The 3 Things Your Guitar Teacher Should Be Teaching You

There’s no doubt about it, when you work together with a great guitar teacher, you become a better guitarist in a fraction of the time (than learning on your own or with a mediocre teacher). However, as a student, it is not always clear whether you are learning with a great teacher or not. Below are 3 things a great guitar teacher teaches you. If your current guitar teacher does not teach you these things, it’s time to consider finding a new one:


1. How to integrate different skills together

Expert guitar teacher Jacob Melling recommends that all guitar students learn how to integrate skills together: “Being able to combine new concepts together with things you have previously mastered is key for becoming a better overall guitarist in less time. When you take guitar lessons, make sure your teacher is showing you how to do this.”

We totally agree with Jacob. In addition, learning how to integrate different skills together keeps you from developing imbalances in your playing. For instance, if you never learned how to phrase a guitar solo but had excellent technique, you wouldn’t be able to play a great solo. Why? Because you aren’t able to mix both skills together (a requirement for playing great solos). The result would be solos that sound like a technical exercise, a string of random licks or a bunch of scales rather than real music.


2. How to practice effectively outside of lessons

To get the most benefit from your guitar lessons, it’s important that you understand how to practice what you learn during your time with your teacher. Many teachers do not show their students how to practice. They just give them a bunch of lesson materials and expect them to understand what to do. Make sure your teacher shows you specifically practice whatever he teaches you during the lesson. An effective teacher watches you practice while you are there together so he can correct any issues in your approach. This makes your practice more effective at home to help you become a better guitarist faster.


3. How to track and measure your progress

A good guitar teacher not only helps you develop a clear strategy for reaching your musical goals fast, but also shows you how to track and measure your progress every step of the way. When you practice effectively and track/measure your results, you make infinitely more progress. Here’s a couple reasons why:


First, it helps you understand exactly which areas of your guitar playing need the most improvement, which areas you are strongest in, and which areas you are weakest in. This helps you understand how to better prioritize your practice time in order to develop the areas that might be holding your playing back as a whole.

Second, you become more motivated when you see the specific results you are getting in your playing. It’s one thing to have a feeling that you are getting better, it’s another to know for sure... and to see the exact ways you are growing and becoming an overall better player.

When you find a guitar teacher who teaches you all of these things, know that you are in good hands. If you don’t have a teacher like this, make it your goal to find one so you can make as much progress in your playing as possible.

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