Need advice regarding a 13 year old girl basic guitar lessons.

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Antstrat, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Personally I don’t think she will stick with it but it’s worth a shot on my end to find out so my friend doesn’t have to blow even more money for nothing.

    On a side note I’m sorta enjoying this, it’s getting my head to focus on theory even though it’s basic.

    Its win win for me, she sticks with it and is enthusiastic and her dad gets a real instructor or she throws it in the closet and dad has one less monthly bill.
     
  2. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    That is the conundrum -
    But You have the luxury of being able to be very candid, more direct with her.

    There is an opportunity for a valuable piece of wisdom to impart on her.

    "Life only gives back what you put into it"

    If you aren't willing to make the effort, you will get nothing in return - in everything you do, not just playing an instrument.
     
  3. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    This youtube channel is a great resource . This lil lady has great content and the young girl in question will relate to her.

    This is my suggestion for starters . Before I'd shell out any more ben franklins ,she would have to make me believe she really wanted to play ;)



    Even if she gets a teacher , this channel is a good resource for her.

     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  4. Esg877

    Esg877 Strat-Talker

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    My 2 cents after years of teaching friend's kids (they know I'm a guitar geek who doesn't charge, so....)

    Talk to her and give her one lesson: she has to play the notes (no chords! just the notes) of her FAVORITE song, along with the song.

    So let's say she loves justin bieber (oh god). Pick her favorite song, and show her the notes that go along with the chords changes of that song. It's usually moronic, like Am-G-F.

    Show her where A, G and F are in the fretboard (one position only, but avoid open strings, show the freted notes only, trust me, this is imprtant because you want to see some left-right hand coordination). Tell her she has 3 or 4 days to play those notes right along with the chord changes in the song, and schedule another zoom call to see how she fares.

    If she can get it pretty ok, you've got a potential player, and develop from there. If she can't do even that, tell her maybe guitar isn't for her. Tell her to quit.

    This is another test: resilient kids will try harder and come back with better results. If she "fights, screams" and wants to try again, give her another try. Most kids will give up by then, and that's ok.

    Tell her that instruments are not for everybody and she's alright. Don't make her feel bad about it. Instruments are difficult indeed, and not for everybody. Don't ruin a kid's self esteem for this. Be gentle.

    My reason: if you're going to stick with guitar, it's because playing the notes, hearing the notes, feting the notes, hearing the songs over and over, it all makes you feel good and fuzzy inside. If that's absent, you've got a 'poser kid', or a 'delusional kid', so don't waste your time. Those are good kids, nothing wrong with that.

    Wrong is the instructor who wastes his/her time with dead end "students".

    Remember: kids are kids. Be gentle and alwys remind them that failing in an instrument is normal, most people don't play instruments, and they perhaps will return to that instrument in the future. Don't shoot them down. Kids are frail things that haven't yet build the tough skin life requires.

    Treat them as such.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  5. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I see that title changed. Good move :whistling:
     
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  6. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just make it fun for her.
    Even if she don't stick with it now DONT turn her off to it. Know what I mean?
     
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  7. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I had a good time teaching one of my inlaws care givers guitar a few years ago. It was fun doing the lessons prep because we were doing songs she liked which were not Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam or Stone Temple Pilots songs, lol.
     
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  8. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    I've read this thread with interest. Although I've never 'taught' guitar, in the sense of delivering a prepared weekly course, I've always been happy to show younger players either songs they'd like to play, or ways to up their game in a more general sense.

    One thing that has always struck me is that very easy for experienced players to underestimate the difficulty of getting two hands doing what they are supposed to be doing in co-ordination, while simultaneously learning new chords, songs, or musical ideas. And remember, none of this is in 'muscle memory' at the start, to everything is down to conscious effort.

    Here's a humbling little exercise: turn your guitar round the other way and attempt to play left handed (or right handed if you already play left handed). Suddenly, you remember what it feels like! You have all the music theory you had a moment ago, but now you have lousy rhythm, you struggle with the simplest of chord shapes, and your soft little fingers probably can't produce much more than a muted mess!

    A dose of that insight should stop you from getting ahead of the student's natural learning curve. If you dive in too deep, too fast, there is a danger of the student thinking this is all really hard and possibly not for them. On that level, perhaps the question is not so much how we teach but how we make sure we don't impede the student's desire to learn.
     
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  9. 4wotitswurth

    4wotitswurth Strat-Talk Member

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    Ya can’t win! When they’re 10 they’ll complain and pull a bad face, when they’re 25 they’ll complain and pull a bad face…. Firstly because you pushed them to do it… latterly because you didn’t… hehe. All you can do is light the spark and hope that somewhere down the line they get curious… looking back, the best you can ever do is light that spark, if it doesn’t go anywhere, ce la vie!
     
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  10. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have taught first lessons to about 10 people.

    Maybe 5 have gone on to a second lesson.

    3 of my 'students' still play to this day. One of them is in his 50s, plays in bands regularly. The other is my 30-something year old brother. He's very good. The last one is my neice. She is now 13 or 14 and has been playing for 3-4 years at this point.

