We are asked frequently about the needs and requirements of instruments for lessons and it’s not always a basic answer, so below is our thoughts on instruments and what we think you need to be successful in your lessons. There is also information on selecting a quality teacher and questions to consider when looking for music lessons. Whether you study music at Progressive Music Center or with another teacher we want you to have the best knowledge about what to expect and how to locate the best teacher for your needs.You can also see our FAQ page and Lesson Policies for other studio/lesson information, however please do not hesitate to call or email, we’re here to assist you.
The Lowdown On Instrument Requirements
Would you continue to play a sport even if your cleats were too big/small, had inadequate pads and equipment or had to borrow equipment that did not work properly or fit your needs? Of course not, and to learn to play music properly you need the correct equipment that fits you and your needs. We’ve been in this business a long time (since 1992) and in those years we have seen a lot of students start lessons on instruments that are not the right size, will not tune up or stay in tune, or is a toy instrument, so the student ends up quitting lessons altogether because they feel they are not progressing or achieving the sound they want. Unfortunately the reason a student stops is generally blamed on lack of interest or talent, but the underlying problem is mostly the lack of a proper instrument. We seen a lot of talented students that are frustrated and being held back by playing poor instruments. The good news is that to get a quality instrument you do not need to spend a lot of money.
It’s important to keep in mind that each student may have different requirements on the size, style and type of instrument they need. Some families have guitars that have been passed down from parents, grandparents and family friends, but that does not mean the instrument is usable for the lessons. To truly be successful you need an instrument that will tune up, stay in tune and produce a decent sound and tone.
If you already have an instrument our staff will be happy to look it over and make sure it is up to par. In many cases we can get an instrument back into playing shape in our repair dept. (a new set of strings, new drumheads, a slight adjustment or tweak can work wonders), so there is no need to purchase a new instrument as long the current instrument is the right fit for the student. We’ll also help determine the correct fit and size for a student. A small 6 year old can not play a full size acoustic guitar, and an adult student may have issues with a small drum set that is too low for them when seated.
If you need to purchase or rent and instrument, please discuss this with us. We are very knowledgeable and can help direct your purchase of a quality instrument for your student. You will also need a music method book(s) – the exact type of book(s) the student will need will be determined by their instructor at the first lesson. We carry most of these books in our retail shops.
A Spiral bound notebook for writing notes and a metronome and tuner are also great items that most of our teachers require. If you have an iPhone or smartphone here are 2 really good apps we like that you can download and use as tuners, metronomes, and more.
Tuner, Chords, Metronome and more on this app from Gibson. FREE
D’Addrio’s Chordmaster for iPhone and iPod Touch. $.99