5 mistakes to avoid when teaching guitar to beginners

Do your students tend to progress slowly enough and find it frustrating? Do you feel that your students are not interested in your advice? Do you find it hard to motivate them and sometimes feel uncertain about how you teach and the content of your lessons? These are common problems when teaching novice musicians and especially young children . Giving lessons to apprentice guitarists is often difficult and generates some responsibilities. Find the right method, and they will learn to love the guitar by progressing regularly. Lack of pedagogy, and you will discourage them for sure.

So here are 5 mistakes that are waiting for you as a teacher, and some solutions to avoid them.

Mistake # 1: Using Linear Teaching Methods with Beginners

Most teachers apply a linear and logical method . An approach that does not always work with beginners who will progress very slowly and will end up giving up a lot, frustrated, as their teacher elsewhere. But yet many methods of learning the guitar are designed in this way and there is the problem. This type of method is perfect for a subject that obeys logic perfectly, like mathematics or science, but not for music where the pleasure, improvisation and creation aspect are often forgotten during a classical learning.

If you realize that this does not work on some of your students, do not hesitate to try to apply your own learning techniques and to try to diversify the exercises to make the course more playful and adapted to everyone, which seems to be the most effective. Among these methods, there may be mentioned the so-called “geometric” method.   With this approach, students quickly integrate the skills needed for the guitar from the beginning of their training.

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Mistake # 2: Use the wrong methods from the first class.

Among them we count the musical theory without putting in paratic, the placement of the fingers or the deciphering tablatures or partitions. In short, what a beginner looks for first is the contact with the instrument. It is therefore preferable to alternate theory and practice or to teach theory through practice so as not to tire students. Although the mastery of solfeggio and some theoretical knowledge is very useful, it is not necessary to overwhelm a new student with these topics from the first lessons. Why ? The main reason is that most beginners get bored quickly and lose interest in the theory. Of course, some students will have a good reaction to these teachings, but that will not be the case for everyone.

Some teachers feel irresponsible if they do not get into the thick of it right from the first lessons . However, the first goal should be to give confidence to his student on his abilities and enjoy playing properly. This will save you from making the third mistake.

Mistake # 3: Do not get your students to trust their abilities.

Apprentice guitarists do not know how to play guitar , how guitar lessons are played, and do not know their own skills. They just know if they will be able to learn to play their musical instrument but are not necessarily aware of their potential . Most beginners have the idea that you have to be naturally good at playing the guitar, which is often the cause of discouragement.  

The role of the teacher is primarily to rid them of these doubts as quickly as possible. But encouragement is not always enough. You will need to use methods that will provide your students with tangible evidence of their abilities and make them aware of the need for regular efforts.

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Mistake # 4: Use the same teaching methods with beginners and intermediate or advanced students.

As mentioned above, giving your students confidence should be the main goal of your first lessons. Once done, your teaching will have to be different from the one you bring to more advanced guitarists. For example, they will be more likely to engage in a tedious exercise, without sparing effort, in order to advance their game. Most beginners, meanwhile, will not always understand this. idea, especially if it involves practicing exercise for a long time. This is usually the case for young children or adults for whom guitar lessons are a relaxing time. Your methods will therefore have to adapt to your students. Concentrate on the idea that you are teaching more people than you are teaching music.

Mistake # 5: Give courses without de ned v éritable approach.

Communication with your students is essential. Knowing their tastes in music, their expectations, their objectives will help you to know them and therefore to implement a suitable learning.

This interaction with the student will only be more motivating and will encourage them to express themselves both orally and musically. When you offer them exercises that may seem boring from their point of view, do not hesitate to explain to them the importance of exercise and how it will be beneficial to progress more quickly.

In any case, if a student hangs from the start he will volunteer and practice regularly at home.

The final word

Avoiding these mistakes will have a positive impact for all your students. You will see them progress quickly and with much more enthusiasm. As for your reputation as a teacher, it will only get better!