    I use Ralph Denyer's The Guitar Handbook as my teaching tool

    The Guitar Handbook: A Unique Source Book for the Guitar Player - Amateur or Professional, Acoustic or Electrice, Rock, Blues, Jazz, or Folk (LIVRE SUR LA MU): Denyer, Ralph: 9780679742753: Amazon.com: Books


    The first lesson starts without guitars. We talk about basic music theory...do re mi. Everyone knows do re mi.

    Explain that there are only 12 notes.

    Explain why the guitar is laid out the way it is (in standard tuning).

    Then we go into the Ionian scale and extract the notes that we need to make an E maj chord.

    By this time, they usually get it...at least the very basics.

    The hardest part is getting them to practice.

    For that reason, I have always said 'my lessons are FREE for those who practice'. What I didn't realize initially is that by teaching them, I'm also teaching myself.
     
  11. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes!
     
  12. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sage advice:thumb: That's why my intentions are to keep it extremely simple and fun for a lesson or two and if she shows interest and wants to learn then her dad will get her a proper instructor. I printed out some cowboy chords and even bought her a tuner because I don't know if she has one or not but so far haven't heard a peep. I've already called twice and said I'm ready to roll but I'm not calling anymore, she or her parents need to reach out to me or I'm not wasting any more of my time.
     
  13. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Yeah, don't blame you for not calling again. I'd say it was very rude of the parents not to make sure you got a call back, and hardly a sign of any genuine interest on the daughter's part. TBH, I'm not even sure why dad is paying for these expensive music lessons if the kids aren't really interested. o_O

    Now I look back, I did give lessons to someone about 40 years ago. He was a film director, and the main problem was he was used to being in charge. So, he always wanted to be taught his way, and he never put the practice in, despite lofty ambitions. Plus, he'd be off overseas, so lessons could be months apart. It was a bit of a nightmare. You've helped me to remember why I never want to do that again! (FWIW, I used to know Ralph Denyer professionally, but I haven't seen him since about 1985. He was a very good photographer, as well as writer, so when he delivered a feature, it was the complete article.)

    EDIT: Trying to teach the film director was remarkably like this:

     
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  14. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Long story short kids are EXTREMELY spoiled thanks to mom and dad for reasons I can't comprehend continues to foot the bill.
     
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  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Glad you said that. Although I suspected that might be the case, I didn't want to say it. After all, I don't actually know the family.

    As for motivation, some parents regard that fact that little Horatio is learning the French horn, while Jessica is taking cello lessons, as a status symbol. We've got culture and class. Our children have talent.We can afford to send them to private music tutors. I'm not saying this applies here, but I have definitely seen that kind of 'status signalling', for want of a better term.
     
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  16. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    It applies here.
     
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  17. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes, Simon said... lol.
    I was thinking same when I said reading between the lines, but it's impossible to know, except words I picked up along the lines of 'all of them learning an instrument and none of them keeping it up'
    basically the first indicator - along with the instrument choices.
    Also amusing that Simon said French Horn.... for obvious reasons. LOL.
    Hand me down my silver trumpet, Clyde.
    :D:cool:
     
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  18. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Silver Member

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    Late to the discussion, but did teach kids/teens guitar in a former life.

    In my experience, it made 100% of difference if the kid could/wanted to sing. Learning guitar as accompaniment to voice is a whole different ball game than if you have no ability/desire to sing.

    The kids who were comfortable singing quickly discovered the wonder of having chords strumming (even very basically) behind the melodies they were singing.

    Those who weren't strummed away mundanely, which worked if I sang and strummed along, but on their own didn't particularly inspire them or their parents. (just sounded like strum strum strum strummity).

    (disclaimer: I realise classical guitar is taught more rigidly and formulaic-ally, but I assume that's not what w're talking about here)

    Guitar can be a harder sell to parents too than say piano where the melody and chords happen simultaneously and are recognizable as a song. Or clarinet, where you learn a recognizable tune.

    I was a singing kid, and took to guitar like a duck to water. Was accompanying myself (within) within days of starting. You couldn't stop me practicing.

    The classical instruments I learnt were a chore, guitar never was. It was the cool instrument :)
     
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  19. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    That is actually quite interesting as a statement in itself.

    When I was a teenager, guitar was absolutely the coolest thing. I wasn't a guitarist then. Way too late to the chick-magnet instrument party.

    No, I was that boring classical-instrument-learning kid, and funny you say that Guitar was cool.... because it WAS.

    Piano was never really cool. What was cool though, were all the girls who also played. that was #winning. in the best Charlie Sheen kinda winning way, if you know what I mean. Making music together.... erm. yeah.

    :whistling::D
     
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  20. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-O-Master

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    Barre chords are hard. I mean, I play them ALL THE TIME, but for a female 13 year-old beginner there is no need to make it that physically difficult.

    I always play barre chords and always play all 6 strings when I do so, so it was quite an insight some months back when I watched one of Tim Pierce's YouTube videos where he pointed out that you only have to play 3 or 4 strings to make a chord, that he does it to reduce hand fatigue and that you do it in the studio to make the part sit where you need it to sit in the mix.

    Not trying to be oppositional to Hazy Purple, but I would say: don't give her a task that will present a physical barrier that she thinks she MUST overcome- when she doesn't have to overcome it at all. Like, ever... really.

    Trying to be helpful!!!