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#1
ok so here's the deal... i'm 17 and ive been playin guitar for about 3 years now. i just took a job to teach this 9 year old kid how to play guitar so im guessing he's never touched one before so my question is this: what the hell do i teach him? at first i thought open chords would be the way to go. but should i go even further back then that? like strumming or somethin or should i teach him Am pentatonic right of the back (can a 9 year old attention span handle that though?). i probably wouldn't care and i'd just try to teach him whatever i felt like at the time but his parents say they'll fire me if they dont eventually see results. so ya...thats my dilema... i could use some help

o ya and how much should i charge?
#2
Start by teaching him what a guitar is- what each part does, what it's used for. AND DON'T FORGET THEORY. Open string picking and strumming is a better idea than putting him straight to open chords, and how to fret as well.

Don't charge anything to start with, either- he's only 9, and maybe not starting to charge will warm his parents to you. But make it clear to them that you'll give the first couple of lessons free.
#3
£5-10 a lesson?

Imagine you'd do well to teach him how to hold it first
...chords, techniques?
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#4
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#5
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Start by teaching him what a guitar is- what each part does, what it's used for. AND DON'T FORGET THEORY. Open string picking and strumming is a better idea than putting him straight to open chords, and how to fret as well.

Don't charge anything to start with, either- he's only 9, and maybe not starting to charge will warm his parents to you. But make it clear to them that you'll give the first couple of lessons free.


wo wo wo, i would say you gotta start with fun things that they like so they don't loose interest in playing.

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#7
The weird thing is,the same thing is happening to me,but I think the kid I'm going to teach is older and I'm 16.
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#9
deliriumbassist pretty much hit it right on the spot, do exactly what he said. after a few lessons you could try doing that one exercise that goes 5678 on each string and up to the next. forget what that ones called, sorry.
#10
shame on you Glimson, but then again it is easy.

i have a student. i started teaching her some open chords, she new some already, i watched her fingering and made comments about her posture and how to help her make all the strings sound. then once she has got some chords down, teach her a basic tune.

also, get a beginner guitar book, it will help him work on his own and you can pull stuff from it and help him with the examples.

oh, and on pay front, im with Reva £5-£10. although i get £15 and hour
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#11
Quote by Deliriumbassist
How the hell can you learn fun things without learning the basics? If you can't pick or fret properly, there's no chance.


I was never taught the basics, and I manage fine.

I mean sure, I suck donkey balls, but I have fun...

Edit - Why shame on me? =P

There's a reason we all learned it in the beginning. Gives us a sense of accomplishment. (My first thing was Seven Nation Army though. Didn't learn SOTW for a while.)
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#14
Quote by Glimsom
G- 0-3-5--0-3-6-5--0-3-5--3-0
D- 0-3-5--0-3-6-5--0-3-5--3-0


That, but start with just one note on the high e string to make it as easy as possible. Give him cool bass lines. Start with the parts of the guitar so when you refer to strings and frets, etc, he'll know what you're talking about. The proper way to hold a guitar, pick, etc. 9 year olds tend not to have the finger strength or calousses to play more than one note at a time (and, as often as not, not even that). I started with single note songs on one string (Smoke on the Water, just easier, Seven Nation Army, etc.) and moved onto single note melodies on separate strings (Super Mario, Jingle Bells, Star Wars) and then onto simple open chord (Em, Dsus2, etc). Just ask them what they want to learn out of that range and they'll practice more which causes them to learn much more quickly.
#15
Quote by thedudemeister
shame on you Glimson, but then again it is easy.

i have a student. i started teaching her some open chords, she new some already, i watched her fingering and made comments about her posture and how to help her make all the strings sound. then once she has got some chords down, teach her a basic tune.

also, get a beginner guitar book, it will help him work on his own and you can pull stuff from it and help him with the examples.

oh, and on pay front, im with Reva £5-£10. although i get £15 and hour


Bolded made me laugh, then I was just ashamed of myself.
#16
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Well duh thats obvious every beginner learns that, but you gotta think out of the box... teach him Stairway To Heaven...
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#17
Quote by thedudemeister
i watched her fingering and made comments about her posture

*giggles* >__>

Quote by thedudemeister
oh, and on pay front, im with Reva £5-£10. although i get £15 and hour

Although Deliriumbassist's idea of a few free lessons sounds like a good idea as well.

I suppose if the kid doesn't like it the parents won't feel bad for wasting money?
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#18
parents sound like twats.


