Learning guitar from a book, DVD, Youtube or the internet are all worthy contenders and usually offer in their own right some valuable information. A keen student will source their information from wherever they can get it and not depend wholly and solely on one source but as research shows again and again in almost any field these sources pale in comparison to a real life teacher. It is the whole reason schools and universities will never go out of vogue. Interaction with a real live person offers the greatest learning experience and especially in a subject that involves a combination of knowledge, ear training and motor skills and there is no better example than the guitar.
Here are just a few of the benefits to having a real life teacher;
ACCOUNTABILITY – Studies show that when we are accountable to someone and especially a peer we are far more likely to stay the course. Research into weight loss has found that people who join weight loss centers or get a coach are on average more successful. In fact just having a coach will give you an advantage over those who do not regardless of how good they are. So having a coach (any coach) is better than no coach at all.
FEEDBACK – Having someone to actually look at the way you sit, hold the guitar, place your fingers etc. is priceless. You will learn so much faster if someone is able to guide you because the correction process is regular. I taught myself guitar for 2 years before finding a teacher and I more a less had to start again. I wasted 2 years.
STRUCTURE – A good teacher will give you the structure you need especially in the early stages. For many students it is hard to know where to start. Learn from a professional and let them show you how they do what they do and avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. At the very least its good to have a second opinion other than your own.
INSPIRATION – A good teacher is inspiring. Having a lesson once a week will get you motivated and keep you on track. The best players in all fields from guitarists to sports people to politicians seek advice and coaching not just for information but to keep their motivation up. In fact the personal developmentindustry is perhaps the fastest growing second only to IT.
ANSWERS – Being able to ask someone a question about guitar who can explain it to you in a way that you understanding sure beats spending hours on the net getting frustrated. There is as much misinformation as facts out there so rather then guess what is what you can run it by your teacher,
INTERNET – We know the net has answers to almost any question but its the sheer volume of information that is the real problem. A good teacher will help you to know where to look and find what you need. Again the teacher is a time saver. Remember the challenge is not to teach yourself to play guitar (a nice achievement but no one really cares how you learn when you play great guitar) but to find the best way to learn.
In summary your time is valuable so it is important that you make the best use of your time by learning from a qualified teacher.