Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

How would you teach a total newb?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse







X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How would you teach a total newb?

    Hypothetically, what approach would you take in teaching a total newb?

    "Teach me how to play the guitar." saith the Newb.

    Newb is average in all respects, height, weight, IQ, coordination.

     

     

    **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

  • #2

    Wow, that's a great question Virgman!  You are really a cool guy.

    I would teach songs from the beginning.  In fact that is all I would do.

    Depending on the newbs genre of interest, i would teach songs in that genre, like rock or pop, etc.  Technique would be acquired along the way of learning songs.  No scales, no theory.  That would come later.

    **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

    Comment


    • The Burninator
      The Burninator commented
      Editing a comment

      Virgman wrote:

      Wow, that's a great question Virgman!  You are really a cool guy.



      I can't +1 this enough.

      Songs seem like the right way.

      I'd try to find a 2-3 chords songs that the relevant noob likes, I think songs they know and like will help keep their interest in playing.

       


    • 1001gear
      1001gear commented
      Editing a comment

      Virgman wrote:

      Wow, that's a great question Virgman!  You are really a cool guy.

      I would teach songs from the beginning.  In fact that is all I would do.

      Depending on the newbs genre of interest, i would teach songs in that genre, like rock or pop, etc.  Technique would be acquired along the way of learning songs.  No scales, no theory.  That would come later.


      Maybe.


  • #3
    As a pretty much total newb, I agree for the most part. But I would add a little (10 min or less) of the other stuff as a warm up. Something that can be easily remembered to practice in a few spare minutes. I have a 10 min guitar workout book I use for this propose. Quick, easy, and covers several areas (chord shapes, scales, appreggios sp?, and picking).

    Comment


    • jeremy_green
      jeremy_green commented
      Editing a comment
      Pretty much every song ever created has pieces that can be extracted to used as an exercise. I really see no argument against using bits of actual music as opposed to geometric shapes. The only finger drill I'd ever teach a beginner is the 1-2-3-4's. only because they are simple to remember. Once the student is moving around, ditch that crud and have them working towards songs THEY enjoy. If you gotta learn a C chord and a G chord... Why not put them together and play a song. Chromatics? How about Dazed and Confused? Every song has the pieces. Just my opinion of course but this is a musical instrument not a typewriter.

    • 1001gear
      1001gear commented
      Editing a comment

      drmoniker wrote:
      As a pretty much total newb, I agree for the most part. But I would add a little (10 min or less) of the other stuff as a warm up. Something that can be easily remembered to practice in a few spare minutes. I have a 10 min guitar workout book I use for this propose. Quick, easy, and covers several areas (chord shapes, scales, appreggios sp?, and picking).

       

      The skill set for any instrument is requisite to its repertoire - even those bad tabs Virg was trying to bring up. Yes you can plink and jangle away at the half dozen or so chords to your favorite songs and be perfectly happy. No one would fault you and many would be enamored. Still I don't think that's why people pursue teaching music as a profession. And on that you should have a teacher if only to set you straight on the basic technical issues.

       


  • #4
    I agree you can pull parts of sings to use for exercises, but it's helpful for a beginner to have concretely identified exercises when they can't pick them it of a song yet. This is why I like the preset workout- clear exercises with the technical aspects identified so you know what you are doing and why.

    I also agree having a teacher would be ideal, but unfortunately that's not an option for everyone.

    Comment


    • guitarville
      guitarville commented
      Editing a comment

      work with rhythm patterns, single note, then chords, then jump into a song, important to let them hear melody in the very beginning, with that you can tell if they have an ear for music, a beginner gets excited and remembers quickly when they have an ear for music, and of course get them to read music in their 1st lesson, most important


    • 1001gear
      1001gear commented
      Editing a comment

      drmoniker wrote:
      I agree you can pull parts of sings to use for exercises, but it's helpful for a beginner to have concretely identified exercises when they can't pick them it of a song yet. This is why I like the preset workout- clear exercises with the technical aspects identified so you know what you are doing and why.

