Today’s post is by Aaron Matthies of Live & Teach Guitar…
At some point in your development as a guitarist you may consider teaching guitar. While there are obvious benefits in teaching guitar (mainly making money), there is one major benefit most people overlook: teaching guitar improves your own playing skills and knowledge.
Have you ever explained to somebody how to properly play a bend, use sweep picking or explain the theory behind the Pentatonic Scale? If you have, you will know that you really need to know your stuff to explain it properly. On the other hand, if you have never done this before do you know those techniques and theory well enough that you could explain it to somebody effectively? Teaching guitar forces you to really think about what you know and by explaining all these concepts to somebody else you actually strengthen your understanding.
When you have to demonstrate to a student how to properly bend a note (or any other technique), you really need to focus and make sure you play the note perfectly so the student doesn’t pick up on poor technique or bad habits. This focus on your own playing will force you to really analyze what you’re doing and if you’re actually using proper technique. So by merely teaching guitar you can really give your own playing a boost and correct any bad habits or poor technique you may have now.
What about increasing your knowledge? Similar to technique, when you have to explain theory to a student it really forces you to make sure you really understand what you’re talking about. If you don’t know how to explain all the different intervals in a scale for example maybe it’s a sign that you don’t fully understand them yourself. Having to explain theory and concepts to a student will open your eyes to your own understanding.
Do you need to be an expert to teach?
Not at all. The truth is you can become an expert by teaching guitar; you don’t have to be an expert first. Even if you only consider yourself an average player, you can still teach beginners and do a fantastic job. Don’t ever think you aren’t good enough to teach because if you wait until you’re an ‘expert’ first, you may have to wait quite a long time.
Steps to get started
Even if you start off with a single student, you can dramatically increase your own skills and knowledge. It won’t take long before you get the hang of teaching and can start to attract more students. If you feel like you’re not improving on your own, then teaching guitar is an effective way to get ahead.
If you have never taught before, your first step is to find an absolute beginner who you will feel comfortable teaching. This could be a friend or family member. You could even teach your first student for free while you build your teaching skills. Once you have your first student you will get the feel for teaching and decide if you want to teach more students and earn money. The great thing about teaching guitar is you can take it as far as you want to go. You can build up your student base until you teach full time or you can stick to a couple students - it's entirely up to you.
The website www.liveteachguitar.com can provide you with in-depth guides, lesson materials ready to print and give to your students as well as articles to help you be a guitar tutor. The site gives you everything you need to teach so you don't have to worry about preparing anything for lessons.