I’m an intermediate player and self-taught (if using Justin Guitar counts as self-taught). I’m thinking of taking lessons partly to learn some specific skills that I’m interested in and partly to identify and remedy some of the bad habits I’ve picked up during the learning process.
Most of the approved teachers are on-line only and my question is this: does anyone have experience of on-line teaching and how beneficial it is? I’m sure they are all great teachers per se or they would not be recommended on JG but I suspect some of my issues I have are in the detail of how I navigate the fretboard and I don’t know how easy it is to pick up on them via video.
Edit: I wrote this without knowing much about the individual teachers recommended on the site and in retrospect, I embarrassed myself a bit. You can skip past and read comments from the actual instructors down below and get much more accurate insights.
Anyone listed on Justin’s website would probably be very high profile and could be very expensive (I do not actually know this) or have a very long queue.
They are likely to be far better than any other teacher one can find in real life. This might be a good or a bad thing. They may be very useful to a professional player but may not be able to relate to a beginner/intermediate player. Personally, I think me taking lessons from Mike Dawes would be absurd but Justin could probably keep up
A real-life teacher is invaluable in the sense that they can spot your mistakes in milli-seconds, they can show you techniques without audio/video delay, and they can jam with you. These are important when learning something that needs a lot of motor skills.
EDIT: Mike Dawes used to be an approved teacher on Justin’s website, hence the comment. Noticed he no longer is so this message may not make sense I do not know about the other teachers.
Hi John ,
I find the advice given above a bit strange to read.
I have read good things about the teachers Richard and Lieven (I just haven’t read anything about the others yet, but I’m sure they are also great, even for not super advanced players) from several beginning and intermediate guitar players…a very big advantage compared to all the other teachers you will probably encounter in your area is that these teachers are familiar with the lessons from Justin such as learned here on the site, so if you learned it all here, I think it is definitely worth a try
Feel free to email them with some questions about how and what, that’s just free
While I haven’t taken lessons specifically from any of the Justin approved teachers, I have been taking online lessons from a Family member/musician that lives in another state. I have been playing for almost a year and a half and I’ve been taking the supplemental online lessons the whole time.
I feel that the extra assistance has been extremely helpful in helping me progress. Even though it is through a screen, things like finger and hand placement and technique are still visible and I can get demos of things that I am working on or having trouble with. You can still ask questions and get feedback. While jamming is hard online due to the lag, finding a separate jam buddy to play with outside of the online lessons can help with that. My husband plays the drums, so even though it is not another guitar player, jamming with another instrument also can help you progress.
I know there are some here who have taken lessons with the Justin approved teachers. Maybe one of them can give you more insight into what it’s like. If you look at the teacher bios, there are some that list that they are looking to help beginner and intermediate players. As Rogier stated, they know Justin’s program, so they will be familiar with how you have been learning.
This makes the assumption that all in-person guitar tutors are actually any good. In my previous attempts at learning guitar I can tell you this definitely isn’t true. They’re a lottery just like when you need a plumber or an electrician in a hurry. Anyone can claim to be a guitar teacher. The guy I saw was knowledgeable, could play for sure, but useless at teaching beginners.
Sorry, I did not mean that at all. I rather meant that all else being equal, in-person lessons are likely to be more useful than online.
In-person teachers can be really bad, my first teacher was and I only realised it after taking lessons from a really good teacher.
Also agree that being good at something does not mean being good at teaching it. Taking lessons from a really good teacher is probably better for a beginner compared to taking lessons from a really good guitarist with poor teaching skills. But, an experienced guitarist could potentially benefit a lot from taking lessons from said good guitarist thanks to being able to make sense of advanced concepts without too much handholding.
The first statement is simply untrue.
Expensive is relative - fees are listed on the web page. Justin has also invited a couple of renowned guitarists he knows personally who may do occasional lessons and will, naturally charge more.
Not a claim any of us would make I’m sure. I would certainly never be so bold. I know my strengths and limitations and am fully upfront about what I can offer to students.
I offer lessons strictly to beginner / intermediate learners only. I am far from being a virtuoso player. The essentials and basics is the furrow I plough.
All easily done via video feed too.
This was the major aspect that deterred me from continuing with online guitar lessons when the pandemic came and in-person lessons stopped. There are work arounds and other options.
I make no apology for picking out and addressing so many statements one by one as your post gives misinformation and shows a lack of knowledge about the people involved with and the rationale behind the Approved Teacher scheme.
More info: https://www.justinguitar.com/teachers
I think Richard’s post alleviates the concerns that you have about having an online teacher. On a side note to your question it made me think of a lesson I watched this week where Justin discusses goals and destinations particularly towards the end of the lesson where he discusses picking a good teacher. Maybe worth a watch if you haven’t already seen the lesson.
