DON'T TEACH YOURSELF
Recently I started teaching a student that had been teaching himself for 8 years on the internet. He was interested in improving his Heavy Metal playing and considered himself an advanced player, and wanted to play in a band.
On his first lesson I said to him I would test his industry standard skills. I said let's pretend this is a band audition. I then played a backing track, told him the key and scale, and said play me a solo.
It became immediately apparent that he had absolutely no concept of soloing. None of his note choices were correct to the backing and made no musical sense whatever.
I then tested him with the chords to a simple song.......and he was stumped on the 1st 2 chords.
Unfortunately I had to inform him that he would have failed an audition with even the worst amateur band.
HE WASTED 8 YEARS......WITH LESSONS HE COULD HAVE BEEN A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER IN LESS TIME.
I asked him if he had ever had ANY lessons at all. He said he had a few lessons when he was 13 from one of these kids music schools......and as an adult he had 6 months of lessons with a supposed local Heavy Metal Guru.
All this "Guru" did was teach him bits and pieces of solos every week.
NOT ONCE IN 6 MONTHS DID THIS TEACHER EVER TEST HIS SKILLS IN A REAL LIFE SCENARIO.......
He just proceeded to teach this guy bits and pieces that the student wanted to play.
Between teaching himself for years and a couple of DUD teachers this poor guy has wasted 8 years.
DON'T BE THIS GUY
He's not unique.....I have about a dozen older guys in their 40s-60s who have been playing for 20-30 years and all of these guys could have got themselves up to band standard in about 2 years if they had had lessons from me.
Basically there are only 7 basic BAR CHORDS. None of these students knew them all when they came to me......and none of them could use the ones they already knew effectively.
SO....20 YEARS OF PLAYING...DIVIDED BY 7 BAR CHORDS = 3 YEARS PER CHORD. NOT EXACTLY PUSHING THEMSELVES WERE THEY.
MY STUDENTS DO THIS IN 6 MONTHS.
DON'T BE THESE GUYS
When you teach yourself you have no idea of the standard of skills or knowledge required to play at a family barbecue....let alone an amateur, semi-pro or pro band.
Don't let apathy or pride stand in the way of getting help. It's not an admission of failure or lack of talent to get lessons.
I TORT MYSELF EVERYFINK I KNOW
Do be fooled by the myths that the great players of the world never had
help and managed to get it right by themselves.
Just because they didn't go and pay for lessons doesn't mean they didn't get help.
Most had parents, siblings or relatives that played....who showed them things....others had more proficient band members and friends who showed them things when jamming.
Rocks stars often like to reinvent their past and claim that they did it with no help......usually to bolster the myth of their own supposed natural talent.
THE MYTH OF TALENT
Talent is a greatly over-rated attribute. I believe everybody has the inbuilt talent for music, just like they do for language. Some people may have a naturally good ear, but poor co-ordination, but unless they work hard at their speed and accuracy then a good ear counts for very little.
It's only when perfect pitch, good timing, excellent co-ordination, and a photographic musical memory come together in the same person that you have a musical genius. This may happen just a few times in a hundred years
Unfortunately the public seems to think that any competent performer on T.V or album falls into this class.
What I'm trying to say is; TAKE NO NOTICE OF PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU THAT IF YOU'RE NOT BORN WITH NATURAL TALENT THEN YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PLAY.
THIS IS NONSENSE.
If that was the case then 99% of the guitar stars today would have given up before they started. Hard work and dedication AND THE RIGHT ADVICE can get you to the top, so keep practicing, and think positive.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY
ON CLASS LESSONS!
DON'T WASTE YOUR CHILDS ENTHUSIASM.
STOP PRESS 22/04/16
Three more “BAND BUS” horror stories just this week.
3 kids (separate schools) attended lessons at one of these
mobile schools and didn’t learn a thing in 12 months.
Multiple changes of teacher…and in one case the guy didn’t even play guitar!
The worst case was one where the poor kid spent 2 years in this
program…..then went to private lessons with a well known local music school
who had a disinterested incompetent Uni student teach him for many months.
End result….three years of lessons and he can’t play any more than half a
dozen chords and a few bits and pieces of songs…. Badly.
My private students would be BAND STANDARD in three years.
CAMPBELLTOWN NEEDS ME…..CALL ME when you’re through with
amateurs, corporate parasites, the home visits, pin money teachers and the “Dudes”
that teach from their Mums lounge room.
I believe that a beginner students enthusiasm is not infinite. And as a teacher it pains me to see it wasted in class lessons.
Many times I've had students come to me from substandard class tuition and it's terrible to see what poor results
students achieve for their practice efforts and their parents money.
• The 1st thing I usually have to do is rebuild the students self esteem. Many are convinced they "have no talent" as
a result of the poor tuition they have received.
• The next thing I have to do is correct all the faults and bad playing habits they developed...all due to lack of
attention or incompetence of the teacher.
• The final step is to help the student move forward so that I can help them rebuild enthusiasm and the desire to practice.
