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Question for guitar teachers... please help!

johann

Member
Messages
2,759
In which order do you teach things???

Say...

Scales, basic chords, arps???

Please help.
 

Stig Ø

Member
Messages
927
It's been a while since I taught, but I think that you need to involve the student. Results lead to motivation which in turn lead to practising which in turn lead to results, and so on. That's the ideal scenario. Not knowing the level of your students it's difficult to be specific. I would suggest that you talk to the student to establish goals. Then try making music as soon as possible - just handing out e.g. scale exercises is a rip-off in my book. It's your job as a teacher to build systematic support around the student, and make sure that the time being spent is actually spent wisely. If you give me some more info on the students' level, ambitions and whether it's electric, acoustic or both, I can probably be more specific.
 
Messages
522
lesson one: parts of the guitar, music terms, tab basics, which allows me to write out a finger exercise (fingers 1234 in frets 1234 on each string) I also demonstrate how this finger exercise can be executed at different points on the neck which introduces hand positions

lesson 2: start with finger exercise, finger exercise at 5th fret. if they can pull it of at all, I go for an open A major chord, open A Minor pointing out the only difference is one note. And one octave major scale in the key of A. I casually mention that the notes in the A major chord come from the A major scale.

You can send my check in the mail ;).
 

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,197
For pure beginners, help them through Mel Bay or Hal L. vol 1. No need to re-invent the wheel. Or do you mean someone further on up the road?
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,205
For a complete beginner, this is what I did:

lesson one: parts of the guitar, music terms, tab basics, which allows me to write out a finger exercise (fingers 1234 in frets 1234 on each string) I also demonstrate how this finger exercise can be executed at different points on the neck which introduces hand positions
I used to use a book called "Fast Track" by Hal Leonard. It was very much your typical Mel Bay Guitar Method type book, but it included Tab. I felt guitarists should learn to read standard notation, tab, and chord diagrams, and this series had it all.

A nice fringe benefit was that there were Keyboard and Bass etc. versions of the series with the same songs in them so if you worked in a studio with other instructors, or had a bass student, you could get them together and start working on playing with other people pretty early on (comparatively speaking).

However, there's always the hard realization that you have to put food on the table. In order to get, and more often, to keep students, one usually finds it necessary to help them learn what they want to learn, as opposed to what they should (must) learn to become a competent musician. Also, one must realize some people just want to do it for fun, and learn to play a few songs.

So I would tailor lessons depending on the person's interest, and incorporate other tab books, or things I wrote out, etc.

When it became hard was when younger kids started coming in and I would say "what songs would you like to learn" and the only music they had ever heard of was Video Game soundtracks (back then, we're talking Mario Bros, not Destiny or something). Since "guitar-based" music is really a thing of the past now, most of them had no clue as to what the guitar's role in music making even was.

I've seriously thought of giving "Producer Lessons". I could make a fortune. But I can't afford to invest in the gear...
 

johann

Member
Messages
2,759
thanks to all of you guys.

What I want is to establish a program, with the basic things. So even if they're learning some songs, I can incorporate these basics into lessons.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,354
thanks to all of you guys.

What I want is to establish a program, with the basic things. So even if they're learning some songs, I can incorporate these basics into lessons.
Glance at some beginning piano books and look at how the fundamentals are gradually introduced. Some of the basics like key signatures and time signatures are gradually introduced and explained. Learning how to play music take precedence over a big gob of theory.
 

LaoTzu

Member
Messages
585
for my first lesson i taught how to tune the guitar and get the ears used to going sharp and flat. aswell as how to position your body for practice. i.e what angle the pick should be, how to sit. getting the right posture. how much pressure you need to pluck a string and hold a note.
 

jeffmatz

Member
Messages
325
The only rule is every student is different.

My lesson plans are a balance of "what they need to know" and "what they need to do to stay interested."
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Everyone is different. It all depends on the student's abilities. Finding ways to incorporate the basics with their interests is best for me. I might use a method book, 5% of the time. It's all hand written and customized to them.
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,969
I don't teach a lot of beginners but the first lesson is the parts of the guitar. After that I show then the names of the open strings and we learn the open chords that match them, E A D and G. After that C and F. Then we take two of them, like G and C, or E and A and learn to change between them. Right now we be at a make or break.

If they make it we would learn the notes on the fretboard, more tunes, and go to barre chords next. If they don't make it but still come for lessons we would learn the names of the notes on the fretboard and move onto single string/finger/note melodies and exercises.

Anything to do with scales or arpeggio's or that level of theory (except what's been taught already) would be further down the road once they are playing/functioning and are ready to put their head around things rather than getting their fingers to move together.

I should add that while I don't teach many beginner guitarists these days, I do teach a lot of beginner mandolin players but the process is essentially the same.
 

gearmeup

Member
Messages
1,254
In which order do you teach things???

Say...

Scales, basic chords, arps???

Please help.
Chords, then notes, then scales. There is no order but to help the student comprehend it the most I would use that order...... Are arpeggios important..... Perhaps.... but a little overrated... If you ask me especially if they are used just to be used.
 

LaoTzu

Member
Messages
585
ok, but if you were putting a study program how would you put things in order?
ask your student what songs they want to learn and make it relevant to the songs they want.

a wise teacher taught me that you're only as good as your cd collection.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,354
ask your student what songs they want to learn and make it relevant to the songs they want.

a wise teacher taught me that you're only as good as your cd collection.
Young student to Ravi Shankar, "Can you show me how to play Within You Without You?".
I actually have a tape of guy taking a lesson from Ted Greene saying, "Can you show me how to play like Lenny Breau".
Guitar pedagogy is pretty warped compared to all other instruments. The student gets to lead the way...not that every student isn't different.
 

ianb

Member
Messages
2,082
I always ask my students what songs they would like to learn how to play. It starts there.

I teach them whatever it is they need to play those songs, in fases of course, always demonstrating how the ingredients needed are used. All knowledge of notes, chords, melodies, riffs, I always teach them in relationship to the songs they are learning.

I encourage them to bring songs they want to learn to our lessons, and pose as many questions about them as they can think of. In my experience, the music itself is the best motivator there is.
 




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