How To Teach Guitar More Effectively And Help Your Guitar Students Make MASSIVE Progress From Studying Guitar With You

by Tom Hess

Many guitar teachers struggle to help their guitar students make consistent progress in their guitar playing.  Although in some cases, slow guitar progress may be the students’ own fault, there is quite a lot that you can do to become a more effective guitar teacher and help a huge majority of your guitar students improve their musical skills. 

If you want to become the most sought after guitar teacher in your area, you must be able to deliver superior results to your guitar students.  Here are powerful and proven ways you can improve your guitar teaching skills:

Be More Than A "Guitar Teacher" - Become An Effective "Problem Solver" 

When you notice a problem in your guitar student's playing, the natural reaction (for most guitar teachers) is to begin by fixing the biggest cause of the problem.  Although this seems logical and intuitive, such an approach will do more harm than good to most of your students. 

When teaching your guitar students, you must remember that you are not teaching 'music', you are teaching 'people'.  As you know, people have emotions, they get frustrated and they sometimes beat themselves up inside their own minds when their guitar playing problems seem hard to fix. Because of this fact, when solving your guitar students' problems your main focus needs to be on the causes that are 'easiest to resolve' and can be overcome quickly. In addition to helping your students improve, this approach will help them to overcome the emotional challenges that they have when learning to play guitar. 

After you help your students to see that they CAN overcome a minor issue with their playing, they will become more confident in their ability to overcome the next (bigger) issue in front of them. This method for solving your guitar students’ problems is one of the keys to your long term success as a guitar teacher. 

In addition, guitar playing problems usually have 'multiple' contributing factors (causes). These causes typically compound on each other to make the problem more challenging to solve. By correcting the 'easiest to solve' problem first, you can quickly reduce the compounding effect that your student has to deal with.  This means that by the time you get to addressing the 'biggest' cause of the overall problem, it will be much easier to overcome. 

Keep Your Guitar Students Studying With You For Long Periods Of Time 

Among the many direct benefits that your guitar students receive from studying with you, there is one hugely important intangible element that helps them to make faster progress by taking guitar lessons with you than they ever could on their own.  This element is a sense of 'accountability' that your guitar students feel to learn and practice when they study guitar with you.  This happens for two main reasons:

  1. Your students know that they must face you every week and show you their progress on the lesson material.  This creates a certain amount of positive pressure within them to make time for practicing guitar each week and this sense of urgency helps them to become better guitar players a lot faster. 
  2. Because your guitar students are paying you money for lessons, they automatically become more committed to practicing everything that you show them, because they do not want to see their investment go to waste.  In fact, the more money your guitar students pay you, the better they will generally become as musicians.  I charge $250 an hour for live in person private guitar lessons and I can assure you that nobody pays that kind of money until and unless they are very committed to learn and practice guitar.  As a result, these students make a LOT of progress in a short period of time from studying guitar with me.  Part of that progress comes because I am an expert guitar teacher, but a big part of their success is a direct result of them taking their lessons with me extremely seriously and committing to get as much out of their investment as possible. 
You May Also Like:
Image Of Guitar PlayingTeach Guitar Students To Practice
Show your guitar students how to
practice to get them better results.

Image Of Guitar PlayingLearn How To Teach Guitar Chords
Discover how to teach your guitar

students how to easily play chords.

Image Of Guitar Playing
Improve Your Guitar Teaching Fast
Learn how to improve your guitar teaching skills and grow a business.

So keep in mind that the longer your guitar students have the opportunity to work with you (assuming you are a highly effective guitar teacher), the faster they will become great musicians.  Keeping your guitar students actively engaged in lessons with you should be a top priority both for their benefit and yours.

Combine A Variety Of Effective Guitar Teaching Formats

The two most common guitar teaching formats are private guitar lessons or group guitar classes.  From these two methods, the vast majority of guitar teachers falsely believe that private guitar lessons are the best way to teach guitar.  Fact is, this is simply wrong. Certainly private guitar lessons are valuable for some situations, but the strengths of this teaching format are also its biggest weaknesses.

Although private guitar lessons are not the "best" option for teaching guitar, group guitar classes aren't necessarily always the best format either. Although group guitar classes are extremely valuable for many students, and can provide value to your guitar students that private lessons never will, the fact is that both of these teaching formats have “different” strengths and weaknesses. 

The BEST guitar teaching format is one that does not settle for the disadvantages of either private guitar lessons or group classes and instead combines the advantages of both teaching methods together with other innovative guitar teaching formats to deliver superior results.  

I teach and train guitar teachers like yourself exactly how to do this in a special program for people who want to learn how to teach guitar. To get more details on the basic ways in which other 'innovative guitar teaching models' work, check out this free video about building your guitar teaching business.  

Get Your Guitar Students To Practice Guitar Consistently AND "Correctly" 

The single most important thing you can do as a guitar teacher to help your students make massive progress is to teach them how to practice guitar correctly.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of guitar teachers do little or nothing to help their students in this area and this is one of the biggest reasons why they do not have a very long list of exceptionally good students. 

Most guitar teachers simply give their students "things to practice" and, at best, will add some general guidelines on how to practice something new.  However, this is simply not enough.  You must never make the mistake of "assuming" that your guitar students will understand or figure out on their own what to do when practicing if you do not guide them through the process of doing so in your lessons in sufficient enough detail. 

If you want to test how effective you are in teaching your guitar students to practice guitar, take this guitar teaching test to determine how effective you are at teaching your guitar students to practice

Teach Your Guitar Students To "Integrate" Their Skills Using The Geometric Approach

Most guitar teachers take a 'linear approach' to teaching guitar.  That means they like to take their guitar students through the learning process in a step-by-step sequential way. The linear approach to teaching guitar makes perfect sense 'if' you were teaching a machine.  However (as described above), you are teaching human beings who are imperfect, non linear in their thinking, subject to emotions and who have their own 'reasons' for playing guitar.

Since you are teaching ‘people’, it is best to teach them in the way which is most congruent with their mindset, emotions and goals.  Here is one of countless possible examples to illustrate this point. The most frustrating thing a guitar player can go through is to be advanced in one area (such as guitar technique for example) yet feel like a total beginner in another area (for example - songwriting).  Imagine how your students will feel having great playing ability but struggling to use it in a creative way! If your guitar students can't apply what they know after taking guitar lessons from YOU for a significant period of time, they will become frustrated both with themselves AND with YOU as their guitar teacher.

To avoid this unnecessary frustration and to help your guitar students make faster progress, you should begin to use the Geometric Guitar Teaching Method™.  This means that you should not wait until each step is mastered before moving onto learning about the next musical skill (or concept).  

Although such approach to teaching guitar may seem counterintuitive at first, the fact is that guitar students progress fastest when they learn to apply and integrate your lesson materials WHILE they are learning to master it, and NOT "afterwards". Try my Geometric  Guitar Teaching Method™ with several of your guitar students for a few months and you will see improved rate of progress in their guitar playing and overall musicianship.  

Implementing the above advice into your guitar teaching approaches will help your guitar students to greatly improve their musical skills, and will help to spread your reputation as a highly effective guitar teacher all over your local area. 

If you haven’t yet taken the guitar teaching test mentioned in this article, take it now to find out how well you are able to teach your guitar students to practice guitar.

Learn how to teach guitar for a living.

© 2002-2017 Tom Hess Music Corporation