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#1
I'm 16, I've been playing for about two years, and I need some money. I've got a decent understanding of theory, an intermediate skill level and a plan, but do you think I'm ready?
EDIT: Obviously, marketing myself towards kids as opposed to adults
#2
This probably isn't what you want to hear, but no.

A sixteen year old with two years of practice, in no way has the chops to teach anything other than basic guitarism, IMHO. Unless you're some sort of child prodigy, I'd leave the teaching to the experienced cats.

That said, what's your curriculum look like?
#3
I doubt you're ready to charge people to teach them - I know I wouldn't have been ready for that at 16 - but its worth teaching some people for free, to get some experience. Then if all goes well ask the people you taught if they'll give you references so you can prove to prospective pupils that you know what you're about.
#4
If you have to ask then no, you're not ready.
Actually called Mark!

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#5
im 17 i play since like 7 months and i highly doubt i could give someone a really good lesson that i could take money for.not much experience as im not playing too long but still i think i could show some ppl the basics but i wouldnt have heart to take money for it just because im not good enough to teach others. at your place i could try,for free at start just to see if youre good in it,if youre helping someone-if so i would start teaching for money,not much money as you havent got too much experience either.
Last edited by Recon _/ at Mar 17, 2009,
#7
no, but try and get some qualifications if you are serious about becoming a guitar teacher
you are what you is
#8
The rule my old teacher gave me is "you should be atleast 10x better at the curriculum than your student before you can teach it".

So probably not.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#9
You could certainly help friends get started on guitar if that's what you're after, but teaching for money? No, even if you were an extraordinary player for your age, I doubt many people would take a 16 year old seriously. There's nothing wrong with introducing your friends to the basics of the guitar and passing along what you know though, and that would also give you some experience dealing with beginners for when you can start professionally teaching, but I wouldn't start charging for lessons until you're around 20.
#10
I teach and I'm 18. It is true that people look down on you for age, which is why I try not to take students older than me. The only thing that should matter is your skill lever, which is directed related to how long you've been playing, but not dependent on.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#11
Hmmm, I suppose you're all right.

*goes back to looking at babysitting and cashier jobs*
#12
You could do beginner lessons. Just make a flyer with something in the species of "new to guitar, want to learn to strum the chords to your favorite songs, WELL COME ON DOWN"
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#14
Ready to teach? Sure. Most of the best teachers I've ever had have told me that they all started teaching before they even knew what they were really doing. That way they learned how to properly teach at the same time as they learned how to play.

I've also noticed that those teachers have a better method of teaching than say someone who started to teach only after mastering the guitar. I find the latter type usually has forgotten what the learning process was like, and tend to either introduce too much too soon, or reinforce practice habits that lead to slower development.

First thing though. if you're going to charge, you need to be completely honest and upfront with people about what they're paying for. You should be charging no more than half of what any professional does.

You need to be able to spot bad hand positioning and bad technique, and you need to make sure that your own is half decent.

You need to know when to pass a student on to a professional teacher. At some point they're going to start to close the gap with you. Keeping them beyond that is a disservice.

You need to understand methods of proper practice. There are plenty of articles up here about that, I suggest you read them.

Last, you really absolutely need a solid sense of timing. If you can't play with a metronome, you've no buisness teaching.

Otherwise, I don't see why not, despite what most people here will say. I suggest you start out giving free lessons for a little while first to know if you're actually capable. Nothing worse than charging for a service you can't actually provide.
#16
icronic has made an excellent post.

Quote by gabcd86
Would charging 5euros an hour or something be out of the question?


That's too cheap, to be honest. More to the point, isn't that below minimum wage for your country?

I'd say 10, but do half hour slots - although obviously, timekeeping, posture etc are all of paramount importance.
#17
Okay, so my plan of action is to offer some 10 euro half-hour lessons to younger beginners, to gain experience. Sounds good.

Although, my teacher charges 25 euros for an hour, so I would feel like a ripper-offer :/
#18
I'm 17, and I started teaching when I was 16.

As long as you're teaching beginners and you're an above-average guitarist you should be fine. Honestly, to be a good teacher you don't have to be as good as people here are leading you to believe.

The main thing you have to do as a teacher is inspire your students to love the guitar and practice. Of course, in order to do that, you're need to be a fairly proficient, versatile, and knowledgeable guitarist. But I think people here are overestimating how important guitar skills are and underestimating how important people/teaching skills are.

Edit: I teach for $10 a half-hour, and $20 for hour lessons. I also rent out some of my equipment to students for some extra dough. The way I see it, I get $20 an hour (most of my friends are making around $9) to sit in my house and do what I love. Don't worry about how much you charge (just make sure people will take you seriously), it's just an awesome thing to do with your time.
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Last edited by QuiteTheFellow at Mar 17, 2009,
#19
Here was my plan: 60 minute lessons

20 Minutes of some sort of exercice, depending on what the student needs, either chords or scales, etc.
20 minutes of a song I choose to improve a technique
20 minutes at the end, as a treat, of a song chosen by them, to keep them motivated and enjoying it.

