Name a guitar legend that took lessons

Postby gratephulphish123 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:10 pm

i started playing guitar 4 years ago, but really only the last two years did i start actually learning how to play it, as opposed to just strumming and singing.

i've taken quite a few lessons and i have to say they're extremely helpful. sometimes i get really bogged down in music theory and having an expert spell things out for me is great.

my teacher showed me countless guitarists i wouldn't have found on my own, and taught me things i never had an urge to learn but found a cool use for. until a while ago i didnt know a thing about blues scales, but now that i do i find ways to use them all the time

the opinion that lessons are dumb or are for people who are bad at guitar is very stupid, as tennessee jedi said, it limits your playing ability if you're not open to all sorts of influences.
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Postby jjbankhead » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:27 am

Larry La londe studied under Steve Vai i do believe, or satirani. one of those two guys. but i dont know of people here think he is a guitar GOD.

i also read that Bob was inducted into the dead by having taken lessons from Jerry @ the music store the warlocks was formed in. I believe someone else already stated this but i figured i wold just back it up
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Postby Chuckles » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:24 am

Since this has sorta devolved from the original question... pardon me if I continue the tangent.

Kinda depends on your definition of lessons... When I first started, I had my dad's 40 year old Stella strung with nylon and took basic introductory lessons at the YWCA down the street. Eventually took a semester at the St. Louis Conservatory for the Arts, from which I learned a little about technique, alternate picking, a little sight reading and some cool jazz tunes, but I didn't apply myself (practice enough) and they booted me.

But the one and only lesson I count as the most important was when a HS classmate (Ben Connor, I believe it was) taught me the minor pentaonic and said to just go with it from there. A couple years later in college I realized that you could drop it three frets and play competently in the major scale to "On Broadway". It's been all experimenting from there, though this site has really opened my eyes to a TON of possibilities and gotten me very much interested in the last few months in exploring the relationship between harmony/melody and chords/scales/modes, which I'd read about but never really delved into. So, this is in of itself a bit of a lesson.. minus the expense and pressure.
Seems like I've been here before...

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Postby strumminsix » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:22 am

jjbankhead wrote:i also read that Bob was inducted into the dead by having taken lessons from Jerry @ the music store the warlocks was formed in. I believe someone else already stated this but i figured i wold just back it up


Where did you read this?

It's odd because Bobby and Jerry started Mother McCree's (not the Dead) and Bobby was playing washtub bass (Jerry was accomplished & teaching mostly banjo but also guitar).
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Postby Crazy 9.5 Fingers » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:50 am

Well I think I'm quite a legend and I have studied under many teachers, Alex Skolnick I guess would be the only one you guys would maybe have heard of.

Quick story...

So it is December 1st, 1995, my 23rd birthday and I am outside Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City after a Ratdog show. My plan was to meet Bobby this night. So I waited outside the school, there were a bunch of us waiting there and I guess Bobby has family out that way because suddenly some doors opened up and here comes Bob Weir walking an old lady on his arm. I'll assume it was an Aunt or Grandmother or something. Anyway, he gets mobbed by about 20 people and gets sucked into signing a bunch of autographs (not my thing at all) and surrounded by the people. After a few minutes I kind of stick my head in there and ask, "So Bob, are you going to be picking up any students after the tour?" So Bobby stands up from huddling down and signing, and looks over at me smiles and says in that classic deep cowboy voice, "What kind of student are you talking about man?"

I replied with "Well I was thinking something along the lines of guitar/life philosophy student." He laughed and told me he was heading to South East Asia after the tour, I then told him I'd be glad to be his baggage carrier and/or sherpa and we laughed.

I shook his hand, thanked him for all the music, and wished him well in the post Grateful Dead era that had just begun. He thanked me for the well wishes.

Great fucking guy, great birthday!
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Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:22 am

Alex Skolnick is a great example of a guy who was Rocking it hard with I think Tesla? Testament?, the band flatlined and instead of fading into the sunset, went to school and has re invented his self.
Heard some of his new stuff and its jazz versions of metal standards.
Crazy Fingers- you took lessons from him?
Thats cool!
I always wanted to meet Bob but what to say?
I love you man!
Can I have a Hug?

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Crazy 9.5 Fingers » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:40 am

yeah Alex is a really good guy and teacher. I studied strictly jazz with him and it was always great to see just how much he really learned to appreciate the genre. He helped my playing out a ton.

