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Teaching guitar to 13 year old

Jeep man 28 Feb 04 - 09:32 PM
Sam L 28 Feb 04 - 09:51 PM
Peace 28 Feb 04 - 10:18 PM
Jeep man 28 Feb 04 - 10:47 PM
Peace 29 Feb 04 - 03:36 PM
Allan C. 29 Feb 04 - 04:38 PM
freightdawg 29 Feb 04 - 04:50 PM
Jeep man 29 Feb 04 - 06:51 PM
Sorcha 29 Feb 04 - 07:26 PM
Walking Eagle 29 Feb 04 - 10:06 PM
s&r 01 Mar 04 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,eileen 01 Mar 04 - 06:06 AM
Roger the Skiffler 01 Mar 04 - 09:28 AM
maire-aine 01 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM
Sam L 01 Mar 04 - 06:22 PM
Leadfingers 01 Mar 04 - 08:25 PM
Tinker 01 Mar 04 - 10:01 PM
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Subject: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Jeep man
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 09:32 PM

I have had two students for a few months and that is two more than usual. These two boys are my sisters grandsons or my grand nephews. One is 13 and the other 11. Both very bright and full of boy stuff. Born and being raised in the country. Their father is a minister.

The eleven year old is no problem. I teach him banjo and he responds by practicing and learning his drills and chords.

The thirteen year old is just as enthusiastic, but lacks any sense of music, pitch, chords, melody, progression etc.

He loves guitar and can play and somewhat sing by ear one song that I managed to show him. He cannot carry a tune in sack and I am sure he gets discouraged.

He attends private school and has had no instruction in music outside of home. He knows almost no songs which is a great pity.

I need advise and help to give this child as much as I can in a manner he can understand. I am asking for your help. Jim


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Sam L
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 09:51 PM

Not knowing many songs is probably a great handicap. Probably what I'd try to do is to keep at the fundamentals you're doing, and also try to get him listening and somewhat focused on some music at the same time.
And I'd try to find a few things to say to alleviate his discouragement. An adult friend of mine was learning to draw, and was very discouraged by her first try at a portrait. I said that though the result wasn't what she wanted, the work was actually quite good, because when you start drawing, and really looking, you notice things you haven't before, and tend to stress them. But in a portrait the trick of likeness is stressing just the things that you usually notice.
   I've started playing percussion, which I never have before, and I'm finding that thinking it is the most productive thing I can do--eveything else comes along easier with thinking it clearly. Sounds like your student needs to learn and enjoy more songs before he can do much with what you can teach him.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Peace
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 10:18 PM

Jeep man,

Question: What are you teaching him on guitar? Strumming, pickin', flat pickin', etc? Rhythm or lead? Is he learning to read notes? Stuff like that.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Jeep man
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 10:47 PM

Fred,, that is a very good assesment. I will try to focus more on the very basics.

Brucie, right now I am just teaching him to strum well enough to play backup (Bluegrass, folk), and accompany his singing. .Jim


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Peace
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 03:36 PM

jeep man,

Just refreshing this thread.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 04:38 PM

Encourage him to listen to more music. Heck, I'd even go so far as to stop by a Salvation Army store or yard sale and get him a used portable tape player and a few tapes of different varities of music. Maybe some ot the music will speak to him and he will find something he would very much like to learn to play.

I was the same age when I began lessons. My first guitar teacher assigned me the task of bringing the recording of a new song to each lesson. I was also asked to transcribe the first verse and chorus (double spaced) to which she would add the chords or tabs. In most cases she was able to teach me to play the song. A typical lesson began with my playing last week's song a couple of times. This was followed by some constructive critcism and then we would start work on that day's new song.

The process forced me to seek out songs that appealed to me and ultimately left me with a good repertoire of songs I enjoyed playing.

I suppose a lot depends upon what and how you are teaching. I was taught "by ear". Over time I was taught how to hear keys and chord progressions while listening to the recordings.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: freightdawg
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 04:50 PM

Jeep man, as someday I would like to teach guitar, here are some things I have thought of in the few days since you asked the question.

