The most important thing a guitar tutor can do for you is…

Posted by Mark McKenzie on April 11th, 2014

Even though I’m known as an ‘Online Tutor’, I understand the benefits of having a one on one guitar tutor. At least it can and should be beneficial, however that all depends on the instructor and your relationship with them.

I realised how powerful this was when I decided to get singing lessons. I was recommended someone and nervously went along for my first lesson. I’d already established my own ‘one on one’ teaching business for guitar in my home town. So I had the free time to indulge a little.

Peter, my singing coach, was a wealth of knowledge and stories about the music biz. He was an old man now, and taught from home more as a way to connect with people.

He got me to sing a few things, chatted about fun stuff, I sang a little more…and that was it.

I had a great time. We connected and I could’ve sat around all afternoon just chatting and hearing stories about recording sessions in London and the time he met the Beatles. I left on a high. Bigtime. I was looking forward to the next session and achieved all sorts of gains vocally.

After a month or so, I realised the secret to being a tutor and/or having a tutor. It’s the ‘feeling’ you get from the time you spend together.

Was he the best teacher as far as techniques and knowledge about the voice? Nope!! In fact, when I look back, he was pretty terrible in that regard.

Most people think it’s the content (information) you get taught that makes the difference…and that too is important for sure. But the number one thing you can get… is the Context or feeling. It’s that motivation, self-belief, confidence, excitement, passion, fun, whatever it is…. and that’s what gets you to the next level on your instrument.

I’m not saying it’s the only thing, but think about it.
Don’t just take my word for it. Ask yourself these questions.

When you’re excited about playing guitar, you will enjoy playing guitar ….right?
If you think you’re getting better, you’ll practise guitar…. right?
If you feel confident, you’ll play guitar…. right?

And, what about the opposite situation. When you feel dispassionate, unexcited, bored, useless and confused. Try even picking the guitar up. It’s difficult when you’re just not ‘feeling it’.

This is the role of the guitar tutor. To look for and spark passion. To encourage you and to make you feel like you’re improving. To look for and find the things that you’re nailing. To see your progress and point out how far you’ve come. To smile and energise you with their enthusiasm. Let’s face it, if the tutor is unenthusiastic, what the hell are they doing teaching?

So when you look for a tutor, try and find someone you enjoy being with. Someone you respect and has passion for the guitar. They encourage you and let you know how well you’re doing. They have a laugh and it’s fun to learn from them.

Sure, they may have a degree, or a diploma in music. They might even be a successful musician, playing gigs and touring. But do they inspire you?

If so, then the amount of money you pay for their time, will feel like an absolute bargain. Infact you will almost feel guilty paying such a small amount, considering the amazing amount of energy they give to you.

Happy playing Guitar Freaks:)

Learn more about on his Google profile.

4 Responses

  • Dubravka says:

    I agree with you Mark , you inspire me too play and I feel so pride when I learn some new stuff ,like new finger style course what you put on youtube. You are the best teacher , motivator and I adore that kiwi accent .Thanks for your lessons, time and knowledge that you shared with us Guitar Freaks :)

  • Jameson Serfontein says:

    Good day Mark.
    Like you know I am 45 getting 46 this year , I enjoying your training program at this stage , I am almost finish with week 4 of the beginner stage 1 training , and yes I really hope I can pull this through and will be comfortable soon to play some of my favorite songs in front of my friends. I will like if I can just fall in with any song playing on the radio and just play along.
    I suppose with passion and allot of practice I will get there.
    Thanks allot for your brilliant training program.
    Best Regards
    Jameson

  • Martin says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Had that experience before myself.

  • Nelson clark says:

    100% on the nail & that’s not my opinion that is my Experiance this is why I enjoy this site It’s got the edge on Others But please continue to keeping it understandable and Not ego Driven

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