View Full Version : Im thinking of giving guitar lessons and.....

Ed shred
04.16.06, 11:01 PM
I was wondering if anybody gives lessons on here and how they teach? I want to teach blues or blues/rock or 80s rock beginners to intermediate and and by the hour. There is a small guitar shop in town that would be perfect. Are there any do's and dont's for teachers. I have 20+ years experience playing and Id rather do this for the extra money than work at k mart for extra money. This is a no brainer. Guitar teachers speak up!

04.17.06, 01:04 PM
I give lessons out of my home and have done so for almost 5 years now. Its a great source of a *little* extra income but you're wise to ask questions. I didn't know what I was getting into when someone asked me to give their kid lessons and it literally snowballed from there. I usually keep only 2 students or less at any point in time simply because I don't have the time to carry more than 2.

re: method: I originally wrote my own method but the kids never took to it. Every kid <and I should say student but most of my students are kids> is different. Most are indecisive so you need to spend almost the first 2 lessons figuring out what they want out of their lessons. Once you figure it out, you can buy a method from a local music shop or write your own. I personally never seem to have time to write my lessons so I either wing it (not a good idea) or I use a book someone else wrote.

If you can, get a method with a DVD or make your own videos for the kid. This is the BEST way for the modern student to learn. I learned by listening to recordings (speeding them down/up and learning the parts) and watching people's hands as they play. DVDs seem to be the way to go for lesson material that makes an impact.

The biggest issue I have with students is attitude. Most come in and say to me, "teach me how to play Good Charlotte" ... and then we start breaking down the songs, and it takes weeks to work through it properly. The kids get bored, don't practice, and eventually lose interest. If they don't learn the hook on the first day and LOVE IT, you've lost them.

Finally, the student has to want to learn (again, attitude). Of the students I've had, only 1 loved playing music as much as I did. The others were really more interested in playing PlayStation than playing guitar and no amount of "when I was learning guitar, I sat & practiced ERUPTION 1,000,000 times every day" and "you'll score chicks in High School" bribery seems to help. Either they want it or they don't.

Do's & Don'ts:

DO catch up on the latest music. I was living in the 1980's and 1990's and my student's dragged me into the modern era real fast.

Don't let the student tell you he's been practicing. They're always lying.

Do start with chords if you have a complete newb student. Starting with scales isn't a hot idea (trust me, I tried this ... student was bored in a month).

DO force the student to learn the notes on the fingerboard. They'll thank you for it when they're calling you up from their national tour.

Don't short-change yourself. Charge a competative rate but don't undercut just to get students. Your ability to play & your attitude of love for music will snowball into more students than you'll be able to take on. At least it did for me.

It's not just kids either. There are a TON of adults who want to learn (CEOs, financial advisor types, etc) and they're for the most part very willing to practice and learn. If you can get THOSE guys, you're set b/c they practice and often, they tip. =)

Good luck. Pass on the knowledge & the passion.

05.03.06, 04:06 PM
Good advice HipCat5. :thumb:

I used to teach part time (when I had the time) and what I would do is split the lessons ...
Half of the lesson would be spent teaching reading and music theory, while the other half of the lesson would be spent teaching students what they wanted to learn. For this half of the lesson, I'd usually just ask them to bring in a CD or tape of something they would like to learn.

I started playing guitar "by ear", so it would usually only take me a couple minutes to learn whatever song they had brought in, and it really helped keep their interest and made them WANT to play and practice.

You could even apply what you had taught them in the reading and music theory half of their lesson to help give them a better understanding and sorta "tie" it all together.

Finally .... always have a lesson plan, ALWAYS. ;)