1. Make sure your guitar is in tune before the lesson starts-this means at home tune before your teacher gets there, or tune either once you get to the studio/store or at home before you put your guitar in the case. This saves valuable minutes-especially if you take 30 min lessons! 4-5 tuning minutes can equal 13% or more of your lesson time! Buy an electronic tuner to help you. This will pay for itself when you think about saving 4-5 minutes per lesson:
2. Show up on time-this one is pretty obvious, but I feel like it needs to be stated anyway. If your teacher comes over, make sure your space is set up and ready to go.
3. Make sure you have all of your things with you. This includes your guitar (obvious I hope!), picks, folder, music you’re learing, notebook, iPod, CD, tuner, capo (if needed), etc. Just make sure you have your stuff with you!
4. Make sure your teacher writes down your assignments- this will keep you accountable in your practice time during the week. You will have the assignments clearly in front of you and that helps with being scatter-brained. (Your teacher should be doing this too!)
5. Be sure to have some goals in mind. You should work on these with your teacher. Be realistic, but also dream big. If your goal is to tour the planet you might obviously have to start with some shorter term goals, but your teacher will benefit knowing you are serious about guitar. If your goal is to play songs for your friends at parties, your teacher will work with you to pick good solo sing-a-long songs instead of classical pieces or guitar solo heavy songs.
6. Make sure to practice the recommended time. This will vary depending on level, age, goals, etc but a very basic time frame for a person around the age of 12 and up would be 3 or 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. This would be a minimum time, but the consistency is the key! The more OFTEN you play, the better you get. If you practice 4 days a week for 30 minutes, you’ll get far more out of it than one mega practice session of 2 hours per week.
7. If you’re investing in regular guitar lessons, also invest in the ‘must-have’ tools to help your lessons: metronome and tuner. I’ve already talked about a tuner, but the metronome can be equally important. It will help you steady your time feel and rhythm. You will probably need some help on using it, and getting used to playing with a metronome can be frustrating at first. BUT you will be much better off in the long run if you stick with it. OPTIONAL:Capo, useful mostly for students who sing and play. Written by Sam Smiley from Brookfield, IL 60513 USA.