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Author Topic: Thinking of teaching guitar full time  (Read 7854 times)

Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 03:05:36 PM »
Okay first of all i'm very grateful to all of you for the advice and I think you are all right.

What im going to do is dissect my own playing again and find out the the theory behind what im  doing and what im attracted to.  All this has really inspired me to do this again and im going to see it through to the end and know ill have to go through some mind numbing basics to get to the juicy stuff. Will I show students any off my own back?  Ill be able to say once ive nailed it but I need to get to a point where I can explain what im doing if any one asks as a minimum.

On about good/bad teachers....you have got to adapt for sure.  My first guitar teacher didn't last long because he just wouldn't even start me on the road to learning van halen and metallica type stuff.  Now don't get me wrong he taught me from scratch  and you cant just start cracking out van halen and metallica but he could have taught me the simple things and explained how his influences could mesh with it. He could have taught me the intro to nothing else matters surely?! Looking back he was a really good texas blues kinda guy (couldn't give a damn about blues at 15/16) he just had a complete disregard for I what I wanted to do ......its not as if kirk hammett doesn't play the blues at times is it ....and both bands use simple chords here and there.....any way rant over lots of people thought he was great I was just into full on post van halen rock and metal.

2nd teacher taught me a fair bit but refused to go into malmsteen, vai or satriani territory.  Now I admit I wasn't ready  but he could have shown me the odd arpeggio, simple tapping bit or whatever to inspire me but he was more bothered about learning riffs here and there and playing his prs and telling me how good Santana was.

My 3rd teacher proper set me on my way even though he didn't have the full on chops of those guys.  He was good at tapping to be fair but not only showed me one arpeggio for sweep picking (Saying that's all he could do) and from there I could teach my self those things.  He taught me more than that too over time but some of that was from just chatting and him turning me on to players like alex skolnick, jeff waters and got me into recording and writing my own songs.  In the end he said id surpassed him in terms of the direction I wanted to go in and have 'taught my self' ever since.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 03:09:49 PM by JimmyMoorby »

MDV

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 06:21:22 PM »
It depends on the pupils.

You're in a similar position to me. I do a couple of things well and know theory through to what modes are and some basics of what to do with them, ok chord construction and and few other bits and bobs, but I've barely scratched the surface. Frankly, I dont have much respect for music theory (but thats another story).

I just had a guy in whos sitting his grade 7 through another teacher. He wanted to refine his technique, build up speed and learn sweeping. These things I can do. In *his* opinion I can do them better than the teacher thats putting him through his grades, so he came to me.

Clear communication and expectation management. Don't take on a pupil you cant teach anything or is going down a route that you can't or don't want to follow.

Provided you both know whats going on, do it.

If you feel you need to expand your own knowledge, then do that first, or as you go.

One thing I learned in teaching was how little I really know. It did me good. I mean, I knew that there were whole worlds of playing I've barely glanced at, but it really is a vast body of knowledge and ability. No one has all of it covered. You have to be realistic with what you can do, and honest with your pupils about it.

Then, the other side; the pupils perspective: they're all after something different. Some want to develop music theory. I cant help those guys, I send them to a walking theory encylopedias. Some want to just be able to strum along a few simple songs. No problem. Some want to go through grades. I want nothing to do with it. Some want to be james hetfield. Okey dokey. Some actively want to avoid theory and just develop technique. Great. Some think youre a song book. Boring. All of them want something different out of it and provided you can adapt your teaching style and the content of your lessons to that, then all is well.

Bite off lessons or pupils that you can't show anything meaningful to and you won't enjoy it and your pupils wont get anything from it (which is the main thing).
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 06:24:36 PM by MDV »

Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 08:43:59 PM »
It depends on the pupils.

You're in a similar position to me. I do a couple of things well and know theory through to what modes are and some basics of what to do with them, ok chord construction and and few other bits and bobs, but I've barely scratched the surface. Frankly, I dont have much respect for music theory (but thats another story).

