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Electric guitar


whitefang

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A nephew of mine(one of the many), I'm informed, is learning how to play guitar. NOT just the guitar, his mother clarifies, but the ELECTRIC guitar!

 

Now, it seems to me that since they're both essentially tuned the same, have the same number of strings(more often than not)and in many cases, even SHAPED the same, this distinction escapes me. I had one of them creatures once upon a time, and as far as I recall, I played them pretty much the same way. Oh, there WERE some differences, like thinner gauge strings that were easier to bend; the cut-away that made reaching the higher frets easier(that acoustics now have); and the fact if you have an amp, it can be played LOUDER. But none of that seems to me to require special LESSONS! But his mother said the place he takes his lessons charges $10 more a lesson for ELECTRIC guitar than for acoustic!

 

I told her I would shop around for another instructor if I was her. Ever hear of such goings on?

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I definitely make a distinction. When people ask me what my desired credit is on a program or record date I always define it as Electric Guitar.

That said, it is borderline deceptive business practice to charge additional for lessons on electric. At the level of a beginner one needs to understand fundamentals, not fine lines of distinction. Find a new teacher.

Scott Fraser
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I agree with Scott, there is a distinction - if someone hired me under the misimpression they were going to get an evening of acoustic fingerpicking, that would not be a good match.

 

In the category of lessons, again, I have to agree with Scott and Whitefang - a raw beginner should be learning the fundamentals of the guitar, regardless of what's in their hands. I highly doubt that this instructor is taking the student into the intricacies of Vai, Holdsworth or McLaughlin, so the surcharge for "Electric Guitar" seems like marketing bull, if not an outright scam.

 

You might want to check on what your nephew is actually learning from that instructor. One national chain is notorious for hiring high school students as teachers, and having them teach the Dropped-D one-finger-barre-chord method, no scales, no sight reading, no note memorization, just banging out simple Rock tunes. Even Johnny Ramone could actually play a barre chord, if nothing else.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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i dunno...ever walk into guitar center?

 

i'd LOVE to charge more to have to listen to that crap. ;)

 

I feel you, brother, but while there's almost nothing we can do about the legions of wankers in GC, if you're the teacher, sitting in the room with your student, you absolutely have the moral authority (yes, I said it) to tell them to turn down, or unplug altogether. As all of us here in the Forum have discovered, the guitar actually still works without the amp, and so do the fingers - that's a lesson worth learning, the sooner the better for some of these young guys.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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I feel you, brother, but while there's almost nothing we can do about the legions of wankers in GC, if you're the teacher, sitting in the room with your student, you absolutely have the moral authority (yes, I said it) to tell them to turn down, or unplug altogether. As all of us here in the Forum have discovered, the guitar actually still works without the amp, and so do the fingers - that's a lesson worth learning, the sooner the better for some of these young guys.

 

When I started lessons in the mid 1960s, from a wizened old Jazz guy with a cheap suit & a fat guitar, all I wanted to do was learn how to play rock & roll. On my $40 Japanese electric guitar. Somehow this teacher found out that my dad had a classical guitar in the house, & without my realizing how it happened, he had switched me over to fingerpicking & learning the classical repertoire. I get down on my knees & thank him profusely & regularly to this day for teaching me about GUITAR in general & showing me how to appreciate an acoustic instrument. He rocked my life, in ways I didn't really comprehend for many years.

Scott Fraser
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I don't know WHAT the structure is, Caev, I just know it don't sound kosher to me. The kid is actually what technically would be referred to as a "grand-nephew". His Dad is my wife's late sister's son, and I'm sort of "uncle-by-marriage". Since he and the kid's mother divorced, we don't see that much of him or his mom. But we saw her recently, and while doing the whole "catch-up" thing, she told me about this. I already told her it all sounded crooked, and advised her to shop around for an honest instructor. Don't know much more after that.

