Choosing A Guitar Teacher – Part 2

Choosing A Guitar Teacher – Part 2

By Vishaal Kapoor

Are you still looking for the best guitar teacher in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya areas? I hope you read and enjoyed the 1st part of this article on How To Choose A Guitar Teacher. This is the 2nd part of the article, and should help you get closer to choosing the best guitar teacher for yourself, your children, your family or friends. If you missed the 1st part of this article, check it out here: Choosing a Guitar Teacher – Part 1

Use the tips below to find the right guitar teacher for you.

1. Find a teacher who has training on HOW to Teach Guitar

Hint: If the teacher talks mostly about their own skills and credentials he/she has most likely NOT been trained how to teach. Some of the things they may say would be, “I have completed Grade 8 exam”, or “I went to music school”, or “I play in a live band” or “I have been teaching for 30 years”. Most guitar teachers have ZERO training on how to teach, train and coach students. None of the above credentials are going to help you to learn guitar in the best possible way.

Ineffective approaches to teaching guitar gets poor results and frustration for students. Even if the teacher has been teaching for 30 years, they may have experience, but may not have exceptional teaching skills. Teaching for 30 years is just a statistic.

Solution: Get a teacher who has been trained specifically to teach guitar

2. Find a teacher who has a track record

Has the teacher successfully taught other people to achieve their musical goals? Do they have any proof or testimonials from students? Check out some of my students:

3. Find a teacher who offers multiple learning formats

Contrary to popular belief, Private (1-on-1) Lessons are NOT the best way to learn guitar. Other formats give you a lot of direct and indirect benefits that you cannot get with private lessons. This may seem counter-intuitive, but its true. If done correctly, learning in other formats will likely be more fun and get you faster results than typical, standard, 1 size fits all approach. If a teacher only knows how to teach private lessons, the teacher has likely not received any training on dynamic and geometric teaching methods.

4. Find a guitar teacher who uses a Geometric Teaching approach
A Geometric approach is a far superior teaching method compared to typical ‘Linear’ Approaches. A linear approach would be to teach you song by song, step by step. A Geometric approach would enable you to achieve the level of guitar playing you want to reach – so you can play anything you desire on the guitar.

5. Find a teacher who creates strategies to reach your goals
Most teachers don’t even know how to create a strategy for you. Without a plan in place, how will you achieve your goals?

6. Find a teacher who will help you to develop a practice routine
Without an effective practice routine, you will likely not be focused on targeting all the areas you need to work on.

7. Do NOT go for the cheapest lessons
You get what you pay for. Cheap lessons often indicate an inexperienced teacher. Excellent teachers are often in demand and have many students – because their students get great results. Don’t cheap out in the short run to only to lose in the long run.

8. Do NOT choose a teacher based on location
You might think its a waste of time to travel further for lessons, but if you work with an ‘average’ teacher, you will likely waste more time when you are practicing. You can often get greater results by practicing less when you work with an excellent teacher, saving time and frustration in the long run.

9. DON’T assume that a good guitar player is a good guitar teacher
This may seem obvious, many people mistakenly think a good guitar player will be a good teacher. Get a teacher who has been trained, has exceptional teaching skills and cares about your skills and struggles.

10. Don’t make the BIGGEST mistake of all!
Make a decision to get started right now. Don’t procrastinate on your dreams. Contact me right now and experience what it feels like to play guitar the way you have always wanted.

If you are the type of person who is committed to invest time and effort into yourself to becoming a great guitar player – I’m looking for a student just like you.

If you are looking for the best guitar lessons in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya? Schedule a FREE GUITAR LESSON NOW and Transform your Guitar Playing!

Choosing A Guitar Teacher – Part 1

Choosing A Guitar Teacher – Part 1

By Vishaal Kapoor

How do you decide which guitar lessons to take, who is the best guitar teacher, or which guitar school your should choose? Surely all guitar lessons are the same, right? If I want to learn guitar, it should be the same to learn from teacher A or B or from the music school down the road, right? I mean, they MUST have students who are able to play since they have been in business for a while, right?


