I'm a self taught drummer who has always wanted to learn how to play guitar. I have no delusion of being slash. More like Glenn Fry or Jimmy Buffet. I bought a stratocaster in 2008 and tried to teach myself by watching instructional videos online. Since then I've also acquired an electric bass, an acoustic bass and an acoustic guitar.
Since then I got long on guitar theory by playing with other musicians and watching online instruction, but I was still short on skills. So I recently decided it was time to pay for lessons and really try to learn to play. I found Thumbtack, researched guitar teachers in Houston and asked for a few quotes.
Eric was the most expensive instructor, but it was pretty clear he was my best option. I wanted lessons in my home on Friday evenings because I work long hours M-Th. By Friday evening I just want to relax and so a lesson after work seemed like a nice way to start the weekend. But in addition to being available on Friday nights, other students had encouraging things to say about Eric.
Eric starts the first lesson by figuring out what you already know so he can tailor your lessons to your strengths and weaknesses. This is a continuous theme for Eric. Sometimes my nephew takes a lesson from Eric right after I do and I listen in. Eric won't teach two students at the same time because he tailors the lesson to the student, and I've noticed that the lessons he gives my nephew are never the same as the ones he gives me. I've taken about 8 lessons from Eric now and my nephew and I have advanced at different rates. He has take about 4 lessons and he doesn't practice as much on his own.
After a few guitar lessons I picked up my bass and in an afternoon I learned to play 2 Nirvana songs and an AC/DC tune. I love to drum to my favorite songs, and I'd like to be able play the concert footage on YouTube and strum along on the guitar. So when Eric showed up for my next lesson I had my bass out and Smells Like Teen Spirit playing on my home theatre system. He sat down and watched me play all three songs along to the videos.
When Eric showed up for my next lesson he had me pull up Hotel California and taught me how to play the chord sequence that Glen Fry plays so I could play along with the video. If I was the karate kid than this was the moment when I finally learned what wax on and wax off was all about. Frankly, making chords intimidates me. I have huge hands and I have trouble getting my fingers in the right place so all the strings vibrate freely. But somehow I could tell that Eric new I was ready.
All the lessons to that point were focused on drills to improve skill sets, and I had only learned two chords. But Eric showed me all 6 chords and I was able to play all of them in sequence except the barre chord. We're working on those now. But I now know 5 chords that are basically common to almost any 80s rock song. So Eric's instruction has made me capable of teaching myself most any simple guitar rhythm using the interweb. I feel confident now that I'm going to be able to play along to some of my favorite songs. To me, that's a goal accomplished in about 8 lessons. But I want to keep going and see what else Eric can teach me.
I also want to add that Eric has been great about discussing issues about the guitar itself. My stratocaster had some issues that needed to be corrected and Eric helped identify them and explain my options. The biggest one was with the tremolo. The springs went bad over the years and a simple $6 replacement put the bridge back in it's proper place, which corrected problems with the action, tuning, intonation and sustain of the guitar. Now I have a much better understanding of the mechanics of the guitar as well, which helps me maintain a $1,000 investment.