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Quit in your first year?
According to “Guitar Master Class” (guitarmasterClass.net), 90% of new people who want to play the guitar, start to play the guitar and quit in their first year.
So, why do you want to play the guitar, take guitar lessons and why would you quit music?
Who am I?
Hi, I’m George Pjevach, the founder of Maestro Melody Music School. The purpose of this blog is to share information, wisdom, and experience that I have accumulated over the years. Our goal is to set people who want to play the guitar on the right road to save them years of wasted time. We want to help you create a lifelong skill and hobby with infinite potential.
Play the Guitar for a Living
My first 14 years of learning to play the guitar consisted of self-teaching, trial and error, and guitar store books. I took guitar lessons from unqualified music store teachers and picked up pointers from other players. I was hell-bent on playing the guitar and making a living in music so, in 4 years, I was playing gigs. I learned some chords, some lics and a handful of songs. Although I learned and could perform many songs satisfactorily, I was becoming a frustrated guitar player. Other than memorizing parts, I really had no idea what I was doing. I saw professionals out playing gigs that had the magic… and I didn’t.
Help is on the Way
I learned a couple of valuable lessons in that time; 1. anything worth doing is worth doing well and 2. the quickest road to success and happiness is doing it right the first time (which I didn’t do for the first 14 years). Which begs the questions; 1. If I have no one to show me the way, then how do I know which way to go?” 2. “How do I know that the instructor who I am choosing to teach me to play the guitar is a good one?”
Think of what a huge waste of time and energy it would be to spend 5 years or more of your practicing life going down the wrong road and thinking you’re on track.
Therefore, my advice to a beginner and to a seasoned frustrated pro is to learn music and to play the guitar the right way. Take the time to unlearn bad habits and technique. Be a musician first and then a guitarist. Years down the road you will be much happier with your music.
Suggestions to potential future guitarists:
When interviewing teachers for yourself or your children, ask the teacher to play the guitar for you. Have them play a couple of songs and styles of music so you can hear the quality of their playing. Are you happy with the way they sound? Would you be proud to sound like them? Make sure they can proficiently perform the style that you wish to learn.
If they sound good, then ask if they will teach:
- How to read music and rhythm
- How to write music and rhythm
- Scales, chords, and arpeggios in all 12 keys in all positions
- Songs to utilize and exercise the scales, chords, and arpeggios you will be learning
- The modes and how to use them
- Ear training- how to hear music
- Do they have a systematic approach to their method and can you review it
If the teacher can’t teach music with a clear, systematic approach, you may want to continue searching.
What to do if you don’t have a “Godfather”
There are plenty of people who can play the guitar, cannot read but are exceptional players. They usually come from musical families and are raised in music. Someone guided them. It is usually cultural and a natural part of their life.
On a national level, many players (despite what the media may report) have a road into the music industry. How many times have you heard a singer or player who just wasn’t that talented but they are on TV, the radio or playing concerts? Can you always find someone who beat the odds? Sure, but if your dad isn’t Steve Vai, George Benson, or the president of Capital records I would suggest getting your education and learning to play the guitar along with learning music applied to the guitar.
Some local musicians develop a following, a life, and want to play music for a living. They stay local and perform for their local following. A good portion of these players have day jobs and play at night.
Learn your scales
If you decide to become a professional, your learned musical skills from your guitar lessons and classes will keep you employed. This is where the self-taught usually cannot tread. I have auditioned and won positions with bands in Las Vegas on the strip, Nashville studio work and you will too. If you can’t read music and intelligently communicate with other musicians, chances are you will lose the best opportunities. Training, education, experience, a pleasing and respectful personality, a clean and well-groomed appearance can land you your dream position.
Learn your styles
If you want to play the guitar, become a full time guitarist and make your living in it (I have for 40 years and still do today) then, after learning music and mastering your instrument, learn to play many styles of music; Pop, Fingerstyle, Dinner, Jazz, Classical, Country, Irish, Etc. This will enable you to say “Yes” to many gigs. If you only play one style, plan on working a second job.
Would you like the opportunity to play on cruise ships, Disney, Universal studios, recording studios, in show bands, Branson, MO shows, show houses in South Carolina? Do you want to write songs, create parts and communicate them with other musicians? Learn Music and become a musician first.
Do you have questions or just want to comment? Please feel free to comment and post.
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