6 Myths About Teaching and Learning Guitar

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Much of how we learn and teach music has moved online. If you just take the topic of guitar, there’s a ton of information available to you from your computer or device.

This is because there are people who can teach guitar and are able to build resources online to make their content available to more people. Whether online guitar courses, Skype lessons or some other form of digital information exchange, there are plenty of ways to learn guitar and become an educated musician over the internet.

So, here are some of the Myths about Teaching and Learning Guitar

Myth #1: You Don’t Need to be Qualified to Teach Music

Perhaps what some writers mean by this is that you don’t need to have a degree in music or music theory to teach guitar or a musical instrument. I would agree with those writers, albeit to a limited extent.

Unfortunately, what most writers mean – what they communicate – is that you don’t need to be a proficient instrumentalist in order to teach. 

Instead, they’ll use words like “passionate” or “enthusiastic” about the instrument or that it’s about “sharing knowledge.” 

Those things are good, and part of the equation, but they’re not the only requirements for teaching. Because, being passionate about something doesn’t mean you’ll be good at teaching it.

Myth #2: Guitar Teacher’s are Expected to Provide Information that is Mostly Entry Level

Every skill has tiered levels of difficulty that increase as the ability of the learner increases. As the student improves, so must the depth and involvement of the material that is being presented to them. What you’ll hear instead, is that guitar lessons are mostly basic and don’t need to cover the more in-depth topics. While I’ve read this a lot, I’ve yet to read a coherent, well-though out argument that actually defends it as a viable position.

Again, this seems designed to allow low-skilled players to teach. It’s saying, “Hey, everyone can teach something about guitar and it’s all valuable.”

This also suggests that your ability as the teacher does not have to drastically outpace the abilities of your student.

Myth #3: Music Theory is Needlessly Complicating a Student’s Path to Playing Songs

This myth almost deserves its own article because it’s one of the most popular and common assertions in regards to learning guitar.

It was also a core idea of the new educational platform that Fender put out in early 2019 – Fender Play – to try and get more young players interested in the guitar. The reasoning is that young guitarists are quitting guitar because the path to playing songs – or application of some kind – is simply too long.

Fender Play’s idea is to omit a massive amount of theory and technical information in favor of learning a few chords and basic concepts, then getting right into playing songs.

Myth #4: Students are paying for the Friendship and the Face-to-Face Aspect of Guitar Lessons

While there are elements of truth to this idea, it tends to give the impression that hourly guitar lessons are more about the human interaction and less about the substance of the material being covered. While this is certainly a benefit of teaching as a tutor or in a classroom environment, it’s not what’s actually being paid for.

As a teacher you are providing a service. You are, in a sense, a consultant being paid an hourly rate for your expertise.

That expertise is the commodity. 

The other issue here is that a lot of guitar lessons now happen remotely or digitally, which means there isn’t a high degree of friendship or human interaction between the student and teacher. This works because you’re paying for expertise, which can be shared through online mediums. Even if you’re giving lessons in-person, in your living room, you’re still being paid for your skill.

Social interaction should only serve to underscore the instruction you’re able to provide.

Myth #5: The Linear Method is bad

First, you could make the case that music is every bit as mathematical as it is artistic, but I’ll concede the art argument. Even then, we must assume that a linear method terminates on itself, meaning it’s linear for the sake of being linear. The truth is that guitar is taught in a linear, successive manner because it provides the best possible grid for encouraging the most creativity. 

If you throw out that grid, you won’t learn topics in a linear manner, but you also won’t have much of an understanding of how to be creative.

Conclusion

I hope, you like this article, please share it with your friends, and people who are willing to buy an Acoustic guitar.

If you’re looking for a new guitar, or want some of the lectures on the guitar then logon to GuitarBro.

Udit Agarwal

Udit Agarwal

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About Me

Prabhav Kamat is a musician and a marketer based in Mumbai, India. A supporter of innovating education especially in the  creative fields, he recommends www.guitarbro.in for everyone who wants to learn the guitar.

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