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Darfuria
post Nov 27 2008, 02:25 PM
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Providing you know a small amount of theory (enough to be applied to the guitar), and you know your way around the guitar without getting confused, anyone is capable of giving lessons, providing they are good teachers.

I've worked in teaching, and I know a small amount of music theory - enough to teach people the basics. However, often the basics are the hardest to teach simply because you have to get a student to relate to the theory.

I've been teaching my girlfriend some theory behind what she is playing, as she can play the guitar, but she doesn't exactly know what she's playing. She'll look at me and ask what a G chord is, and I'll have to remind her. Her number one priority at the moment is learning to play barre chords, because she loves to learn her favourite songs, but obviously she gets a bit lost when she has to play things like F#m.

Bless her, though, she's dyslexic, and she doesn't have the biggest attention span, so getting anything across to her can be quite difficult. I spent last night trying to explain the notes of an octave so that she could recite E-E on the E string, and also got her to memorise the notes of standard tuning ("Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears" - other suggestions welcome). Obviously I don't want to teach her too much in one go, because that can be overwhelming. I'm not even struggling, really, with knowing what to say.

More than anything, I'd just like some tips.


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Muris Varajic
post Nov 27 2008, 03:18 PM
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It is true that basics are really hard to teach,
but bare in mind that there are many ways to teach same thing.
And the more you know,you realize the point of basics.
What I'm saying is that you'll not be able to share your knowledge
that easily and effective if you know just a little bit more of basics.
Of course you can teach,
but it'll be somehow painful for you and your students. smile.gif


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Joruus
post Nov 27 2008, 06:51 PM
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QUOTE (Darfuria @ Nov 27 2008, 02:25 PM) *
("Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears" - other suggestions welcome

I used "Easter Bunny Gets Drunk After Easter" to remember the strings in the beginning tongue.gif


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Dejan Farkas
post Nov 27 2008, 07:14 PM
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Sometimes it is easier for beginner to teach another beginner, because skilled guitarist with many years of playing behind forgets what it's like to have a first contact with guitar.

There is one tip how to feel as a beginner again, if you are right-handed, just take the guitar as if you are left-handed, and notice that you have no control over your fingers smile.gif


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berko
post Nov 27 2008, 07:18 PM
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QUOTE (Dejan Farkas @ Nov 27 2008, 07:14 PM) *
Sometimes it is easier for beginner to teach another beginner, because skilled guitarist with many years of playing behind forgets what it's like to have a first contact with guitar.


That's what I was thinking about. On the other hand however, Muris is right IMO that it's hard to explain theory when you don't have a broad overlook of it.

I guess when teaching basic chords or the place of notes on the fretboard it doesn't matter that much whether you are a pro or just learned the scales as well.


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tommyboy
post Nov 27 2008, 08:18 PM
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When I used to teach my beginners I would always try to work through the back door. What I mean is, you need to figure out a way to apply what your teaching to your student in such a way that is fun for them to practice what your trying to teach. Otherwise, it's too much like boring school work.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 27 2008, 08:32 PM
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Guitar teacher is a specific job that you have to do and practice a lot to be good at, just like anything else. IMO it is not too important how broad the instructors knowledge is, but how well he can transfer that knowledge that he/she has to the student. If instructor can do that, and in the same time establish a good positive relationship with the student than it can be successful.


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Darfuria
post Nov 27 2008, 09:18 PM
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Well, my knowledge is reasonable. I didn't mean for it to sound like I'm a beginner myself.

I was hoping for some more tips, indeed like "Easter Bunny Gets Drunk After Easter", as, like I said, I have worked in teaching and know how to teach.


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Jad Diab
post Nov 27 2008, 09:35 PM
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Sometimes the problem isn't really teaching, students must be focused and passionated about guitar in order to learn fast, if you don't like what you do it can take you decinies to learn it...
I'm a completely autodidact guitarist, but I always play guitar, sometimes it seems like I breath guitar lol ... so because of my love to guitar I can learn theory related to guitar and it won't be annoying for me, on the contrary i will be really interested
Maybe you should motivate your student before trying to teach him/her ... ("I spent last night trying to explain the notes of an octave so that she could recite E-E on the E string") this should be easy to understand.

Well I hope you'll perseverate and try again, perseveration is also a great way of teaching smile.gif


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Dejan Farkas
post Nov 27 2008, 10:42 PM
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QUOTE (Darfuria @ Nov 27 2008, 09:18 PM) *
Well, my knowledge is reasonable. I didn't mean for it to sound like I'm a beginner myself.

