If you’ve ever attended a Teaching Guitar Workshop, you may have written a question, concern or comment on an anonymous sticky note for one of or guitar-teaching gurus to answer. If you’ve never been to a Teaching Guitar Workshop, that’s how we roll. Furthermore, we share the wealth with other teachers on this site!

Here’s a little taste of what was on the minds of teachers like you when they were attending our Workshops this summer.

Do you use free or rest stroke?

Free stroke/rest stroke: General rule: Free stroke = arpeggios/ Rest stroke = melodic line. Note – I use a pick when strumming chords.

How do you incorporate media into your classroom?

If you have the technology in your classroom you can teach guitar using “on-line” products like blueguitar.us or emediamusic.com. I also use smartboard technology to work on sightreading, note naming and rhythm reading. Other technology would be adding arranging and composition projects with recording/production software.

Do you teach tuning right away or do you tune for them the first few times?

Your students need to develop their hearing of what an “in-tune” guitar sounds like. I recommend you tune them. The age of the class and frequency that they meet also would influence the length of time before they try to tune.

How do you keep track of tuners and other small items that seem to walk away on their own?

Small items in class (such as tuners and capos) are hard to keep track of. You either have to keep them yourself (and count them near the end of the class) or check each guitar if you keep them on the headstock. One TGW alumni said in his school the library checks out the instrument and accessories. When returning it if something is missing the student will not graduate until the missing item is replaced or paid for.

Buying guitars and storage for your classroom.

TGW recommends nylon string guitars. How you store them somewhat depends on the security in your classroom. If you can install wall hangers your students will be able to quickly get their assigned guitar and begin practicing. If you store them in cases and then in either lockers/cabinets/closets/storage room your students will have to take their guitar out of the case, put the case somewhere and then get back to their seat.

How do you simplify jazz sheet music?

Jazz guitar chords can be introduced using the Hands-On-Training Level II Guitar Method.

What style of music should I teach?

TGW supports teaching all styles of playing guitar. Generally speaking this would include finger-style and pick-style technique incorporating chord grids, chord charts, tablature, and traditional notation.