Scott Jensen is a guitar teacher on Lessons.com, giving guitar lessons in Minneapolis – St. Paul, and when we put the call out to guitar teachers for articles about the experience of teaching/learning guitar, Scott sent along this very timely, pertinent commentary on the importance of working with a guitar teacher to advance your playing.
In this article, Scott speaks to something near and dear to our hearts, and something about which we have total passion: There simply is no better way to learn guitar than by finding the right guitar teacher to guide you through the uncertainty, while answering your questions about topics that are bound to arise in the process of learning guitar.
Below, please see what Scott has written, and let us know if you’d like to respond to any of his points. You can find out more about Scott’s guitar teaching by visiting the Scott Jensen Lessons.com profile today, where you’ll not only be able to view an interview we did with him, but also have access to all his contact and online information.
Don’t be a Google Guitar Player
by Scott Jensen
The new generation of guitar player has been labeled the “google guitar player”. Guitar students nowadays hop around from site to site, grabbing bits and pieces of YouTube videos, free lessons and blog posts – all under the assumption that they are actually “learning” how to play guitar.
The problem is, they rarely gain an understanding or see the full picture of the techniques and concepts to become an accomplished guitar “player”. Before the internet, kids wanting to learn the guitar sat for hours working out riffs and licks while playing their favorite songs over and over. Players focused on one thing at a time, mastered it and then moved on. Students today struggle with a 15 minute practice session.
There are, admittedly, numerous advantages to today’s information age. But how much information is “too much”, and when does it become overload to the point you don’t retain what you learn? We all love our favorite Youtube guitar teachers but are you really learning anything by bouncing from tidbit to tidbit? That’s really the main difference between the “old school” method of learning guitar and the new one. The sheer volume of information available at your fingertips makes the ability to “focus” on any one thing, for any length of time, a major challenge.
If this sounds like you and you are feeling overwhelmed and lost with your guitar playing and don’t feel like you are making progress, STOP! The biggest thing you need to correct this is FOCUS. Stop bouncing from site to site, grabbing bits of this and that. First figure out what your goals are on the guitar and then put yourself on a path to achieve those goals.
The best way to do this is find a good guitar teacher that cares about your goals and designs a guitar learning roadmap to help you achieve those goals. Ask around in your area to find a good guitar teacher that can help you with your guitar playing goals. Typically music stores are a great place to look as they may have in store teachers or bulletin boards where guitar teachers advertise.
Of course another great resource is FindAGuitarTeacher.com. It’s free to use and you can find qualified teachers in your area using their easy to navigate site. You can review profiles of teachers in your area and find the perfect fit for your guitar playing goals. A lot of teachers are including video profiles now so you can get a feel for their personality and teaching style before committing. It’s an awesome resource!
Developing the ability to “focus” with tunnel vision – putting on blinders to the rest of the digital world – will take you down a sure path from being a “Google guitar player” to becoming a “real” guitar player.
As a final thought, learning to play the guitar is a journey, not a race. Be patient with yourself and just enjoy the ride