Do some of your guitar students seem to make almost no progress at all regardless of what you teach them? This frustrating scenario happens very commonly for all guitar teachers. If you do not find a solution to help your students get the results they want, it will have very negative effects for both your students and your guitar teaching business as a whole.
The truth is, the majority of students learning guitar do not have very good playing skills, and will never improve them while taking guitar lessons with most guitar instructors. There is a wide range of reasons for why this occurs, however you can avoid this problem for YOUR guitar students by teaching them the one thing most teachers do not: 'how to practice guitar'.
Even if you show your guitar students a million different licks, solos or techniques, it will all go to waste if you do not correctly teach your students to practice the things you show them. It is absolutely CRITICAL that you learn how to do this if you want to succeed as a guitar teacher and give your guitar students the results that they are paying you for.
Once you can effectively train your students to practice guitar you will enable them to play guitar in the way that they always wanted. On top of that, you will create a name for yourself in your local community and build a great reputation (helping you to quickly build your guitar teaching business).
Now, before I reveal the most effective ways for teaching your students to practice guitar, it is essential that you assess your own guitar teaching ability.
The THREE Major Reasons Why So Many Guitar Students Don't Know How To Practice
Reason 1: Some guitar instructors do put 'some' effort to show their students how to practice guitar, but this effort comes in the form of a very short instruction (that the student quickly forgets). Take the following for example: While showing students how to play clean and articulated arpeggios, it is common for the student to struggle to separate one note from the other without bringing together. In many cases, the guitar teacher will advise the student to make sure not to allow the different notes to ring at the same time when they practice on their own in between lessons.
They may even demonstrate how this is done a few times before the lesson is over. Unfortunately, this does not truly help the guitar student in a way that 'sticks' and the student ends up committing the same mistakes over again during the following entire week of practicing. When the next lesson comes, the problem is still there - but why? Why is it that many guitar students continue making the same mistakes while practicing even after being told/shown otherwise? Here are the reasons:
a) The student has already forgotten the main cause of the problem and continued to unknowingly play while making the same mistake over and over.
b) Occasionally, your guitar student will remember what causes the mistake but will forget how to correct it.
c) Some students will 'think' that they understood what you were explaining, but really did not understand. This results in them spending the whole week practicing incorrectly.
All of this translates into you having to re-teach the student how to practice what they learned on guitar the next week (when they should've already been making progress from last week!). Here is why this approach to teaching guitar practice is a total failure:
1. The student doesn't have enough time to truly absorb the process for practicing guitar effectively.
2. During the lesson, your students might think they know what needs to get done to practice effectively, but when they get home and pick up their guitar; they practice incorrectly or forget.
3. You never check to assure that your guitar students are practicing properly because you have never actually observed the way that they practice. Watching your students 'practice' is different than just listening to them play. When you hear them play, you hear the 'end result', but you don't actually see the process they used in order to produce it.
Reason 2: The great majority of guitar teachers out there use up nearly every moment of each guitar lesson teaching their students new information such as new scales, licks, techniques and so forth. The reason why this happens so much is because most guitar teachers feel obligated to teach new material so that their students don't feel like they are being "ripped off". Because guitar teachers are so afraid of this, they overwhelm students with tons of new ideas but only spend a fraction of the time actually showing them how to practice what they learn on guitar.
Reason 3: In most cases, guitar teachers give their students much generalized practice advice as it applies to 'anything' on guitar. On the other hand, expert guitar teachers show their students many specific strategies for guitar practice based upon the students' musical goals AND the specific challenges they are facing in their playing. This helps the student to make improvements and advance his/her guitar playing more easily than the student who only received 'general' advice on how to practice guitar.
Here Is What You Should Do
Now you should be totally on board with the idea that teaching guitar students how to practice is a crucial part of teaching guitar. I've shown you the way that guitar teachers fail to teach this, now here are the solutions that will help you get your guitar students to practice effectively and make better progress:
Solution One. When you teach your guitar students something new, spend a significant amount of time (about a quarter of the lesson) showing them how to practice it. Do not show them a ton of new stuff without helping them learn how to actually practice it.
Solution Two. Don't fall into the trap of making assumptions for your students. You are the expert for guitar, so naturally you will understand exactly why something doesn't sound right, or what needs to be done in order to fix this or that issue. However, your students are NOT experts. You must show them precisely what to look and listen for when they practice guitar so that they do not forget. Additionally, write all of this information down for them so that when they get home they can easily identify all important steps and instructions.
Solution Three. Many guitar teachers feel pressured when they are trying to show their guitar students how to practice and the student says something like "OK I get... can we talk about X already?" Don't cave in when your guitar students try to take control of the lesson like this. Make sure that your students truly 'get it' 100% so that when they get home they don't realize that they really don't 'get it' and end up practicing wrong. Remind them that by learning how to properly practice guitar they will reach their guitar playing goals much faster.
Solution Four. You must both SHOW your guitar students how to practice and WATCH them do it in front of you. Don't make the mistake of expecting them to remember how to practice based on your words alone. Some guitar teachers feel uncomfortable with spending so much time having their students practice during the lesson rather than learn 'new things'. If you have the same mindset, think about this: In the end, your guitar students really only want a great result from you when they come to you for lessons. Understanding how to properly practice guitar is a crucial part of getting great results and advancing on guitar.
If the student goes home and practices improperly, then they essentially will have wasted an entire week's worth of time, energy and money. This will only frustrate them as they make little to no progress only to repeat the same cycle again next week when they come back to relearn what they were supposed to learn last week. This is why you must make it your number one purpose to get your guitar students to practice properly and get the result they came to you for.
Solution Five. Don't make the same mistake that so many mediocre guitar teachers make by repeatedly asking your students to 'play' something several times so that you can observe what they are doing and 'make corrections'. Truly successful guitar teachers have their students show them how they PRACTICED the material from the previous week so that they can see the root cause of any playing issues. Next, the guitar teacher will show the student in real time (as they are practicing) what needs to be fixed. This way the student gets the experience of correcting the mistake for himself/herself. When your guitar students can correct their own mistakes, they will quickly begin to make progress in their playing.
Here are the steps that you should take right now in order to maximize the benefit you get from reading the information in this article:
1. Learn how to improve your guitar teaching skills.
2. Take the time to help your guitar students understand why learning how to practice guitar effectively is a major factor for their progress as a guitar player.
3. Don't 'wait' to use what you learned in this article - begin implementing the ideas from above into every guitar lesson that you teach from now on.
Once you utilize the knowledge you have gained from this article you will start to see massive progress in your student's guitar playing. Additionally, you will begin to develop a positive reputation for yourself as the very best guitar teacher in town!
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