What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Hany Hayek
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What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Hany Hayek » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:13 pm

I recently bought my first CG, I have Carulli first volume revised by Tersi, I got Parkening Guitar Method, I watch lots of video lessons on youtube. I doing my best to learn by myself for the time. Nothing against having a teacher, just not for now.
I played classical violin when I was 16 years old, and had a teacher for 5 years.
I started playing the mandolin 5 years ago, self taught, last year I got back to my old violin teacher to help me with the mandolin. Today I am almost at grade 5 (advanced). No mandolin teachers where I am :(
The point is I have some experience in music and in self teaching. But what I am scared of most is developing bad habits that cannot be rectified easily in the future. What would these be in CG.
Feedback would help avoiding bad habits

Hany

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lagartija
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby lagartija » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:33 pm

Probably the teachers here on the forum will chime in with the best answers, but the ones that occur to me immediately would be problems resulting from poor positioning posture with the instrument and excessive right hand tension. Both of your other instruments are positioned differently from the guitar, and the job of the right hand in both mandolin and violin are greatly different from guitar (assuming you were playing mandolin with a plectrum).
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Hany Hayek
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Hany Hayek » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:43 pm

Yes I play the mandolin with a plectrum.
I already noticed that the right hand is what I am struggling with most now. It ends up resting on the soundboard :oops:
My chin touches the body of the guitar when I try to bend my head a little to look at my right hand. :?:
I think these problems can be fixed, I have only been playing a couple of days.
The most important thing for me now is to get a good sound out of the instrument with my right hand.

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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Tom Poore » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:44 pm

I began as a self-taught student. Many years later I finally worked with a good teacher. So I’ve lived both sides of this question. Trust me, the list of things you can do wrong is vast. I know, because I did a lot of them. Getting a good teacher so late in the process didn’t make me a better player. But maybe it made me a better teacher.

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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby ronjazz » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:09 pm

All of them.
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:37 pm

Good luck. This stuff is harder than you think!

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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby doug » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:27 pm

I'm self-taught too, and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody else. I think it's easier to learn to do something right to begin with, than to try and overcome bad habits.
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby CathyCate » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:05 am

ronjazz wrote:All of them.


+1

ronjazz is absolutely right :lol:

But seriously...
Have you considered getting a teacher for a "training wheel" period then just checking in every few weeks or months as needed? If geography, budget or other obstacles are present, most teachers can work with some flexibility to accommodate your needs. Your extensive musical background will serve you well, but you owe it to yourself to secure the soundest foundation possible. You will save time, tears and trouble in the long run. All the best!

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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby dtoh » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:07 am

Let me offer a slightly non-conventional take on this. As background, I played electric with a teacher as a kid, and then did 2 months of classical guitar with a teacher about 15 years ago. (Had to give up CG at that point because CG nails and basketball don't go together.) I've been learning CG on my own for the last two years.

1. With the internet, you can get lessons from the world's greatest GGists and some great teachers for free.

2. Watch some videos on body position but don't worry too much about this. Your body will seek out the most comfortable and and efficient position and you will naturally make some adjustments to get better tone and stability. Also if your are not used to sitting up straight, you're only going to be able practice 5 minutes a day and end up at the chiropractor if you worry about body position. (Initially I practiced a fair amount lounging on a sofa.)

3. Pay a lot of attention to the RH. There's a ton of stuff on the internet. You want to be using the whole finger and not just the tip of your finger and the last joint. The follow through is important. On this one, you might want to have a good teacher check you out occasionally. Playing single notes and really concentrating on tone can be helpful too.

4. There is a lot of potential for problems on the LH. IMHO, most of the problems arise because people try to play pieces before they have adequate strength, flexibility and dexterity in their fingers. This means that you will have to contort your hand or lever your fingers using your thumb to get your fingers onto the right string and fret and you will not properly position your fingertips in the right place or the correct angle. This quickly turns into bad habits that are hard to fix. I would strongly urge you to work on simple basic LH exercises or pieces specifically designed to develop your LH before proceeding on to anything else.

5. For me not having a teacher means I don't have to worry about deadlines or forcing myself to put in the hours. I can practice what I feel like at the time. The result for me anyway has been a lot of hours of very useful and enjoyable practice.

6. Not having a teacher and not concentrating on technique are two entirely different things. You have to concentrate and spend a lot of time on technique.

7. Don't overdo it. You want to avoid injuries.

8. CG is really hard. You have to do it for the journey not the destination.

9. At this point, I'm thinking about trying to find a teacher but mainly to work on musicality and expression rather than technique.

Anyway, just my $0.02. I'm sure many will disagree.

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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Bobbio84 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:39 am

Lots of good posts, so I'll make mine short.

I feel that if you already have musical training, you can take this challenge on without a teacher. I'm a school music teacher and so over the years I have had to learn many instruments other than my main instrument, which I had a teacher for, the guitar. All were learnt without specific-to-that-instrument training. I do what you do when presented a problem... YouTube, Internet , a few good books etc... (Shh, don't tell my students)

The most important thing I think is posture. This is the number one thing that you could mess up without a teacher. Read lots on this! Play in front of a mirror if you can. Make sure that you're doing this right.

If ever in doubt, keep your Delcamp account open and come post a question. Replies are usually quick and always helpful.
Last edited by Bobbio84 on Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby DerekB » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:29 am

Remember that Segovia said "He who teaches himself has the worst teacher in the world." Segovia was self-taught.
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Hany Hayek
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Hany Hayek » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:23 am

Thank you all for your replies and advise
Thanks dtoh for your detailed post. My main problem is with my right hand and getting a good regular sound.
The left hand is OK, the mandolin strings are a lot harder to fret, a lot more tension, although the action and strings gauges is way lower. I hold the mandolin on my right leg a little bit elevated, so the guitar will be balancing that :)
I'll follow this forum, lots of good advise and discussions here.

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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby vesa » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:59 am

Without a teacher: All bad habits.
With a bad teacher: Bad teachers bad habits.
With a good teacher: You´ll avoid most of them by doing what he/she says.
I say most of them not all because we(teachers) are humans too and mistakes are always made(also by good teachers).
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Desperado » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:07 pm

vesa wrote:Without a teacher: All bad habits.
With a bad teacher: Bad teachers bad habits.
With a good teacher: You´ll avoid most of them by doing what he/she says.
I say most of them not all because we(teachers) are humans too and mistakes are always made(also by good teachers).

This is a good point just because someone says they're a guitar teacher does not mean they're a good one.
Aside from position and fingering and basic mechanics of motion the art of how to practise efficiently is difficult to pick up through videos and a competent teacher will help with this.

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Hany Hayek
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Re: What bad habits can I develop without a teacher

Postby Hany Hayek » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:18 pm

Desperado wrote:
vesa wrote:Without a teacher: All bad habits.
With a bad teacher: Bad teachers bad habits.
With a good teacher: You´ll avoid most of them by doing what he/she says.
I say most of them not all because we(teachers) are humans too and mistakes are always made(also by good teachers).

This is a good point just because someone says they're a guitar teacher does not mean they're a good one.
Aside from position and fingering and basic mechanics of motion the art of how to practise efficiently is difficult to pick up through videos and a competent teacher will help with this.


+ 1 here. a very good point.

I advanced on the mandolin working with a violin teacher, because he is that good. He identifies my weakness and gives me the correct exercice to rectify the problems.


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