SADLY...SOME STUDENTS DON'T MAKE IT THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND GIVE UP......
THE DAMAGE WAS TOO SEVERE & THE ENTHUSIASM PERMANENTLY LOST.
As a life long musician i think this is a terrible shame and a wasted opportunity.
I'll give you some recent examples:
CASE STUDY 1
Just this week a young guitar student came in for his first lesson. He had spent 12 months being taught by a teacher
in one of those Mobile Buses that travel around the schools. He was the only guitar player in a group of keyboard players.
After spending 12 months at it....he couldn't play a single note or song. He hadn't even been taught to use a pick.
Basically he just made noises.
I've got him on track...and I have high hopes that we will achieve a good result.
CASE STUDY 2
8-12 months ago: a 10yo bass student enrolled for lessons. He had been learning from another one of these
Mobile corporates. He was taught his parts by a sax player who didn’t even notice that his bass was unplayable for the 1st 2 years. In order to press a note down he had to use 3 fingers on the one note, and after 2 years had no idea of the names of the notes on his instrument...nor could he read music at all.
I'm happy to say we have had his instrument fixed, he now can use all 4 fingers, knows his notes and can read music quite well. This next year will see him develop into very competent 11 year old bass player.
CASE STUDY 3
About 12 months ago...2 girls; 8 and 11 from the same school started learning.....you guessed it; from a "Bus"…..6 months later their parents bring them to me and I find they have learnt to play about 2-3 chords in all that time.
Bad finger habits and no concept of timing at all.
I'm pleased to say both girls are playing exceptionally well now...and when I left that teaching establishment I left them in the hands of another competent private teacher. They are both still playing and progressing.
I have had dozens and dozens of these experiences over the years and in nearly every case class tuition was involved.
In the old days anyone who could play three chords hired a community hall, packed in as many people in as they could, and attempted to teach people guitar.
The 21 century version is: BAND BUSES...... Run by various small corporates, the companies try and persuade parents that this is the "modern" way to learn.
That it saves all that “running around” to different locations etc, and is cheaper.
IT'S NOT CHEAP IF IT DOESN'T DELIVER!......and permanently turns a kid off music. (Often in the belief that they have no talent)
They are run by small time greedy entrepreneurs who don't give a hoot about your Childs education. It's bums on seats and dollars for them.
Don't be fooled by glossy instructional books, practice logs, study plans and little certificates at the end of the book.
IT'S ALL JUST MARKETING...SPIN....SNAKE OIL.
They have a high turn over of teaching staff: Students find themselves with different teachers every few weeks in some cases.
A) Because they take most of the fees for themselves and pay the teachers poorly
B) Because any teacher who is dedicated quickly realizes that it’s a scam, gets depressed and leaves. Unlike a teacher at a private music school they never stay for years building a reputation and a clientele.
C) Because the teacher MUST follow the corporate tuition plan (designed to sell more books)....even if it clearly doesn't work.
SOME COMPANIES WILL SAY…….. "THAT'S NOT US...WE'RE DIFFERENT!
But they are not. Class tuition by its very nature is inferior, especially when it involves a body and a piece of technology like a Sax, Guitar Keyboard, Drums, and Violin etc.
Would you expect a good result from group driving or flying lessons? What about golfing or tennis tuition.
IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD IS DOING WELL IN CLASS TUITION...IMAGINE HOW MUCH BETTER THEY WOULD BE
DOING WITH COMPETENT PERSONALISED PRIVATE TUITION.
There's no doubt that I'll be attacked for my views. After all there is a lot of money at stake for some of these organisations.
And they'll trot out one of their "show piece" students and offer them as proof of the validity of their program.
Don't be fooled...very few kids do well in these classes. And those that do....do so IN SPITE of the tuition…..not because of it.
WHO AM I AND WHAT MAKES ME AN EXPERT
• Over 35 years as a professional musician and teacher.THAT'S 70,000 LESSONS, from beginner to advanced....some are even bringing their grandkids to me!
• OVER 40 5-STAR REVIEWS ON FACE BOOK AND GOOGLE
• Degree qualified in music
• Education qualifications
• Tuition from many internationally recognised teachers
• Plus on the job musical education from the school of hard knocks
• Author of 6 self published guitar methods
• A professional playing career as a freelance/session player across an enormous variety of styles.
• I’m true multi instrumentalist…every instrument I play I’ve studied and worked hard to master…not just learned to play 2-3 token tunes for public consumption. If I can’t play an instrument to semi-pro or pro standard…I don’t teach it!
PLEASE SUPPORT YOU LOCAL PRIVATE MUSIC TEACHER.
SERIOUS GUITAR STUDENTS...GET SERIOUS LESSONS!
THE STANDARD OF GUITAR TUITION IN THE MACARTHUR AREA IS ABYSMAL. YOU DESERVE BETTER!
Now that I’ve been teaching in the Macarthur area for a while I’m starting to get students who have had previous lessons from other local teachers. A few common trends have emerged.
