Now,as I've come to learn from those of you who happen to know this,someone like Joe Satriani is a very good guitarist.Some would say gifted.Others(like the writers of the copy on an Ibanez poster I saw in a music store) would say he's amongst the most respected guitarists in the world.I've never heard any of his stuff,but from what I hear,he's good.
And he went to Berkelee.
Which,I think,disqualifies him from my friend's list of the good and the gifted;
"He was taught guitar in a school,for God's sake!"
You'll also hear some(or many) of the guitarists you admire say,in interviews in magazines,on TV,on websites and so on,say that they are self taught.I've also seen some people on this site,in relation to how they learnt,say they are self taught.Quote unquote.
The following is an extract from an article I read from the site http://www.guitarnoise.com that I really agree with.I'm writing it here coz these sentiments about self taught and all that can have a demoralising effect on guitarsits,and especially learners,in as far as their skill level and all that stuff is concerned.
"Think about this: What, exactly, does the term “self-taught” mean? Anyone, including me, who tells you that he or she is a self-taught guitarist is living a bit of a delusion. In all fairness, this is not intentional – we simply do not know how to better explain how we learned the instrument. But it is very safe to say that our learning how to play the guitar (or about music, for that matter) was not the individual accomplishment that “self-taught” literally describes, that is one without any outside source at all. Someone or something taught us how to tune the thing, how putting notes together in certain ways produced chords, all sorts of things like that.
You see, “self-taught” is usually short hand for “I learned without the formal use of a teacher, but I had a lot of help. From books, from friends, (and these days) from the internet. From watching and listening and then being able to put two and two together myself.”...
...Everyone got help of some kind in order to get to whatever level of playing ability he or she currently enjoys. And in order to reach whatever that next stage of development may be, more help is going to be needed...
Before you can get anywhere, it’s usually a good idea to have an idea, any idea no matter how vague, as to where you want to go. This advice is the same whether you are a pure beginner or whether you have been playing for decades and want to up the ante a little bit.
And you also have to have a really good idea as to where you currently are. What do you already know? Do you have any previous musical background? Have you learned another instrument, even if it was clarinet waaaaaaayyyy back in the third grade? Can you read music? If not, would you like to be able to? What sort of music do you listen to? Why do you want to play the guitar? What kinds of music would you like to be able to play on the guitar? Do you have more interest in learning how to play on your own or do you want to be able to sit in with other musicians as well? Are you more concerned with your own enjoyment or do you want to make a career out of this (and these things are not mutually exclusive)? Which guitarists’ styles/sounds/songs most interest you? If you could play any one song or solo right here and now what would that be?
Before I agree to take on a new student, I insist that we talk over many of these questions. I truly don’t expect my prospective pupil to have a lot of answers, but I do hope that he or she has a few clues.
Please understand that these questions are not meant to be intimidating or to show you huge holes in your thought processes or anything like that. They are to get you thinking.
More than anything else, how you decide to proceed from this point is going to be a matter of your own personality. If you are first able to be honest with yourself about what you really want to do, then you should be able to start to take those steps that will get you closer to where you want to be.
And with so many available means of obtaining information, you’re bound to run into two distinct dangers: being overwhelmed or being paralyzed. Either you go scurrying around from one source to the next and never end up actually doing or learning anything or else you are spending so much time analyzing what you want to do that, again, you wind up not doing anything. So yeah, I guess you could also add that you could become paralyzed because you’ve been overwhelmed."