I just had a guy in whos sitting his grade 7 through another teacher. He wanted to refine his technique, build up speed and learn sweeping. These things I can do. In *his* opinion I can do them better than the teacher thats putting him through his grades, so he came to me.

Clear communication and expectation management. Don't take on a pupil you cant teach anything or is going down a route that you can't or don't want to follow.

Provided you both know whats going on, do it.

If you feel you need to expand your own knowledge, then do that first, or as you go.

One thing I learned in teaching was how little I really know. It did me good. I mean, I knew that there were whole worlds of playing I've barely glanced at, but it really is a vast body of knowledge and ability. No one has all of it covered. You have to be realistic with what you can do, and honest with your pupils about it.

Then, the other side; the pupils perspective: they're all after something different. Some want to develop music theory. I cant help those guys, I send them to a walking theory encylopedias. Some want to just be able to strum along a few simple songs. No problem. Some want to go through grades. I want nothing to do with it. Some want to be james hetfield. Okey dokey. Some actively want to avoid theory and just develop technique. Great. Some think youre a song book. Boring. All of them want something different out of it and provided you can adapt your teaching style and the content of your lessons to that, then all is well.

Bite off lessons or pupils that you can't show anything meaningful to and you won't enjoy it and your pupils wont get anything from it (which is the main thing).

Again spot on.

Its like people who talk about guitarists and say 'They can play any thing' no one comes close. I have no idea who the greatest guitar teacher is but Joe Satriani has got to be up there and in some ways he surpassed his students and in other ways his students surpassed him....extreme but it does illustrate the point.  Id be happy if I could get students up to a point where they were better than me but not without a fight.

I think 'theory' is a touchy subject with guitarists.

I stuck my head in a few theory books this evening and made some good progress but packed in after 2 hours solid my attention just went.  I found that no one book explained it in a way I could understand and im having to combine parts of them but that's working for me.

Like I said I approached a multi instrumentalist/composer who was a theory god (compared to guitarists) and he questioned why I wanted to go so in depth.  I just said to help me write music and he said you only have to go so far....keep it simple and to your needs.  I ended up jacking that in as per my original post as I began to grasp the theory of what I was doing but saw no need for it but now im looking into teaching I need to pick it up again hopefully ill get there quickly.

Are you a full time teacher then or just do the odd lesson here and there?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 08:51:26 PM by JimmyMoorby »

Kiichi

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2013, 02:35:32 AM »
When trying to learn theory books mostly disappoint. Which is the main reason you need teachers for it.
What I can advice you to do, as it is a technique that has worked for me, is that when you read about something, anything, immediatly try to apply it in some way. Be it just the before mentioned major to minor change for a chord, enact it somehow. Seeing (hearing) the effects of the theory, be it all so theoretical still helps a lot, at least it does for me.

Everyone learns differently, but two things that in my experience help greatly are interrest (which you have to a certain degree) and applying it to something you understand (for you that is playing, you will see how things can work for you or your students if you force yourself that first step).
The second one can help greatly with the first one I feel.
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Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2013, 11:20:01 AM »
When trying to learn theory books mostly disappoint. Which is the main reason you need teachers for it.
What I can advice you to do, as it is a technique that has worked for me, is that when you read about something, anything, immediatly try to apply it in some way. Be it just the before mentioned major to minor change for a chord, enact it somehow. Seeing (hearing) the effects of the theory, be it all so theoretical still helps a lot, at least it does for me.

Everyone learns differently, but two things that in my experience help greatly are interrest (which you have to a certain degree) and applying it to something you understand (for you that is playing, you will see how things can work for you or your students if you force yourself that first step).
The second one can help greatly with the first one I feel.