 

I used to get the same sort of thing after I bought my 12-string. "You can play the 12 string?" people would ask, wide-eyed as if I just told them I can pilot the space shuttle. So, I imagine the place my nephew goes for $10 extra "electric guitar lessons" might charge $15 more for 12-string lessons!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I agree. It's sounds strange. Maybe he's coming from the angle that there are techniques used with an electric that aren't used with an acoustic and that justifies the extra charge. Myself, I think everbody should learn the basics on an acoustic before going to an electric and then continue playing both. But that's just me.
"Let me stand next to your fire!", Jimi Hendrix
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My boss - early 30s, not a "hip" music guy - one day walked by my office when I had a couple of acoustics there (was sprinting to a gig after work and had the gear in the car but don't subject my babies to the Louisiana heat + humidity) and said "I didn't know you played acoustic guitar, too... I like that but don't like electric guitar too much." Then my sub-boss (under him, a musician) joined in the discussion saying "they're the same... like a piano and a keyboard," which as met with disagreement and I stopped paying attention but at some point the blues came up and the first boss was unaware of blues played on electrics and didn't see how that would sound right.

 

The way younger people play and approach music I guess they are radically different. I play with a younger guy who says anything with acoustic guitars is "boring," and I tell him it's his fingers and brain that are boring in reality.

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I have had some experience in teaching. A few of my ex pupils have gold records on their walls. I am well aware of this acoustic versus electric mythology. My bottom line when starting with pupils is "what music do you listen to and what is your budget?"

 

Almost invariably the advice I give people is to buy an electric guitar if their budget is limited. The neck setup will allow them to learn the basics without too much torture.

 

Once they have been bitten by the bug they can make informed choices about where they want to go and how to buy the more expensive instrument that will open the doors to public performance etc.

 

 

I have found that about 70% of pupils stick to a form of electric guitar playing which allows their original purchase to become their backup guitar at gigs. Those that choose to move to acoustic guitar are usually a bit older and have a definite agenda. (Last week I had a beginner that purchased a $1800.00 acoustic cos he knew what he wanted. He's a rarity...)

 

 

So, without a doubt, I would recommend all younger students to start on an electric guitar due to economic and practical reasons.

 

I have taught almost every style of music to students with cheap electric guitars BUT I cower in the corner when a student presents with a 3/4 size beginners nylon string guitar and demands to be taught METAL!!!

 

 

In short, it's about the fretboard and the strings when you are beginning. The only difference between electric and acoustic is that it costs more to buy an " easy to play acoustic". Gee I would surcharge for the students that turn up with cheap acoustics.

 

 

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The issue of how much an instructor can charge should be based on how good the instructor is. NOT what is being instructed.

A good instructor charges for his/her time and knowledge - period.

This is a bogus upcharge and your nephew should find a different instructor.

SEHpicker

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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Well, perkunas, not all electric guitars have that neck-to-string ratio that offers less torture to the beginner. In fact, quite often the cheaper the electric, the worse the action. But I get your point.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I have taught almost every style of music to students with cheap electric guitars BUT I cower in the corner when a student presents with a 3/4 size beginners nylon string guitar and demands to be taught METAL!!! Gee I would surcharge for the students that turn up with cheap acoustics.

 

Thanks for the laugh, Perkunas! I worked in a guitar shop where we finally stopped selling those things, because they were so bad - couldn't tune them, could barely play them, and they tended to fall apart.

 

Of course, the other problem was convincing parents that the cheapest possible guitar probably wasn't the best thing to learn on.

 

 

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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In economics I believe this is called a Pigovian tax: a tax designed to encourage a certain behavior. The teacher probably thinks that acoustic is the "right" way to learn, or just likes it better, so he charges more for electric. Then the teacher wins either way.
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Sorry Whitefang, I was a little obscure in my post.

 

I recommend my students to drop into a real guitar shop, buy an entry level Ibanez or whatever and have it set up by the shop as part of the purchase price. For those that are on a very limited budget I will chase up something second hand. (A nice little Greg Bennett Malibu, as new,that we cornered for about $70.00 comes to mind. The student was very happy.)

 

In essence I wont allow students to start lessons till they have an instrument that is good and reliable. By the same token I don't charge anything for the time taken to set all this up nor do my charges differ by style or type of instrument used.

 

Cheers

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