If you are beginning as a guitarist, chances are you take lessons. But did you know that many of the most advanced players still take lessons? If this seems surprising to you, this article will provide you with several reasons they do so.
When a guitar player reaches an advanced level, there may be a temptation for her to cut down on practicing scales and songs when not gigging. Over the long term, this can negatively affect her playing. Continuing to take lessons keeps the advanced player in a mindful, practicing mode. These good habits will then carry over when the guitarist is in the studio or on the stage.
Even the most skilled guitarist can be inefficient with his playing. Perhaps he is slinging his guitar too low or too high. Maybe his fingering isn’t quite allowing him maximum playability. If these sound like the same issues a beginning or intermediate player might have while playing, you are absolutely correct. The same issues can affect a top-level guitarist, and a good instructor will be able to help. The main difference is that with an advanced player, these corrections would be better considered “fine-tuning” or “finessing.” It allows an already-good player to become even better.
The gigging guitarist may occasionally fall into a creative rut. This can be quite frustrating. Part of the problem is that even the best artists can find themselves in the old “It’s always been done this way” mindset. (This holds true in all aspects of work, commerce, art, politics, and relationships, not just music.) A good music instructor can offer fresh perspectives in how to look at a piece or genre of music, and new methods of playing. This may be all the musician needs to get out of his or her rut.
When a guitarist reaches a higher level of playing, she may find herself playing primarily older music. Maybe she just hasn’t had the time or the inclination to listen for new music, even in her own genre. If she writes her own songs, they may not be as innovative as they could be. A good guitar teacher may provide the player with new songs that can expand horizons and spark creativity.
Learning pieces in genres other than your primary focus can be very beneficial. This will expand your playing and songwriting abilities. This is no less true for the advanced or pro-level guitarist. The teacher can introduce him to pieces outside his primary genre and suggest he practice playing in other styles. In the long run, this can highly improve the good guitarist’s playing.
No One Knows Everything!
Once you have decided you know everything you need to know about something, you are heading downward. You should never stop learning, regardless of your level of training. A great instructor can help even the most advanced player improve his or her playing.