I was hoping for some more tips, indeed like "Easter Bunny Gets Drunk After Easter", as, like I said, I have worked in teaching and know how to teach.


I did not say that you are beginner smile.gif And gave you a concrete tip, to teach a beginner you have to put yourself in his skin.

To learn to teach is quite easy, you just pick a method and follow it. But what makes a good teacher is when a student have no progress, to find a way to overcome it.. by changing the method, developing exercises that will help student to work on their weaknesses, and so on.. I always remember the words of one professor of surgery speaking to his students: "I can teach you how to do a surgery on heart in one day, but it will take you a lifetime to learn what to do when complications arise".

Since you have experience in teaching, would you please share with us what difficulties you had, how did you manage them, and so on.. Some information are always welcome smile.gif





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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 27 2008, 11:02 PM
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QUOTE (Darfuria @ Nov 27 2008, 09:18 PM) *
Well, my knowledge is reasonable. I didn't mean for it to sound like I'm a beginner myself.

I was hoping for some more tips, indeed like "Easter Bunny Gets Drunk After Easter", as, like I said, I have worked in teaching and know how to teach.


Sorry mate, didn't mean to say anything disrespectful, I think it is great you can teach, and was just stating some general opinion on the subject.

About some tips, as Jad said, there are probably two kinds of teaching jobs, easy and hard ones. With easy ones students will wanna learn everything there is to know about the guitar, so you are there to show them the easiest way. The hard ones have little or no respect for the teacher and just wanna learn specific stuff that they have problems with, ignoring the basics like theory. The easy cases are cool cause you can commit to them, while others are passing by students that usually don't stay there for long. In general it is always best to keep the student learning as much as you can , and coming to classes by helping him/her to create a good strong relationship with the instrument. Also every session should be interesting and fun, not a routine. If there are more than 2 sessions that are the same or similar, students quickly loose interest and feel like they are not advancing too much.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Nov 27 2008, 11:03 PM


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Sondre
post Nov 27 2008, 11:24 PM
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I actually think theory is fun! biggrin.gif It funny to see the logic when two things you have learned separetaly all of a sudden makes sence, together! The same with math. tongue.gif
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Gerardo Siere
post Nov 28 2008, 12:43 AM
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I think that you may have better result with drills over a pentagram than using regular spelling, its a graphical concret thing vs a spelling abstract thing, try Berklee's Harmony I drills, use it for the name of notes and it´s writting on the score, and then goes for chords in the same book, you have to check that she has interest in this first o course.
Teaching guitar is a total different issue thn playing guitar, it is very hart to transmit your own sensations, and those things you may learned by intuition are harder to teach because you haven't got the futtage of what did you do when learning that for the first time. I disagree with Dejan about the skill level of the guitarrist-teacher for actualy playing guitar, given the fact that the techer can teach only what he knows, the important stuff here is that the teacher knows the "why" (theory) and "how" (tools for comunication) and the "how" is the most important think and shuld be personalizated case by case and it is something that teachers shuold build with a lot of effort, pain, experience and even failure.
If she has dyslexia try to ask some specialist some tips (concepts about which tools can be used and what can´t not be used and what are the probable progress expectation on all of them).
The thing about the names of the chords it is a convention for comunication in the music world that has been build based on tradition and practice over reason (that´s why we have 7 names for 12 notes), and G major could be called "Uncle Jack" and it´s nature could not be altered.
If she has trouble with chord name drills, try to see if she can identify the sound of the chord, record on tape or cd a G and a F#m randomly, you teach her both chords and let her hear the sound, the excerciser would be that the tape plays a chord and she guess and plays the chord. If a song has several chords, make markers on gramatic points of the song for example a whole sentence from the lyrycs or a whole semiphrase form the music. let´s say it has 4 chords, whel those 4 chords should be learned as a whole new structure, as one thing. Go from little to bigger, if you stay too little is harder to remember, once you have the mechanics go for bigger.
All this thing should be asked to a specialist, beacuse we could be trying random stuff forever and won´t work because just may be a hidden condition that make our toll useless.
For the names of the chords and it´s construction check the Berklee Harminy I book, has enough drills to kill your self, you make those in a week and you won´t ever ask what is a Ab minor is.
Good luck and that´s great that you can have a great time playing and teaching guitar with your girlfriend.

This post has been edited by Gerardo Siere: Nov 28 2008, 12:48 AM


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