He has to learn the very basics of playing guitar but... get him playing songs he knows as soon as possible.
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#20
teach short easy songs, (stairway to heaven to long, he wont be able to remember it) my advise is no better than the others, just remember he will be useless and things you find easy, he wont, also hell probably get bored very quicly so get him doing easy riffs asap, itll keep him interested and impress his parents (ie u wont get sacked)
#21
id start writing tabs and ask them if they can read it.
teach them what each string is, ask them if they can find the third fret of the e string and such.
start them off with an excersize like 5---6---7---8 on each string, then for half the lesson i would work on stuff like songs.
so half the time, chords scales and theory, and the other half songs they want to work on.
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#22
like weorge said, teach him riffs/songs to start of with to keep his interest. Going straight into chords and theory may be a bit too much. Go into them later.
#23
Quote by MoleMania
like weorge said, teach him riffs/songs to start of with to keep his interest. Going straight into chords and theory may be a bit too much. Go into them later.

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#25
for songs- everything by blink 182, there all easy, and there will likely be one they'll reconize so they'll want to play it
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#26
First, names of the strings and what a fret is, how to hold a pick and all that stuff.
#27
You should start by getting him familiar with the instrument, as Deliriumbassist pointed out. Over the next few lessons, you should go over picking and fretting, and excercises to improve hand-hand coordination and overall finger/picking dexterity. Then you should move on to a bit of theory. Teach him the notes, and their relative position on the fretboard. A bit of ear training won't be too bad either. After, you should try and teach him open chords, and from then on, it's purely your choice.

As for payment, the first two or three lessons should be free of charge. After that, $10-15 per lesson is plenty. It depends on the length of the lesson. If it's 30 minutes to an hour, charge $10-15. If it's longer than that, and it shouldn't be (you don't want to give him too much lessons), charge $20-30.
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#28
How to hold a guitar, how to hold a pick, why you need to trim your nails, a foreword about calluses, how to store a guitar, Anatomy of a guitar, Tuning, etc.... Not that they neccesarily have to be in that order
#29
start at the bottom but each lesson, try to teach him something fun and make the fun part harder as he goes up.
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#30
Technical Difficulties by Racer X is a good warm-up exercise, then when he can play that go onto some Guthrie Govan.
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#31
Deliriumbassist is absolutely correct. Although you might wanna teach him one song just to to keep his interest.

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#32
To start with, listen to his favourite songs and pick out useful sections that will help him learn but aren't too difficult.
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#33
well im a begginner start as basic as possible dont assume he already knows anything and go as slow a pace as nessacary dont throw him in the deep end
#35
Teach him the parts of the guitar and what they do. Then teach him how to hold the guitar and a pick. Teach him how to fret and make sure he can do it without any muting. Teach him the string names and numbers. Then teach him a few simple licks. After, you should probably work on chords and songs with chords. After chords it pretty much up to you. Don't rush him though.
#36
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Bolded made me laugh, then I was just ashamed of myself.


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*giggles* >__>


i knew the pit would pick up on that and find it funny.


Although Deliriumbassist's idea of a few free lessons sounds like a good idea as well.

I suppose if the kid doesn't like it the parents won't feel bad for wasting money


i dont know, she seems to enjoy the lessons, and she practices because she wants to, not because she has to.

also, make sure you student has short nails. the girl im teaching, her nails stick out over the end of her tips, they are way too long. so i make her cut them
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#37
I just started taking lessons a few months ago. We still haven't done much theory, mostly because I came into it knowing some already ( I play tenor sax in school ). I came in and showed him the first couple seconds of One, and he just showed me more. We haven't stopped learning songs since. I think he likes to teach me things in context, like instead of throwing a bunch of chords at me, he showed me how to play Hallelujah. Instead of just giving me palm muting exercises, we started learning A Certain Shade of Green. For me at least, it made everything more enjoyable.
#38
Quote by pandasxsharpies
id start writing tabs and ask them if they can read it.
teach them what each string is, ask them if they can find the third fret of the e string and such.
start them off with an excersize like 5---6---7---8 on each string, then for half the lesson i would work on stuff like songs.
so half the time, chords scales and theory, and the other half songs they want to work on.


While this SOUNDS like a good idea, in theory, it really is probably the worst idea. You would lose a lot of students teaching this way.

Think about it this way: Exercises are difficult and boring, and you will make them look really easy. Without proper explanation, your student could end up thinking that they suck or that they don't have a chance of learning guitar because they can't learn everything that you are teaching them. People learn really slow, and beginning guitarists have to get the hang of playing one or two notes on a string way before they start exercises. Play 5-6-7-8 on each string at 40 bpm or less with one note per beat and see how long you can do that before you want to shoot yourself in the head lol.