If this were true, we’d have hundreds and thousands of great guitar players emerging in the country. The truth is that most music schools hire other teachers to teach the instruments. Some teachers have been there for many years, and some just teach for short periods of time at the music school and move on. The scary part is that most teachers are not trained in any way and don’t really have a proven strategy for helping students overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. I mean, if a teacher doesn’t stay for long in a music school, does the school keep track of what you want to be able to do on the guitar?

Probably not – most music schools teach music grades (even for guitar), and expect you to go for exams to become more advanced and pay them more money. I’m not saying that learning through the grades is necessarily a bad thing – it really depends on your goals. If your musical goal is to just strum some of your favourite songs in your own bedroom, why would you need the grades? If you wanted to learn how to write songs, doing guitar grades doesn’t really help you either. The fact is, the grades provides a “cookie-cutter” method of learning to play the guitar, which does not and cannot work for everyone. You end up learning boring stuff from a book, and going through the book – which you could have done on your own.

Even worse, if you don’t learn grades, your teacher may just teach you how to play songs, one after another. Sounds good? Well, if you’re only being taught how to play song after song, then I’m sorry for being blunt, but you’re wasting your money. You can learn songs on your own, what you should be learning in your lessons is how to become better at doing that – you should be increasing your musical skills, technical ability and many other important aspects in your lessons.

The point here is not to talk bad about other teachers or music schools. The point here is do your due diligence, do a little bit of research, and find the right guitar teacher for you.

Guitar lessons are NOT like a can of coke! With a can of coke, you can choose to go to 7-Eleven, KK Mart, or some random convenience store, and you’d be getting the same, exact thing at different prices. It becomes easy to make a choice – just go for the lowest price. But with guitar lessons, its more complex, especially if you are not already an advanced guitar player. You want to find the best teacher for you, someone you can depend on, and who cares about your goals.

After all, you wouldn’t learn swimming from someone who you weren’t sure you could trust as a teacher and instructor, right? So it is essential that you select your guitar teacher carefully.

Check out part 2 of this article: How to Choose a Guitar Teacher – Part 2 to get more tips on choosing the best guitar teacher for you.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Do You Have What It Takes?

By Vishaal Kapoor

“Am I musically inclined?” Many people have asked themselves this question. Or they tell me, “I don’t think I’m musically inclined”. They have a sense of self-doubt as to whether they can learn a musical instrument or whether they reach their desired playing level. Sadly, there are guitarists who even end up ‘giving up’ altogether, thinking that only those who are “Musically Inclined” or possess some special ability can pursue their dreams.

There are two main groups of guitar players who fall in this trap.

The first group is guitar players who are just getting started – either they are completely new to the guitar, or they have just  started (whether they are taking lessons or not).  With these groups of guitar players, I can understand why they may think this way, but still disagree with the thought process. More on this later.

The second group is the more experienced guitar players – some have even been playing the guitar for many years.  Even after all those years, they feel that they are not up to the level they would like to play at, and simply accept the fact that they just “don’t have it in them”, or are not “musically inclined” enough to reach the next level.

If we take a look at the first group of people, it is very easy to fall in the trap of believing this myth of natural talent. After all, they are just starting out, and may not realize what it takes to become a great guitarist. If you haven’t, check out this article on Natural Talent for more on this. Most people tend to give up just as they are about to make a huge leap forward and then claim they have “tried” and “failed”, and then “confirm” for themselves the old-school notion that one must be “musically inclined” in order to play the guitar.

