Why you should take guitar lessons even if you have natural talent
Undoubtedly, you know quite a few guitarists who have taken lessons, and several others who have not. Many of them may play with similar ability. Certainly, one can become a competent guitarist, and even an excellent one, without formal training. So why pay for lessons?
Getting a Good Foundation
Yes, you certainly can learn the basics by looking at books. But are you SURE you are holding your guitar properly? Are you positive you are holding down the strings effectively? Is this book you’re using even the best kind for your learning style?
Nothing beats an in-person, tactile learning environment. An instructor can start you off on the right foot by demonstrating proper technique and help you get a good foundation without falling into bad habits, which can inhibit your playing and require extra work to “un-learn.” Better to have an instructor help you adjust your strap and help you with finger placement now than having to put in extra work later.
Playing in Your Preferred Style
It’s a sad, but true, fact that many instruction books and videos simply don’t have the types of songs you actually want to learn. “You Are My Sunshine” is all well and good, but what if you want to learn The Beatles or John Mayer instead? A good guitar teacher will be familiar with your preferred genre or genres, and can actually help you find songs you want to play, at your current ability level. There’s even a good chance that he or she may have tablature or sheet music that they themselves use when they perform. This kind of personalization will keep you interested in playing and accelerate your progress.
Instant Gratification and Feedback
A book or a video cannot tell you how you are doing. An instructor can give you valuable information, praise and suggestions for improvement on the spot. Once again, this will help you avoid blocks in your learning that you would need to get rid of later. Plus, it’s always great to have a captive audience.
Keeping You Honest and Working
When you hit a snag in your learning (musical or otherwise), it’s tempting to simply let that learning go if it’s not mandatory. You can set a book down and not play music again for a few days – or forever. When you are taking lessons you know you are responsible for advancing yourself in the eyes of your teacher. In addition, putting your hard-earned money down for lessons puts some “skin in the game.” You want a return on your investment, so you are more likely to continue during those times when the going gets rough. (By the way, almost every student goes through this occasionally, and there is always the other side of it when you have a major breakthrough. Never give up!)
Rational and Continued Progression
No matter how good an instruction book or video is, there’s always an end. In the one-on-one learning process, a good instructor can take you to each new level of learning and playing seamlessly. They can help you connect concepts (chord progressions, notes, etc.) more quickly and easily than a book or a video ever could.
Reap those rewards!
The benefits of working with a music instructor far outweigh any disadvantages. Check the internet or visit your local music store to find an instructor to take you to the level you desire.