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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
*I've never really taught before except for a little here and there for friends

In a couple weeks i'll be teaching beginners guitar (to a class of 8 ppl, 45 mins per week, for 9 weeks)....These students have 0-2 yrs of experience. I was hoping some guitar teachers out there could give me some tips and excercises to incorporate into my lessons.

I'm teaching children (8-10), teens, then adults (all beginners)

-I was thinking starting off very basic with the string names, tuning, explaining the actual guitar a bit
-Then move onto some exercises to improve finger dexterity
-Major scales
-Major chords
-Learn a simple song such as "rockin' in the free world" by Neil Young
-(For the more advanced players/students that catch on quickly) I would introduce bends, hamer-ons & pull-offs
-(again for the more advanced) Learn something a long the lines of "black dog" by Zeppelin

Let me know what you think.

Also if you have a lot to unload to can reach me at: [email protected]

Thanks.
 

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I don't know how these things work since I've never taken lessons... but you're teaching all 8 people the same things? That's tough lol.

9 weeks is one long ass time... but for to get them started I'd personally go *Warning, long post a comin', LOL*:

1 - Parts of the guitar, tuning and string names... real basic, shouldn't take long for it to sink in lol.

2 - Importance of warming up and general finger / hand positions and the fact that improper technique can cause carpal tunnel. Again, shouldn't take long.

Warming up for a beginner is simple.

Hold your hand straight out as if you were saying "stop" to someone infront of you, bend the wrist back towards the body gently until you feel the tingely feeling in your wrist (not too far back, just so you lightly feel it). Hold it for 10 seconds.

Now do the opposite, hand in the 'stop' position but this time the other way around... so you can't see your knuckles, your palm is facing your body. Bend the wrist downward until you feel a little tingley feeling on the otherside of the wrist... hold for 10 seconds. Do the same for the other hand.

Now just massage your hand with the other hand to get the blood flowing... 10 seconds each hand again.

3 - What alternate picking is and why it's important.

4 - Get them to apply the alternate picking with finger independence exercises and tell them why it's important, especially in lead / single note playing. Teach them chromatics and these simple chords... fantastic for finger independence but they sound terrible.

-12-
-11-
-10-
-9--
----
----


Now switch the two middle fingers WITHOUT lifting the other 2.

-12-
-10-
-11-
-9--
----
----


Switch the outside 2 fingers, without lifting the 2 middles.

-9--
-10-
-11-
-12-
----
----


Now switch the middle 2 fingers again... without lifting the outside 2.

-9--
-11-
-10-
-12-
----
----


Make sure the notes ring out clear when they're doing it... isolate each chord seperately then learn to do the changes without stopping as if it were a chord progression.

There's no point learning the major scale if they can't use each finger independently... that'll do nothing but cause bad technique and/or habits!

5 - Teach them the chords in a simple riff like Highway to Hell by AC/DC. Again, isolate each chord seperately then once they've got each chord ringing clearly and correctly get them to slowly turn them into a progression while maintaining clarity. At the same time helping them with the correct timing LOL maybe have a CD on hand with the original so they can hear the timing for themselves.

Learning chords as a beginner with no main objective is boring as hell, wouldn't you agree? Allowing them to hear what it'll sound like and actually having the 'reward' of playing a bad ass rock riff is tough to beat at that point in playing lol. Atleast the first time I played Cat Scratch Fever is what sucked me in. Now I don't play less then 6 hours a day :eek:

More results they hear in their playing = more likely to come back for more lessons = more cash in your pocket (assuming your getting paid? lol)!

6 - Then for the dudes who have been playing like 2 years... teach them legato and bending (though they should have already tackled it by then). Make sure they're barring their index finger when doing legato to mute the strings below it, bending to the right pitch, etc. Maybe get them into developing an even vibrato too... the most overlooked part of guitar playing, by far. Search YouTube for people shredding... almost half of the people I've watched can play fast and clean but can't do comfortable and even vibrato if their life depended on it. Introduce them to Zakk Wylde and they'll hear why it's important :eek:

Both will work up finger strength too.

Maybe teach them some riffs... like Crazy Train. Though it's insanely basic, it's still fun to play. Teach them that rippin' legato lick... not the 4p2p0 one on succesive strings but the other one that starts with a bend on the 4th fret. Requires pinky use... get them using it if they're not.



That's my input, for what it's worth. Hopefully that gave you some ideas... or helped some beginners on here hah.
 

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I hesitate to repeat myself here (too many keystrokes), but if you check out the Acoustic Guitar Forum, their teacher's discussion forum is loaded with good advice.

Peace, Mooh.
 

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I find the best way to teach a beginnner would be to teach them rhythm guitar first, to arouse their enthusiam and then teach them notes and scales gradually. I usually start beginners off with a chromatic scale to develop right and left hand dexterity, very slowly. At the same time, rhythm exercises are quite important. Let them drum on the guitar or on a set of bongos, apply this to the strings dampened with the left hand. Let them strum the guitar as if it is a drum along with their favorite music. Then teach them the easiest chords to change between, Am and Em. Teach them that they have to practice the change with the left hand alone first, then add the right hand later. This whole process should take a little under an hour. Afterwards, solo along with them a bit as they strum the two chords. They will be so enthusiasic, I am sure of it. As for age groups, this basic process can be applied at any age, for the younger ones though, I would concentrate more on rhythm.
 

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I always start beginner students with chords. It gets them started towards playing a song almost instantly. Start with open chords a simple Em chord then try a Am. The fingering isn't much and wont over power them. Once they have Am you can really get them going by letting them know the E chord is eactly the as th Am same just on a different set of strings.

Once they get the concept of the chord diagrams, finger pressure, and chord switching I usually morph into a few Green Day songs. I find my students are hooked after that.
 

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I taught--but one on one & bands.
Trying to teach that many at one time--wow!

One thing I always tried to do was to get the students' personalities to shine through in their playing--and to develop that so they weren't cookie cutters.
That would be hard to do in that setting--but the advice above sounds good.

but see if you can work in something about their own style!
 
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