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giving good lessons


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Hey, just had a couple questions for anyone out there that may teach guitar on the side or for a living. I'm interested in possibly doing this for some money. Are there any suggestions or tips on how to get noticed and get students as well as on giving good lessons. Thanks in advanmce for your help.
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Warm up a bit and go to a music store and just play


Get a rapport w/the salesman. Try to buy stuff from there, too


Offer the salesmen free lessons for referralls


I am going try to start buying some of those guys lunch once a month


Go to a more affluent neighborhood where there iare schools public or private or tap into a home school network(much better for scheduling and otherwise)

I offer first lesson free, also


Offer afterschool lessons, etc . . .


do half hour lessons




1/3-theory(note reading, scales, etc . .)

1/3-technique(chords, riffs, etc . .)

1/3-songs/fun stuff


tell them to set aside 4 practice days a week


Day 1- theory for 30 minures

Day2 -technique - 30 minutes


Day 4 - everything for 45 min-1 hour


Make it patently obvious that if they can't set aside 3 hours a week practice that they shouldn't even play


You need to develop a lesson plan so you are not meandering, but this has to happen because you are learning how to teach just like they are learning to play

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I never made any progress at 3 hours a week practice. I need 1-3 hours a day to notice any improvement. Even when I was a beginner I needed at least daily practice to get much done. I guess if a kid is just trying to see if he even likes playing music thats better than none, but I wouldn't be interested in teaching anyone that wasn't motivated. Of course thats maybe why I am not a teacher.


You should post your qualifications and tell us why you want to teach.


I agree with A-srings and yZe's comments though. I would think the obvious place is through a music store. If you have contacts at schools or churches that would be nice too. Advertize in the local musicans bulletin boards and online. My first few lessons, my dad and I went to a rec center for free group lessons. You could start something like that and try to pick up new players that way. If you are a well known player in your area and have a fan base, I would imagine that would be good also, hand out cards at gigs and subtly let it be known that you offer lessons.

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I'd say a music store connection would be the place to start.


As to lessons themselves...

You might specialize in certain areas ( a given unless you are a really phenomenal player with wide-ranging skills).

Those might be styles or genres but you might also only take certain levels of students, depending on your abilities or interests; dealing simulataneously with a wide range of musical styles can become a daunting task & I can imagine few things worse than a teacher who gives short shrift.

In that regard it's also important, I think, to be able to see things from more than a single perspective. You need to the capability of conveying the same ideas in many ways so as to reach people who think in various ways & to devise varied lessons, approaches & plans to match & maintain their interests because they'll all develop at different rates & in different manners.

You should make sure that you give yourself a thorough & honest evaluation to be certain of your abilities, not just musically but as a communicator & coach.


As to your particular approach, we're all different & you would be a different teacher than I or anyone else but I'd suggest that besides the specific areas mentioned above (or by anyone later) that two particular ideas might take precedence over anything else.

[1]The most important quality for any musician, regardless of whatever else their interests are or might become, is to be able to hear well.

Not just pitch recognition but other aspects of music like rhythms & dynamics.

Never let anyone's conceptual training get ahead of what they are actually putting into regular practice.


[2]Practicing anytime is better than nothing but regularity is a primary tool in learning.

When people maintain regular schedules they become more consistent. It's also a fact that one's mind is more alert earlier in the day than later so, even though someone might not have their lessons with a teacher until later in the day, their at-home practices will be more productive if they happen relatively early.


An adjunct to this is that though people can become convinced that they should work hard & try to advance quickly, they will in fact usually achieve their goals sooner when they are relaxed & alert rather than overly intent, which all too easily becomes tenseness.

Practice sessions should be no longer than they maintain actual focus & often a number of short periods are better than a long practices.

A good clue in that regard is when someone begins to repeat a mistake---learning never is & shouldn't be expected to be mistake free but it's an old truism that after a couple times snagging on the same point, one begins to learn the mistake.

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All excellent ideas and good thread here too! I don't teach much anymore but If you gig much you will find that there are tons of opportunities. I say this because (this is no BS!) I get at least five or six inquiries a night at gigs asking if I teach and what area I'm in. It's not only me but the keyboard guy the drummer, bassist get about the same amount! I mostly recommend teachers anymore. MOST of the people are women asking for their kids.
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Thanks for the suggestions. I currently have a possible connection into a homeschool network, and will begin to ask at music shops. Is there a specific program that you find works well to teach? I saw Mel Bay in here, but are there any others, or is it easier just to make up the curriculum as you go along. Right now i'm thinking just designing my own would be nice, but if there are any really good programs out there i'd like to check them out. Thanks again for your suggestions.
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Originally posted by A String:

Yeah, I should have specified that. The old Mel Bay book isn't as good as the newer one.



Cool, glad to see that you are using it. It is such a long book, that I cut some stuff out. I hit the main stuff, but it still takes them a while to get through it on a somewhat proficient level.


I like the classical pieces, but it seems like the ones they try to writeare pretty mundane; so after around p.52, I just have them play down the classical pieces and I avoid the Tab pieces altogether, becasue they get enough of it w/my lessons

I noticed that the 1B books and beyond are disappointing' lest the classical pieces


I have found that Berklee 1 is an awesome transition from Mel Bay's 1A becasue it really solidifies things and develops well beyond 1A

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Originally posted by bluenote420:

Hey, just had a couple questions for anyone out there that may teach guitar on the side or for a living. I'm interested in possibly doing this for some money. Are there any suggestions or tips on how to get noticed and get students as well as on giving good lessons. Thanks in advanmce for your help.

Might try looking in the classified ads. My local newspaper had an ad submitted by a store wanting an instructor for guitar/bass. I think they were offering $25 per hour.

quote:Originally posted by mdrs:


It's pure B.S., and obvioulsy inaccurate. I suspect it is posted for effect, not for accuracy.


John Petrucci > Johnny Winter

The Edge > Ted Nugent

Guitar One Mag > Guitarplayer

Slash > Carlton

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