1) Students are being taught bits and pieces of tunes rather than skills. Some times students don’t know the names of their chords for instance, and can barely change between one chord and another.
2) They often have no concept of timing or strum patterns
3) They can’t play along with the original tunes, keep their place or read a simple chord chart
4) The more “advanced” students don’t know all of their bar chords and often are only able to play a couple of simple power chords in songs they have learnt parrot fashion
5) Lead guitar students don’t know the names of the notes on the neck or the notes in the scales. They tend to play in box patterns rather than be able to play freely all over the neck.
6) Most of the players that think they are intermediate/advanced level could not cut it at an audition in the real world…Even for an amateur garage band.
A ROUGH PROGRESS GUIDE
If you have been playing for about 6 months and are practicing 30m a day 5 days a week you should be able to play a dozen open chords faultlessly, keep perfect time and be able to keep up with the original tune. You should be able to play 2-3 basic strum patterns well
You should be able to play around 30 open string chords perfectly and change between them effortlessly. You should have at least 6-7 strum patterns to suit a wide variety of styles. You should be able to pick up a piece of sheet music you have never seen before, start the recorded tune and be able to play along without losing your place.
You should be beginning to learn your bar chords by this time
You need to be practicing at least an hour a day more on weekends, 7 days a week
Your bar chords should be progressing well and you should have started some basic power chord and hard/classic rock chord techniques.
You should have started some basic lead guitar by now and be able to solo over easy tunes.
At this point you should be able to play in a low pressure band situation with friends and be able to play well within you limitations. You should have enough hand strength to play for 3-4 hours
You should know all of your open and bar chords perfectly and have half a dozen well played strum patterns. You should be a capable social player who is able to play any song in any key and accompany a singer confidently.
You should be able to sight read a chord chart you have never seen before and play in keys that contain sharp and flat chords accurately and confidently.
You should be capable of playing some lead guitar using a couple of pentatonic scales in at least all the common rock keys. You should know the names of the notes on your finger board and the names of the notes in the scales. Your bent notes should be perfectly in tune and your hammer ons and pull offs should be developing.
You should be able to play basic rock power chords and have a few Hard rock, Metal, and Classic rock chord techniques under control.
You should be able to do all of the above well….under pressure….in and audition situation with strangers. You may not get the job…but you shouldn’t make a fool of yourself either.
COMMON COMPLAINTS FROM STUDENTS OF OTHER SCHOOLS
Here some of the complaints I hear from the ex students of some of the local Guitar schools/teachers.
*Have no vision or game plan to get a student from a beginner level to competent musician. The teacher often says “what do you want to learn today?”
*Spend weeks teaching bits and pieces of tunes that are too difficult….(This is entertainment not tuition)
*Spend most of the lesson scribbling info on random sheets of paper….instead of having a pre-planned lesson prepared.
*Don’t show up and put substitute teachers in who have no idea where the student is up to. (Like when their band has a gig that’s more important than your tuition)
*Talk on the phone to friends during the lesson
*Surf the net, check their FB page or play computer games during the lesson.
*Do their scale practice while students are banging away on a few chords for most of the lesson
*Use outdated teaching material that doesn’t reflect what the industry requires.
*Teach in small, smelly, cramped, hot, ill equipped little cells.
*Regard teaching as an unpleasant necessity (whilst waiting for their BIG BREAK)
*Regard teaching as a “pin money” hobby while studying at Uni or teaching after work
*Has less than 5-10 years as a full time professional teacher
*Have limited experience in a wide variety of styles and on the job experiences
*Has NEVER earned their living as a full time professional musician.
I’M SORRY….. A high school band and a couple of rock bands or open night duos in their early 20s DOES NOT cut it as a professional career.
CALL ME…AND I’LL GIVE YOU THE BEST TUITION YOU’VE EVER HAD!
*****I have a 35 year PROVEN track record (70,000 lessons) in high quality musical tuition for all interests and playing levels.
DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY AND ENTHUSIASM ON DISORGANIZED, INEXPERIENCED, DISINTERESTED GUITAR TUITION.
THIS IS NOT A CONCEITED BOAST…it’s a statement of my commitment to high quality tuition, value for money…..and a deep gratitude to have the opportunity to earn a living in such an enjoyable and satisfying way.
SOCIAL PLAYERS WORKSHOP
Just finished and a good time was had by all!
This is a workshop for intermediate social players. It's designed to give them a chance to meet and play
with other players their own level.
The emphasis is on fun, gaining experience, and helping players develop their singing and playing skills.
ARE YOU HAVING LESSONS BUT DON'T HAVE ANYONE TO PLAY WITH?
Then this workshop would be perfect for you!....
This workshop is not a substitute for private lessons...it's designed to put what you've learnt to use
IN A FUN SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT.
GIVE ME A CALL AND COME AND JOIN US
PARTICIPANTS WERE: TONY, SHANISE, JESS, ARUNAN, AND BEN
MORE PHOTOS ON THE EBS FACEBOOK PAGE