Mate yeah glad you said that because that's the line with what im going down I figured if I didn't do that id just be memorizing things which would be almost impossible and id inevitably forget.  I have a basic looper at home so I have been messing with things.  I'm going to give the books a go as I have quite a few comprehensive ones and between them hopefully they should give the answers in a way I can understand. 
Maybe one day I could write a book on theory for people who find it hard to grasp ;)

witeter

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2013, 03:48:36 PM »
I teach some guitar on the side, and i dont really know much theory at all. I think it depends who your audience is, BUT if you are going to go fulltime with it i think equipping yourself in the best way possible is a must. Music pupils tend to come in waves, as in - they dont tend to be long term pupils, hence you are always having to be ready to take on new people. So, you have to make sure people are happy to come to you and not someone else. So, for fulltime guitar teaching I would say an understanding of theory would be very useful. But I also think that people skills and offering lessons that are pupil centered-rather than the 'i am the teacher therefore you will play arpeggios whether thats what u wanted or not' are, if anything, more important in building a good reputation and customer base. Good luck man!

dave_mc

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2013, 04:12:05 PM »
I think there's a difference between knowing theory, and knowing how to apply theory. Knowing the first and not the second can make you sound like a robot, or at very least, very derivative. It's also possible to know theory and be a pretty poor player. Obviously this is verging on reductio ad absurdum (and my theory is shaky and rudimentary at best, I'm not saying I'm amazing at it or anything like that :oops: ), but I know a little bit of music theory and I can't play a note on a trumpet. Learning more music theory won't make me better at the trumpet unless I practise the trumpet as well.

I'm very wary of people who claim that knowing theory killed their creativity- more likely, the theory just showed them that that killer, unique G, C D chord progression they came up with was actually a total cliché. I mean you wouldn't say that learning proper spelling and grammar made you into a bad writer, would you? Or even reading a few classic books to make sure you weren't just ripping them off.

However, I'm also wary of people who act like you can't be a good player or enjoy it without theory. Because that's nonsense too. Aside from anything else, theory is sort of a combination of all the collected music knowledge we have that people were doing instinctively before music theory existed- music doesn't come from the theory, theory comes from the music. (I think. Don't quote me on that. :lol: ) It's also worth pointing out that theory is a suggestion rather than a rule, most of the time.

I think a good quote (I forget who said this... it might have been dimebag but I'm really not sure) is (paraphrased) to learn as much theory as you can, and then forget it. Hopefully it goes into your subconscious, kind of thing, and you'll instinctively know what you're doing.

It also depends on what you're like, of course. If you've tried to "get" music theory and it's just not going in and you're having a perfectly good time without it, I wouldn't worry about it, kind of thing.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 04:20:07 PM by dave_mc »

Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2013, 04:57:29 PM »
Theory is a touchy subject for guitarists. There are those that know it and think that those who dont are some how inferior and there are those who dont and think those who have to rely on it are inferior because they dont have 'feel'.

I just have the hippy mentality of do what works for you but I take on board peoples feelings on a teacher having to know it and if theory will help me rake the money in im all for it :)  Thats what it comes down to.  I know my personal playing style is progressive and exotic so when you deviate from the norms any way it becomes less relevant.  If I was a session guy trying to go for specific moods and feelings then yeah thats when it might be harder to just do it off the cuff but im not an improviser I just like to plan and make the best music I can.

My attitude is if youre rgood if youre bad it doesnt matter if you can baffle people with theory but I know all to well people such as Joe Satriani apply theory and make fantastic music and there are those who have the technique and the theory and still sound awful that Hess guy who does the online lessons makes awful music to me but meh my opinion.

I may have read some thing about dimebag similar to my mind he said he didnt know much at all and he ragged on people that did saying they didnt have fail.