      I also agree having a teacher would be ideal, but unfortunately that's not an option for everyone.

      Ironic that you agree with the OP but also point out even having a teacher might be a luxury. Anyway, technique is usually covered logically and in a timely fashion. I mean srsly, you have to be able to play in order to learn.

      On songs I think easy traditional songs would go further than Smoke on the Water. If the student won't be dissuaded from classic or current hard rock, then make referrals. Call Jeremy.

      Otherwise spend the first year laying out the basics as well as the vastness. If they move away, not your problem.


  • #5
    My husband, yes. And I appear to be a dude instead of a chick...gotta work on that. Lol.

    I completely agree with the approach you're talking about. As you said, that stuff can be hard to identify without a teacher though, so I like adding the exercises so those things start to be identifiable. For instance I've been working on some Carter style solos, and I am starting to see how that style was used in some of the songs I've been working on.

    Comment


    • 1001gear
      1001gear commented
      Editing a comment

      Carter?


    • jeremy_green
      jeremy_green commented
      Editing a comment

      drmoniker wrote:
      My husband, yes. And I appear to be a dude instead of a chick...gotta work on that. Lol.

      Ha! My apologies for the assumption... I usually try to put his/her type statements but it figure when I don't I'm wrong! There are just so many more dudes than women sadly in the guitar community. We could use a lot more  of 'your kind' imo! Nothing cooler than a guitar girl : )

      I do understand what you mean. It's not an easy thing to learn and there are so many different and personal routes that all end in similar places.


  • #6
    No worries. It's definitely a fair assumption and cracked me up. More girls/women need to play (actually just more people period).

    I guess biggest thing for a beginner is just keep playing. And whatever route(s) makes that happen is/are the way to go.

    Comment


    • #7
      Btw, appreciate the knowledge shared in this thread and forum. I feel like I've picked up valuable information already.

      Comment


      • 1001gear
        1001gear commented
        Editing a comment

        Cool then. Carter who? Elliot Carter? I went to youtube and listened to his 2nd quartet. Kinda dug it.

        Ms Moniker, Virgalt or whoever you are, what are your goals and aspirations with guitar/music?


    • #8
      Maybelle Carter. Out of the Hal Leonard learn to play book.

      My only real goal playing is to have fun. Cheesy, but that is why I'm learning. So I'm perfectly content just learning songs off tab or chord books. But I also would like to really understand the whys behind music, just don't include that as a goal because it's not realistic given my other priorities.

      How about you?

      Comment


      • 1001gear
        1001gear commented
        Editing a comment

        K. What the heyo, content is content. First congratulations on your interest in folk guitar. I trust you'll be greatly enriched by the journey.

        Now about teaching, say you did come in for a weekly or even monthly lesson, what would you expect for your money?

        And about me, I drum. I got involved in piano and guitar so I could be a musician as well. My main focus at the  guitar is melodic fluency. It's a facet of music lacking in my craft and an experience that drums (lol) and keyboards alone will not provide.

        Your turn.


    • #9
      Yep. Now I feel the need to look up the Carter you found. I'm willing to play just about anything because I enjoy the process.

      For lessons, I would hope for some sort of quick progress test with discussion of results, review of goals, intro material to work on for next time, time to work on any particular problem spots I identified, and set performance goal for next lesson with accompanying suggestions for practice. All of course based on my long and short term goals for the instrument. I think that could fit into 30-60 min. I have no idea what lessons look like though because my only experience with real stuff was middle school band (drummer) 20 years ago.

      Why would keyboards not hit the melodic fluency you seek? Genuinely curious, since I don't know enough to know why. And I'm fascinated by how people approach learning.

