I am going to start teaching guitar to some beginners starting from December. I got a good idea of what to teach them. Now I was wondering what I should not do in-front of my students. For example, would it be ok to shred around on the guitar or would it just mess with their minds?

So what should I NOT do when teaching?

P.S: I am new to teaching.

Depending on the student. If the student is more new to stuff and you want to show something, don't just shred. Simple, slower things is easier to grasp and then work from there.
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Hmm, depending on the student, some shredding might motivate them to practice their chords or, it could actually demotivate them as they're quite a long while away from that standard. Basically, if the kid gets bored and wants to play fast then show him what he has to work to. If the kid is happily working away on his/her chords leave them be. Something that I like to do is to get them to pick a song they want to learn and we'll work towards that if it's suitable.
i know that i get really encouraged and inspired to play when i watch some good shredding on youtube, but at the same time some others claim that it makes them want to throw their guitars away. dunno.
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Don't teach theory until they can play a good decent solo or until they want to. Theory is boring when you're new and you don't really need it until later. It'll just be a massive turn off. It also takes forever to drill in all the knowledge. Don't even mention theory until you get on to basic solos (like the pentatonic). Do teach them chord shapes etc.

Go at their pace. Don't play faster than the material you're teaching.. it looks rude and it doesn't help their motivation. They'll want to get to that speed as fast as they canand lose interest in a few months when they realise it takes ages to get there. Don't even noodle about while you're waiting for them to finish a song because it makes them feel like you're frustrated at their progress.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
I don't wanna say "go ahead and shred in front of them sometimes," but play a semi-difficult phrase for that person's level in front of them. like, small inspiration like that may push them to want to learn better. nothing hard, just like, a small/quick octave phrase, or some little riff that sounds impressive, but actually very easy to play. i hope you understand what I'm trying to say. like, not too much where they'll hate you, but enough where they'll want to strive for it.
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yeah, like my guitar teacher is obviously waaaay above my skill level, but he doesn't often "showcase" anything in his playing that I won't be capable of in the near future according to his judgement - which is pretty darn good. He's only "showed off" once by playing Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega, but only because I asked about it. (He actually told me [or more implied] today that he'll give it to me in the near future - amped!).

Otherwise, don't get angry with your students - patience is key.
Don't be overbearing or over-expect from your students - but I suppose you will know who to expect results from more than others as you teach the individuals.
Don't compare your one student to another one of your students - my teacher has done it a few times. It's kinda mean.
And don't rush ahead of your student in explanations and stuff.

I've never taught before either, but I've just picked up a few things by having about 6 different teachers in the past 5 or so years.
Dont let them think speed is the key to being good at guitar. If they want to learn to 'shred', make sure you balance out the technique with a good grounding of what they will actually be playing while 'shredding', for example scales, arpeggios etc.

And dont ever neglect rhythm guitar. Even to shred well you have to have great rhythm.
I think :

1. You shouldn't show off

2. Pay attention to the student: analyze his body language, hand positions and such

3. Don't show to many concepts or exercises. I find that teaching a concept or maximum 2 per lesson and making sure the student practices them corectly is far more important then teaching him 10 concepts and letting him practice them on his own
Dont just teach them what they want to learn (for example if they say the just want to shred).

Dont only teach them what you want to teach. Never skip the boring bits that come at the start.

Dont be afraid to correct a more experienced student if they are doing some thing wrong.
Don't do anything bad. Don't anchor, make sure your fingers are not flying off the fretboard, make sure your bends are in tune, etc. I'm hoping I'm just stating the obvious to you. If you don't know this stuff, I don't think you should be teaching, no offense. Teaching is all about what not to do. Tell them what bad technique is and teach them how to avoid it. Just because you can shred doesn't mean you should be a teacher. To be a teacher, you have to really know what you're talking about.
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I find it very motivating when I see other people shred seamlessly BUT the last thing you want is a teacher who won't stop playing - they're paying for you to teach them not to watch you practice.
I tend to play very little when I'm teaching, just show them what they are trying to aim for in that particular lesson and where it is leading. I think it can be a bit off putting for a student to be shown something which they may feel is way out of their reach.
dont sit there and talk about songs and play for most of the hour while the student watches. i had one "teacher" do that and that was the last time i went to him. i dont pay all that money for an hour of lessons to be playing for 10 minutes and watching him play and talk for the rest of the time
Guys, the shredding thing was just an example.

Thanks for all the responses, If anyone else wants to add something please go ahead.
Last edited by MaddMann274 at Nov 9, 2011,
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Theory is boring when you're new and you don't really need it until later.

This, I think.

It's difficult enough trying to build technique and muscle memory. No need to make it harder.
The main reason I dropped my first instructor is that he had a big ego and spent way too much time really getting into his 'examples', which ending up in soloing for five minutes. It drove me crazy; please be cognitive of the fact every minute is $$ to the student, so keep things short and simple. Another REALLY big thing I wish my classical and electric teachers had done, is for the very first lesson at least gauge how much the student knows, so you don't waste their time explaining unnecessary things. Don't make them come out of their comfort zone and tell you they already know what a scale and fret is. And let THEM actually play stuff, instead of doing all the playing and talking the whole time.

Ahh that felt good to vent.

I'm sure you'll be a good teacher though since you are actually taking the time to avoid the common pitfalls most instructors fall into. I think humility is becoming more and more scarce among teachers (my experience with instructors in multiple fields).
Last edited by andre09 at Nov 9, 2011,
humility is very important. One of the reasons i think my teacher was possibly the best on the planet.
play things similar to what they are learning but perfectly with proper technique and such.
definitely make sure to gauge their understanding and comfort zone.
another thing i really enjoyed about my teacher is that he never talked down to me. he always kept it quite personal and level person to person. he just so happened to be muuuuuch better than i was. after i learned a concept and had a decent handle on it we would just jam a bit using some of the stuff i had learned but he never played anything too advanced. just slightly above my level but easily within my reach. that really inspired me to keep practicing and go further.

Also.. something my teacher told me that i think is something every teacher aught to live by was " Always teach someone with the intention of making them better than you are."

too often you find people that teach you just enough for you to get it but not enough for you to be as good as them. and music isnt a competition.

hope that helps a bit
things that are obvious to you are not so obvious to the student depending on how new they are.

when i give the occasional lesson i tend to jump around a lot so kinda categorize things in steps that lead into eachother. establish string names, then frets, how to play the frets, etc...

better if u write it down
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