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Started teaching guitar: Song List?

thesooze

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,856
Started giving guitar lessons... :rock

What are some classic songs I should be getting tabs/music for to teach?

Open to all styles... just good songs to know. Thanks!
 

tsar nicholas

Member
Messages
8,673
Teacher of beginner guitar here. Here's a few that I get 'em started with :

AC/DC - "Back In Black"
Black Sabbath - "Iron Man"
Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"

I also ask them to pick out riffs or songs that they want to learn
 

thesooze

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,856
Teacher of beginner guitar here. Here's a few that I get 'em started with :

AC/DC - "Back In Black"
Black Sabbath - "Iron Man"
Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"

I also ask them to pick out riffs or songs that they want to learn
Good suggestions. I just have a few younger students 6-10, who want to learn rock but don't have any rock songs on "their iPod" so to speak... I would also think Rock Band (the game) would be a good place to start. Just thought I'd get some more suggestions from the TGP crowd. Thanks!
 

Clifford-D

Senior Member
Messages
17,047
Let the student tell you what they like????????
A good teacher can roll with that. :)

My students throw tunes at me all the time, I transcribe it
put it in tab or script, and in a 1/2 hr they have their tune,
I get a workout in transcribing, they are impressed, in time
I work with them to do it on their own.
 

trailrun100s

Member
Messages
3,569
Please, please, please, no tab! Teach them the fretboard...They'll thank you for it later!

I've got 8 year old students playing challenging melodies by reading off of charts or by me calling out notes...It's a wonderful thing to say play a D on the B string and they go right to it. Or if I ask for an F# and they can quickly play it in three places...

If they are a beginner, why not start them off right, ya know...

Also, don't forget ear training...Teach them the process that you go through when you transcribe something...Developing your ear is one of the most important things if they really want to pursue the art...

I also start to throw some of the theory their way as to why the group wrote the song the way they did or what the guitar play was basing his riffs or solos off of...They start to see patterns and progressions in a different way...Opens many doors...

For the youngin's, pretty and musical melody's that they are familiar with are great for teaching the fretboard and keeping their interest. Stuff like Yesterday(Beatles) or My Favorite Things...
 
Last edited:

Rockledge

Senior Member
Messages
5,553
I think there is a difference between teaching someone guitar and teaching them to play songs.
If you want to really teach them guitar, get them through the first mel Bay book to get them familiar with technique and sight reading, when they get beyond that point start teaching them theory, scales and how to build chord structures on scales and all that.
If you just teach them how to play songs they are not really learning guitar, they are just learning how to be parrots.
Teach them to be musicians, not just guitar players.
Basic sight reading is a must for anyone who wants to learn theory, and theory is a must for anyone who wants to take it seriously. Once a guy knows theory, he can teach himself anything.
If he just knows songs, he is stuck with those songs long after that style of music is no longer popular. Which is fine for someone wanting to play one basic style their entire life.
 

NyteOwl

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,642
^^^^^
^^^^^
Definitely what these two guys said.

When I started taking lessons, it was the Mel Bay method all the way. However, my teacher also taught me how to play a new Top 40 tune every week. Six months later, I was playing rhythm guitar in his band.
 

mlavin00

Member
Messages
905
I would ask you to ask yourself a different question rather than what songs to teach. I've been teaching guitar full-time for 11 years now with 50+ students on my roster and have a different take. Ask yourself, "how would I like to have been taught?" Now teach THAT way. Design your own curriculum that includes everything YOU love about the guitar and you'll be surprised just how well that resonates with students. Regarding your typical Mel Bay-type books, they have their place, but would you want to learn that way? If so, that by all means go for it. If not, then create your own method.
 

mlavin00

Member
Messages
905
Regarding sight reading, a very touchy subject amongst teachers I may say, it is absolutely not necessary unless the student specifically asks to learn it, or has hopes of attending music school etc. You will lose more students trying to force sight reading than you will keep. The overwhelming majority of students I've worked with had zero interest in reading music but still wanted to have structure in chords, scales/modes/arps, and improvisation. For those that do, I've used the Berklee books quite effectively.
 

acguitar84

Member
Messages
765
I would ask you to ask yourself a different question rather than what songs to teach. I've been teaching guitar full-time for 11 years now with 50+ students on my roster and have a different take. Ask yourself, "how would I like to have been taught?" Now teach THAT way. Design your own curriculum that includes everything YOU love about the guitar and you'll be surprised just how well that resonates with students. Regarding your typical Mel Bay-type books, they have their place, but would you want to learn that way? If so, that by all means go for it. If not, then create your own method.
This is my philosophy as well!
 

thesooze

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,856
I teach at a music school and am already teaching Mel Bay books, theory, how to read notes, and scales. Maybe I should have lead with that info...

I want to supplement those things with some good-to-know songs in multiple genres. For kids who don't know any music they can suggest, I was asking for some staples I can draw from for good teaching material...

Does anyone have any song suggestions?
 
Last edited:

JasonAz

Member
Messages
1,007
My beginner routine has been....

