View Full Version : What should be taught?

03-27-2005, 07:56 PM
Hi guys!

Not sure if this is the right forum to start this thread in, but anyway, I'm gonna do it.

So, there's this guy, my best friend's boss, and he wants to learn to play the guitar. He saw me play live and he told me he was amazed by my soloing and he wants to learn from me. He has an acoustic guitar, and he knows basic chords, so he can already sing&strum his favourite ballad songs.

My problem is, that if he was an absoulte beginner, I knew that I should start with EADGHe, chords and stuff, but he already knows these things. I don't wanna teach him theory because I don't wanna scare the sh*t out of him. His main goal is to entertain himself and his friends, so there's no need for him to know theory (beyond the very basics). Oh, and the other thing is that he wants to learn to solo!!!

What should I show him? Some patterns and the knowledge of how to use them over a progression? or picking exercises (he has an acoustic)? Or WHAT THE F*????

Please give me some advice!


03-27-2005, 08:40 PM
I'll try to come up with a short, but precise answer.

Learn him the Pentatonic scale, it's very easy to learn, and once he's learned the scale, it'll be even easier to improvise.

You could start by teaching him the box pattern, however, I'd suggest you to make sure he learn alternative locations to play the same scale. That way the playing will have more variation.

What the hell, why not learn him the notes of the scale as well, so he will be able to think which notes to play himself, and he'll be able to find out which positions he prefer.

If you're not up to it, then just learn him the box pattern as mentioned, and let him go wild using that one.

Next, as he's learned the Pentatonic and maybe gotten a bit tired of it, you could teach him another scale. How about you showing him a scale which is a favourite of your own?

Just a few tips.

03-27-2005, 09:37 PM
meet him up for a jam session, prepare some stuff to jam over, ideally stuff with which it would be confortable to hit pentatonics on (as mentioned already, i agree with that).

Blues would be a good start, possibly show him some licks based on the scale you thought him, take turns to solo. Probably all he needs is to actually start trying himself and discover it takes more then some cool tricks to solo lol

Good luck dude! it could be the start of a small (or big!) teaching career!! ;)

03-27-2005, 09:46 PM
besides 12 bar, I think showing his songs with solos would help. Give him material to learn, not drills to practice. If your gonna teach him, you should be able to spot the weak points of his playing and subtlely give him advice on improving those areas. I mean, what are his goals, does he want to shred, express himself, play what he hears in his head? I'm guessing he needs pick work, I mean who doesn't.

As far as theory, use examples. Here's one that you might find useful, I made this a while back, a picking etude I guess. Not sure If I'd call it an etude, a little diddy I made back when I was still fingerpicking, but I use it for regular picking now too. Its a good skeleton to do cool theory bits with and its fairly easy to solo over and solo in self-accompaniment. It just backcycles.

P.S. - I'm definetly no teacher.

04-08-2005, 10:10 AM
..and a trick that many teachers use to speed up progress is to switch the strings to ultra-light (1st= .010 ) for the first month or so. The fact that the tension needed to tune up to pitch is so much less makes mastering bar chords far easier. After that, a set with an .011 1st, and then introduce solo..the bends, etc are far easier for a beginner to handle.

Los Boleros
04-08-2005, 02:51 PM
I think I would teach him a full major/minor scale and show him where the seven Triads are found withing that scale. Then for an excersise, write out some chord easy chord progressions and his homework is to play them by arpegiating. Alway include a little time for free soloing at practice but not wo much that it takes too much of his paying time. Show him how you can throw in parts of the arpegiao from time to time.

Sir Speedy
04-10-2005, 04:52 AM
i would do something along the lines of a chord scale , as well . with just major and minor chords ,no 7ths yet . E major possibly,for example ,Nirvannas ' song "About a Girl " was E major . i would show the chord scale the song can be traced to ... E F#min G#min A B C#min Dmin .

it depends what the guy listens to. Show a chord scale for the key of a song .
if the guy can already play , the Idea light bulb will instantly go on in his head .that would be the first lesson .

The next lesson could be a bit tougher because of chord fingerings and blues riff picking .

i would suggest starting with the dominant 7th chord because it is so predominant in Blues and Classic Rock .Show how blues is I7 IV7 V7 . And each is really treated as a V7 chord . Show some chuck Berry riffs that go with a 7th chord , show how the Dominant 7th arpeggio goes with the Dom 7th chord .
Maybe some Riffs from a ZZ Top song , Blues Turn arounds cool stuff :>)
it should be alright .
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