I woke up Saturday, the same way I do every other weekend. I throw a bunch of gear in my car and drive 30 miles to teach fencing lessons.
It was a good day with a good turn out and lots of individual lessons. I even got to fence for fun! I don’t charge for my fencing lessons because I only teach every other weekend and if a student wants to really progress, they need more intensive coaching. I’m not able to commit to that level of coaching so I refuse to charge people. But I do offer advice and tips to those who are interested in hearing from me. It also helps the club I attend as a whole, which is always good.
When I teach fencing, I always wonder if this is what it is like for local guitar instructors offering lessons. I’ve been fencing for over 20 years. I know the basics and understand a good amount of the advanced stuff. I am not the best, but I can figure most things out. I know the rules and know what I’m talking about (most of the time). I can always get better and would love to do it more, but there are only so many hours in the day and so many other higher priorities. At lease I contribute back to others when I can and I haven’t stopped fencing (just stopped competing) after 20 some odd years.
I assume most people offering local guitar lessons are in a similar boat. They’ve played the guitar for a long time. They may not know everything, but they can figure it out. They have something to offer back to their community and it gives them a source of income doing something they love.
I don’t take guitar lessons right now. For many of the same reasons that I don’t charge for my fencing lessons. I know guitar lessons would help me improve, but I’m not even doing the things I want to do to improve on my own. Adding the expense of lessons without adding the time commitment and prioritizing what it takes to get better must go hand in hand.
When I was a kid I took piano lessons for three months. I started off pretty gung ho, but I did not really put in the time. I knew I wasn’t committed, so I withdrew (no, I didn’t drop out, I withdrew). I’m not going to “withdraw” from guitar, but I am hopefully more mature than I was back then and I will someday feel that I am ready for guitar lessons.
Until then I’ll start bands with friends, learn songs, read hints and tips about better practice, and have a good time! For anyone who reads this, I’m curious what your approach to lessons is. I took lessons for a year when I lived in Idaho. It was a great experience. It seems like finding a guitar instructor you like is also key to successful lessons. Any other thoughts or suggestions?