I’ve been dealing with a lot of “beginner’s” subjects lately such as starting a band and the like, but there is no question that how you learn and who you learn with should be a major priority when you are first starting out.
When I was just a kid, I had already been studying the violin, as well as always experimenting with it and teaching myself things, but my Dad noticed that I was doing a very nice job playing along with his Flamenco records with just a broken 2-string guitar we had lying around the house. This led to his encouraging me to continue with the guitar, and he immediately started looking for a Flamenco guitar teacher in the New York City area, of which there were absolutely none! Finally, we settled on a very wonderful classical guitar teacher named Shirley Dewald, who was extremely encouraging of me, and who so noticed that I had such a good ear that it delighted her to no end! This gave me an enormous confidence boost at the time, which was something I really needed to keep me “buoyed” and feeling good enough about myself to continue. Another great thing about starting with classical guitar was that to this day, it has given me a great right-hand technique, and an enormous amount of respect for the guitar, and its physical requirements and challenges.
As you start to learn from others (and I hope you’re utilizing my countless free Gibson lessons!) it’s so important that you feel that you are in a supportive environment, and that folks such as your parents, relatives, friends and even band mates are really all in favor of what you are doing. Without this special and so important support, really none of us would ever get very far, to say the least!
So be sure to look for the right feeling to have with your teacher(s), because as you are developing, these things have a way of really sticking with you, and will unquestionably have a lasting effect way down the line! I should know….because even though I have 99% taught myself, it’s some of those incredible early lessons and learning experiences that have really stuck with me, and gotten me through many phases of my self-learning, ad my ability to absorb what others are doing as well! Choose your teachers wisely, they’ll mean more to you than you’ll ever realize!