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Lessons?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:13 pm
by david
I have seen many of you make reference to taking lessons. That never was an option in my case since I never knew of anyone who played slide guitar. I once asked the teacher at a local music store about it and ended up showing him how to use a slide.

Well, I have been hearing rumors about a new instructor in Paducah that just moved up from Nashville. Word is she (there's a plus!) can play slide in either bluegrass or blues style. I don't know anything else about it.

My question is this: exactly what do you learn when taking lessons? Is it really worth while?

The two or three who have heard the tape I sent in for the compilation know I need to do something drastic, but is taking formal lessons the way to go?




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RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:05 pm
by ricochet
Well, I need all the help I can get.

My teacher shows me licks and techniques, we jointly come up with songs I'd like to learn to play (most of which I'm STILL learning to play!) and generally have a good time together. He keeps me encouraged and interested in playing. I might've parked the guitar "for a while" and gone on to other things long ago without him. I'd encourage you to go check this lady out. I don't think you'll fully know what she can do for you until you talk to her.

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:50 am
by cas
I agree with Rico, David. My teacher specializes & has played blues and slide (and everything else) for over 25 years. He is a practicing musician & very good.
I played for a few years self taught then due to other interests put the guitar aside for more than 15 years until about a year ago. He has helped me tab things, taught slide, helped fingerpick & flatpick, and lately has helped me with little hints to put the songs I have written together. My favorite thing is when I come in & he says "lets jam". I'm not too good at it yet but I'm learning more quickly than I would by book or cd or video. But, I find I learn better with some encouragement.
Hope it works out for you.

Carol

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:57 am
by david
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-16-03 AT 11:58 PM (EST)]The "having somebody to play with" sounds like the best part. I don't know anyone in the area who plays blues, much less slide. As a result I have played guitar with someone else one time. He was at about my level and it consisted mainly of taking turns playing while the other one listened.

I just hate to think I am like some rich geek kid who has to pay somebody to play with them.

I am learning some tunes that are now pretty recognizable, but I don't know anything at all about music. I just know when something sounds good to me. I would like to know what it is that makes it sound good and be able to do it on purpose.

What should you look for in a teacher? How do you know if it will be worthwhile?

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RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 6:19 am
by lone dawg
Hi David, wow, tough questions. I hear what you are saying, reminds me of when I was in school doing marine diesel mech. The teacher was off of deep sea ships and we were there to learn about John Deeres, Cummins etc.. I ended up pretty much running the course as he had no idea about high speed diesels. Any odds of placing an ad in the paper looking for like minded people? How about asking for the first lesson free? I always found I learned more from jamming than I did from lessons, as I'm left handed and wasn't allowed to play right handed. Hmm, you're looking for help on the farm, I can get a ticket on the greydawg for $160, mighty temptin'. But I'd have to stop in Calif. to see the Duck first.

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:01 am
by cas
>>What should you look for in a teacher? How do you know if it will be worthwhile?<<

I guess the first thing to decide is what you want to learn although, you may be somewhat limited depending on your area.
I asked these questions: 1. Slide? How long? 2. Blues? specialize? how long? 3. How much? How do you have to pay? (some teachers want the month in advance not lesson by lesson) 4. Have you performed/written songs/recorded?
I knew it would be worthwhile because I know how I learn...hands on & with someone to follow occasionally. Plus, there's the perk of having a sort of "contact" in the field. Can't hurt anyway.
Look into it, David. Even if you decide in a few lessons it isn't for you, you at least gave it a chance. Good Luck!
Carol

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 3:17 am
by david
Lone Dawg, California is on the way to Kentucky, sort of. I've got hay on the ground and they just changed the weather forecast to possible severe storms. Got one more mare to foal, so there will be lots of time in the barn late at night. Looks like plenty of playing time coming.

CAS, I have checked the three shops in Paducah (the only "city" near me). All have people labeled as guitar instructors working out of their business, but only one even knew what I meant by bottleneck blues. That store is the one that claimed to have the new teacher that does slide guitar.

I went back there to talk with the woman, but she was giving a guitar lesson to a ten year old. The owner opened the door and asked if she could do slide blues guitar. She looked confused at first, but said yes. That's as far as I have gotten, but I will pursue it.

I have just been feeling like I've come to a wall with the self-taught path. That may pass. I know its common to get little plateaus where you don't seem to be moving and then it breaks lose again for a bit.

By the time the Big Road CD compilation comes out and everyone hears what I sent in there will be an emergency fund started to buy me some lessons!






