Why Generic Guitar Teaching Methods Suck

Why Generic Guitar Teaching Methods Suck And How To Turn Your Guitar Students Into Awesome Musicians Fast

A lot of guitar teachers use generic guitar method books or courses to teach their students. Unless you teach exclusively beginner students, you will come across the following problems using this kind of approach in your guitar teaching:

1. You will not be able to help your students make fast progress in their guitar playing. The majority of popular guitar teaching approaches were made only to teach musical topics, NOT to help your guitar students achieve specific goals. (Almost no great guitarists became great using these kinds of books.)

2. Your students become very unmotivated once they see that what you are teaching them is no in line with their personal guitar playing goals.

3. When the problems from points 1 and 2 apply, you will not be able to keep guitar students from quitting.

4. You will have a difficult time getting new guitar students because you are not offering anything that is unique from any other guitar teacher in your area. This means new students really have no reason to choose you over anyone else.

All of this leads to massive struggles when it comes to making a good living teaching guitar.

The following is what successful guitar teachers do to instruct hundreds of students (avoiding all of the problems mentioned above in the process):

Step 1: Use a different mindset. Rather than trying to cram information down your students’ throats, focus instead on getting them to achieve the goals you set out for them. This will bring far better results. Remember, you aren’t simply trying to “teach guitar”… it is your job to figure out and solve guitar playing problems, then get rid of any frustrations your students are facing. This is what you must do to truly transform your student’s musical lives.

Step 2: Quickly identify the issues that prevent your students from reaching a specific goal. Once you’ve done this, design a customized strategy that will help that student achieve his goal.

Step 3: Design quality guitar lessons that help students reach their musical goals effectively. These kinds of materials can easily be re-packaged for more students in ways that are congruent with their musical goals (I discuss more on this below).

Step 4: Give classes that focus on helping students improve very specific skills that make up part of a bigger musical goal. Have your guitar students join the correct classes that line up best with the things they want to accomplish in their playing.

Common question: “Doesn’t all this give me a ton of work to do?” “Do I need to use extra time creating custom lessons for every single student on my schedule?”

Answer: No and No. Don’t make the mistake of confusing guitar teaching materials and strategy. You can use the same materials with any student (since many skills that students must learn are similar), but the STRATEGY (the order and combination of materials used) has to be completely unique for each individual.

Whenever you hold group classes, you will have various students to teach who need to learn and master the same skills. You can teach in these scenarios very easily even if your students are all at different skill levels. I know this is true, because I’ve helped hundreds of guitar teachers learn how to do this.

By having your students join multiple classes, they will simultaneously reach their goals while you teach less overall hours. Using this approach, you will end up teaching FAR LESS hours than any ordinary guitar teacher who only uses the one on one teaching model.

When you apply these guitar teaching strategies, your business will grow and expand in these ways:

1. You will keep your guitar students for longer periods of time since none of the common problems that cause students to quit lessons will exist.

2. Since your new teaching system helps your students reach their goals, they will become better players faster.

3. You will gain an excellent reputation as the best local guitar teacher because all your students are quickly becoming awesome guitar players.

4. Your new reputation as a guitar teacher will help you grow your student base.

5. You will make tons of money teaching guitar and have hundreds of students, because you deliver the best results.

By Tom Hess

Teaching Kids To Play The Drums

It’s a noisy hobby, but one that can be very enjoyable and rewarding for a child. It’s a great way to encourage self-expression, creativity, and an appreciation of all music. It can be a big investment, or as simple as a set of sticks and a practice drum pad. If you are thinking about giving drum lessons to kids, consider these points as you begin the journey.

Section 1. How Playing Drums Can Teach Kids to Express Themselves

Drums have been used as a means of self-expression for a long, long time. The various rhythms have been used as a means of communication between humans. We see them in marching bands, in African tribal celebrations, and in Native American ceremonies, to name a few. Many cultures have used drums expressively over the years, and they can take on a spiritual aspect.