After a while, I might replace one of the sections with some improvisation, because that was one of the things I enjoyed the most when I was starting with my teacher.
#20
All the lessons I've ever taught were mostly improvised, because they always want to learn something different. If they ask for techniques I teach them some, if they wanna learn a song I do that, if they want theory I judge where they are and give them the next step.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#21
Quote by gabcd86
Okay, so my plan of action is to offer some 10 euro half-hour lessons to younger beginners, to gain experience. Sounds good.

Although, my teacher charges 25 euros for an hour, so I would feel like a ripper-offer :/


Maybe give them 45 minutes instead of 30? You're charging dangerously close to what pros do at $10 for 30 min.

And just one last point. It really matters more how well you can convey information, as to how well you can actually play. Being a great player doesn't mean you'll be any good at teaching.

For example, my dad is a frighteningly talented musician. He knows his theory and his guitar like no one else I've met, and can generally tell you the chord being played, what strings it's being played on totally by ear. Even if it's some oddly voiced jazz chord. He's usually does a solo act where he plays guitar while playing bass pedals and sings or plays harmonica. He's one of those people who can pick up a new instrument in minutes and sound like he's been playing it for years.

But the man is completely incapable of teaching. He's got no clue how to relay information to someone, and completely fails to take into account the other persons knowledge when explaining something. He just assumes you know what you need to to understand what he's on about.

This kind of thing is something a great many posters here do too.
#22
Sounds fair, but a 12-year old will not know much more than "I wanna play that Nirvana song!!!" and they're my market right now.
#23
But the man is completely incapable of teaching. He's got no clue how to relay information to someone, and completely fails to take into account the other persons knowledge when explaining something. He just assumes you know what you need to to understand what he's on about.

This kind of thing is something a great many posters here do too.


Yer darn tootin'.

Here was my plan: 60 minute lessons


Too long for most pupils under 13. You can get just as much tuition out of 30 minutes and it stops the kid getting bored.


20 Minutes of some sort of exercice, depending on what the student needs, either chords or scales, etc.


Good luck with that.

Most people do not want to sit and do 20 minutes of exercises, ever. You will find it hard to stop people trying to squirm off. You have to build their motivation to practice before you can do that.

20 minutes of a song I choose to improve a technique


To be honest, improving technique (in the way I assume you mean) is not going to be so much of a bother as "use more than one finger", "count the time out loud", "play it SLOWLY! SLOWLY!".

20 minutes at the end, as a treat, of a song chosen by them, to keep them motivated and enjoying it.


Look at this as a complete beginner. You've got 2/3 dull to 1/3 fun. That's not going to work! You're also completely underestimating how hard it is to play guitar at first. Start off with a few single string riffs (seven nation army is a fave) and read the pupil as to where you can go from there - be gentle, encouraging, and don't set goals out of the pupils reach or they will blame themselves!

Honestly, you don't come across as ready to teach. I don't know what your guitar skills are like but you don't seem confident, and you don't seem to have any depth to your understanding of the instrument. When teaching, it's the depth of your understanding, rather than breadth, that matters.

Sorry if that seems a little vague and wooly, but that's just where my head's at atm.
#24
Hmmm, OK, thanks for your honesty...

*plants car-bomb in Freepower's car*

:P I'll probably try some free lessons.
#26
I intern with a guitar instructor and help him with group lessons. I have a few one-on-one lessons too. TBH, one hour of instruction is extremely hard on a student. It all depends on their motivation, and most young kids are pushed into music by their parents.

Also, I don't know if it's been answered, but can you read music? I would consider it mandatory, but that's just me. I know a lot of people are gonna come in with "LOL U DONT NEED TO READ MUSIC FOR ROCK AND ROLL LOL".
#27
Quote by steven seagull
If you have to ask then no, you're not ready.


this
#28
Quote by Freepower
Why not ask your teacher if you can sit in and help with some of his classes? He's there to help!


So, I know nothing about teaching.. but I'd say do this. In fact, just ask your teacher about teaching. He would know, amirite? I wouldn't say that teaching is a bad idea at 16 (I wouldn't do it because I'm antisocial), I'd say that teaching would be a great way to reinforce what you learned before (methinks). Kind of like tests in school that require you to define things in your own words.
#29
I would feel kinda bad, cos my teacher does it sorta as his main income stream, so I would feel like I was trying to supply him. I might ask..
#30
Quote by gabcd86
I'm 16, I've been playing for about two years, and I need some money. I've got a decent understanding of theory, an intermediate skill level and a plan, but do you think I'm ready?
EDIT: Obviously, marketing myself towards kids as opposed to adults





No.
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#32
Quote by Freepower



Look at this as a complete beginner. You've got 2/3 dull to 1/3 fun. That's not going to work! You're also completely underestimating how hard it is to play guitar at first. Start off with a few single string riffs (seven nation army is a fave) and read the pupil as to where you can go from there - be gentle, encouraging, and don't set goals out of the pupils reach or they will blame themselves!



