Being a full-time, professional guitar coach is an amazingly interesting and fulfilling job. It has been my dream to do that for a living since I was a little kid – I started teaching guitar at age 15.

Therefore, I decided to write a short series of mini-posts on the most usual mistakes people will do when learning to play guitar. These are mistake that will SERIOUSLY hinder your progress, and I suggest you find ways to avoid them at pretty much all costs…. So, in essence, this is something similar to FAQ – or rather an “F.M.” – Frequent mistakes. You literally CANNOT believe how many times I’ve heard these exact stories… so let’s see if I can help a little bit in “preventing” these from happening again…

Mistake #1: Waiting to get “good” before you start lessons

What usually happens:

Young kid finds out about me and my guitar coaching and wants to have private lessons with me. Even though he REALLY wants that a lot (which is the thing that is MOST important), he does not DARE to call/email/chat with me because he feels he is not GOOD enough on the instrument to have my attention…(which is not the case)

So he stays home practicing (mostly useless stuff) for THREE YEARS, before he feels “worthy” of my attention…meanwhile 3 years of what could have been QUALITY tuition and practice time is lost…plus now I have to undo 3 ADDITIONAL years of damage of all the bad habits, now much more deeply ingrained in his playing!


“But, Ioannis, don’t you screen your potential students for ability BEFORE you teach them”?


“I do not screen for ability – it is MY responsibility to CREATE that ability. I DO screen for ATTITUDE. I want a student that will be motivated and willing to follow instructions“

What SHOULD happen:

  1. Don’t wait. If you have found out the teacher you want to study with, if you feel you can depend on that person and that you can trust him, contact him NOW. Not next week , Not tomorrow. NOW. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME – it is the ONLY non renewable resource in your life!
  2. Do not care about how “good” you are BEFORE you start your lessons. Are you going to a top teacher to GET GOOD? Or are you going there so that he can tell you how GOOD you ALREADY are? Honestly, if you were THAT good, people would already be talking about you all around. So, chances are, you are not THAT good – YET! Keep in mind – you are going to a teacher and PAYING him to help you GET good – NOT tell you how awesome you already are… So, care a lot about if he can help you GET good!

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