Not sure what to do

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Stickyhead
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Not sure what to do

Post by Stickyhead » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:51 am

I am have taken a few months of one on one lessons with a local teacher (well 1 hour round trip) he uses the Julio Sagreras method book, I feel he lets me fumble through each lesson and on to the next. I am currently on lesson 45 but can barely play earlier lessons. I am thinking about canceling with him and going with one of the online lesson sites such as classical guitar corner or classical guitar shed, there is also this is classical guitar.

Is the normal for one on one lessons or is he just a bad teacher? It could also be my fault but he has never given any advice on what I should be doing other then the weekly lessons from the book that he has assigned me.

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lagartija
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by lagartija » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:37 am

Do you ask your instructor what you need to work on or how to maintain what you are learning?
Does he say anything to you after you play the exercise he has assigned?
Are you meeting with him on a weekly basis?
When you say "a few months", how many would that be?

Does he demonstrate to you how to practice the material?
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

Todd Tipton
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Todd Tipton » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:08 am

I wrote a TON just a few days ago that might be relevant here. Check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=116705

Everyone is different, but talking about myself, I couldn't imagine doing nothing but Sagreras and then having much success beyond lesson 37.
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)

Rasputin
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Rasputin » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:41 am

I had a similar experience at one point. Hopefully your teacher is approachable enough to discuss it and either slow down, or have some pieces as keepers (that you polish right up before leaving, and then maybe keep in a rotation) and others that you leave behind once you've solved any major problems. There is a benefit in playing lots of music, I think, so I understand that approach - but it's also frustrating if you never really see a piece through. It's possible to do a bit of both...

Stickyhead
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Stickyhead » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:37 am

Thanks Todd that was a good write up.
After reading that I do realize that my current teacher does nothing that a good teacher should do. I am in my 3rd month with him and I do not feel that he is teaching me. When I talked to him about my problems such as issues with my stroke and the use of my fingers/nails he says well you just have to get the right spot. I would expect him to teach me how to better my technique and demonstrate things but he has hardly picked up his guitar in the 3 months that i have been go to his classes.

This is not the first time i though of going another route but have continued to give him another week and another week but I still do not feel confident in him.

I would love to have a one on one teacher but I live in a small town so the only other teachers would be an hour away (2 hour round trip) that really leaves me with online lessons as the only other option.

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lagartija
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by lagartija » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:14 am

Stickyhead, is this a group lesson or are you in a one on one situation with this teacher?
If it is one on one, I think you would be better off with a better teacher even if it is by Skype. :-?
BTW, every week I drive an hour each way to see my teacher and it is well worth it. He does everything Todd described and I have made great progress due to the excellent instruction.
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

Rognvald
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Rognvald » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:42 am

A bad teacher will do more harm than good. You will practice bad habits, ignore important technical considerations and eventually become disenchanted since you will not make real progress. Get rid of this guy and get a better teacher. You might have to start from the beginning if you want to get back on track. I would suggest checking out a local Junior College with a music department or contact a local classical guitar society for referrals. You need a committed, hands-on teacher. Where do you live? Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

MustardTiger
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by MustardTiger » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:01 am

I agree with everyone that says get a teacher. My playing has improved immensely in the last 9 months of having a teacher after being self taught for 5 years. After a couple weekly lessons to work on fundamentals I only go every other week. A good teacher will constantly evaluate all aspects of your technique. A one hour drive is nothing and well worth it for a good teacher, if you can afford the gas.

Karen
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Karen » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:13 pm

If your teacher has gone through some kind of classical method to learn to play he/she should be able to explain their approach to teaching classical guitar. I think a discussion with your teacher is in order. Not everyone teaches the same. My teacher seldom tells me what to do but tends to make small corrections or assign pieces that will help with a specific problem. I feel like a self-learner with a guide. At first I thought I wanted a teacher that would tell me exactly what to do but I stuck with him because he seems to really know his stuff. Now I realize that no one can ever start perfect! At the beginning it can be overwhelming to think of all that needs to happen just to play a note. I imagine it is easier as a teacher just to let the student play and gently correct the most obvious errors first. And less overwhelming for the student.
Sometimes one gets the impression on this Forum and from all the beginner lessons on the internet that there is a certain specific way one has to learn to play and then all will be right with the world. However we are all different and it seems playing CG is more about learning how to play mindfully, constantly refining technique that works best for you and the music you are trying to play. The world is neither black nor white but an ever changing shade of grey. I think maybe my teacher is helping me find my shade of grey in CG.
Having said that, the best thing my teacher has done for me is make me slow way down. I think it takes a lot of bravery from a teacher to go as slow as he has - I remember begging him to let me turn to a new page in my method book and him simply saying “No!” After more than a year of lessons I finally see the advantage of not getting new music at every lesson- there is so much to think of a beginner can never get it right immediately. For me, it is a very slow process learning to play the guitar and some of it is just playing simple stuff until my hands and fingers get flexible and coordinated enough to do what I want them to do. And while I am waiting for that magical time I am learning to teach them to play with the nicest sound I can at the moment. Which, BTW, gets trickier and trickier with each piece he assigns me.
Your teacher may have a very valid reason for letting you go so quickly through the music. If you want to slow down, though, it should be easier to get agreement from your teacher than it was for me to go faster :D

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jpryan
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by jpryan » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:57 pm

Stickyhead wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:37 am
When I talked to him about my problems such as issues with my stroke and the use of my fingers/nails he says well you just have to get the right spot.
Yeah, doesn't sound like much of a teacher. My guess is that he's never studied classical guitar himself. Even if he has, he's a lousy teacher. Time to move on.
--John

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