Help with teaching.

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JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
Ive just ordered my son a  Yamaha Pacifica 120h and plan to give him his first lesson when it gets here. (wed 05/02.) 
I have not had any lessons so i would like to give him a better start than i had with advice from here. I will look into getting him lessons from a teacher maybe in the future but for now i/we  are all hes got.lol.
Any advice on first things first much appreciated. He is nearly 10 by the way and addicted to playstation and WWE so he needs saving.
 Many thanks for any help  John.
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 863
    Look at Yousician
    it’s tv / web / console based so it may be a more enjoyable learning experience than an old guy telling him how to learn.
    And he can go at his own pace.

    things that I’ve found useful when showing a complete newbie a couple of things only :
    1, get them to play a simple tune on one string, to get used to picking strings and fretting notes at the same time.  That way they get some music pretty quick.  happy Birthday or some Metallica riff ;)
    2.  Don’t show them chords - but show them why guitarists play chords - which I do by opening the piano app on ipad, play C E G as a chord, then play then C Eb G.  Then I show them where those 3 notes are on a guitar.  And then say that’s a Major 3rd and a Minor 3rd on top, or a Minor 3rd and a Major 3rd on top  And all chords are pretty much the same.  So if you know a Note somewhere on the fretboard, and you know how to find the 3rd up from that, and the 3rd up from that you have every major or minor chord you need !  and NO MORE THAN THAT !  And certainly no 6 string chord fingerings !,



    the real teachers will be along in a minute



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  • Stick with single note melody stuff, basic tunes nursery rhymes etc. If you have to do chords keep it 2 fingers or strings next to each other at most. 

    I'm teaching a 10 year old and we're about 6 months in, we've mostly very short single note pieces, maximum 16 bars. He's taken to it really well and we've just started on chords, albeit different fingerings, e.g for C I only make him play the first finger on the 1st fret of the b string then the top 3 strings together. Lessons are 30 minutes and its just about the right length so keep it short and engaging.

    Start to introduce them to new music and they'll develop some sort of liking to particular ones.

    Good luck!
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
    sev112 said:
    Look at Yousician
    it’s tv / web / console based so it may be a more enjoyable learning experience than an old guy telling him how to learn.
    And he can go at his own pace.

    things that I’ve found useful when showing a complete newbie a couple of things only :
    1, get them to play a simple tune on one string, to get used to picking strings and fretting notes at the same time.  That way they get some music pretty quick.  happy Birthday or some Metallica riff ;)
    2.  Don’t show them chords - but show them why guitarists play chords - which I do by opening the piano app on ipad, play C E G as a chord, then play then C Eb G.  Then I show them where those 3 notes are on a guitar.  And then say that’s a Major 3rd and a Minor 3rd on top, or a Minor 3rd and a Major 3rd on top  And all chords are pretty much the same.  So if you know a Note somewhere on the fretboard, and you know how to find the 3rd up from that, and the 3rd up from that you have every major or minor chord you need !  and NO MORE THAN THAT !  And certainly no 6 string chord fingerings !,



    the real teachers will be along in a minute



    Thanks mate. Much appreciated
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
    Stick with single note melody stuff, basic tunes nursery rhymes etc. If you have to do chords keep it 2 fingers or strings next to each other at most. 

    I'm teaching a 10 year old and we're about 6 months in, we've mostly very short single note pieces, maximum 16 bars. He's taken to it really well and we've just started on chords, albeit different fingerings, e.g for C I only make him play the first finger on the 1st fret of the b string then the top 3 strings together. Lessons are 30 minutes and its just about the right length so keep it short and engaging.

    Start to introduce them to new music and they'll develop some sort of liking to particular ones.

    Good luck!
    Thanks mate much appreciated. 
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  • koss59koss59 Frets: 600
    At that age they can vary massively. I’ve had 8 year olds that can play barre chords straight away.
    Start simple and build them up to different stuff but never presume they can’t do it because of their age.
    Also the LAST thing I’d ever do is show a 10 year old nursery rhymes, they are far past that at that age and you wouldn’t believe how many parents come to me saying their kids previous teacher tried to make them play London Bridge is Falling down so they quit.
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  • Toms_DadToms_Dad Frets: 40
    Beyond the basics of what to teach, I would also suggest that lesson time = dad time. My experience is that this is really important!  It also, therefore, has to be fun. 
    Perhaps consider how you can teach him something in single note form where you can accompany him with chords.   
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  • DulcetJonesDulcetJones Frets: 496
    The single string riff is a great place to start, I still use "Smoke on the Water" for this but "7 Nation Army" works well too.  I show them a chord chart and explain how to use it and get them to try an Em chord only for the first lesson.  I(and the store I teach at) encourage them to get a beginners instruction book that has a chord chart page in it.  If they go for the book I walk them through the notes on the first string while explaining the basic theory aspects of the music staff, whole notes, quarter notes etc., and encourage them to at least walk through the book one or two strings at a time as it teaches some basics that they really should know even if they don't get into sight reading.  This works well most of the time, my reason for introducing chords right away is something I learned from experience, a lot of instruction books don't introduce chords until they've covered several or all of the single notes, so just as they start to think they're getting somewhere they're confronted with chords and they get discouraged.  By getting them to try a few out for a few minutes at each lesson they're more prepared when the book gets to that point.

    “To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit the target.”– Ashleigh Brilliant


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  • BradBrad Frets: 296
    koss59 said:
    At that age they can vary massively. I’ve had 8 year olds that can play barre chords straight away.
    Start simple and build them up to different stuff but never presume they can’t do it because of their age.
    +1 there is no one size fits all approach. Obviously be careful not to do things that are too difficult too soon, but the opposite is true also. Every student is different so it’s on you to understand your son’s strengths and weaknesses as you go along.  

    I’m with @koss59 and @DulcetJones in that you absolutely can and should start with chords alongside single note riffs/melodies (I often use Smoke On The Water and 7 Nation Army too). Try and do music that he likes and will engage him where possible, even if this means simplifying parts. If he gets a feeling that his tastes are being catered for (within reason of course), he’ll stick with it for longer. 

    It’s as much about your approach to teaching things as well as understanding how your son learns. Granted, any student needs to meet you half way, but how you approach stuff is what makes or breaks it. Don’t put too much pressure on either of you to get loads done and be flexible in your approach. As a teacher you need to know when to be more persistent with something or when to move on if something isn’t quite working. Try to keep things small and achievable.  

    A lot depends on how you frame certain things, nursery rhymes being a good example. I do teach them, but not for the sake of learning them (particularly at your sons age and above). That is generally a turn off. But they’re great for aural development for a number of reasons and can really empower the learner, regardless of age. So I wouldn’t discount anything really.  

    A father/son dynamic will be different to a conventional tutor/student one and it might be the case that you’re learning on the job so to speak. Be patient, don’t expect too much (from either of you), be flexible and above all enjoy it. 

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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1388
    Thanks everyone for all the help and advice its very much appreciated. His guitar has been delivered. Its a Yamaha Pacifica 120h. I got it for £149 from GAK ebay. used. Looks like new. Hope he likes it and doesn't get too frustrated when he realizes he has to put some effort in . Cheers John.
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