Today, drum circles are a big thing. A group of people sit in a circle and play hand drums. The idea is that sharing the rhythms with one another will develop into a collective rhythm. The result is an increase in the feeling of connection within the group. Drum circles can include children of all ages, and are considered to be very therapeutic.

Playing the drums can provide a good physical workout, while it’s helping to facilitate self-expression and release stress. Practicing rudiments is essential. But, plenty of time should also be spent letting the child experiment and play what they want. During this time, they may realize the biggest self-expression benefit.

Section 2. How Playing Drums Can Give Kids Something Constructive to Do with Their Time

The drums are a musical instrument. Like any other instrument, they require a practice regimen. Be sure that a regularly scheduled practice time is available for the child. If you do not play the drums yourself, consider getting some lessons for the child. Private lessons are usually available through your local music store.

Most kids have an innate love of music, especially popular music. Learning to play the drums to popular songs can give them goals to set and achieve.

The discipline involved in regular practice is benefit enough. But, you are also encouraging the child’s interest in music. Allowing the child space to be creative in their drumming is essential. Let them go crazy from time to time.

Section 3. Proper Playing Position

It’s important to have the right size drum set for the child, so that they can use the proper posture to play. For younger kids, buy a beginner’s drum set. Kids that are older or taller can play on a full, standard size drum set.

They should sit up straight. Slouching will bring pain in the back, shoulders, and neck. The stool should be adjusted up or down so that their feet can reach the pedals of the drum set. Keep the knees around a 90-degree angle. Observe and adjust the stool if the child is leaning in. That will lead to fatigue and lower back pain. Take care that good posture is used, or the child may lose interest in the drums early on.

Section 4. How to Hold the Drum Sticks

There are a variety of grip styles that can be used on the drumstick when playing the drums. Some constants are that they should be held between the thumb and index finger, about a third of the way up the stick. It’s important that the sticks be balanced and allow for a good swing. Finding the balance is tricky at first, but becomes second nature as playing progresses. We’ll look at the two main grip distinctions here.

Traditional Grip

This style grip is very common in jazz drumming and in corps drumming. Corp drummers carry their drum on their hip. It’s difficult to use a matched grip, where the stick is held the same in both hands. Also, the traditional grip is a softer tap. Rather than gripping the sticks, they rest in the pocket of the thumb and index finger. Find the balance, and rest the stick on your last two fingers.

Matched Grip

This is the style grip that’s popular in rock drumming, and is now accepted for most kinds of drumming. It simply means that both hands are holding the stick the same way. The stick is gripped with the thumb and index finger directly. Find the balance, and close your grip with the other fingers. You get a lot more power in playing with a matched grip. That’s why it’s more popular in rock drumming. Most drummers use the matched grip now, but older drummers feel that it’s important to know how to use the traditional grip.

Section 5. Practicing Basic Rhythms

Depending on the age of the child, it’s recommended that they practice in shorter, more frequent sessions. Going for a marathon practice session may make them lose interest. If the noise gets to be too much, invest in a drum pad for the child to practice on. They get the simulation of hitting a drum head, but without the noise.

Speaking of noise, make sure that the child has some form of ear protection when playing on the drum set to avoid damaging the hearing. You can use foam ear plugs, or noise blocking headphones.

When the child is starting out, consider using a metronome mastering the beat. It will serve as a guide and will ensure that the beats are even. Probably the most important thing to practice, especially for the beginner, is rudiments. These include:

• Single Stroke Roll

• Double Stroke Roll

• Single Paradiddle

• Double Paradiddle

• Flam Tap

• Multiple Bounce Roll

These are just a few of the rudiments that drummers will become familiar with. Practicing rudiments is the equivalent of practicing scales on a piano, or with a vocal coach. Every sticking pattern, and every rhythm, will be made up of these rudiments, and mastery is essential.

The child should be spending about half their practice time on rudiments, and the other half playing whatever they want. They need a combination of both activities to advance as a young drummer.

Hopefully, you found this article informative and can use it as a foundation while you are encouraging your young drummer!