practice question for instructors


txladykat
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txladykat
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12/29/2006 2:33 pm
I had my first actual guitar lesson last week. Next one is tomorrow. Instructor gave me some strumming patterns to learn with the A-E-D and G-C-D-Em chords to learn, along with one riff to the A-E-D chord changes. I was just wondering how much they expect you to progress between each weekly lesson. I practice 1-2 hours a day, I already knew the chords just wasn't proficient at changing between them, how much do instructors expect you to progress each week between lessons? I don't feel like I have really progressed at all over the past week...it is kind of frustrating. I know it takes time to progress, but I was just wondering what instructor's expectations usually are.
# 1
aschleman
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aschleman
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12/29/2006 2:57 pm
If the instructor is like me... He'll assign you a few basic things to work on. All of which, you can't possibly master in the time given. As an instructor it's imporant to find the balance between challenging a student and pushing them too far. Every student is different. Some students come in with a burning desire to learn to play and they won't put the thing down... This kind of student will generally learn at a more rapid pace... Then you have students that don't really want to be there in the first place... but either their parents or someone else paid for the lessons and is forcing them to get their moneys worth... These kinds of students generally don't advance as fast because their dedication falls short. When beginning anything... it can get frustrating... Everyone learns at their own pace so work on all the material that your instructor has given you and get as far as you possibly can... I would like to think that your instructor wouldn't expect you to have mastered the chord changes and the riff he assigned you.... He/She is probably expecting you to have a good grasp on how to make the chord changes and be in a position so that they can show you further how to perfect it. If you get it down perfect... that's awesome! But don't think that if you don't grasp something right away you're not a good guitar player... Because everyone struggles in the beginning. Just approach it with the mentalitly that if you don't practice you're not going to to get any better... Basically just practice as much as you can and you'll be just fine.
# 2
Fret spider
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Fret spider
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12/29/2006 6:22 pm
you might find he is givin you such a challenge so he can gauge how far u can get in a week
he probably doens expec you to finish but will be able to use how far you get this week as a guide as to what to expect from now on.


at least thats my thought.
# 3


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12/29/2006 7:43 pm
Speaking for myself here but ...

The first few lessons are usually to size up the student, see what you can do easily and what you have trouble with. This might go on for a few weeks but it`s normal at first.

You really have to give honest feedback to your teacher. Only with those feedbacks can he make his lessons better for you. Otherwise he might be teaching stuff you either don`t want to learn or not putting enough time on what you have trouble with. Feedback is the key, you`re a team. He teaches you things, you gotta respond and let him know what you feel.

A teacher should also push you a little, give you somewhat of a challenge. Otherwise you`ll probably get bored anyway :)

When you see your teacher again, make it a priority to tell him what you did easily and what you struggled with.

On a final note, never be afraid to ask him stuff. Stuff like ..... what do you expect from me? :)
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txladykat
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txladykat
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12/29/2006 8:39 pm
thanks guys! i think that is true, he is trying to sum up my capabilities, etc. the drive is not a problem, it is certainly there on my part! i would play further into the night if i didn't have to get up in the morning to earn a liiving, LOL.

Excited about tomorrow's lesson.....get some feedback from him.

the one thing i have a hard time with is learning to tap my foot while i play. i have no problem tapping my foot to music, and keeping the rhythm, but it is hard to tap your foot with no other instruments to go by....
# 5
Fret spider
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Fret spider
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12/30/2006 12:24 am
tap your foot at a suitable rythm to what you are playing. say you tap it once every second, then you play the guitar to fit with this rythm. so the guitar follows the foot.in a more musicall context your foot would tap to the rythm of the musiic and your hannds would play the guitar part to the rythm of the tapping foot.
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txladykat
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txladykat
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12/31/2006 8:16 pm
well i guess he is still sizing me up..he gave me even more work this week! Yikes, but I am enjoying it...so its all good!
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dvenetian
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dvenetian
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01/01/2007 6:35 am
Originally Posted by: txladykatwell i guess he is still sizing me up..he gave me even more work this week! Yikes, but I am enjoying it...so its all good!

