Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including some fretboard fun, the guitar teacher’s plague, and more. Here we go…
#1 – The guitar teacher’s plague
There’s a plague going around the guitar tuition world.
It looks like this.
Guitarist decides to teach guitar.
They don’t study teaching, they have no real experience, no qualifications, and no lesson plan.
…And they teach the student the way they themselves learnt to play guitar.
Yet they don’t realise the way they learnt (usually through 100s or 1000s of hours of trial and error) is rarely effective for beginners.
I mean, when these guitar teachers were themselves learning, they were usually teenagers or young adults with infinite spare time.
Their students, on the other hand, are usually like most of us – grown up, frustrated, with jobs, kids, hobbies, grandkids, spouses, and maybe even a few health issues such as arthritis.
Do any of us who are in this situation want to learn via trial and error?
That’s why I say it’s important to be aware of the methods someone uses when they are teaching you.
Do they have real-world experience teaching people like you?
Do they have a direct path to success, or do they want to teach you lots of random things until one day it all “clicks” for you?
I know for a fact that most of us want the direct path.
So, in that case, make sure you avoid those teachers who don’t have a plan for you.
I mention this as this issue seems to be getting more and more common these days – especially when new students contact me to tell me about their previous experiences.
#2 – Thinking back to help you move forwards
Sometimes it’s really good to reflect backward with your guitar playing.
For me personally, I live very much in the moment, but every now and then a few moments of reflection are good.
It can be handy to look back and think about how far you’ve come on the guitar.
To think about how this instrument was alien to you one day, but now it makes more sense.
…And if you’ve lost a little motivation, to think about the passionate reasons why you wanted to learn in the first place.
All the bands, the memories certain songs conjure up, the history you’ve had with music, the great live shows you’ve seen, and watching your kids sing a song in a school play.
A little reflection like that can really fire up the motivation inside of our bellies, and help drive us forward.
It’s nice to do every now and then.
#3 – A better way of unlocking the fretboard
One of the biggest issues with learning the notes on the fretboard is that it can be a bit boring.
Sometimes even super boring!
So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to learn the notes on the fretboard while making music and having fun?
Well, there is.
It’s something I do when I teach students.
What I do is write out a chord chart (e.g. F Bb Gm C).
If the student is a beginner, I’ll strum these chords and get them to play the “root notes” for the chords on a specific string.
This forces the student to navigate the fretboard, make music, and have fun too – all while learning the fretboard.
It’s one way of making what can be a slightly boring topic much more fun.
It’s worth trying that sort of thing where you can.
If this sounds appealing, you might want to check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy…
…Because on Thursday, the 1st of December, I’ll be releasing the brand-new lessons.
One of them will be a simple challenge of this exact method of jamming.
Here’s the link to find out more…
Enjoy your Monday!
P.S. On Thursday, I’ll also be releasing a Christmas bonus lesson that I’m super excited about.
It’s unlike anything I’ve done before. I’ll talk more about this early Christmas present in the next few days, but let’s just say it’s going to be a cracker!
P.P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.