How To Help Your Guitar Students Become Great Guitarists Faster

By Tom Hess

To be a great guitar teacher, you must do a lot more than teach guitar. You must also:

  • Train your students to practice correctly, so they see consistent progress and feel motivated to practice guitar.
  • Be a coach to your guitar students, motivate them to believe in their musical potential and consistently do what you tell them to do.

This video demonstrates what it means to train and coach your guitar students to make rapid progress in their playing:

Teaching is the process of communicating knowledge and musical concepts to your students. Training and coaching are about helping your students understand, apply and integrate their knowledge.

These guitar teaching tips help you become a coach and trainer for your students:

How To Teach Guitar Students

Guitar Teaching Tip #1: Build Your Guitar Students’ Confidence With Frequent Victories

You must show your students that they can master whatever skill they practice and struggle with. This raises their confidence, builds their trust in you and makes them more likely to persevere through the process of reaching their goals.

You build your students’ confidence by simplifying problems they struggle with to make them easier to solve.

Example: Your student may struggle to play a guitar lick like this:

How To Teach Guitar Students To Gain Confidence

Your student may play each measure of this lick cleanly and up to speed, but struggle to put them together.

Your first goal is to prove to your student that he can play this passage. You can do this without slowing the lick down or making your students practice anything hard.

Here is how: sustain the note at the end of the first measure to give your student more time to think and prepare his hands to switch to the 2nd measure.

Sustaining the last note of the 1st measure creates a variation on the guitar lick that is much easier to play than the original. This allows your student to practice both measures at performance speed (without slowing down).

After you build your student’s confidence, make the transition note shorter and shorter until he can play the original lick at the right speed.

Guitar teacher training helps you identify the causes of your guitar students’ problems and solve them quickly.

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Guitar Teaching Tip #2: Expose The Problem That Is Holding Your Students Back

You can challenge your students more after they feel confident in their ability to overcome their problems.

Create variations on the exercises your students are practicing. Your variations must expose their problem and force them to focus on it more.

Variations can expose the problem in 2 ways:

  • Make the problem harder. Example: ask your students to play a guitar lick with difficult fretting hand stretches lower on the fretboard (where the frets are further apart).
  • Make the problem come up more frequently. Example: ask your students to repeat a difficult picking hand motion more than once in a lick. This gives their hands more chances to practice it.

This step of the coaching process determines how quickly your students improve their skills and reach their goals. Being an effective guitar teacher helps you keep your guitar students studying with you for years.

Guitar Teaching Tip #3: Create Custom Exercises For Your Guitar Students To Practice

You must now make your students’ guitar practice effective and fun at the same time. This keeps them engaged all through the process of reaching their goals.

Create many different exercises that force your students to work on their problem in different musical contexts. For example:

  • Show you students how to transpose a lick into another scale or key.
  • Create several (different) guitar licks for them that contain the same guitar technique challenge(s).
  • Create a musical etude from the original guitar lick, to integrate it into real-life guitar playing.

Guitar Teaching Tip #4: Make Your Guitar Students Feel Proud About Their Progress

Celebrate every instance of progress your students make and praise them for their efforts. This makes them feel proud of themselves and grateful to you - their guitar teacher, trainer and coach.

Guitar teacher training helps you master these strategies and become the #1 guitar teacher in your area.

© 2002-2018 Tom Hess Music Corporation