How To Teach Guitar Students To Solve Playing Issues On Their Own

by Tom Hess

Your guitar students make much faster progress when you show them how to fix their playing issues on their own. This gives them more confidence in their ability to improve and more trust in you as their guitar teacher.

But here is the catch:

If all you do is 'show' them how 'you' would fix their guitar playing challenges...

... or even - if you have your guitar students try practicing to fix them in front of you for a minute or two (when you take a quick break from teaching guitar to them)...

... that is nowhere near enough!

What you REALLY need is to watch them practice in front of you for a continuous block of time (a good 10-20 minutes).

This way of teaching guitar helps your guitar students develop the habits they need to practice guitar successfully at home.

And that, in turn, turns them into great players quickly.

This video demonstrates the process of helping your students solve problems in their playing:

In the video, you see the general process for helping your students solve problems on their own:

  1. Listen to the practice item the student is struggling with

  2. Ask the student to identify themselves where problems are occurring in their playing

  3. Correctly identify what is causing the problem, then have the student isolate it from the other notes that have been mastered

  4. Explain how the problem is corrected and have the student repeat the practice item many times by practicing as instructed

  5. Summarize the main problem(s) and solutions they need to work on while practicing at home

  6. Watch them practice guitar in front of you to confirm (for you and for them) that they are perfectly clear on what they need to do when they practice guitar at home).

Going through this process builds your students’ confidence in their potential to become better guitar players. They improve very quickly because they learn how to think through their challenges on their own without always needing you. 

Question: "But Tom Hess, what if my guitar students object to this idea when I teach guitar to them? What if they say something like: "This isn't the kind of teaching guitar I'm paying you for! I want you to teach me new things. Things I don't know that will make me a better guitar player!"

Answer: Simply tell your guitar students (before you train them to practice) that your real job isn't to 'teach guitar'. It's to help THEM become better players while enjoying the process.

A huge part of 'that' is to make sure they are able to improve each time they pick up the guitar. And being that, your students spend most of their time at home (not in their guitar lesson with you), it's critical that they are able to improve their playing when they practice at home.

Hence - the need to do some training on how to practice guitar while you are 'teaching guitar' to them.

If you say this to your guitar students before you start training them, they will likely understand and appreciate the work you're putting into helping them play better.

Want to help your guitar students become excellent players and grow a successful guitar teaching business? Read this guitar teaching advice to get started becoming the number guitar teacher in your local area.

Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains guitar teachers from all over the world how to earn 6-figures per year teaching guitar, while working less than 40 hours per week.

Want to teach guitar for a living? Learn how by getting guitar teacher training.

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