Recently, I posted a short five-part series of Facebook posts about all the things that bug me as a teacher in the world of guitar tuition.
It is not too serious, you may or may not agree with all of these, but either way, there are some useful pointers for things to watch out for, and some of these will give you a bit of insight into my mindset from a teaching perspective.
It’s a random list, but here it is – 18 things in the world of guitar playing that “bug” me.
- Guitar “teachers” on YouTube who have never taught a lesson in their life. (A sign of this is when they quickly lose the student after a good start).
- Ed Sheeran (to me he is overrated – average at many things, not great at any).
- People who give out advice on playing guitar, thinking they would be amazing, but have never picked up a guitar in their life (an ex-girlfriend of mine was terrible for this, no wonder we broke up!)…
- Those who say or even subtly imply that someone is too old to learn (from my experience of teaching dozens and dozens of those who are 40/50+ that is not true!)
- Pointless and complex technical exercises which don’t encourage basic technique and take ages to learn.
- Many of the chest-thumping comments on YouTube videos by guitarists who brag about their playing (these comments are usually hyped-up and can make beginners feel small).
- Modern radio music (the songs are boring and even the guitars often sound bad)…
- “Teachers” who only teach songs. More songs is NOT always the answer – playing them better is nearly always more important.
- The “I have no rhythm” myth. No one is born with rhythm, you learn it. I was rhythmically terrible, but a couple of specific exercises really helped (i.e. being a “fake drummer”).
- People who think or sell the dream that learning guitar can be done in weeks and months.
- Nearly every pop song using the same I-V-vi-IV chord progression over the last 15 years.
- Phrases in music tuition such as “hack”, “ninja”, etc.
- Those who tell you not to bother learning any music theory (what they don’t tell you is that a little goes a long way).
- Clickbait YouTube videos such as “Learn 10 super easy beginner songs with just two chords” (there aren’t really any super easy beginner songs).
- “Keyboard Keiths” – the tongue-in-cheek nickname I give to those dishing out unqualified advice in Facebook groups such as “dip your fingers in this random oil to harden them up” – no, just press with a lighter touch.
- Teachers who encourage students to be “song parrots” and not to be able to do other stuff – i.e. think for themselves, have fun jamming, etc.
- People who tell you there is only one way to do something, such as play a chord (there is more than one way to skin a cat).
- And, lastly, and one of the most annoying – the B.S. “calluses toughen up” myth – you don’t need calluses. (A well set up guitar and a light touch is far better).
There you go.
You might not agree with them all, and some you might not have come across yet on your journey.
If you have played for a while though, I’m sure some of these will resonate with you.
You might even be an Ed Sheeran fan.
Either way, the above are some random thoughts and things to watch out for.
If you want to learn more about the ways I like to teach guitar where I shun the above while helping you make more progress and have more fun on the guitar without the fluff, check this out…
Have a great day!
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.