Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Myths Surrounding Guitar Lessons by Dave Taylor

Myths Surrounding Guitar Lessons

Many urban myths surround the guitar and, by extension, guitar lessons. These misconceptions often prevent young and old individuals alike from taking lessons on one of the most popular plucked string instruments known to man. Let's discuss a few of these misconceptions and the truth behind them.

First, let's discuss the misconception that music theory is a must. Yes, it is essential toward a deeper understanding of the aspects of music including rhythm, structure and harmony, among others. Most individuals who are reluctant to take to learn guitar is intimidated by the prospect of learning the ins and outs of music theory.

This should not be. Although your knowledge of music theory will come in handy at some point during your lessons, we must point out that many of the great guitar players never studied it. In fact, the greatest musicians of our time never even has any formal guitar lessons - Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray, to name a few.

Instead, you will mostly learn the practical aspects of playing the guitar like a maestro. Keep in mind that you may be a genius in music theory but if you will not put your knowledge into practice, nothing will come of it.

Then there's the misconception that repetitive exercises are a must during guitar lessons. This applies to practicing the scales and performing the guitar drills over and over again until you can almost do these things in your sleep.

Just like with music theory, learning to play the scales, among other guitar drills, like an expert is excellent foundation in becoming a good guitarist. We must say, nonetheless, that mindlessly going through guitar drills is not part and parcel of the best guitar lessons, far from it.

You will instead be taught how to read, understand and play music with a balance of great techniques and great passion. Music, after all, comes from the heart and flows into the fingers, something with instructors in the best guitar lessons seek to teach their eager students.

Yet another misconception about playing the guitar is that the faster you can play it, the better guitarist you are. This can be attributed to the emergence of guitar-related videogames where fast playing is rewarded with high scores. We then see many students taking guitar lessons who complain about the seemingly simple and slow pieces they are made to play.

In the real world, fortunately, fast guitar playing does not equal to greatness. Think of B.B. King, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awardee and considered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, whose style is best known for its fluidity, among other traits. So, play it slow and savor the music you are playing.

Indeed, guitar lessons are great ways to start toward becoming a good, if not great, guitarist. Set all your fears borne of misconceptions aside and start on this path.

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