Oh yes, I'm sure I have dreadful habits
--other than some lessons taken sporadically in my pre-teen and teen-aged years, I am self-taught! I'm a barre chording, string bending slasher, who has, until now, covered his mistakes with distortion and other electronic effects!
I will seek someone who has the willingness to meet with me on a monthly basis, but regular lessons just are not possible at this time. Strangely enough, professional musicians like to be justly compensated for their time--who knew?
I am in approximately the same boat as Freeman in the area of reading music--I slowly plunk it out, one measure at a time, while memorizing what has gone before. Eventually, through repitition, I get it.
I do not sight read at this time. I am most comfortable with pieces transcribed in both TAB and standard notation, because I look to the TAB for finger placement, and the notation for rythmic values.
I know more about theory/technique than I let on, but there are definite holes in my knowlege. I already knew what "B-V" or "C-II" meant on a score, and I can tell what key I'm supposed to be in, and I know what makes Major or minor, but things like the differences between free stroke and rest stroke, or what indicates the position I should play a given piece in, still escape me.
I don't wish to NOT play, simply because I can't attach myself to a regular instructor at this time. I'd rather remain ignorant of my bad habits, and plow ahead, enjoying the music rather than being concerned with my immediate technique (or lack thereof). Someday, I'm sure I'll have the time, extra cash, etc., for formal lessons, whereupon I'll unlearn my bad habits.
I guess the purpose of this rambling thread is this: What exercises would you recommend to a person in my position? What scores should I begin with? Do any of you have suggestions you can pass on that assisted you in your learning process?