How To Become A Guitar Teacher – 3 (Big) Things You Need To Begin Teaching Guitar
by Tom Hess
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Let me guess:
The biggest question on your mind is likely to be:
“Is my guitar playing good enough to begin teaching guitar?”
And like most people who want to start teaching guitar…
… you probably also want to know what qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher.
You may wonder how easy (or hard) it will be to get into teaching guitar and how long it will take to learn how to teach guitar at a high level.
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Well, fear not…
In this article, I’ll answer all your questions on how to become a guitar teacher.
I’ll also answer a lot of the questions you *should* be asking as you begin to teach guitar, but aren’t able to think of right now.
Let’s begin with:
Part 1 Of Becoming A Guitar Teacher – What Musical Qualifications You Need To Become A Guitar Teacher
Let’s explore each of the musical skills you need to become a guitar teacher.
1. Be Able To Change Between Chords (Including Barre Chords)
Believe it or not, most of your guitar students (who will likely be beginners) will be way more excited to see you play simple chords than by you shredding all over the guitar.
Here is why:
Most guitar students just want to play their favorite songs. (You’ll quickly realize this when you get into teaching guitar.)
Seeing you play chords smoothly gives them hope that they can do it too. (But seeing you shred at crazy speeds may destroy any self-confidence they have about learning guitar.)
2. (For Electric Guitar) Be Able To Bend Strings And Do Vibrato.
Just like being able to play chords smoothly – your beginner electric guitar students will be more inspired by this than by your knowledge of music theory or by your advanced music degree.
And as you start teaching guitar, you’ll be able to turn someone into a good player relatively quickly, once you get their vibrato and string bends in shape.
3. Be Able To Do Quarter Notes And Eighth Note Strums In Time With A Metronome.
Here is why this skill is important for you as you start teaching guitar:
You’ll need to teach all your guitar students to play in time as soon as possible.
This skill not only helps your students play their favorite songs…
…it also makes them better able to play with other musicians – helping them have more fun playing guitar.
4. Be Able To Do Basic Hammer Ons, Pull Offs And Slides.
Why is this among the guitar playing qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher?
Because, second to string bends and vibrato, hammer ons, pull offs and slides are universal techniques in all lead guitar.
These techniques are enough to play and teach most of the solos you’ll need to keep your (beginner and early intermediate) guitar students happy.
5. Be Able To Name Notes On The Fretboard In 2 Seconds Or Less, At Least Up To The 12th Fret.
As you begin teaching guitar, you will gradually help your guitar students to learn the fretboard as well, a few notes at a time.
6. Be Able To Fluently Read & Write Tab (NOT Standard Notation).
This is one of the more obvious qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher. (And if the thought of becoming a guitar teacher is on your mind at all – you likely already have this skill.).
7. Be Able To Play At Least 1 Scale All Over The Fretboard.
With this skill, you’ll help your guitar students to learn scales correctly, when they are ready for this.
Now, let’s answer the obvious question you probably have as you’re looking over this list of musical qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher:
Is it really enough to *only* have the above musical skills to begin teaching guitar?
The answer is: yes and no.
“Yes”, in the sense that: you can start teaching guitar today if all you have are the above musical skills.
But a BIG, FAT “NO”, because:
Most of the REAL BIG qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher have nothing to do with your guitar skills!
… most people who want to start teaching guitar struggle to accept this.
They keep trying to make their guitar playing better, but still never feel like they know anything about how to become a guitar teacher.
And they are right.
They don't know anything about how to become a guitar teacher, because they never learned how to teach guitar.
What does it mean to learn how to teach guitar?
Knowing “how to teach guitar” means:
Getting another person (who is not you) to do something he wants to do, can’t do and (probably) doesn't (yet) believe he even can do.
Now, the big question is:
How do you acquire the know-how for teaching guitar? And that leads me to…
Part 2 Of Becoming A Guitar Teacher – Get Training On How To Teach Guitar
Here are some of the specific guitar teaching skills you develop as you learn how to teach guitar:
Skill #1 You Develop When You Learn How To Teach Guitar: Being A Trainer And A Coach – Not Just A Guitar Teacher.
When you begin teaching guitar, it’s easy to think that all you need to do is “share information”. (Which is why, when people think about how to become a guitar teacher, they think of learning more about music and guitar.)
But a big part of your job is training and coaching.
Here is what I mean:
Skill #2 You Develop When You Learn How To Teach Guitar: Giving Your Guitar Students “Quick Wins”.
Here is what I mean:
Skill #3 You Develop When You Learn How To Teach Guitar: Tailoring Your Guitar Lessons To Different Personality Types.
One thing you learn when you start teaching guitar is…
… there are strong-minded guitar students and weak-minded guitar students.
Here is how you can use this knowledge to your advantage when you begin teaching guitar:
Skill #4 You Develop When You Learn How To Teach Guitar: Motivating Your Guitar Students To Do What You Want Them To Do.
Without this skill, it doesn't matter how much you know about how to become a guitar teacher and how to teach guitar.
If your guitar students aren’t willingly doing what you are telling them to do (when they are at a home), you will have a hard time becoming a guitar teacher (and seeing success as you get into teaching guitar).
Want to see one of the easiest ways to motivate your guitar students to practice what you teach them?
This video shows the best way to do it:
But even though learning how to teach guitar is a powerful advantage for anyone who wants to know how to become a guitar teacher…
… it’s not enough.
Because we are now getting to part 3 of becoming a guitar teacher, which is:
Part 3 Of Becoming A Guitar Teacher – Actually Get Into Teaching Guitar. Make The Decision To Become A Guitar Teacher.
One of the most important qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher is… experience.
Which (ironically) is something you can only get after you make a decision to start teaching guitar.
But the reason you need experience is NOT to impress your guitar students.
It’s to prove to yourself that you have what it takes to become a guitar teacher.
So, just start teaching guitar and begin getting experience as fast as possible.
As long as you meet the minimum musical requirements, you can begin teaching guitar.
Now that you know what qualifications you need to become a guitar teacher, the next thing to know about how to become a guitar teacher is how to attract guitar students.
I can help you with this in my free eGuide: “This Will Get You A Lot More Guitar Students”. Download it today and see the 5 simple steps to take to fill your guitar teaching schedule with students and make a great living teaching guitar.
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.
Learn how to teach guitar for a living.
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