This clip from the short-lived British sketch-com Snuff Box made me think about great guitar teachers — and not-so-great ones.
I was lucky — I had some truly memorable teachers, starting with my mom, who taught me her coffeehouse folk. When she decided I needed a more advanced instructor, she recruited Larry, a friend’s 16-year-old Who-fanatic son. (He grew up to become renowned classical guitarist Lawrence Ferrara.) Katherine Charleton (later Calkins) mutated me into an early music geek. And I got to take a few lessons from Ted Greene was I was 17 or so, though he wouldn’t take me as a weekly student. He’d listen to me play got a bit, then dispense pages and pages of chord progressions and melodic sequences, the material that wound up on his Solo Guitar Playing books. I paid Buckethead for a few lessons when he was 17, but it was mainly just to hang out and watch him do his amazing thing. My last great teacher was the sublime Martin Simpson — I finagled a couple of lessons from him when he lived 90 minutes from me in Santa Cruz.
How about you guys? Which teachers inspired you the most? What was the best advice you ever got from a teacher? The worst? Do you teach yourself? Does teaching affect the way you play? Like that.