Many of my students get their first start on the acoustic guitar. This is a cost-effective way to begin lessons since all that is needed is a reasonably priced instrument, a case or gig-bag, and a few supplies.
Choosing the right sized instrument makes learning much easier. Student’s who are learning guitar between the ages of 7-9 have better success starting with a 1/2 sized acoustic guitar. Students between 9 – 10 usually do best with a 3/4 sized guitar. A full-sized guitar will be a good fit for students ages 11 – adult. Most of my students will learn on a regular right-hand oriented instrument even if they are left-handed. It’s also perfectly fine to choose a left-handed guitar if that feels intuitively better.
Learning Acoustic Guitar
Topics of Instruction
It takes a little bit of time to get comfortable playing notes with the left hand while also plucking or strumming strings with the right hand. So, I work with my students on exercises and music scales to help them develop their strength and coordination. I also will utilize popular single-note songs to accomplish this as well.
Understanding how the guitar works
One of my goals is to equip students to be able to decode written music so they can teach themselves songs. Initially, I help students learn how to read tablature (which is a very guitar oriented form of music notation) so they have the skills necessary to learn songs that they can easily find on the internet. I then move onto to teaching standard music notation once my student has developed some foundational technical skills on guitar and also has a better time visualizing ideas on the guitar.
I start working on guitar chords once a student starts feeling comfortable playing single-note scale and songs. There are approximately 15 guitar chords that will allow students the ability to play many popular songs of interest. I work with students on learning these primary chords and getting comfortable switching between them. We also start immediately on songs or sections of songs that use these chords which makes the journey of learning much more enjoyable!