I have always found it interesting to note that, many young students of music who have been encouraged by their family to study and play the piano for some years, for one reason or another, often cease to continue developing their playing skills, and often stop playing altogether. You may well ask why this happens; could it be that the lessons, the scales, the theory, the strict discipline and need to succeed, killed the spirit to be creative and to feel free to explore the keyboard with gay abandon? I feel well blessed that, although I love playing the piano, my instrument of choice was the guitar. My experience was such that I was not in any way forced to study my acoustic guitar music and to sit the necessary grade exams to further my playing skills. When I was fourteen years old, I was given the opportunity to have private lessons for one year. These guitar lessons which I received, gave me a basic grounding and understanding of the guitar music. There was no pressure to succeed, and I developed a real enjoyment from the playing my acoustic.
Maybe I am too abstract in my thinking, but, I have found that studying, playing and enjoying the guitar, has developed into a 'lifelong' pursuit of excellence, and has created a burning desire for me to master my instrument. Guitar music, in particular, is food for my soul, and I just couldn't live without it. After fifty-three years of playing the guitar, this old hippy still finds himself thirsty for knowledge and for learning new techniques.
No Substitute For Guitar Lessons
Looking honestly at my musical endeavors over the years; I recognize now, how valuable guitar lessons are. I also recognize, how easy it is to unwittingly develop all sorts of poor technique and bad habits, without being guided by an expert teacher. There is so much to learn with music, and it can seem daunting at times to know... what to do next? The key I have found is to relax, and mostly you may say 'don't push the river!' If you are just starting out to learn the guitar, then it is absolutely in your best interests to find a teacher that you are comfortable with, start taking your first guitar lessons, and above all, have some fun with your music. The rule of thumb, if you are going to a local teacher, is to have one lesson a week which we will usually last for one hour.
Online or Off-Line
You have of course alternative opportunity to select a course of lessons from a guitar teacher online. There are some significant financial advantages and more flexibility by taking online guitar lessons. In some cases, there are some teachers on guitar membership sites who are teaching the same level and genre of music. This gives the student a wider range of teachers and styles of music. I have found this to be an excellent choice to make, and to have access to a wide range of expert guitar instruction.
You will quickly become aware of whether your guitar teacher is right for you, and, if you feel that you are progressing well, then congratulations... you have chosen well. If your teacher is not suitable for you, then try someone else. You will soon know when you have found a teacher who inspires you, and who demonstrates all the technique and knowledge that you would expect to gain from your lessons.
Enjoy The Journey
It's most important for you to enjoy your journey with music. The combination of your commitment to studying your lessons, and working well with your teacher, will bring you every success. I can say from personal experience... the journey never ends. The enjoyment you give and receive from your music will be with you for a lifetime. Whether your music is jazz, blues, country, fusion or some other genre, no matter what level of skill you have reached; the one element that you must experience, and which will shorten your journey to mastering your guitar, is the guitar lesson... so go grab your guitar, let's have a jam, then go and find your teacher.