The Role Of A Guitar Teacher
While it's true that I have collected thousands of pages of sheet music for songs over my twenty-eight-year musical career, I have also realized that these songs share certain techniques and can be grouped into categories of difficulty. It is true that when you are technically able to play one song, there are many other songs that share the same set of techniques that will be immediately accessible to you. This is why the grading system exists in music education, ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 8.
As a Guitar teacher of fifteen years, I am very often faced with determining a student's reason for wanting to play the guitar and it's very important to note the differences. Playing the guitar obviously and ultimately means playing songs. Learning and playing songs should be your first pursuit as a musician and guitarist.
The question is: "Why do you want a teacher?"
Do you want a teacher to show you how to only play one song after another?
To show you how to play endless scales up and down the neck in the form of exercises?
Perhaps to learn music theory and apply it to situations you rarely come across at your level?
These are all valid and completely justified reasons and goals that can unlock many an inspired moment, along with the joy of improvisation and understanding music better. However, all these reasons and more can be learned while studying, analyzing and learning songs.
Everything is more clear within context, and danger of misunderstanding certainly exists outside of it. In the case of music, context should always be a song. Within a song, you can find every aspect of music and the opportunity for growth and improvement.
So, if you asked me: "Why do you want a teacher?"
My answer would be:
"To teach me to play and understand songs, containing the full range of techniques and concepts that unlock hundreds of songs with the same difficulty while managing and stimulating my personal abilities. I want someone that will teach me the guitar and all aspects of music, with a clear strategy for my personal growth."
So, let me ask you:
"Do you want a Song Teacher, a Music Theory Teacher, or a Technique Teacher?, or do you want a GUITAR Teacher?