      Comment


      • 1001gear
        1001gear commented
        Editing a comment

        Piano is basically a percussion instrument. Yes you can play very tunefully and even quickly and accurately but all the notes are front ended. Attack and decay. Synthesizers deal with the problems of expressive control to a significant degree but in addition to the non intuitive control gymnastics, I find the fingerings  beyond pianistic scales and triadic arpeggios very awkward. Guitar offers more sexy things you can do with a note as it transpires and the fingerings for cool licks fit right into the hands. Fancy that. Vocalising is the best melodic but way too difficult to do at an instrumental level.

        The lessons; you expect a curriculum naturally. So would I and were I a teacher, I'd expect I should offer one.

        Jeremy?

        PS, you'll probably hate Elliot Carter.


    • #10
      1001gear I think I get what you're saying. Kind of that you can't get the same feeling out of a piano because of it's percussive nature.

      Jeremy great points and great blog with expanded thoughts.

      This thread has me thinking about how I practice. And how I can get the reality of my practice time (limited and typically with the help of my 2 little boys) to get as close as possible to what I would expect if I had a teacher. So thanks everyone.

      Comment


      • darkmonohue
        darkmonohue commented
        Editing a comment

        I just started learning (at an advanced age) a few years ago, so my perspective is perhaps closer to that of a beginner than many here, who are experienced players.  I think the advice here, good as much of it is, has skipped some key early steps.  Before any consideration of what to play, the beginner has to be taught how to play. 

        And because playing the guitar is a physical act, the learning has to begin with the physical facts of playing: How to hold the guitar.  How to hold the pick, if one is using a pick, and if not, how to position the right hand.  How to fret a note.  How to sound the note with the right hand.  How to move the fingers to fret another note.  Etc., etc., etc.  And most importantly, how to monitor your body so that you stay relaxed, as tensing up is both common and prevents you from playing correctly.  

        Above all, a beginner needs to learn how to practice.  Everyone here probably knows that when practicing, one goes only at a speed that allows you to do the passage (or scale, or whatever) correctly; rather than playing it at the target speed with mistakes and figuring that you'll make fewer mistakes as you go along.  But a beginner doesn't know this.  And there are lots of other things a beginner needs to know.

        I really think that more people fail to learn to play the guitar because their instruction has been inadequate in these basics than because the instructor didn't select the right material.  For people with musical talent and instinct, a lot of this stuff doesn't need to be explained, you absorbed it intuitively.  But for people without a natural knack (like me), it's best to start with the most basic elements, and by basic, I mean basic.

         


    • #11
      JonR absolutely, I'm certain I'm developing some bad habits. And listening to what you are doing is vital.

      Good point darkmonohue on some of the physical stuff that was overlooked.



      Comment


      • #12
        First and foremost, how to hold a guitar and pick properly. Then, teach them short, single-string melodies in 4/4. Here, I would also teach hammer-ons and pull-offs. This helps build skills that are important later, but also keeps the early lessons "fun" with some pizazz to them.

        Comment


        • #13
          When i similarly recognize developing a mentor will be best, while unfortunately that's not an alternative solution available for you.

          Comment


          • #14
            Teaching a total noob -

            Good question. Doing some serious retrospection to find those shoes again.

            As I remember, first off, I was very ambitious. The desire was pretty intense. I taught myself so that's why this is a good question for me. It makes me recount what took me from the street to the studio.

            The desire to learn was at 10 on a meter from 1 to 10. I set some basic goals. I wanted to fingerpick an acoustic steel string guitar and sing at the same time. Nothing outer-worldy, yet serious, the regimen was to play as often and long as possible each time I picked up the guitar. That wasn't really anything that needed much self-discipline because I was so cranked to learn. I practiced every night after work until I went to bed and countless weekend hours. In one year I was playing/singing the way I wanted to and 6 months later nailing Classical Gas.

            If I was tasked with teaching someone I could only do so if that person had similar passion as I did at the outset. I don't think I could work with someone who couldn't show me that. That's a tall order right out of the gate but those people usually teach themselves so maybe that's not being fair to the question.