This question makes me feel a bit guilty, mainly because I treat the whole Justinguitar website as my personal online guitar teacher. It’s not just like a book or a video where you try to absorb information and figure it out yourself (although that would be awesome!). I can ask questions whenever I’m stumped or unsure of something. I can upload videos and ask for general pointers or specific criticism etc.
The main advantage in having private paid tuition for me would be the expectation I’d impose upon myself to prepare for the for the next lesson and be more disciplined in my learning. I was fortunate to have received a lesson with Justin a couple of years ago, which was great fun, but tbh I learned more preparing for the lesson than from the pearls cast before me on the day…
I would avoid lessons from ‘maestros’. There’s a lot to be said for learning from folk who still remember what beginners struggle with.
Why not test-drive a couple of the in-house teachers and see if any of them resonate with you? (a bit like buying a guitar really )
On a separate note, I’m glad you raised the question as I had a quick listen to your reggae song.
Well done you. That was great. You should share more here.
(you should also use your SC avatar here )
Thank you for posting that James. I’ve been feeling pretty flat and despondent as far as my extremely brief journey has (not) been progressing. I’m only on grade 1, module 5 but that’s it. I’m just rehashing the same stuff over and over. 6 lousy chords and really poor strumming. That video of Justins brings it back to reality that yes, I am only new but stop lulling about with just those 6 chords and start setting achievable goals. Not do as I’m doing now, which is both boring myself senseless and losing faith.
I know it wasn’t for me but I appreciated the post. Thank you
@Richard_close2u already replied to some of the feedback given and I’m in the same position as him.
A tutor is part instructor, part coach. @brianlarsen illustrated that in his feedback.
If you are looking for specific and mostly technical counselling which requires close examination of fretboard habits, I would put trying to find a “physical” teacher first.
Though, with the right angle or showing a wide and close angle shot, I’m sure @Richard_close2u can spot a lot as well; he’s your first choice when trying to achieve that “brilliance on the basics”
He might claim to be ‘not the biggest virtuoso’, he certainly knows how to navigate the fretboard!
It’s kind of akward to promote myself but let’s say that my focus is on the coaching part, on making people explore their expression and musicality by introducing them to chord decorations, ways to practice their barre chords, include singing, playing dynamics, enriching their techniques and strumming textures and even some singing. I do those things while checking how strong the foundaitons are and improving solidity where necessary. All in function of playing songs, being in that moment or even being on stage. I’ve put some people back on track in their ambition to join a local band etc.
I took some lessons from @Richard_close2u and I thought he was great. He’s very good at listening to what you want to do and then helping you develop a path to get there. His theory knowledge is extraordinary, and I can’t think of anything he wouldn’t be able to help with for that. He also has really good teaching skills, and for a ‘teacher’ that’s the most important thing!! With the right tech (which is pretty minimum) online teaching works great. The only issue we had was relatively small, and it impacted poor Richard, not me, as the mic I used for one lesson caused an ongoing echo on Richard’s side - which I didn’t hear until I watched the recording. That’s also a big benefit of online lessons, if your instructor will let you record the lesson then do so. There’s lots of times you think after a lesson ‘what was that thing we talked about?’, or ‘how was I supposed to play that?’ The recording was invaluable. As for fretboard stuff / finger placement / etc - cameras can do closeups! Lol. You can also use dual cameras for 2 views.
I highly recommend Richard for lessons, and based on my experience with him and with my 1 lesson from Justin, I am sure that any of the teachers Justin recommends will be top notch. You can get a good sense of Richard and Lieven from their posts in the Community too.
I only did 5 lessons, but that’s because I have an issue with my fretting hand that restricts the amount of time I can practice at one time, so I didn’t feel I could commit to a sufficient enough amount of practice to get out of it all that I wanted to. Maybe when I retire I’ll check it out again, but that’s not for at least 2 years unfortunately.
I have online lessons with @Richard_close2u together with working on the JustinGuitar materials, and he is ace. He knows Justin’s material inside out, but knows his stuff and can break things down or explain things differently so that you get it. The price is on par with face to face lessons locally to me so that isn’t an issue.
And it’s great to have somebody to go over something that you don’t understand on JustinGuitar or you need more help with. So it fits really well with the JustinGuitar course.
As for picking up mistakes, I was having trouble with my C chord and straight away Richard picked up that my thumb was in the wrong place.
I am a beginner, but a very impatient one so I think I drive him mad each week wanting to learn something new but Richard reins all that in. I love the lessons and couldn’t recommend them enough.
I can’t comment on any of the other approved teachers as I have only had lessons with Richard.