So many guitar players learn how to make the sounds they want but are not guided through the foundational principles of technique and structure. Part of the learning process is to build a proper foundation and that starts with the basics. Don’t worry…it’s not all boring and repetitive, but great creativity and musicianship begin and end with foundation.
Ya google tone. Or maybe don’t. What you will find is a overwhelming amount of information about what you should and shouldn’t do, right down to the science of the plastic your pick is made out of. One of the starting points for me when teaching is to make sure the guitar sounds the way that it is supposed to. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to learn to play an instrument and it sounds nothing like what it should. The guitar is an instrument and responds to all kinds of factors and we want to make sure that it sounds the best that it can so when we play it we get used to it’s true sound. The other important thing that I have found, especially for beginners, is that motivation and inspiration are a huge part of the learning experience. If the student can’t get their guitar to sound right sustained learning becomes more difficult because they are not excited about it. When they get it right look out because that will inspire them to keep playing and get better. Playing your favorite songs should sound like your are playing your favorite songs.
As with the basics it is really important to have the foundation in music well established. I have a method of helping students get through this often difficult landmine of technical learning. I also specifically tailor it to the guitar. You’re not learning the piano so you need to know how to apply musical theory to the guitar.
They say in sports it’s not a series until one team loses a game at home. I feel that musicians aren’t really musicians until they can play with other people. The problem with most bedroom musicians is that they learn at their own tempo, and have their own musical feel that may not align with others. Now yes we can learn to a metronome, and we will, but being a great musician supercedes even that. Being able to “feel” and stay in the groove is an imperative part of the learning process. We have access like no other studio in this area to a live stage and other musicians. When students are ready we will take advantage of this awe will get them “jamming” with others. There is nothing like playing music with others.
This won’t be for every student, but a lot of my students want to learn how to play better in the context of the sunday morning music team. I have been a part of teams for a long time, and spent a large portion of my studies in Australia studying the art of Church Music Teams. I was also a worship pastor for 8 years and love teaching others the skill sets needed to be a great guitarist in the church context. We will be learning all of the other skills, but if desired, also spend some time learning what it means to apply those skills in the church setting.
Ask a guitarist and they will likely tell you a list of dream gear that they have tucked away somewhere. We are all always looking for that next piece of sweet gear. Part of the deal with guitars is to learn about all of the gear and what it is good for and what it is not. If acoustic guitar is the path then we will learn all that goes with that. If electric guitar is the path we will also learn all of the gear that you will need.