Teach kids through a method book( i like hal leonard best) ..because it goes hand in hand with the music they read in school(treble clef)

Then pentatonic scale and 1234 exercise

smoke on the water

and chords E, Em, A, Am. + one simple strum pattern
 

thesooze

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,856
Thanks for your reply, this is what I've been doing. :aok

I'm just looking for something in popular music they can learn, something they can play for their parents or friends that they might recognize. Something to augment books/scales/simple chord patterns... Some kids cannot come up with suggestions for songs off the top of their heads, so I'm wondering which songs you would suggest to them if they asked YOU.

My beginner routine has been....

Teach kids through a method book( i like hal leonard best) ..because it goes hand in hand with the music they read in school(treble clef)

Then pentatonic scale and 1234 exercise

smoke on the water

and chords E, Em, A, Am. + one simple strum pattern
 

JasonAz

Member
Messages
1,007
i start teaching full chord songs once they know chords, d, c and g along with the e and a.... then i do stuff like , 8 days a week, u2 one(after they learn f), tom petty last dance mary jane, you got to hide ur love away(for their first 3/4 song),

as far as power chord songs, it could be anything because its just one chord. First resort: green day)

the first barre chord song i teach is hotel california( a nice combo of open chords and the 2 barre chords(bm and f# major-which have the same shape ..just a string down)


more songs i teach based on a combination of the above:
satisfaction
dani califiornia
wiah u were here
brain damage
 

Clifford-D

Senior Member
Messages
17,047
Please, please, please, no tab! Teach them the fretboard...They'll thank you for it later!
I don't agree at all, understanding the concept of tab and how it provides
the visual image of the fretboard, from the beginning, something that notes readers don't piece together for a very long time.
I say put the image of the neck in their head as soon as they are ready.
Understanding fretboard mechanics is not best taught only through reading. If you think about it, the fretboard is a map, with horizontal and vertical considerations, just like in basic algebraic graphing
(2,3) means second string third fret (horizontal first)(vertical second)

stuff like that is simple to show a young person while still talking about their interest, R&R, and the tunes they like.

To me reading at a young age is like having blinders on, it's narrow and focused and most likely has NOTHING to do with the students interests.
Showing them the open expanse of the fretboard and greater potentials
for being CREATIVE. Music reading is NOT creative, it's a fine disipline
that CAN BE LEARNED LATER, a couple of years later perhaps. There is no program, my least favorite teacher is one that sqeezes their students into small square boxes. Humans don't like being in a box, especially kids. But they do what they're told, has nothing to do with empowerment or even enjoyment.

I've got 8 year old students playing challenging melodies by reading off of charts or by me calling out notes...It's a wonderful thing to say play a D on the B string and they go right to it. Or if I ask for an F# and they can quickly play it in three places...
so can they play blues?

If they are a beginner, why not start them off right, ya know...
I agree,
after 25 years of professional teaching and 47 yrs of playing the guitar, and I mean playing, by ear, no notes no tab, just ear.

Also, don't forget ear training...Teach them the process that you go through when you transcribe something...Developing your ear is one of the most important things if they really want to pursue the art...
Totally agree

I also start to throw some of the theory their way as to why the group wrote the song the way they did or what the guitar play was basing his riffs or solos off of...They start to see patterns and progressions in a different way...Opens many doors...
I would think the theory starts once you decide to play.

For the youngin's, pretty and musical melody's that they are familiar with are great for teaching the fretboard and keeping their interest. Stuff like Yesterday(Beatles) or My Favorite Things...
With me, it's ALL about doing two important things;

1. Feeling comfortable with me, a young kid can feel intimidated in a
private session. My goal is to develop an easy environment for them
to "be" in. I treat them like regular people.
Many young folks have NEVER been in a situation where they are TELLING an adult or
the teacher (me) what to do, they do that by telling me what they want. This brings up the 2nd big thing

2. Becoming empowered. It's a great feeling to see a student feel empowered with the ability to execute a musical thought with no guide
such as notation. To have the student CLEAR on why they are sitting across from me. Ability to tell me what they want in music. Empowerment.
It's agreat thing.
 
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'58Bassman

Member
Messages
4,930
I teach at a music school and am already teaching Mel Bay books, theory, how to read notes, and scales. Maybe I should have lead with that info...

I want to supplement those things with some good-to-know songs in multiple genres. For kids who don't know any music they can suggest, I was asking for some staples I can draw from for good teaching material...

Does anyone have any song suggestions?
You're asking us to find a needle in a haystack. You can't know all of the songs your students will want to learn, so you may want to have a computer in your practice studio, connected to the internet. That would allow you to find the songs on YouTube and if you need to transcribe them, you'll be able to take enough time to get it right. I would have them come up with their own list, so you can work out the transcriptions every week.

I would, however, teach them the value of developing their ear. If they don't do that, they may know they're not playing it correctly, but it will be far easier to correct their mistakes. If they play strictly from sheet music and tab, they'll only know that they're playing according to the sheet music which may, or may not, be accurate but they won't be able to identify the difference.
 




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