Thanks, your points are well received. I consider myself an intermediate player as far as I can tell. I love to listen to the original masters as well as contemperary artists like yourself and others. For years playing by ear was my only refuge because I couldn't read tab or afford lessons. In the past several years lesson have been good for some technic and feedback, but it is awfully difficult to find a good teacher in my area (Asheville, NC), especially one that gives good feedback unless your a flat picker then the choices are endless. I have had a teacher for a while now and he is fantastic to listen to, but teaches versions that are more his own then that of the original.
I think my biggest question is in regards to curriculum. I practices about 2-3 hours a day. I just pick up a particular tune because I love the way it sounds and want to have fun with it. For instance, Bad luck blues from your BBJefferson DVD is what I'm woking on the most now (I love it), after I get to a saturation point with that I work on reharshing and refining old material to keep it fresh. I sometimes wonder if I spend my time wisely.
At some point I would love to do a wokshop with you, Do you ever come to this area of North Carolina?
Lessons by phone are my only other option. But how do lessons by phone work, do you still do that? Cost? and are they helpful in regards to feedback or mainly setting up a good well rounded curriculum and practice plan??
: I think what's best depends on how experienced
: a player you are. However, in general, I
: think that DVDs, although cheaper, lack a
: few important benefits compared to a good
: Perhaps the most important of these is that
: teachers can provide feedback. Most people
: who learn a tune by themselves end up doing
: some of it right and some of it wrong and
: will practice both the right and the wrong
: parts until they are both thoroughly
: ingrained. With no one to point out where
: they've gone wrong, they tend not to correct
: themselves. This is particularly true for
: things like hand position, but applies to
: notes and rhythm as well.
: Another thing a good teacher can provide
: that a DVD can't is a curriculum. It's easy
: to get a DVD of your favorite stuff, but not
: so easy to know what will be the most
: beneficial music to work on next for your
: musical development.
: I would tend to recommend getting at least a
: few lessons for a solid grounding before
: jumping into DVDs. However, in both lessons
: and DVDs it's all too easy to neglect one of
: the most important things: the development
: of your musical ear. It's all too easy,
: whether you're using DVDs or actually taking
: lessons, to end up able to play lots of
: songs but unable to figure anything out for
: yourself. I've found that this comes from
: excessive reliance on tablature for learning
: rather than on listening.
: To develop your ear, you have to be willing
: to play things that are alot simpler than
: what you could do if you used tablature. I
: think this is one of the reasons people use
: tablature excessively (sometimes even to the
: extent of not listening to the recordings).
: Anyway, I hope this answers your question.
: -- Ari
: --Previous Message--
: I have recently been learning from your DVDs
: and find them very helpful. I have taken
: lessons for years and have learned alot of
: the basics, but have a hrd time affording
: regular lessons at this point. I Can however
: afford DVDs and learning CDs etc. I am
: wondering if I am selling myself short by
: not seeking a teacher or if these materials
: can be just as beneficial?