What Happens in a Guitar Lesson?

Here are some examples of the what happens in a guitar lesson.

Wednesday 4-15-09

Transcriptions finished with students today.

  • Chris Le Doux -Solo guitar intro -The Bucking Machine.
  • Flatts & Scruggs -Jimmy Brown the Newsboy.
  • Point Blank- The Devil Went Down to Georgia
  • Tommy Flint -Thumb style guitar Blues

Other highlights


M.B. - Technique – Learning to focus on, and relax his left hand. Becoming aware of independent finger movement which includes each knuckle and joint, aligning muscles and joints and the importance of choreographing the whole body to facilitate easier fingering. Learning to use fulcra (leverage) so less energy is required to hold notes and chords. This helps the hands to play more relaxed with greater speed, control and accuracy.


A.B. - Plays cello, electric bass and is now working on the electric guitar. – Discovering that translating technique from one instrument to another requires many technical and mental adjustments and new refinements. This is also true for how the notes are played and their role in the music. In other words, the role of a cello in an orchestra can be quite different than a continuous bass line in a rock band format. A new mind shift.


L.M. - Consulted with me today about a new guitar he wanted to purchase. He discovered that the guitar he thought he wanted was exactly what he didn’t want. He learned about pickup types, stop tail pieces, locking whammy systems and their related tuning issues, and that body design and color is not a good criterion for selecting a guitar.


E.S. - An 11 year old that has finished book 2 of classical guitar studies and is now interested in playing various pop and rock rhythms on acoustic guitar. She has easily adapted from finger-style playing to using a pick with various rhythmic changes, even while playing chords such as E7#9.

 

Thursday 4-16-09

Transcriptions finished with students today.

  • Three Days Grace – Riot
  • UFO – Too Hot To Handle

Other highlights


A.W. - After many years of playing “just enough” to get by, this student has developed a deeper interest in seriously playing his guitar. He has decided for himself to take ownership and really work at it. Patience and encouragement on the part of the teacher does pay off, even if it takes years. It’s very rewarding to see a student grow in personal responsibility, generate healthy self-esteem and pursue a personal interest.


B.M. - This student’s song writing, arranging and playing skills continually grows as a result of his on going efforts and love of what he is doing. He has a great desire to express himself musically. He clearly understands the need to “invest” in himself. He is currently looking for a digital recorder to capture his musical ideas. This is a great tool for many reasons, one of which is because creative moments can be fleeting in as little as a few minuets.


B.C. Learning how to create chord progressions and the scales to play over them.


A.S. Expressed his intense desire to write and play music. He showed me his research on home studio recording gear and we discussed some ideas about it. He played a very nice piece from his iPod that he recorded with his current software.


P.W. - He is experiencing left-hand muscle discomfort and pain. We discussed the importance of examining his playing technique by really focusing in on his hand positions and the amount muscle tension he is using. We discussed play-relax techniques and reinforced the idea that control is more desirable than brute strength. I suggested he not play until he feels his hand has recovered.

 

Friday 4-17-09

Transcriptions finished with students today.

  • None

Other highlights


C.M. We began to transcribe a few lines of violin over to the guitar from a CD of Celtic music.


D.W. Discussed an up-coming performance and the gratification of playing in a band.


W.F. We are continuing to write a finger-style arrangement of a popular jazz standard. Keeping the Latin rhythms in the bass with a syncopated melody is a challenge but we are having a great time. We spent some time listening to various rhythms before we worked at playing them.


B.E. His band is playing an acoustic set in a store at a local mall. We needed to transcribe power chords to major and minor chords for the performance. He felt it worked out better than expected.


J.G. This student is into writing and playing Heavy Metal. We worked on pedal tones, harmonic and pure minor scale positions and passing tones. He is into it. We also discussed the various options available for a new amp. We talked about tubes, solid state, speakers and wattage.

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jim@firstguitar.com

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