View Full Version : Practice time and a Teacher

03-23-2006, 04:13 AM
2 months ago I started working and its been cutting into my personal practice. On fridays I'll be getting guitar lessons with a session musician...but I read "choosing a teacher" by tom hess and I thought about If I should or Shouldn't choose him as a teacher. I say this because I heard he was good at "most" styles of music because he's a session player. Anyways I'm gonna interview the guy and ask him questions. I just need more questions to ask him though..

03-23-2006, 06:46 AM
well, what questions are you planning on asking him? What style do you play? Unless it's something very obscure I'm sure he can cover it more then addequately.

personally, I'd take a few lessons with a pretty specific idea of what I'm looking to learn and see if he can give me what I want.

03-23-2006, 08:08 AM
Yeah, i'd say try him out.
If he can help you with something you are interessted in then it's all good.

You don't have to marry him - having a couple of teachers over the years really pays off. So take what he can teach you and move on. :cool:

03-23-2006, 07:34 PM
LOL alright I won't marry the dude. The main question i'm gonna ask him is, "what style of music do you play the most?". I'll also tell him that i'm into Vai, Becker, Van halen to The red hot chili peppers, Hendrix, Antonio Vivaldi and John Williams. As for what I want, musically I would like to have a better ear, sight read better, understand how the music flows in a song, good Rhythmic ability, And good technique. well thanks for the advice fella's ask me more questions if you want, because I know I probably left something out..peace

03-23-2006, 08:11 PM
Of course thereīs some valuable advice in Tomīs article, but there are a few things ( based on my opinion ) that one should not forget:

1) Regarding "How long have you been teaching ? May I see your credentials ?"
The problem here is: in order to get teaching experience, a teacher obviously has to teach ( Dīuh ). If students donīt take lessons from him cuz he has no teaching experience... well, then he canīt gather it.
What I mean by that is: Every teacher has to start somewhere. I know that when I starte teaching, I lacked a lot of experience. But I was very very eager to do a good job and give my best. I have met several teachers who have been teaching for many years and have burned out... they do it because they depend on the income and have so many students that they canīt even remember some of their names.

2) You have to remember that even though you can often find a teacher easily, sometimes you might find it hard to find someone who fits your profile. If you live in the suburbs somewhere and donīt have a car, you might not have THAT many choices. That doesnīt mean that you have to take lessons from someone you dislike, but maybe taking lessons from someone who is not absolutely appropiate might help a bit, too( instead of not taking lessons just because that teacher doesnīt focus on the styles you like most ). Maybe some teacher you pick isnīt a specialist on shredding ( even though you like it ), but he might still be able to teach you the basics, and introduce you to different styles...styles you might not have heard or really explored yet, but maybe youīll like them. When I took lessons from that teacher, all I wanted was to play metal. He taught me that, but he also showed me some stuff by bands like Toto etc. At fiorst I was like "Yikes", but eventually, once I got over the cliches in my mind, I started to see how much fun it is, and what a nice change it is to play stuff like that

3) Which leads me to "for rock, pick a rock teacher". I used to have teachers who hardly had heard of the styles I played, and I thank god I took lessons from them. Otherwise I still might be playing one style only. One of my first teachers opened my eyes and ears for other styles, like pop, fusion etc.
Sure, someone who mainly teaches the style you like can still introduce you to new areas and styles, but being a "student" might also involve learning about other styles of music.

Regarding heyjoeīs post: "I say this because I heard he was good at "most" styles of music because he's a session player."
Did he SAY that or did you hear it from anyone else ? Because if he didnīt say so himself, he is not doing what Tom warned about: claiming to be good at most styles.
Also, as a session musician ( if he indeed is one ), he might be able to teach you things that go beyond mere technique: how to record things, how to collaborate with others, how to prepare for a session, how to prepare for a gig, how to set up your guitar for the studio, how to work out parts etc.
That can be important as well, and maybe a different teacher might be able to teach you amazing licks, yet canīt give you any advice on performing, recording etc.
Hope this helps

03-24-2006, 02:20 AM
dang..pretty good advice, actually great advice. Thanks I'll definately use your advice. As for, if he said he was good most all styles I just heard that he was. I know that he's a musician that does gigs (weekends) and is also a session player and a teacher during the week. I know I would learn from him even if its not what I'd expect. I'm inexperienced in alot of area's and he'll probably help in those areas which i'm not familar with. well thanks for the incite eric,phantom and silent. see ya later