The best answer I can give you is, if it were as simple as putting an X on a piece of paper and saying “I’m good at this,” I’d have nothing to add. However, there is a lot we can do. There’s a lot of hard work involved in becoming an excellent guitarist, not to mention practice and practice and practice.
What, if anything, can you do to improve at guitar to be considered good enough to play in a band?
A little. Go over to your local guitar shop and see what kind of instruments you’re interested in playing with. I’m always amazed at how many decent guitarists there are who are really happy with their instruments, but haven’t discovered the right one.
What is an important part of good playing to you?
The ability to play really well with others. I love having other people join me on a tour, to help with problems and things on the road. The easiest way to improve is to get really good with other people, to show that you can come through hard times. Also, don’t be afraid of sharing your lessons with others. If people have had good experiences, they will be more likely to come back to teach others. Just don’t be too afraid to let someone know at the start that you’re an amateur, don’t expect anyone to know what you’re doing because they only play the basics – they’ll all just go along with what you’re doing so long as it works.
Most of your books include video lessons, but what kinds of things do you teach in their own right?
I teach guitar while giving lessons, but only when playing guitar alone, or through the phone, while I’m not at my home studio in New York or London. I’ve seen students and instructors get into serious trouble simply by teaching others over the phone. If your instrument is too expensive and/or you’re on the job for more than a few years, it might be best to avoid it. It’s hard to give proper instruction if you can’t see how well it’s done, and you may end up paying a fortune for a lesson that you’ll be very happy with when you get home.
Also, I only teach guitar over the phone when I’m performing. If I’m going on holiday, I may teach something different, but I prefer to teach when I’m playing music with friends or while playing in a live band.
In your recent book “Playing Guitar for Begin
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