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Tell-Tale Signs Of Bad Guitar Teaching

Working with a bad guitar teacher holds you back from becoming the guitarist you want to be. This makes it very important to know when you are working with a good teacher versus a bad one. Here are the tell-tale signs of working with a bad guitar teacher:

They use the same teaching approach for everyone…

Mediocre guitar teachers do not use a goal-based teaching approach to help their students achieve specific results based on their specific needs. Instead, these kinds of teachers simply print out the exact same lesson materials for everyone and teach every student in the exact same manner regardless of his/her musical goals. This approach is mostly directionless and usually keeps students coming back for just a few lessons until they get tired of practicing things they don’t care about (because they are unrelated to their unique goals).

Even worse, some teachers teach guitar from generic guitar books designed as a catch-all teaching material. This makes guitar lessons very dry, boring and uninspiring for the student.

They’re not showing you how to integrate your skills…

Have you ever worked hard to get better in one area of your guitar playing but still not felt like you are a great overall musician? It’s common for guitar players to practice really hard to get good at one thing while unknowingly neglecting other aspects of their playing. A bad guitar teacher doesn’t understand this and constantly gives you materials to practice in isolation without any context. For example, simply giving you scales to practice every week. Practicing things in isolation is certainly a part of learning new techniques and developing proper muscle memory, BUT your guitar playing will go nowhere unless you understand how to integrate all your skills together. Imagine being excellent at playing fast, but having no idea how to actually phrase an interesting guitar solo… this happens all the time for guitar players, and is the leading cause of boring solos that sound like scales/exercises rather than actual music.

When you take guitar lessons from a great teacher, you learn how to integrate skills to balance out your strengths and weakness and become a better overall guitarist.

They give you too many things to practice…

Having a lot of things to practice is not necessarily a good thing. A poor teacher gives his students countless lesson materials each week. This causes the student to become overwhelmed, frustrated and bored. This makes practicing guitar feel like an insurmountable chore rather than fun. A good guitar teacher does not have to show you something new every week. There is plenty to learn when it comes to understanding how to use what you already know in different ways. This is one of the key ways a good teacher helps you get better without overwhelming you with tons of materials.

They don’t show you HOW to practice…

Finally, it is very important that you understand HOW to practice what you learn during a lesson. Mediocre teachers simply leave this part up to you and assume you know what to do when you get home. This puts the basically responsibility of teaching into your hands when it should be in theirs! A great teacher shows you how to practice during the lesson and makes sure you totally get it before sending you home. This way you practice correctly at home and make the most progress in between lessons.

If you find a guitar teacher who teaches as described above (or you work with one currently), move on to a new teacher. Find a guitar teacher with proven teaching credentials who has great students already. Then ask them specifically about the topics on this page to determine if they are the right teacher for you.