It's great to see your drive in learning the guitar!!! Lessons are good as long as you're enjoying yourself and learning from it. They also allow you to show someone your progress and that's a good thing to boost confidence in your playing. I suggest that you size up your instructor as well and get what you want from the lessons. Remember you're the one paying, so get what you pay for. I'm not a big believer in taking lessons long term, especially as a beginner. The reason is that you will end up paying hundreds of dollars to learn much of same thing that a $10.00 book would teach you. Instructors are great when it comes to form, position and fundamental training techniques. After you learn that the rest is practice from you.
I would suggest that if you don't know how to re-string or tune your guitar properly, have your instructor teach you, or find one that will, even if it takes the whole session.
There's nothing better than playing with fresh crisp strings and gettng the proper tone they bring.
This forum offers a member subscription (in case you have'nt checked it out) with a lot of great small lessons in most styles of guitar, for something like a measily $7 or $8 Bucks a month. They even offer some free stuff, but the members area is worth more than they charge. Besides, it helps to support the site and give artists a chance to learn something at no charge. What's nice is that it's available 24/7. They even take requests in the private forum if you can't find what you're looking for.
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txladykat
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txladykat
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01/02/2007 5:27 pm
thanks dvenetian. i actually am a full member. I have read alot on the exercises, but haven't utilized them yet. Ironcially, most of what my instructor has given me is in my books that I have. I think the difference for me though is knowing I have to face him each week keeps me more focused on practicing. I notice he doesn't spend alot of time on form, etc., he is more about showing me the chords, riffs, etc. I have to ask him occasionally, am I holding it right, are my fingers right, is my thumb right, etc., etc.....he doesn't offer any of that to me himself. Is that odd or normal?
# 9
ren
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ren
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01/03/2007 9:25 am
Originally Posted by: txladykatthanks dvenetian. i actually am a full member. I have read alot on the exercises, but haven't utilized them yet. Ironcially, most of what my instructor has given me is in my books that I have. I think the difference for me though is knowing I have to face him each week keeps me more focused on practicing. I notice he doesn't spend alot of time on form, etc., he is more about showing me the chords, riffs, etc. I have to ask him occasionally, am I holding it right, are my fingers right, is my thumb right, etc., etc.....he doesn't offer any of that to me himself. Is that odd or normal?


I'm not sure... When I teach, I'll only say something to people on the way they are playing if it will somehow limit them or has the potential to cause them physical injury. For most things on guitar, there is no single 'right' way, as long as what you're doing works and doesn't hurt, it's cool.

Your instructor may be trying to get the notes under your fingers and then worry about form next, otherwise there's a fair bit to think about all at once...

Check out my music, video, lessons & backing tracks here![br]https://www.renhimself.com

# 10
eldante
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eldante
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01/03/2007 2:00 pm
I have been playing the guitar since September and have had lessons from the start. It's always nice to hear from other people who are in a similar position as yourself.

I was taught how to hold the guitar, what all the parts were called, how to hold a plectrum etc. in my first lesson. Then we moved onto open chords, their names, shapes, finger position etc. and I was taught a song to play with these chords.

I really thought I would never get it as even a simple open chord was causing me so much trouble and switching from one to another was almost impossible to begin with but now I can play most of them without thinking and can switch from one to another pretty quickly and smoothly. There are a few that still cause me trouble, the C chord is one I still miss every so often and have to think about what I am doing but I know it will get faster over time.

We also moved on to string bending, some scales, hammer ons, pull offs and again all of these seemed so difficult when I first tried them but now they are getting easier and smoother. I have learnt a solo and have moved on to another level.

On my last lesson before Xmas he suggested learning Sweet Child Of Mine as it has so many different techniques in it, also it just happens to be my fave song of all time. I was pretty shocked when he suggested it because before I picked the guitar up I thought it would be years before I would move onto that kind of song. I admit it is pretty difficult for me and I have only got the intro at the moment but everytime I practice it I get better.

