You’re teaching guitar in school and things are going..OK, but some of your students seem really good! They can play riffs that grab the attention of the class (including you). You begin to wonder if they might give you a pointer or two and your confidence about teaching guitar nose-dives. Sound like you?
First – you’re not alone. A lot of teachers come to us and tell us that they are having trouble with their playing skills. They enjoy teaching guitar, but they just don’t know how to play guitar. Second: We’re here to help! We have a couple of suggestions when it comes to this.
Set Achievable Goals for Yourself
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You don’t have to become an expert guitarist overnight. Give it 15 – 20 minutes a night. With your musical background and experience, you’ll probably double your abilities in a week. You will probably want to play longer once you get the guitar bug, but for now just try 15 – 20 minutes/day.
Get a Great Teacher
At the risk of preaching to the choir: finding a great teacher can do wonders! Get in touch with your old colleagues from music school or go to your local music store and ask for a referral. If money is an issue, check out an online resource like justinguitar or guitarjamz.
Keep Your Guitar Out
If your guitar is out of its case and on a stand, you can pick it up without any trouble. If it’s in the case, that means unlocking the case, taking out the guitar, practicing, putting it back in the case…repeat. We definitely advocate purchasing a case for your guitar, but use a guitar stand when you’re home.
Get a Method Book
If you attended a Teaching Guitar Workshop, you probably have no shortage of method books. These books will get you playing if you follow them. Check out the following publishers (full disclosure – they are awesome because they support music education through the Teaching Guitar Workshops): Alfred Publishing, Class Guitar Resources, eMedia, FJH, and Hal Leonard.
Learn to Play Your Favorite Song
There’s nothing like playing a great piece of music. Think of a piece of music, song, or melody that you might want to hear on guitar. Let that be your first stop on what will be a long and winding road on guitar.
Foremost, remember that you’re a Music Teacher. While you’re trying to build your own skills on guitar, simply teach Music to your students. Music can be made on a French Horn, Violin, Guitar, etc. and you know a heck of a lot more about music than most people. Help your kids think about articulation, phrasing, rhythm, and seeing the big picture.