I also disagree with people that teaching beginners how to tune a guitar is important. In reality, it is not very important. You may think that it is important, but they did not come to you to learn how to tune their guitar. Beginners can rarely even tell the difference anyways even if they are a whole step or two off, and if it does become noticeable to them, they can easily look it up on the internet how to tune a guitar. I cover it in about two seconds at the beginning of each lesson while i tune their guitar and answer them more thoroughly if they ask questions. I just tune it every lesson and let it get out of tune during the week.

Think about it this way: how frustrating was learning to tune your guitar as a beginner? Pretty hard right? So I don't even try to get people to do it. About 50-75% of my students are not hardcore super determined serious guitar students who want to become an expert at guitar or anything, especially not when they're first starting out! So I don't teach them things that are going to be hard and boring that they might get frustrated trying to do. If someone starts to believe "oh no, I can't even tune my guitar, I will never be able to play guitar!" Then you lose a student, so be careful of that.

You want to give them something to go home and practice and a pep talk so that they feel ready to go home and practice and get better. That's your job as a teacher, is to give them something to practice and a pep talk to encourage them to do it. Teaching the basics of the guitar is definitely important. I think that posture is probably the single most important thing at this stage, and hand position. But I don't spend a great deal of time on those things, I just continually, constantly reinforce it lesson after lesson until they begin to improve, then I focus on other aspects of technique and posture such as tension..

But to start out they need to learn some very basic songs, they need to learn an entire song that they know and somewhat enjoy so that they can go home and begin practicing this song. I like to teach mary had a little lamb or twinkle twinkle little star, depending on their beginning skill level. You will be surprised at how hard these songs are for a beginner when you teach them. I hope that taking this approach to teaching will help you lose less students and become a better teacher at realizing how slowly people learn and how you can nourish their growth in the best ways
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Last edited by Marcus_Wiesner at Nov 15, 2011,
#39
Do you stuff like picking exercises, then strumming, then maybe at the end teach him something fun, like Smoke on The Water, or Sunshine of Your Love.
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#40
Quote by Marcus_Wiesner
While this SOUNDS like a good idea, in theory, it really is probably the worst idea. You would lose a lot of students teaching this way.

Think about it this way: Exercises are difficult and boring, and you will make them look really easy. Without proper explanation, your student could end up thinking that they suck or that they don't have a chance of learning guitar because they can't learn everything that you are teaching them. People learn really slow, and beginning guitarists have to get the hang of playing one or two notes on a string way before they start exercises. Play 5-6-7-8 on each string at 40 bpm or less with one note per beat and see how long you can do that before you want to shoot yourself in the head lol.

I also disagree with people that teaching beginners how to tune a guitar is important. In reality, it is not very important. You may think that it is important, but they did not come to you to learn how to tune their guitar. Beginners can rarely even tell the difference anyways even if they are a whole step or two off, and if it does become noticeable to them, they can easily look it up on the internet how to tune a guitar. I cover it in about two seconds at the beginning of each lesson while i tune their guitar and answer them more thoroughly if they ask questions. I just tune it every lesson and let it get out of tune during the week.

Think about it this way: how frustrating was learning to tune your guitar as a beginner? Pretty hard right? So I don't even try to get people to do it. About 50-75% of my students are not hardcore super determined serious guitar students who want to become an expert at guitar or anything, especially not when they're first starting out! So I don't teach them things that are going to be hard and boring that they might get frustrated trying to do. If someone starts to believe "oh no, I can't even tune my guitar, I will never be able to play guitar!" Then you lose a student, so be careful of that.

You want to give them something to go home and practice and a pep talk so that they feel ready to go home and practice and get better. That's your job as a teacher, is to give them something to practice and a pep talk to encourage them to do it. Teaching the basics of the guitar is definitely important. I think that posture is probably the single most important thing at this stage, and hand position. But I don't spend a great deal of time on those things, I just continually, constantly reinforce it lesson after lesson until they begin to improve, then I focus on other aspects of technique and posture such as tension..

But to start out they need to learn some very basic songs, they need to learn an entire song that they know and somewhat enjoy so that they can go home and begin practicing this song. I like to teach mary had a little lamb or twinkle twinkle little star, depending on their beginning skill level. You will be surprised at how hard these songs are for a beginner when you teach them. I hope that taking this approach to teaching will help you lose less students and become a better teacher at realizing how slowly people learn and how you can nourish their growth in the best ways



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Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 15, 2011,
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