Teaching Guitar

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Tprince, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Tprince

    Tprince Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    I just started teaching guitar. One of my students is into heavy metal/punk, which is really not my thing. He's a beginner, but knows a few scales and power chords and so. He's also kind of ADD. Anyone have any tips?
     
  2. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,947
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Caddle prod?

    Does he want to learn that exclusively? Is he open to learning about theory?
    You could try the you give me some and I give you some approach.
    He learns some stuff you feel is important, you teach him a song.
     
  3. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Messages:
    15,774
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Lost
    Determine his strengths and weaknesses
    Determine his interests and direction
    Advise him that his tastes will most likely change over time

    Provide a healthy balance of what he enjoys along with the things he needs in order to facilitate well rounded ability. In this way, he'll be prepared for other avenues if/when his interests change.
     
  4. Tprince

    Tprince Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    yeah, that's what I was thinking. Thanks.
     
  5. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,947
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Exactly, I think we are saying the same thing.
    You have to keep them intertested but at the same time you do not want to churn out human juke boxes, it is a balancing act for sure.
     
  6. drummondrs

    drummondrs Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    My current teacher has the same trouble. He is an amazing jazz guitarist but he has about 100 students and only 1 or 2 (one is me) is actually interested in jazz. So, he figures out current songs like RHCP or Arctic Monkeys or whatever and teaches that to them. Many really only want to play songs and nothing more. But if you want to throw in a couple of pentatonic box shapes, 1 CAGED shape a week maybe, show him show licks, if he like them, start linking up the ideas each time, but only through the music he likes or it will get you nowhere. Also ADD can certainly be a handful, my advice would be keep him busy all the time.
     
  7. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,947
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Sometimes it is good to show them where a lick came from.
    "Crazy Train" for instance is right out of F# minor.
    Little things like that can spark something and get them to realize that they are learning this stuff for a reason.
    My last student thought that was really kool and it was one of those moments where you can see things start to click together, and that is a blast.
     
  8. PGTrio

    PGTrio Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Tprince. I have the same issue. I have about 25 students and only about 4 of them are really trying to learn how to practice and get better. Most everyone else just wants to learn to strum or play simple rock guitar. Realizing this type of student would probably continue to be the largest percentage of students I get, I put together two cd's: one for the 25yr old and up beginner, a mix of dylan, stones, beatles, marley, jack johnson. I'm trying to find some more modern songs in this strummy vein.. there's a lot out there.. I just need to find the stuff I can stomach.
    The other cd I put together was for the young rockers. AC/DC, Hendrix, Nirvana, Green Day, Ozzy, Led Zeppelin, the ramones...Weezer

    I put two tracks of each song on the cd: one regular speed, the other at 50%-70% speed through the Amazing Slow Downer program (it stays in the same key.)

    This worked wonders! Especially for the excuse makers, which makes up the largest percentage of the student population. I don't have to work anymore. If the student hasn't practiced or has no questions, we just pop in the cd and play along with it for 30 mins... without realizing it, they are getting a glimpse of how to practice.

    I back it up with scales and reading. If they finish 5 songs off the cd, they can start bringing their own dics/ipods and I will teach them a song off of that. I found some people really want that structure when they first start with lessons.. It gives them a chance to prove they're serious and me a chance to get to know them and their interests. I've spent several months with some students just going over the basic basics of strumming... some people are very afraid to just go for it and sound bad...

    anyway, I've had some luck with the cd slow down process.
    I need to change up the songs every 6months to a year to avoid boredom.
     
  9. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass
    Teaching guitar is not easy. You have to come up specific idea for
    each person from your bag.

    I am curious. Did you study formally with someone?
    If you did, how long?

    I don't teach too much theory. Some relationship between simple
    melody (with good tone) and chords(triads). but you have to
    present these very fun way. Not just "CAGED" or plain shapes.
    YOU have to cook into something(your way).

    Good fundamental technique. Left hand movement with
    less pressure.

    Picking technique with fun stuff. (you have to create your way)

    Tone: Use distortion or overdrive to use.
    Make good tone game. Expression ideas. These are
    really fun to teach and learn.

    Use some source tape. Record a part of your lesson.
    Example of etude?

    Good luck.

    Tomo
     
  10. gennation

    gennation Member

    Messages:
    6,673
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    If you do "general" teaching you need to expect to learn many things you don't normally do/play. Many are beginners to wannabees to one track minders.

    If you do "specialize" teaching to can actually audition your students. At that point many are advanced students, want to learn at your level of playing, and many in the same style as your forte as the word gets around.

    When I did general teaching, I myself was into to theory, more advanced styles, etc...but spent a lot of time showing people how to simply HOLD the guitar. And I learned many a Metallica, Motley Crue tune a long the way too.

    But, it all helped me be a more capable teachers. I would've listened to the music but probably never learned a lot of the generic metal stuff, but through doing it I picked up on Alex Scolnick, Neil Schon, and many others that had hadn't interested me before learning their stuff.

    The one thing you want to do though is, teach them the "lingo of music" as you show them things. Write on the tab paper "part of the Dorian scale", "series of major 3rd Intervals", "played in triplets", etc...and give the student very brief explanations. Because as time goes on they are going to start questioning "Why" as much as they are "how" these days.

    So, you keep them fulfilled by them learning things they are interested in, you in turn get to play somethings you may have never played, and you also give them a round about foundation for when they want to learn "Why".

    And, along the way you become a more well rounded teacher in the process.

    Even in my own practice routine I'll learn many tunes, solo's, techniques, etc...that you wouldn't catch me listening to. It's all part of a healthy musician background. Plus, you can get paid for it ;)

    After all, everyone is using the same 12 notes. Being able to use them in many styles is always a good goal to reach for, whether you get there or not. That's what "music" is about.

    As far as the ADD? Give him little chucks at a time. Make sure you write everything out. Have him record the lessons so there's no way he can miss something because "he wasn't paying attention the first time". Have him listen to those lessons as he's drive to work, to the store, etc...

    It'll all sink in from a defferent perspective.

    A good teacher can always adapt and pace the lesson based on the particular student. Some students walk out with a lot, and others walk out with the sequel from the last lesson. Being a teacher and setting one pace for every student only causes issues.

    If it's a young child, speak with the parents about practicing, there child's ability, have the parent sit in on the lesson. And, NEVER hesitate to offer them a new teacher. Just help them source one out. That alone is a very professional move for a teacher. So, don't be afraid to do it if needed.

    Good luck.
     
  11. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    I agree with this. There is no single book or method that works for everyone. I use play along CD's that I have recorded, and encourage students to use these to simulate a band situation.

    I write much of my own curriculum, and supplement songs with theory to help make the connection stronger. If they're learning a solo, I show them the scale that is being used, and encourage them to "play their own solo". This gets them into improvising while learning a song that they like.

    As for the ADD students, I have 1 or 2. I can usually get them to play a minor pentatonic scale, and move it to different positions. Then I play a classic rock progression to a drum track, and let them jam along. It keeps the lesson fun, and the student busy. :cool:
     

Share This Page