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Teaching Guitar

Teaching Guitar

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Published by David Kane

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Published by: David Kane on Jun 18, 2012
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01/13/2015

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 Teaching GuitarHow Good Do You Need To Be?
Want to Teach Guitar for a living?
Sounds like a great idea but just
how good do you need to be before you feel entitled tocharge money for your fretboard knowledge and expertise?
Is it better for a teacher to knoweverything about all modes in all keys or for them to be aware of a bunch of
easy guitar songsand progressions
that their students would benefit from learning?If you take a look around there are some fantastic guitar players out there and it can be a littlefrightening to decide that that you are going to start a guitar teaching business. After all "Who areyou to set yourself up as someone that people should seek out for instruction and guidance?What makes you so special?"The truth is that the
best technical and theoretical guitar players do not always make thebest guitar teachers.
Teaching guitar to someone else is not about your own playing but aboutmaking the student's playing better and to do that you need something other than just the abilityto fly around the neck at warp speed ten whilst reciting out loud the scale spelling for a Dblochrian mode.The fact is that
GUITAR TEACHING IS ABOUT GUITAR LEARNING,
pure and simple.Sucessful education does not depend upon how well the teacher can play but on what thestudent learns.Prior to deciding to teach guitar it is important to sit down and spend a little bit of time realistically
 
assessing just where you (and your attitudes, attributes and capabilities) might fit into the biggerpicture.
Lose your Ego
(Ego will encourage you to claim to be competent in areas that you are not really
comfortable and confident in). Equally you should ……..
 
Disregard your Insecurity and false modesty
(which as the other side of the ego coin couldend up in a situation where you underestimate your own capabilities and potential). No one willmind if you decide that you are not good enough to be a guitar teacher if you actually are butdon't complain when your neighbouhood fills up with "worse" musicians then you who teachthemselves out of a dayjobGiven that you can form a sensible attitude to ego and insecurity and as a result can go on todevelop an honest opinion with regard to your own circumstances then it is time to turn yourattention to the important task of
identifying the types of student that will benefit most fromyour lessons.
 The secret of a healthy guitar teaching business is in being able to attract (and retain?) the rightstudents. To attract those people who would benefit from the things that you can comfortablyteach them. The situation genuinely is that simple.
Identify Your Guitar Students?
 
Becoming a guitar teacher who attracts the right customers is really just a question of commonsense. Of
aiming your instrumental capabilities towards an appropriate section of themarket.
You need to set out to attract to attract a group of customers who you are capable ofhelping and who you would enjoy teaching the guitar to.There are so many different styles of music out there that it is fair to say that nobody is great atthem all.
If you can't play jazz funk fusion
(and explain what you are playing and why tosomeone who has little or no understanding of it)
then just don't teach it.
 On the other hand if Jazz funk fusion Guitar is the only thing that floats your boat and you havededicated yourself to pushing its boundaries then maybe you should specialise in it?By making the decision to
play to your strengths as a musician
and concentrate on thoseareas where the skills that you have as a player are in pretty good shape then you can have asatisfying and rewarding career teaching guitar.The vast majority of those who seek guitar lessons are novice/early stage intermediate playerswith little or no experience of playing guitar but with a genuine desire to improve. When they seekout a teacher they are not really looking for someone to stun them with technical ability (althoughthey will quite reasonably expect to encounter a teacher who can get around the instrument).
People looking
(and paying!)
for guitar lessons really just want to encounter a guitarteacher who will help them to start off on the right path.
 Teaching a guitar or bass depends on more than just being able to get around on the
 
instrument.
An effective guitar teacher is one who creates a situation in which the studentcan take advantage of the opportunity to improve.
 A
good intermediate standard guitar player with a reasonably sound grasp of musictheory can often be ideally placed to take on the task of teaching beginners
(the biggestsingle group of guitar students out there by some way). It can actually be argued that such a
player can have an advantage over a more “advanced” musician because he or she is
likely tohave a clearer and more recent memory of being at the early stage where the studentfinds themselves.
 Assuming that you have the
skill and the desire to be a guitar teacher then all that's reallyrequired after that is the right attitude and a plan.
 Unfortunately teachwombat can't really help you with the attitude. If you have difficultycommunicating with people on a one to one basis then no matter how skilled you are as a playerthen maybe guitar teaching isn't the job for you? We all had teachers at school who "knew theirstuff" but had little aptitude for transmitting that knowledge and enthusiasm to others. It was nofun being taught by them and if we're going to be fair it probably wasn't a great deal of fun beingthem either?If, on the other hand you find it reasonably easy to get along (and interact) with most people thenyou could be on the verge of starting a
rewarding new chapter in your guitar playing life?
 We produce downloadable materials (pre-prepared printable student handouts etc) for guitarteachers around the world and I would love to say that as a guitar teacher you need this stuff but
unfortunately (for us) it just isn’t true.
 
To be a good (or better than good) guitar teacher you don’t need our materials (as wonderful as
we think they are). Guitar teachers have been getting on just fine without the teachwombathandouts for decades.What
every guitar teacher does need however is a plan.
As a teacher you need to make surethat you are
well prepared for a lesson
and as any experienced educator knows .............preparation is vital. Something else experienced teachers know is that lessons can be very
stressful when you find that you’re “winging it” for too much of the time.
 In order to minimise stress and maximise the quality of your lessons you could maybe thinkabout having access to the following materials (which strangely enough
you can find amongthe teachwombat stuff)
 1. A comprehensive range of 
 that can be usedto help students become aware of the basics (and beyond) of playing guitar2. 
 allowing you to pre-prepare material for favourite oroften used lessons or songs/riffs etc.

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