I think lessons really help because I never would have pushed myself this hard if I had learnt on my own. I guess there will be a time when I won't need an instructor anymore but I am really glad I chose this route.
# 11
aschleman
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aschleman
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01/03/2007 2:23 pm
Originally Posted by: txladykat

the one thing i have a hard time with is learning to tap my foot while i play. i have no problem tapping my foot to music, and keeping the rhythm, but it is hard to tap your foot with no other instruments to go by....


Get yourself a little device called a metronome... It emits a tapping soudn that helps you keep time... It's an excellent practice tool... and I'm sure your instructor would be very pleased to see you take initiative and go out and grab one...
# 12
txladykat
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txladykat
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01/03/2007 9:16 pm
actually, I have a metronome. I have one I downloaded onto my ipod. I plug my ipod into my amp. I still have a hard time with that too. I find that when I try to play the metronome, I lose my pace/rhythm even more than without it. I think my mind is trying to much to focus on the metronome when it plays, but I don't know how to make it not, LOL.

I agree, I think going the instructor route was very helpful. I do find myself pushing harder than I ever would have on my own. I used to practice about an hour a day, now it is about 2-3 hours a day! I don't mind though, because I enjoy it. I just sit down in front of the tv, put on music videos (can't hear them though cause I use headphones in my amp), and practice away till the wee hours of the night.

As far as the foot tapping, etc. goes, I don't have a problem with that with music, as a matter of fact when I listen to music I usually do tap either my finger or my foot. I think it is creating my own rhythm in my body without hte music to accompany it that is giving me such a difficult time. Does that make sense?
# 13
dvenetian
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dvenetian
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01/04/2007 1:20 am
Originally Posted by: txladykatthanks dvenetian. i actually am a full member. I have read alot on the exercises, but haven't utilized them yet. Ironcially, most of what my instructor has given me is in my books that I have. I think the difference for me though is knowing I have to face him each week keeps me more focused on practicing. I notice he doesn't spend alot of time on form, etc., he is more about showing me the chords, riffs, etc. I have to ask him occasionally, am I holding it right, are my fingers right, is my thumb right, etc., etc.....he doesn't offer any of that to me himself. Is that odd or normal?

I think that's very odd. Form is one of the fundamentals, especially when it comes to chord structure. Proper Finger placement and positioning on the neck allow for easier chord changes and bring common recognition to each structure. That way you learn why they are structured that way. Some chord changes are as simple as lifting or moving one finger, rather than trying to re-position with a new structure just to get the same sound.
What kind of guitar are you playing and what type of music do you like to play? There are many tricks for certain styles of music.
# 14
txladykat
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txladykat
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01/04/2007 3:08 am
my musical tastes vary from the funk of prince all the way to the metal of metallica. my guitar is a fender strat. I have figured out the pivoting when fingers don't change strings. I am havng a difficult time determining how to place my hand though to make chord changes easier. I am also having a very difficult time playing the E7 and A7 chords. It literally hurts my wrist to play these, so I think I am doing something wrong. When i ask my instructor about proper technique he just says go with what feels most comfortable. thing is, i can't find that comfortable position that doesn't hurt my wrist, LOL.
# 15
dvenetian
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dvenetian
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01/04/2007 5:23 am
That's what I mean by chord structures. To play an E7 all you need to do is flatten the 7th note 1/2 step from the Major voicing. (Don't ask why they call it E7 and don't emphasize flattening the 7th interval. It is known as dominant 7th. If the 7th is not flattened that chord is noted as Emaj7 and that is the only difference).
To make sense of this, the E Major chord is constructed using the 1st(root) note(E), the third note(G#) and the fifth note(B) of the E Major scale. That's it, three notes out of seven.
The E Major scale (doe-rey-me-fa-so-la-tee-doe) consists of the notes
E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D# and starts again with E(doe). D#(D Sharp) is the seventh note. To play E7 you have flatten (lower) D# 1/2 step down which now becomes D and add it to E (root), G# (third) and B (fifth) Major chord. Here is an E Major chord in open position (three notes E,G# and B)
e|------|-------|open
b|------|-------|open
g|-G#--|-------|
d|------|--E----|
a|------|--B----|
E|------|-------|open

