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Common Guitar Teaching Mistakes You Must Avoid

June 15th, 2021

If you want to take your guitar teaching skills to the next level, you must NOT make the same exact errors all other guitar teachers are making. If you do this, your students will become better players much faster while also staying with you as their teacher for many years to come.

Don’t commit these huge, yet very common guitar teaching mistakes:

Guitar Teaching Mistake #1: Not Getting Your Students To Practice

You must inspire your students to practice consistently (and have fun doing it). If they don’t practice on a consistent basis, they won’t get results. This makes you look like a poor guitar teacher.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #2: Not Keeping Track Of Your Students’ Progress

These are the four ways tracking your students’ progress helps everyone involved:

1. It gives your students unquestionable proof that they are getting results. This gives them motivation to practice and get better faster.

2. Your students get the proof that YOU are a great teacher, and they feel inspired to study with you for longer periods of time… helping you make more money.

3. Since your students see that you care about the progress they make, they become more encouraged to take lessons with you.

4. You better understand what your students need to learn to achieve their musical goals. This makes it much easier for you as their teacher.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #3: Not Showing Your Students How To Apply What They Know

Your students need you to show them how to apply all the skills they already have into actual music. If you don’t do this, most of your students will never think to do it on their own and will have difficulty making progress.

Look for a balance of teaching new concepts and training students to apply what you teach into music.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #4: Overwhelming Your Students With New Information

Stop teaching new things to your students every single lesson. This makes it more likely that they will feel overcome with too much information and quit lessons altogether.

Bring together teaching with training your students on apply and totally master the things they already know. This will massively accelerate their progress and keep them from becoming overwhelmed.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #5: Not Actively Training Your Students On How To Practice

Don’t assume that your students understand how to practice when they are own their own at home. Most don’t, unless you:

1. Observe them during lessons and make corrections.

2. Train them on how to think in order to fix problems during their practice.

Training your students to practice in this way will make them great guitarists a lot faster.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #6: Not Teaching Your Students As “Human Beings”

Remember, you don’t just teach guitar… you teach people. Your students need to know that you relate with them and understand their challenges. This is what will truly motivate them to get better.

Get to know your students as people. Learn what motivates them to take lessons. Then customize your lessons using this knowledge to make each lesson more focused on their specific interests.

Note: Be subtle when you do this.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #7: Showing All Your Students How To Read Music

Only show your guitar students how to read music if:

1. This skill is 100% needed for reaching their long-term goals.

2. They are at least intermediate level players.

If you try to show your students how to read music when they aren’t ready, they’ll become frustrated leave lessons in the process.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #8: Asking Your Students What They Want To Learn In Every Guitar Lesson

Your students aren’t taking lessons with you just to learn whatever they think they should learn. They need you to show them how to fix their problems and accomplish their musical goals.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #9: Teaching All Students With A Generic Teaching Approach

Stop using general teaching methods or cookie-cutter courses for all your students (with the exception of beginners). There does not exist a generic “best” teaching method for all students. Build customized strategies to help your students solve their unique problems and achieve their personal goals.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #10: Not Teaching Your Students To Combine Their Skills

In addition, you must help your students put everything together by showing them how to integrate their current skills with all the new concepts you teach them. When you do this, watch as they become great players faster than ever.

Many students struggle to get their head around the concept of integration. As their guitar teacher, it’s up to you to make this easy for them.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #11: Teaching All Your Students In A Private Lessons Format

Your students need more than private lessons to get the most out of what they learn from you. If they exclusively take one on one lessons, they miss out on interaction with other musicians and chances to play music in everyday musical situations. They also never get the chance to overcome performance anxiety and don’t get to practice making their guitar playing consistent while performing.

Answer: teach in multiple formats. Integrate private lessons together with group classes and other creative formats to give them a better opportunity for growth.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #12: Not Getting Your Students To Reach Specific Musical Goals

Not all your students want to reach virtuoso levels, but all of them want to improve by taking lessons with you. You need to identify what it is that they want to do with guitar, and break down their goals into steps that you help them achieve one by one.

Hint: Make sure you let your students know that the things you are teaching them are going to help them reach their goals. This inspires them to do the things you tell them to do and helps them make faster progress.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #13: Teaching Guitar Using A Step-By-Step Approach

Your students will transform into great players fast when they learn using a geometric approach instead of a step by step/linear one.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #14: Incorrectly Teaching Music Theory

Don’t make these mistakes when trying to teach music theory to guitar students:

1. Teaching it starting from the core basics and advancing in a step-by-step manner before teaching them about chords/scales, etc.

2. Teaching in isolation, instead of showing your students how to apply it in music.

To teach music theory effectively, you must:

1. Show students how learning music theory helps them play what they want.

2. Make sure that when you teach music theory, it matches up with your students’ overall goals.

3. Show your students how to apply theory concepts into a musical context.

Guitar Teaching Mistake #15: Teaching Guitar Using Songs Only

You can certainly use songs as part of your guitar lessons, but ONLY teaching songs is not the best way to turn your students into great players.

Instead, improve your students’ general musical/playing abilities. Use songs to showcase specific concepts you teach, but not as something to act as a replacement for actual teaching.