Don't Fret, Guitar Teachers
Let’s face it, teaching guitar is a blast. Even so, every guitar teacher has encountered a hurdle or two.
Many guitar students picked up the instrument because they want to rock out with a band. That’s great news because that’s one of the best ways to cut your teeth as a musician. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, especially if they’re just starting out. Maybe they just aren’t experienced enough yet as a musician, or maybe they’re shy - we’ve all heard the frequent excuse that there’s “nobody to play with”.
Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to give students the experience of playing with others - rock band recitals are great for this, as are playing to tracks. Now that we have apps like YouTube, it’s super easy to just pull up Guns and Roses and play along. This forces the student to play on beat, and teaches vital skills like listening and timing. It also inspires them to play music they know and want to learn - especially if they’re hearing their progress in real-time.
But what if you want to customize the track? It can be really useful to loop certain sections (especially on a difficult solo), slow things down, speed things up, or simply do a freestyle jam. That’s where Musico can help out. Musico offers customizable, ready-made tracks, and the ability to create your own tracks from scratch.
It’s also easy to do, even if you’re not a tech-savvy - a simple drag and click will have your student playing a new song in moments.
There’s even a feature that highlights notes or tabs as they’re played, helping students follow along with the music and not lose their place. Check it out HERE. If your student isn’t reading music yet (or the part doesn’t call for it), Musico has even thoughtfully included a TAB feature that works the same way.
Another issue guitar teachers face is the dreaded “What next?”
Let’s say a student masters the song they’ve been slaving away at for weeks, finally sailing through it in the first ten minutes of the lesson. Time to pick another song right? Sometimes that can be overwhelming to even think about - especially when both you and the student are on the spot. You could pick a band or two and glance over their discography. You could even see if there’s anything interesting on the current iTunes charts. But that takes time away from playing, and in those few minutes of figuring stuff out...oops, the lesson’s over, and they didn’t even get to play. Why not pull up a track and just jam out? You and your student could even go into Musico and customize a track together - this gives them more of a vested interest in what they’re learning and involves them in the process. They may even write their own song out of it!
Every teacher is different and every teaching situation has its own unique quirks - these ideas may not work for everyone. But hopefully, this post has sparked some ideas and can help you do some creative problem-solving!