1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Teaching guitar

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by authen, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. authen

    authen Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    I am a very visible guitar player at my church. Many, many parents come up to me and ask if I give lessons. There's really no reason why I shouldn't. I've been playing for many years and know my way around a guitar and music well enough to teach - (I'm a full time music director at my church). I'm looking for resources and advice to get started. We're talking beginning guitar.

    Any help?
     
  2. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

    Messages:
    7,048
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    white plains, ny
    Maybe take some lessons from the best teacher in your area to learn their methods for handling rank beginners. Most kids have no previous experience, so that's key.

    Be prepared for everything. Today I.....

    1. Sightread and taught Emily Remler's solo arrangement of "How Insensative" to an experienced adult.
    2. Taught a page from a Guitar Method, book 2, and "Crazy Train" with a kid.
    3. Transcribed a Bon Iver song for teen and went over details about bar chords.
    4. Taught an adult how to adjust action and intonation, then the intro for "Call of Ktulu" and some work on "Johnny B. Goode" too.
    5. Put some finishing touches on a student's performance of "You Shook Me All Night Long" solo, particularly accurate bends and vibrato.


    That's typical. I enjoy the range of my daily events.
     
  3. mr.supro

    mr.supro Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Location:
    Austin TX
    Read Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo and teach what you know from an authentic place.
    Students will go where you lead them and they'll tell you where to
    take them if you listen closely enough. There are seemingly infinite guitar methods out
    there if you want to teach from a book. Chances are though, people are asking you
    because they want your personal take on it. It's a great, honest, and rewarding way to
    spend an hour. As a bonus, you'll likely learn as much or more than your students.
    Taking lessons is an excellent suggestion too.
     
  4. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,336
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    People just starting out can be rough, especially the ones from 9 to about 12 years old. Their fingers tend to be small so any full chords are out the door.

    What you can do however is work on picking and strumming. The problem I face many times is people just don't practice at all, they say they are interested but involved in 3 other things at school so they never get around to it.

    I use any of the following things to try to get them to play/

    1. Beginner reading books, boring stuff, but they don't even want to touch the guitar at least you can get them playing a couple notes.

    2. Basic chords (if doable) if not mafe chords partial and get out of them what you can.

    3. Rhythm, kids seem to get this easier then anything, the problem becomes telling them to make a chord while they are strumming.

    4. I also work on right and picking if they like using their fingers.

    Young kids are tough and to be totally honest I'm not much of a fan of it, especially when they come in and say they haven't practiced at all...I feel like I'm just taking their money for nothing.
     
  5. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

    Messages:
    7,048
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    white plains, ny
    Boy, if they only practiced!

    There's plenty to be said on all aspects of that concept.


    That reminds me! One of the main things that I teach is how to practice. Granted it can be personal, but teaching students viable methods for tackling pieces is of prime importance.
     
  6. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,711
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    Teaching how to practice is essential. This must involve reading of some sort, be it tab or standard.
    Learning rhythm independent from playing is important. The back of an acoustic guitar makes a great drum. Utilising a metrinome form day 1 enforced playing in regular intervals. Just today I was chatting to a bud with a studio. He had a very accomplished jazz player totally wasting his time while laying down solo tracks in hopeless time last night as he had developed them independently of a drum or click track.
    Regulara inervals turns noise into m usic.
    Teach techniques and scales by incorporating them into a piece of music.
    First lesson should include an overvoiew of the structure of a guitar and what each part is called. Teach them to use a tuner, and if the kid is too young, teach the parent. Nothing worse than an out of tune guitar. OK, a violin is worse, but that comes under cruel and unusual punishment, so it does not count.
    Each lesson should include 3 things

    A piece of theory
    An exercise
    A piece of music

    Those elements all build together, and they don't need to be separate. I also like to teach power chords early as it gives the student a full set of easy to play major chords, as well as teaching them the note names on three strings.
    Good Luck
     
  7. authen

    authen Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Wow - really great information and advice. Can anyone recommend a book or books that work well for beginning students? Thanks a ton for the help -
     
  8. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

    Messages:
    7,048
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    white plains, ny
    This is a very good method for the younger ones:
    http://fjhmusic.com/guitar/ybg.htm

    For older one, the Hal Leonard Method is very good.

    All methods need supplementary material (songs, exercises, etc.)
     
  9. big e

    big e Member

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    I use Hal Leonard's from Liverpool to Abbey Road for younger students and adults who have little talent. It's been a Godsend for me, use the CD with it. Also you might try reading Emotional Intelligence by Dan Goldman.........it will give you one of the best educations in how to be successful with people. I typically retain more students than any other teacher I know and I believe that's in part a gift from God and in part emotional intelligence. Good luck. I think you either have it or not. Hopefully you have it!
     
  10. authen

    authen Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    I was wondering what you recommend for a guitar for a new, beginning guitar student - both child and adult. Thanks again for all the help.

    John
     
  11. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,336
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    If a person starting doesn't have an instrument I reccommend a electric for a couple of reasons.

    1. Generally easier to play. Kids w/o any callus are going to have a hard time with an acoustic and might get frustrated.

    2. If they get a little amp, they can then make some noise which keep them interested longer then w/o it.
     
  12. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,711
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    I'm inclined to agree here, although as many people will argue for an acoustic for an equal number of different good reasons, such as simplicity and how they encourage good fretting technique.
    It's easier to sound like the music you are trying to emulate on an electric though, and slim necks and low string tensions are kind to small and tender hands. Small bodies are easier to reach around too, and an unplugged electric is a quiet practice instrument, though Tomo wrans against too much unplugged playing as detrimental to dynamics.
    No easy answwer to this one, and it will be fdifferent for each pupil.
    I always suggest a quality instrument for a beginner though, as it's easier to make nice sounds from a nice guitar.
     
  13. authen

    authen Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    For those of you who helped me get "teaching the guitar" off the ground here's an update:

    I'm about 6 weeks into teaching lessons now and have 8 students. I started with the "From Liverpool to Abbey Road" beginning guitar book and it has really worked out nice for me. My students range in age from 9 to a guy that used to play who wants to get his chops back who is 61 - only two are kids.

    It has proven to be a lot of fun and very rewarding. So far, most of my students seem really interested and are even practicing during the week! The only negative... Saturday is my only day off from work and my lessons are on Saturday - that puts me working 7 days a week, but right now I need the extra income.

    Thanks to all of you for your help and advice on getting this launched. I'm really glad I started here at TGP before tackling this on my own.

    John
     
  14. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass
    Hi John,

    Great job! 8 students! Very impressive....

    Please don't forget to teach them about "Fun" that's bottom line about playing guitar... simply fun... can't stop playing!

    And good foundation for endless improvement of playing...

    Your job is to find nice "Balance" to individual student.

    And you have a fun too!

    What a rewarding job!

    Tomo
     
  15. KRosser

    KRosser Member

    Messages:
    14,124
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I don't have much general to say on the topic other than this -

    The best piece of advice I ever got about teaching was to always make sure the student leaves the lesson doing one thing he couldn't do before he came in.

    Once I learned how to do that, demand for my services tripled.
     

Share This Page