I don't agree here, my teacher got me to learn the Master of Puppets intro and riffs very early and it actually motivated me and gave me a goal to work towards.
#33
Well that was in your reach, just a challenge. I assume he meant telling a total beginner to play the C major scale cleanly at 100bpm or whatever.
#34
I'm not the greatest player on UG by any stretch of the imagination - i'm not particularly fast, i cant sweep, i'm pretty sloppy and my timing can get iffy because i don't practice much any more, i just play.

I've never actually taught anyone in person, but I'm confident I could do it because although there's a lot of things i personally can't do i know exactly how to do those things and what i would have to do in order to accomplish them. Likewise i know exactly what I had to do to get where I am currently right from the ground up. The guitar is deceptively complex to learn because as you progress the things you struggled so hard to get to grips with early on become second nature and we forget how difficult they were.

If you really start to deconstruct even some of the simplest things you do and think about how you'd describe them to an absolute beginner with no guitar knowledge it's overwhelming. I can write an entire paragraph simply explaining how to play a bend - teaching isn't just about showing someone what to do, you need to also be able to explain how and why to do it and crucially you need to be able to teach someone how to learn to do it and that's the hardest thing.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#35
Some good points here, a lot of people tend to be very talent oriented in their assessment of teaching suitability, but I think its only a small part of a larger whole.

Personally I tend to believe whats more important is not being an all round virtuoso to be able to teach, but rather to have a deep and complete understanding of what you are actually teaching (knowing ALL the dos and dont's), and good enough communication skills to pass it onto your student in a way that they can understand and apply.

I remember hearing Joe Satriani say that when he used to teach, basically his strategy was to learn 'one week ahead of the student' (he started teaching a year into his playing, not sure about age but I think it was around 16-17). Not saying its necessarily the best way, but Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett turned out alright (oversimplification I know, but you get my point).

The better criteria of a good teacher is how well they can impart the proper and required knowledge onto students in a way that keeps the student motivated.

Steven Seagull makes a good point about only needing to know to be able to teach, and I agree with it, of course it is always a very big plus to be able to demonstrate what you are teaching. While we understand the true nature of good teaching and that it isn't the biggest problem, you may find some of your students are more skeptical when their teacher can't do what he or she is teaching them very well.

Anyways, to find the answer to your question gabcd86 what you need to ask yourself is...
1. Do I know the ins and outs of the finer points of what I am going to teach, and possess deep enough knowledge to be able to answer specific questions?
2. Can I communicate this in a way that gets the student understanding easily?

and still important but not entirely necessary....

3. Am I proficient in all the things I intend to actually teach?

Of course, being well suited to teaching is one thing, having people believe you are enough to pay you is another, some are more skeptical than others.

If you feel you have the knowledge and maturity to take on the teaching role, I encourage you to try it maybe for free with some friends, and it will give you the idea if you have what it takes to make the leap to the commercial world of tuition - and besides, all experience helps
Roberto Moretti - Author of 'Practice Made Perfect: How Anyone Can Master Anything Quicker, Easier and Better than Ever'
Last edited by Moretti at Mar 18, 2009,
#36
Quote by Tomo009
I don't agree here, my teacher got me to learn the Master of Puppets intro and riffs very early and it actually motivated me and gave me a goal to work towards.


Sure, but he read you as a pupil that could do that, or else he wouldn't have given you that goal. It was possibly the perfect route for him to take with you - but it might well have stopped another person ever wanting to play ever again!

Teaching is about people skills and communication - much more so than "guitar" skills. I've met good teachers who can barely play, and well, as for the opposite, just look at Segovia. Changed guitar forever, worldwide acclaim as a virtuoso, and just about the worst teacher I can imagine.
#37
Do you reckon I could teach? I'm 15 and am grade 8 at guitar and grade 6 at bass aswell as doing grade 5 theory? reckon I could?
#39
maybe you should take lessons first if you arent already. that might give you a better understanding of how to do it.

i dont think i could ever teach new players. i would kill myself if i had to teach iron man or eruption over and over lol. i think i could teach players who have been playing a while and want to improve there improv/soloing skills or maybe song writing.
#40
Quote by Freepower
Sure, but he read you as a pupil that could do that, or else he wouldn't have given you that goal. It was possibly the perfect route for him to take with you - but it might well have stopped another person ever wanting to play ever again!


Foreal.

My piano teacher gave me a hard song when I was young, like 8. And I quit the instrument because it had a hard bass clef part.

Friggin dotted rhythms.
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