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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so I've given some lessons to kids before - basically started them off in the Hal Leonard Guitar Method since they were young enough to not think "Greensleeves is GAY" and were willing to learn the notes on the strings, etc. :p

I've been poking around on Craigslist and found a guy who has been playing for a while, but wants help "with my originals" and doesn't "want to start with scales and chords."

He wants hour long lessons. I don't have a studio or room in my apartment, so for now I plan on doing lessons at his house. My teacher would have just identified his skill level and started him off somewhere in the Troy Stetina method, but I get the impression this guy doesn't want to do a method.

I feel like I should cater to what he wants while maintaining some basic level of teaching requirements, i.e. fundamentals must be a portion of the work.

Anybody with teaching experience have any idea how to get started with guys like this? Tell him to bring whatever he wants to work on and then work on it in addition to fundamentals?

I'm going to try and build a base of students and then consider going to a studio if possible, but for now I need to learn how to teach to someone who is starting with an unknown background, presumably has some bad habits and isn't a "blank slate" like a 5th grader is.
 

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what does "help with my originals" mean? :scratch:

Standard procedure for new students:
Give technique building exercises and see how they handle them.

If you actually knew what he wants to work on it would be a lot more helpfull though.
 

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I think he meant the prospective students originals.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think he meant the prospective students originals.
Correct. Sorry for the confusion but I didn't want to misquote the guy. :rolleyes:

So yeah I haven't met with him yet - I told him I'd give him 30 minutes free as a get-to-know-me session and to determine if we're a good fit. But past that, I'm confused about where to start.

My first guitar teacher just made me learn some songs that he liked and thought were good technique builders, and let me bring in Metallica tab books and we worked on whatever song I wanted to learn. In the end, I don't think it was very productive.
 

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Here are some things that work for me. Keep in mind that I've only taught college-age or older and many of them are music students. During the week I teach at my college and on weekends I have a few students that come to the house.

I recommend against making house calls. I've never really done it but I'd hate to drive to a person's house only to find out they aren't there, don't have any money, have a crazy dog-girlfriend-kids-parents etc.

I also ask for payment up front, in cash, before each lesson. I've tried to do the "pay by the month" thing but it's usually ends up being a hassle. If they forget their $20 I direct them to the nearest ATM.

As far as where to start, it will depend on the student. But there are a few things that I teach everybody right off the bat keeping everything in Cmaj/Amin. We do the triads of C in first position, then move on to the bar chords with 6h and 5th string roots, then eventually move on the 7ths as they progress. We also start with some very basic finger exercises to prepare them for scales. I start with C major, then run them through the other modes so that they essentially learn where all the naturals are on the whole neck. Then depending on the student we'll go deeper into music theory (key sigs, minor scales, intervals...etc) work on learning songs that fit their level or start on improvisation.

I used to use Hal Leonard and it works well for some students. I can't stand it any more so I use my own printouts. You are welcome to use them too:
Guitar Fu
Guitar Fu is meant for the advanced student but the first few pages are basic. It's currently under construction and is lacking stuff that I need to organize.

Also make sure to talk about proper technique and good habits right at the beginning. Posture, hand positioning, picks and that kind of stuff.

I have my students bring a notebook for jotting down info and keeping track of what we're doing. Make sure you give them specific "assignments" to do each week. You also might want to not only tell them what to practice but how to practice as well.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:bump:

So I met with the guy for free for 30 minutes just to talk and watch him play. He's 50-100% older than I am and this is his mid-life crisis thing. Has some nice gear, has some good techniques, definitely a few horrendous habits. Wants to jam with his buddies playing 70's rock and learn how to handle experimental jamming, as they often devolve their sessions into that at some point, but he feels he gets stuck in a rut with it.

I definitely have a few ideas, and feel like we should do the first 50% on fundamental techniques etc. to warm up, and then the last 50% on breaking apart and working out songs.

All input appreciated.
 
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