Dave Grohl interview

Hey everyone! As promised, here I am with my views on the topic of self-taught musicians! Today I’ll share my thoughts and experiences, based on an interview with rock legend Dave Grohl.

(full interview)

In the interview he talks about how he wants to figure out things on his own. I have this experience too; it’s awesome to discover new things by yourself. I think that’s where a great deal of the pride of self-taught players (that Grohl also talks about) comes from, but I have to add that I don’t entirely agree with the origin of that pride. Sure, it’s admirable that you learn something by yourself, but so much is still based on the work of others, even if there was no teacher to convey it to you.

Grohl explains how he didn’t want to spend his money on expensive lessons and that’s how I feel too. I won’t deny that a couple of lessons would be beneficial for me, but I want to do things in my own tempo. This is a flexibility that lessons don’t have. I know it has disadvantages, but it’s how I prefer to do it.

With a teacher you have more direction and guidance to improve your skills, but teaching yourself is a skill of its own. I believe that a critical look towards oneself is an important attitude for anything you learn by yourself (for example by recording myself I can view my own playing and judge it as if I were looking at another person).

I want to end with a quote from the interview:

I honestly believe that if you’re passionate, and you’re driven and focused, you can accomplish anything that you want to do.

In the end, I think this is what is most important, irrespective of whether you take lessons or not.


Thanks for reading! Next week we take a look from Lichen’s point of view! 

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5 Responses to Dave Grohl interview

  1. Very interesting to hear from Grohl’s experience. He made it really far as a self-learned musician! I agree with what you posted about passion being a really important factor in the self-learning process. Sometimes however, lessons can still be very useful. After a few years of playing the guitar on my own, I decided to take a few private lessons to check up on my skill. I learned a lot from the teacher in only a few sessions, and taking the lessons provided me with a lot more insight in music and my instrument, making me able to improve my skill and to grow. It cleared the fog and showed me what direction to go, what to teach myself. The lessons acted as a ‘kick-starter’ for my passion :).

  2. Totally agree with the post above.
    I started to learn guitar on my own, but seeing as my progress wasn’t as quick

    • Arghh, pressed . Anyway, as I was saying, i was learning on my own, but it wasn’t quick enough. So I went to some classes where you didn’t need to know any theory to learn guitar. Know the type? Anyway, that was even worse. So I bit the bullet and started at the music school (Muziekacademie, in Dutch). The horribleness of learning boring music theory and singing was compensated by a guitar teacher with incredible playing and teaching skills. I learned so much in just one year. He pushed me, hard. He would give me a few options for songs, but also make me do some that i didn’t want to learn. Those songs usually had very useful techniques in them, and quickly became my favorites. After so many years, i still go to those classes… I’ve been playing genres of music that I never thought I would play… I haven’t chosen a single song in a few years, always rely on what the prof wants to teach that week. It’s been fun, and i never regretted once that i took those classes. And even if you go to classes, you can still learn other stuff on your own at home, which is what i still do.
      Best and quickest way to learn? Combine lessons and “self teaching”.

  3. Lu Hongyang says:

    Yes. Passion and interest are the most powerful “weapons” when learning new skills. In this post it is indicated the importance of self-study and it is true. Only learn by ourselves can we really get improved, otherwise this is the “information” from the teachers but not our “knowledge”.

  4. You guys are seriously making me consider to find a teacher! =)

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