I’m taking a guitar lesson this week.
In high school, I thought it was “cool” to be self taught.
Who needs all that stupid music theory? Who needs some dork at a guitar store who probably listens to Joe Satriani telling you what to do?
To be fair to my obstinate and opinionated teenage self, I do think that the ability to self-educate is pretty rad.
And I did probably develop my ear pretty well by just sitting there and figuring out Slayer and Megadeth riffs.
But, I’ve wasted a bunch of time by learning a bunch of bad habits – then having to unlearn them.
(Like how I hold my pick. I think part of it is just my extreme hitchhiker’s thumb, but I definitely have had to do some serious practice to at least get my pick in a somewhat reasonable position.)
Also, as a person who has skills and knowledge that people pay for my advice in (fitness and business), I can see how much I can help my clients prioritize what’s actually important and get out of their own way.
With most of my coaching clients, my primary role is to either:
Help them prioritize the actual thing that is super important that they need to work on – instead of whatever mess of half-baked tactics they’re worried about
Teach them mental models so that they can make better decisions and problem solve on their own
I absolutely need someone to do this for me with my guitar playing.
Looking at how I live the rest of my life – especially with things that I’m interested in – I kind of can’t believe I haven’t invested in music lessons.
I did most of my practice and learning in a time period when I had a lamentable attitude toward “learning from experts.”
I also had a pretty unforgiving attitude toward “corniness” – which was basically anything involving jazz fusion or the pentatonic minor scale. This criteria unfortunately eliminated all guitar teachers in the entire world.
But now, I’m ready to bend some blues riffs with anyone who will teach me.
This pretty much mirrors my youth as a drummer. Now I’m trying to absorb as much music theory as I can so that I can’t write music that has a least a modicum of melody.
Late reply on this comment – oops. But yeah, I have made various forays into learning music theory on my own. I’ve found, however, that there’s a weird gap with theory that makes it very difficult to apply. I think there’s a tipping point somewhere when – once you’ve achieved a sufficient level of mastery – then theory becomes very useful. However, until that point, it’s just kind of an interesting curiosity. Goal is to reach that tipping point.