Here is an open E7 (four notes E,G#,B and D)
e|-----|--------|open
b|-----|--------|open or optional pinky finger @ third fret (D note)
g|-G#-|--------|
d|-----|--------|open
a|-----|---B----|
E|-----|--------|open
All you really need to do is lift your finger off the d string second fret and play it open. Adding the optional D note on the second string will further emphasize the dominant 7th chord.
# 16


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01/04/2007 12:08 pm
txladykat, I`d like to suggest these lessons. Kevin Tailor explains some of the most common chords and how he places his hand for it. Might give you some new ideas.

Common chords
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9728&s_id=196

Basic Major Chords
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9033&s_id=123

Basic Minor Chords
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9570&s_id=177

Basic Open Chords
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9250&s_id=152

Barre Chords
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9041&s_id=124

Sevenths
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9609&s_id=181

Suspended Chords
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9750&s_id=199


Few simple song to show chord switches
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9055&s_id=125
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9104&s_id=132
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9061&s_id=126

Also if you're into it you can look at some basic blues progression By our instructor Christopher Schlegel.

http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9968&s_id=218
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=9672&s_id=189
http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=10028&s_id=251

Hope these help you out.
# 17
txladykat
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txladykat
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01/04/2007 3:08 pm
Originally Posted by: dvenetianThat's what I mean by chord structures. To play an E7 all you need to do is flatten the 7th note 1/2 step from the Major voicing. (Don't ask why they call it E7 and don't emphasize flattening the 7th interval. It is known as dominant 7th. If the 7th is not flattened that chord is noted as Emaj7 and that is the only difference).
To make sense of this, the E Major chord is constructed using the 1st(root) note(E), the third note(G#) and the fifth note(B) of the E Major scale. That's it, three notes out of seven.
The E Major scale (doe-rey-me-fa-so-la-tee-doe) consists of the notes
E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D# and starts again with E(doe). D#(D Sharp) is the seventh note. To play E7 you have flatten (lower) D# 1/2 step down which now becomes D and add it to E (root), G# (third) and B (fifth) Major chord. Here is an E Major chord in open position (three notes E,G# and B)
e|------|-------|open
b|------|-------|open
g|-G#--|-------|
d|------|--E----|
a|------|--B----|
E|------|-------|open

Here is an open E7 (four notes E,G#,B and D)
e|-----|--------|open
b|-----|--------|open or optional pinky finger @ third fret (D note)
g|-G#-|--------|
d|-----|--------|open
a|-----|---B----|
E|-----|--------|open
All you really need to do is lift your finger off the d string second fret and play it open. Adding the optional D note on the second string will further emphasize the dominant 7th chord.


Thanks! I actually understood the concept behind creating major chords from the scale (1, 3 and 5). The dominant 7th my teacher gave me were different. I did notice that E7 and A7 has two different ways of being played. Of course, the one you reference above is easy and I can do that with no problem. The ones I have a hard time with are the ones that require 4 fingers. My teacher taught me E7 as the Emaj with the pinky playing the added D at the third fret. I am going to check out the lessons posted below.

But why is that my teacher is teaching me to play dominant 7th with G#, E, B and D as opposed to the two options you listed above?
# 18
ren
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ren
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01/04/2007 4:54 pm
Originally Posted by: txladykatBut why is that my teacher is teaching me to play dominant 7th with G#, E, B and D as opposed to the two options you listed above?


You can play chords in so many positions, and seventh chords have 3 inversions (chords played with the notes in different order). Worry about the 'open' position first, and go from there... :D

Check out my music, video, lessons & backing tracks here![br]https://www.renhimself.com

# 19
txladykat
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txladykat
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01/04/2007 6:46 pm
Originally Posted by: renYou can play chords in so many positions, and seventh chords have 3 inversions (chords played with the notes in different order). Worry about the 'open' position first, and go from there... :D


ok...thanks...but which one is the "open" position, LOL. remember, serious newbie here.
# 20

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