Introduce him to as many songs as possible (cd, radio, etc.) When he finds one that really makes him groove you have your starting point. It is so much easier to learn a piece when you really like it.

Also, consider bluegrass flatpicking, or classical guitar. If he is truly voice conscious (he will when his voice starts to change, anyway), just being able to make music without having to depend on his voice will be an advantage.

Get a good metronome (pardon if I've stated the obvious) and don't let him "leave home without it." Timing is like anything else, it comes with practice and a rigid taskmaster.

I was a flight instructor, and I had several students that, on first blush, should not have been even allowed near a mechanized vehicle. But, with perseverance they all received their certificates because they wanted to, and where there is a will, amazingly, there is a way.

Encourage, encourage, encourage. Remember the seeds you plant now may not sprout for 10, 20, 30 or 40 more years, but someday they may really be something great.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Jeep man
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 06:51 PM

All of you folks are so much help. Maybe amongst us we can teach this boy a thing or two. Thanks, Jim


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 07:26 PM

Maybe teach him to sing some simple songs first? Then, wheh he can sing them, he might be able to play them easier...


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 10:06 PM

Three things you should NEVER do for relatives:
1. Teach them to drive.>
2. Sell them your car.>
3. Teach them music!>

Since you have already decided to break rule #3, you may consider letting him try acoustic bass. That way he is playing a guitar and if he messes up, it's not so noticable. He'd have to learn to count, which will help imeasurably with music. Comes to that, why not let him play percussion first? Something like washboard. That way he can learn to listen after he has his rythym down.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: s&r
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:05 AM

Sorcha is right. Teach him some simple songs firs. You're teaching him two things at the same time: to play and to sing. Get him to sing first to your accompaniment, and then add the chords. Or teach him simple instrumental pieces first - simple riffs and licks if you like.

It's hard to sing and play together if you have neither skill :)

Stu


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: GUEST,eileen
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:06 AM

Believe it or not, some people simply aren't equipped to play music. Maybe you could take him fishing while the other lad practices his banjo. Be warned, if you insist on making this fella play music he may end up one of those poor blokes that make people run screaming out of folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 09:28 AM

I'm with the Eagle, as I'm also someone whose interest in music is unmatched by any ability. If he has any sense of rhythm go for washboard so at least he can join in, unless the shaky egg police are about.

RtS
(Rattlin' in the trashcan)


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: maire-aine
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM

I have absolutely nothing to go by except my experience of learning music at age 12, since I never taught anybody to play anything. But I strongly recommend teaching him to read music. If you can get him to make the connection between the printed page and the notes on the strings, it may not seem like it now, but it will make things easier in the future. Even if he puts aside an instrument now, he may pick it back up again later. Sometimes a keyboard can help with this, too. Just my 2 cents.

M.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Sam L
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:22 PM

I don't know if you shouldn't teach relatives, but teaching your own kids is a special problem, it seems to me. I'm trying to teach mine a little, and it's complicated.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 08:25 PM

The biggest problem you have Jeep is the lad doesnt know what (If any thing) he wants to do. I learnt guitar simply because the stuff I wanted to sing didnt work very well as Unaccompanied songs. The suggestion to invest in a cheap tape player and a pile of assorted material makes sense - Until he finds what he wants to play he wont have ANY incentive to put the effort in. Best of luck any way.


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Subject: RE: Teaching guitar to 13 year old
From: Tinker
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 10:01 PM

I thought I posted earlier, but it appears to have been lost in cyber space. One big problem when there is a lack of "pitch, chords, melody, progression etc." is to help him not practice the same mistakes over and over again. If he can play along with you during lessons and get it right, a drill tape to listen to and play with, may help keep him on track between lessons. Having a few lessons ahead on the tape to be listened to but not yet attempted may help to internalize the music before he tries to reproduce it. As long as he is not discouraged and is enjoying it (even if it's painful to listen to) there is something being accomplished.

This also lets him learn the next song by listening to it after he practices the familar material.

Good Luck

Tinker


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