            Set up -

            I would demand losing the plectrum (flatpick) immediately. Doc Watson and others made good use of them but there's so much more available on the guitar than a pick alone can yield. I'd also demand learning to fingerpick with all five digits on the picking hand for the same reason. Learning to use them all fluidly is essential, IMHO. I would not require the traditional classical pose because it actually imposes discomfort by assuming an asymmetrical posture. Not good and painful after an extended period of time. I would recommend the use of a lap bolster to elevate the neck. In other words, there are things about traditions that I'd throw out and others I'd intensify and expound upon. In no manner, drunk or sober, would I ever hint at learning theory as a natural compliment to the mechanics of play. That's about as counter-intuitive (and counter productive) a chore as I can fathom for a student. It's like saying "This is going to be fun eventually but at least you'll hate the learning part that will last seemingly forever."

            I'd begin with the basic major chords and teach all the various embellishments of them. This would go on until I could tell the ears are developing to a satisfactory extent. Then I'd bring in the minor chords and continue in this manner until the neck was fully explored via chord melody methods. All the time it would be via exposure to various picking patterns and then inter-mixing them. By the time the student was done with me he or she would be able to write their own music because their experienced hands would be capable of executing what their experienced ears want them to do. That would be my ultimate goal for them.
            __________________________________________________ _________
            Concerned about future generations? Read through these sites - Molten Salt Reactors Explained.

            http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.o...Foundation.pdf

            http://thoriumenergyalliance.com/

            Comment


            • #15
              Originally posted by Idunno View Post
              Teaching a total noob -

              Good question. Doing some serious retrospection to find those shoes again.

              As I remember, first off, I was very ambitious. The desire was pretty intense. I taught myself so that's why this is a good question for me. It makes me recount what took me from the street to the studio.

              The desire to learn was at 10 on a meter from 1 to 10. I set some basic goals. I wanted to fingerpick an acoustic steel string guitar and sing at the same time. Nothing outer-worldy, yet serious, the regimen was to play as often and long as possible each time I picked up the guitar. That wasn't really anything that needed much self-discipline because I was so cranked to learn. I practiced every night after work until I went to bed and countless weekend hours. In one year I was playing/singing the way I wanted to and 6 months later nailing Classical Gas.

              If I was tasked with teaching someone I could only do so if that person had similar passion as I did at the outset. I don't think I could work with someone who couldn't show me that. That's a tall order right out of the gate but those people usually teach themselves so maybe that's not being fair to the question.

              Set up -

              I would demand losing the plectrum (flatpick) immediately. Doc Watson and others made good use of them but there's so much more available on the guitar than a pick alone can yield. I'd also demand learning to fingerpick with all five digits on the picking hand for the same reason. Learning to use them all fluidly is essential, IMHO. I would not require the traditional classical pose because it actually imposes discomfort by assuming an asymmetrical posture. Not good and painful after an extended period of time. I would recommend the use of a lap bolster to elevate the neck. In other words, there are things about traditions that I'd throw out and others I'd intensify and expound upon. In no manner, drunk or sober, would I ever hint at learning theory as a natural compliment to the mechanics of play. That's about as counter-intuitive (and counter productive) a chore as I can fathom for a student. It's like saying "This is going to be fun eventually but at least you'll hate the learning part that will last seemingly forever."

              I'd begin with the basic major chords and teach all the various embellishments of them. This would go on until I could tell the ears are developing to a satisfactory extent. Then I'd bring in the minor chords and continue in this manner until the neck was fully explored via chord melody methods. All the time it would be via exposure to various picking patterns and then inter-mixing them. By the time the student was done with me he or she would be able to write their own music because their experienced hands would be capable of executing what their experienced ears want them to do. That would be my ultimate goal for them.
              You are likely the exception. You likely had a good model - heard and liked some music? - before deciding that's the life for you. What about those not so destined?
              Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...
              <div class="signaturecontainer">
              <div class="bbcode_container">
              <div class="bbcode_quote">
              <div class="quote_container">
              <div class="bbcode_quote_container"></div>

              Write Something...

              Comment

              Working...
              X