How To Teach Guitar To Your Intermediate Guitar Students
by Tom Hess
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First, here is some very good news:
As you get better at teaching guitar to intermediate guitar students, the demand for you as a guitar teacher will go up.
Here is why:
Most guitar teachers have a lot of experience teaching guitar to beginner students (because the vast majority of guitar players who take guitar lessons are beginners)…
But the ability to teach guitar to intermediate guitar students is more rare (and thus more in demand).
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On top of that:
It becomes easier to keep your beginner students longer (because you can continue to teach them even after they “graduate” to become intermediate guitar students).
Intermediate guitar students are actually quite simple to teach.
Once you understand a few important guitar teaching principles, teaching guitar to intermediate guitar students can become the highlight of your job.
Here is what to focus on when teaching guitar to your intermediate guitar students:
Let’s Go Deeper Into Each Idea About Teaching Guitar To Intermediate Guitar Students:
Here is the “secret” guitar teaching skill that helps you solve the bad habits your intermediate guitar students have:
Training is very different from “guitar lessons”.
In guitar lessons, your intermediate guitar students simply “learn stuff”.
In training, they practice right in front of you. And your role goes from that of a mere “guitar teacher” to “guitar trainer”.
This way you can be sure that your intermediate guitar students are practicing the right way and will continue to practice correctly at home.
Here is how this process might look:
One common trap intermediate guitar students fall into (that guitar teachers rarely get them out of) is: Perfectionist syndrome.
They ask you – their guitar teacher (or anyone else teaching guitar to them) to stay on a single topic until it is mastered.
This is a mistake, because: practicing the same skill in isolation makes guitar practice very boring.
And the longer your students delay applying their skills to music, the longer it takes to master them.
That is a big reason why your intermediate guitar students may lose motivation to practice.
So, explain these things to your intermediate guitar students when you are teaching guitar to them.
Then, get busy training your students on musical application.
Here is a simple guitar teaching trick you can use:
Ask your intermediate guitar students to create simple guitar licks over a very basic chord progression (which can be as simple as 2 chords). Then coach them through the process of refining their phrasing and making better note choices.
Here is how this might look:
Here is a common problem many intermediate guitar students run into:
They know a little about a lot of things. But no guitar teacher ever showed them how to integrate (combine) their skills into cohesive musical ability.
This includes integrating different guitar techniques and using their knowledge of the fretboard, scales and music theory to play melodies, solos and riffs.
Why does this happen?
Your average guitar teacher has no idea what integration is, much less how important it is. That is a big reason why those who try teaching guitar to intermediate guitar students usually don’t turn those students into good players.
Want to see an example of integration guitar teaching done the right way?
Watch this video:
Your intermediate guitar students will quickly feel like advanced players when you coach them on playing with other musicians as you teach guitar to them.
This includes overcoming stage fright and real-life performance skills (such as timing, consistency and stage presence).
The best way to do this?
Teach guitar in group lessons. Yes, you read correctly. The best guitar teaching format for intermediate guitar students is not 1-1 private lessons – it is group lessons.
This guitar teaching format forces your students to play together as you train them to develop the real-life musical skills they need.
Here is a guitar teaching circuit you can take your students through:
One of the biggest gifts you can give to your intermediate guitar students is the feeling of confidence that they can progress past the level of “intermediate guitar students” and become pro-level players.
And the best way to do that as a guitar teacher is…
… develop their lead guitar phrasing and vibrato when you teach guitar to them.
Here is why:
These skills don’t take as much time to develop as raw speed and technique (but they will make your intermediate guitar students sound like pros very fast).
Here are a few powerful guitar teaching tips on how to help your intermediate guitar students refine their vibrato:
Pick a song your student likes. Then start talking to them about what makes the favorite parts of their song sound awesome.
After you break down the (music theory) principle behind the song, get your student to make music with that concept right in the lesson.
Give them feedback on it, offer your own ideas and encourage them along the way. Then tell your student that they can now make music with this idea for the rest of their lives (without sounding like they “stole” ideas from their favorite artist).
After doing this a few times with different pieces of music, your students could quite literally start BEGGING you to teach them music theory… sometimes without even realizing that is, in fact, what they’re learning.
And speaking of teaching guitar and music theory…
…when you’re teaching guitar to intermediate guitar students, explain to them that “music theory” very likely doesn't mean what they think it means.
Here is how to do it:
Many of your intermediate guitar students have little to no experience training their ears.
This creates a massive guitar teaching opportunity for you. If you are able to train your intermediate guitar students to improve their ear as you teach them guitar…
… they become able to write songs, improvise guitar solos and transcribe their favorite music very easily (even if they are not advanced players yet).
Here is a great guitar teaching exercise to do with your intermediate guitar students to help them learn to play guitar by ear:
Now that you know how to teach guitar to intermediate guitar students, the next step is to learn what to say & do when prospective students contact you to make them excited about starting lessons with you immediately.
Download this free guitar teaching eGuide to learn how to have more students than any other teacher in your area.
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.
Discover how to become the most successful guitar teacher in your area – get guitar teacher training.
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