Now, lets look at the second group of guitar players – those who have been at it for a long time. These kinds of players, in general, tend to know a lot of bits and pieces, but have no idea how to piece them together. In fact, they may desire to become a better guitarist, but have no idea why they aren’t getting better. After all, Practice Makes Perfect, right? WRONG! If you know HOW to practice, and WHAT to practice, and the STRATEGIES that will help you reach a new level of playing, then yes, Practice Makes Perfect. If your practice time and practice strategies are leading you closer to your musical goals, then yes, Practice Makes Perfect. If your practice routines are clearly advancing your guitar and musical skills AND your ability to USE them, then yes, Practice Makes Perfect.

Most guitarists end up aimlessly playing their guitar over and over; trying desperately to get better, play faster etc. without having a real strategy for improving. After this happens for months (and even years), they too come to the conclusion that they are not “musically inclined”, and therefore can’t pursue guitar playing beyond their current level. Or worse, they make excuses for themselves that they “don’t have the time” and countless other things.

The first key to success here is to realize that learning to play the guitar (and most other instruments) requires dedication, consistency, perseverance and a burning desire to succeed. Notice how NONE of those requirements has ANYTHING to do with music. Of course, having these characteristics alone will not make anyone become a great guitarist or musician, because it needs to be coupled with strategies that enable them to reach their goals. But without these characteristics, they are likely to fail.

Lets take a look at a classic example:

Guitar virtuoso, Grammy Award winning, Composer, etc etc etc, Steve Vai. Many guitarists look up to him in awe of his talent. When we see him burning up and down on the guitar we all get impressed. It is very easy to fall in the trap of thinking that he has some special ability. Because what we see is the final product of all the years of training he has gone through. What we are actually seeing and hearing in a 5-minute song is a result of ALL those hours over the years he has put in. Anyone who does a simple internet search will quickly find out that Steve Vai used to have a “30-hour workout” for guitar. 30 hours!! That was his guitar practice schedule – to practice for 10 hours a day for 3 days in a row at a stretch!

Think about it – if he DID possess a special ability, why did he need to work so hard at it? The real “talent” here was having the dedication and desire to keep moving forward and growing as a musician. Of course, you don’t need to practice for 30 hours in a stretch in order to reach your desired musical ability! The Good News is that You can drastically improve your skills and shorten the time it takes if you know how to be effective with your practice routines.

I  had the rare opportunity to meet the guitar master, Steve Vai, in person, and asked him how he developed his phrasing and all those techniques he uses to express himself. He told me that it is something that he works very hard at, every single day, to this very day!

What about you? What are you doing on a daily basis to improve your skills?

Sometimes we limit ourselves by thinking that a great musician is “musically inclined” to make ourselves feel better about the fact that our practice is not getting results.

So next time you ask yourself, “Am I Musically Inclined?”, you should change that question to be, “Am I dedicated and consistent?” “Do I possess perseverance, the passion and a burning desire to become a great guitarist?” “Am I doing something daily to improve my existing musical and guitar skills and knowledge?

Natural Talent

Natural Talent

By Vishaal Kapoor

What is Natural Talent? Do you really need “natural talent” to learn how to play an instrument? In my experience teaching guitar to hundreds of students over many years, I have come across many different types of students. I’ve taught kids and adults, even adults past their 50s, many of whom have had ZERO experience in learning and playing any musical instrument. The result – many of them have proven to themselves that they don’t need natural talent to learn to play the guitar.

Many students often think that they don’t possess the ability to do something with music, and assume that they can’t be trained or taught to do so. I’ve had students tell me they are “tone deaf” or “felt they were too old” or “can’t play by ear no matter how hard they try” or “I’m not musically inclined, and no one in my whole family is either”. One thing is certain – if you have this mindset, you are NEVER even going to attempt to do any of those things. If you keep an open mind, have a willingness to learn and go through the process, if you have great guitar instruction you can achieve anything that you want on the guitar or any other instrument.

A friend of mine, and fellow guitar teacher, Mike Philippov has written more in depth on this topic, and I think you will greatly benefit from reading this article. Read this article on “Natural Talent” – highly recommended!