Guitar magazine as agreed.
he asked me to choose a few riffs, he offered to make excercies from the riffs / tabs from the mag I choose 'The Faith Healer' 'Framed' 'Amos Moses' & 'Delilah'

If he didn't want to do the songs/riffs I asked him to help me with he could have said that but he didn't ever at any point,
I was learning all the songs that he included in the lessons along with the scales and excercises no prob,
but I was increasingly finding it harder & harder to get into practicing at home. I noticed there wasn't much continuation or going over things from the last lesson..
it would usualy take about 3 re-bookings from him before he'd do a lesson, I decided in the end to let him choose a day but I still got the usual message at 8 am ish saying "something has come up and can't do the lesson today, let me know another day when can we have our lesson".

when I eventuly reminded him about the riffs I wanted help with... "just choose one" he said "I'll choose Amos Moses" I replyed. I got rushed through Framed & The Faith Healer riff , I said "I don't think I can play it ok" but he said "you can play that"!
After a couple of lessons later he had worked out the first few seconds of the solo he reluntantly said "there... now you have a song you like"! which I learned well and ready to learn the rest, that's when he said you'll go mad & ect ...that was my last lesson.

Before I had lessons with him, I didn't realy have any problems with going over & over the same piece as far as getting sick of it, often I'd get into it & like it more & feel rewarded when I could play something I didn't know how before ..I'd just natualy seem to move on to something else for awhile then go back to it later, I used to spend a lot of time learning in this way... which wasn't to his agreement.. he was against teach yourself methods & said that students need to have lessons, they can't see when they are going wrong.

He didn't work for a college or other place where his lessons could be monitored.. it was a one to one in his bed room studio.. he had quality guitars and amps ect... I've never managed to find his history of bands he'd played with or his surname which I thought strange.

I agree he shouldn't restrict the practice time .I don't know where he got 20 mins from..
Also I don't think he has a right to tell students to stop playing the songs they enjoy in that manner at all...xxx

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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by NoteBoat » May 4th, 2012, 3:33 am

Mrsz wrote:it would usualy take about 3 re-bookings from him before he'd do a lesson
That right there is the biggest red flag. Pros keep their commitments. If you're taking somebody's money, it's a job. If you're a professional musician and you take a job, you do it.

Something does come up at times. People do get sick. Cars do break down. Good musicians do get a last minute call to do a gig. But it's rare. I checked our school records for last year, and we cancelled about one lesson out of 95 for teacher emergencies.

If you're serious about any instrument, do your best to find a teacher who is a FULL TIME musician. You'll find two advantages: first, if music is their only income, they take their schedule very, very seriously... and second, if you do something 40 or 50 hours a week, you're probably a lot better at it than the guy who does it 10 hours a week.

Hobbyist musicians who teach a bit will tell you it's not possible to be a full-time guitarist in this economy. That's not at all true - look around this board and you'll see me, David, Alan, and a bunch of others who make all of our living playing and teaching guitar. I'll bet none of us misses very many scheduled lessons. (I'm sure we all miss lessons for gigs etc - I'll miss about 36 lessons this month while I judge the Guitar Center contest again - but my students know about those dates a month in advance, and we reschedule.)
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by cnev » May 4th, 2012, 4:23 am

Yea that defintely is a red flag. The guy I take lessons is miticulous about his scheduling and other than the week or two he goes on vacation I can't remember him ever cancelling. More often I'd be the one who wanted to reschedule.

Sounds like this teacher is just someone who plays well that thinks they canteach, but teaching is a whole different ballgame then being able to play well, and great players don't always make the best teachers.
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by s1120 » May 4th, 2012, 4:52 am

I agree he shouldn't restrict the practice time .I don't know where he got 20 mins from..
Ya, thats REAL odd!! I know with me, that with having a full time job, and two younger kids its REAL hard to find big chunks of time to pratice. Eaven that I can grab 20-30 min.... the problem is it takes a good 10-15 to get warmed up, and work through what your working on, and get up to speed from the past day.... So in my case anyways.... with 20min, I get a good solid 10 min worth of real work on the problem areas!!!!
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Re: please help I'm not sure how to get over this

Post by Alan Green » May 4th, 2012, 8:28 am

Listening to Faith Healer now on YT - very loud - I'd forgotten how good it was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhrxVUXx_6g

Three riffs, as I hear it - the motif round the Dm chord in the intro, one around a penatonic pattern after the chorus and the final one in the bridge.
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