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RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:00 pm
by bosco
>My teacher shows me licks and techniques, we jointly come up with songs I'd like to learn to play (most of which I'm STILL learning to play!) and generally have a good time together. He keeps me encouraged and interested in playing. I'd encourage you to go check this lady out. I don't think you'll fully know what she can do for you until you talk to her.<

David- I'm in full agreement with Ric here. Even though I'm known as a harp player on this board, I play guitar as well. In 1988 I was living in North Carolina and I got one month of free lessons when I bought my Alvarez 5088 Custom Acoustic/Electric. The teacher was at least a generation younger than me and somewhat of a head banger who could play amazingly fast Eddie VanHalen style licks. I was quick to point out that I intended to accompany myself on acoustic while I played rack harp and had already been playing guitar for about 10 years. Even though I had pretty much dismissed the possibility, it was amazing how much middle ground we found despite the age and interest differences. He went way out of his way to design lessons that would accommodate what I was trying to accomplish (as any quality instructor would do) and he taught me practice exercises and playing drills to increase hand strength and dexterity that I use to this day.

I realize slide playing is specialized but you have nothing to lose by trying lessons. If after a couple of lessons you feel that she can't help you all that much, at least you tried and quite possibly you will pick up many other pointers that will help in all other aspects of your playing. The fact that she has a 10 year old student shouldn't make any difference...people take up music, golf and all sorts of other hobbies at all ages. Go for it!

Bosco

"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:52 pm
by ricochet
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-18-03 AT 12:52 PM (EST)]Last night was my lesson night. I got there and showed Jason a version of "The Wayfaring Stranger" (not blues, but it sure feels like it) I'd picked out just a few minutes before the lesson. We got to yakking and picking around, and in a few more minutes together had come up with the most killer blues version of "The Star Spangled Banner" ever! I'm going to practice it till I really get it down good, then record it for y'all to hear.

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:31 pm
by bluesmouse
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-18-03 AT 01:32 PM (EST)]Good luck David, I hope you find someone suitable. Doesn't sound like you need any help to me though, your BRB tune is really good, I wish I could pick lead while laying down basslines as well as you do.

Oh and Rico- How about recording 'Star Spangled Banner' in time for the BRB CD? Would be good to have it on there.

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 6:11 pm
by ricochet
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-18-03 AT 02:12 PM (EST)]I'll give it a shot. It'll probably be another bathroom boombox cassette recording.

While I'm at it, I think I'll lay down both versions, the original one I was working on around 9/11/2001 that I played last year at our church's 9/11 remembrance, and the very different new one from last night.

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 4:04 am
by david
Bluesmouse, thanks for the kind words. The problem is that everything I play sounds just like that recording I sent in. (Actually, I have a fast version and a slow version.)

The volunteer fire department band on the old "Green Acres" show is the best way to describe my playing. They played kazoos, with a bass drum, and no matter what song they claimed to be playing it all sounded like "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight."

I can hear what I want to play in my head, but don't know my way around the instrument enough to find where those sounds are, yet. I also think I just need to play along with somebody. Dang shame it looks like I'm going to have to pay somebody by the month to play with me. Man, that's bad.

If I wanted to play pop country or heavy metal there are all kinds of opportunities around here.

Also, I can't wait to here the blues version of the Star Spangled Banner. Is it any easier to sing as a blues tune? (And Rico, did you ever locate a copy of "Corey is Gone" by Flatt and Scruggs? If not I will send you a copy--snail mail so the music cops don't get me!)


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RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:00 am
by houndog
Hello David,
got back from Spain last night...got lost in Barcelona looking for the aeroporto...but made it .

1/ The way I learned to play was to team up with better players and
ask them about stuff...raised my playing a lot.(this could be
called teaching under another name).

2/ Team up with better players and don't just practice...play live.

3/ Stand up and walk away from your "comfort zone" , we all love to
sit in this and so need to motivate , I sat in E blues for a while
as it was safe and I was lazy and didn't understand why I wanted
to play gtr. Like getting lost in Barcelona.
Try another tuning, pick a standard and make it your own
interpretation, buy a book of rag toons, videos, White Stripes
tunes etc etc.

4/ You cannot be taught anything, you can only learn .
So when I have sat with any teacher I put my guitar on the floor
and listened and watched and asked.
Good teachers challenge and learn too, bad ones make you feel like
kak because they are threatened by you.

adios,
Lovat

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:10 am
by stumblin
David,
I tend to agree with Mousey, your playing is much better than you seem to think it is.
Sure, a couple of lessons wouldn't hurt, but I think what you need most of all is lots of practice.
That and a Reunion gig-bag, naturally ;)

RE: Lessons?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 12:08 pm
by srvlives
He went way
>out of his way to design lessons that would accommodate what
>I was trying to accomplish (as any quality instructor would
>do) and he taught me practice exercises and playing drills
>to increase hand strength and dexterity that I use to this
>day.
>
>Bosco


Y'know this got me thinking... after my head stopped hurting, I thought, 'yumyumyumyumyum'... no hang on, I thought, 'Why not do this for myself?' I mean, there's tons of info out there, it's just a matter of wading through the detritus to find the good stuff... and being in a position where lessons aren't a possibility at the moment makes it all the more inviting!

See you at the
[link:www.users.bigpond.net.au/ozfest2003/|Big Road Blues OzFest 2003]