My favourite quote was from dave mustaine 'scales are for fish'. Gotta love that

JJretroTONEGOD

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2013, 05:18:26 PM »
I'm also convinced that most famous guitarists who claim to know nothing actually know a lot about theory, there's no way they can't know what they are doing and what the chords are e.t.c. I always take it with a pinch of salt. Edddie Van Halen is a prime example, he has clearly studied classical music and knows a lot about composition even if he says he doesn't.
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MDV

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2013, 06:13:06 PM »
I'm also convinced that most famous guitarists who claim to know nothing actually know a lot about theory, there's no way they can't know what they are doing and what the chords are e.t.c. I always take it with a pinch of salt. Edddie Van Halen is a prime example, he has clearly studied classical music and knows a lot about composition even if he says he doesn't.

There is such a thing as the more you know the more you know you dont know

Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2013, 12:59:54 AM »
I'm also convinced that most famous guitarists who claim to know nothing actually know a lot about theory, there's no way they can't know what they are doing and what the chords are e.t.c. I always take it with a pinch of salt. Edddie Van Halen is a prime example, he has clearly studied classical music and knows a lot about composition even if he says he doesn't.

Eddie definitely knew theory because he was a classically trained pianist as a child although he plays this down as it isnt very rock n roll.  In fairness though what Eddie did for his time was beyond theory but hes the exception not the rule.

I think there have been great guitarists who wont have known any thing but its hard to take it at face value.

Chuck Schuldiner always insisted he never learnt any thing beyond beginners theory and I believe him. The last thing that guy was was some sort of poser trying to be cool he hated stereotypical ock star/metal behaviour.

dave_mc

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2013, 05:04:37 PM »
I'm also convinced that most famous guitarists who claim to know nothing actually know a lot about theory, there's no way they can't know what they are doing and what the chords are e.t.c. I always take it with a pinch of salt.

Agreed. Or at least, they may well be doing it instinctively and never actually specifically sat down and learned theory, but they're still using theory (if that makes sense).

Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2013, 05:31:22 PM »
I'm also convinced that most famous guitarists who claim to know nothing actually know a lot about theory, there's no way they can't know what they are doing and what the chords are e.t.c. I always take it with a pinch of salt.

Agreed. Or at least, they may well be doing it instinctively and never actually specifically sat down and learned theory, but they're still using theory (if that makes sense).

You dont have to know what the chord is to know it sounds good or bad though.  Joe Pass didnt know the name of every chord he played and he was one of the greatest jazz guitiarsts of all time.  There's no way the really old blues guys could have known theory either most/all would have been illiterate and some of them were blind and certainly none could afford some sort of top notch music education.


dave_mc

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2013, 06:45:22 PM »
Oh I agree. That's sort of what I meant. If you don't know theory it doesn't necessarily mean you're just hitting random notes, lol.

Jimmy E Moorby

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Re: Thinking of teaching guitar full time
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2013, 11:17:31 AM »
Oh I agree. That's sort of what I meant. If you don't know theory it doesn't necessarily mean you're just hitting random notes, lol.

I knew that's what you meant and. I im agreeing think there's loads of factors which come into play when writing music other than theory. Your point in valid because id 'developed my own style' knowing i was picking up on eastern and classical ideas and when I took the time to learn theory I was using a lot of minor scales and the phrygian mode.  Before that I didnt know what it was but id got it down and had it figured out. 

Luck, plagerism, errors, planning, inspiration using your ears and ideally innovation also coming into play when writing music.

Most theory was thought up hundreds of years ago and for our corner of the world a lot of was from the church.  They obviously knew the tri tone sounded evil and banned it but what else has happened in music since that they or other theory buffs didnt consider?
Tremelo dive bombs and crazy harmonics, masses of distortion, feedback, different effects, different techniques, screaming like Rob Halford.  Guys like Rob Halford, Ian Gillain etc just did whatdid and they didnt pick it up from a book what they did was just screaming and some people thought it was really musical.  Kirk Hammett slipping his string off the fret board on the recorded solo of master of puppets and keeping it because it sounded cool.  Conventional theory would not have acknowledged these things and people have explained it since but most of the guys at the time would have just done it inetnionally or by accident without thinking of the theory behind it. 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 11:25:58 AM by JimmyMoorby »