Teachers like him I think are best as they know the nuts and bolts of theory, can play over jazz tunes like it was easy work, and still manage to shred some high gain stuff as well.
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Postby jjbankhead » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:06 pm

strumminsix wrote:
jjbankhead wrote:i also read that Bob was inducted into the dead by having taken lessons from Jerry @ the music store the warlocks was formed in. I believe someone else already stated this but i figured i wold just back it up


Where did you read this?

It's odd because Bobby and Jerry started Mother McCree's (not the Dead) and Bobby was playing washtub bass (Jerry was accomplished & teaching mostly banjo but also guitar).

for brevity I said daid but according to rock's book the guys met bobby from him hanging around the music store where jerry and pig worked and from taking lessons from jerry.
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Postby XxRouninxX » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:31 pm

there is also a small tidbit somewhere in the first quarter of phils book, real brief but he mentions jerry being bobby's teacher
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Postby Chuckles » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:08 pm

XxRouninxX wrote:there is also a small tidbit somewhere in the first quarter of phils book, real brief but he mentions jerry being bobby's teacher
I seem to recall the story was they met on New Year's eve. Jerry forgot that his students wouldn't show up and Bobby forgot his teacher (not Jerry) wouldn't show either and he heard Garcia noodling on banjo, so he went in an introduced himself.
Seems like I've been here before...

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Postby nkarnes » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:56 pm

Charlie Hunter is a guitar god. Studies pretty hard. There's no doubt some folks have natural talent and might not need guitar lessons but they can always help, especially in the jazz/fusion world.
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Postby cunamara » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:14 pm

Guitar lessons shorten the learning curve dramatically. Life is short, why waste time? LOL, about a year ago I got together with my old teacher to jam on some standards. Guy kicked my ass *again.* I was 15 years better than the last time we had played together, but he was 15 years better too!

I've been playing guitar since 1979 (OK, I am pushing 50) and took jazz guitar lessons for the first 6 years. Now I am taking jazz guitar lessons again. This time it is online. I dunno if it's ok to specifically reference the URL here and I don't want to shill worse than I already have; googling for "jimmy" and "bruno" will get you to the site. The stuff he teaches is *very* applicable to Dead music.

There are some other teachers using online methodologies to interact with students, too, some of them are very fine teachers. And of course there are video lessons from various places- I found Jorma Kaukonen's very well done, Joe Pass has some good ones on the jazz side too.

Something that has maybe done me the best, though, is jamming along to recordings. I get a better sense of how lines are constructed, how to comp, etc. by doing that because it's realtime playing.
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Postby jahozer » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:29 pm

As for the original intent of the thread, I have noticed that most interviews with professional musicians, they say that they grew up in a musical family, or their parents were musicians. I am sure lots took lessons, and lots went to Berkely and whatnot, but the common theme seems to be a musical home life.
I can credit my mom for not balking at all when I said I wanted to play guitar. She got me lessons and a peavey T-15 guitar and a tiny amp.
After that, though, neither one of my parents really encouraged or discouraged me sticking with it. I am glad I did, though. I love playing music and I really want to stay with it as my 16 month old son grows. He is already fascinated with my guitar, although, he wants to "help" play it. Wall hanging guitar stands are the best investment I made in a while!

As for lessons, they are awesome! I took them as a kid, then studied theory in high school and college.
But the best thing I ever did was take lessons about 20 years into playing.
I took them from a contemporary player who was older and certainly better than me, but on the same circuit of playing out. We had heard each other, and he was like "why the heck do you want lessons?!?!"
I told him that I was in a rut, and needed some new input and to be pushed. Its like this; I can do a hell of alot more push ups with a coach yelling at me than I ever would do on my own.
Those lessons helped me immensely. I was forced to see things differently. It was like a whole new level that I would have never gotten to, having stayed in my bad habits. I would recommend them for everyone.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best.- the girl from the bus
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Postby SoulShakedown » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:52 am

krzykat wrote:I'm sure that John Scofield took lessons, and for that matter lets not forget that Trey went to school for music so while there i would wager that he took a lesson or two or ten


Although I'm not the biggest Phish Phan, I do know that in addition to his formal schooling, Trey took lessons from Paul Asbell up in Vt. Asbell is a highly accomplished guitarist who wrote the super tasty fingerstyle blues acoustic ditty for the Ben & Jerry's ice cream commercial among his many other credits and years of touring..
His job was to share the light, not to master.
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Postby deadhippie » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:55 am

joe satriani and kirk hammet of metallica both took lessons from Steve Vai... together even.

Since we were talking metal w/ alex :)
I remember thinking he was god when i was a lowly headbanging teenager, saw him many times w/ testament in the late 80's, Havent checked out his new shit yet.
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