fbpx

Acoustic Guitar

Getting Started

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

Technique

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

From day one I try to help beginning students establish a concrete understanding of how information is organized on the guitar.  The guitar can be initially confusing since it is a bit different from other instruments, such as the piano, strings, or brass.  Essentially, the guitar is organized to the number 5.  I will work with students to memorize their string names, the notes on the fretboard, and how that relates to thinking about topics such as chords and scales.

Reading Music

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.

Learning chords

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!

Rhythm/Strumming

I introduce topics of strumming and rhythm to my students once they start gaining some mastery over chords.  Rhythm, in many respects, is math in motion. I help students understand how to think about time-keeping (meter) while they develop their ability to play a repertoire of about 15 different rhythm patterns found in popular music.

Learning Songs

Songs represent the tangible rewards and achievements of working hard to learn a new instrument.  They also function as motivating goals for myself and my students. From my experience, songs are the motivating reason why we start taking lessons in the first place.  Because of this, I want to find out, as soon as possible, which songs my students are most interested in learning.

Lesson Supplies

Here are a few things you will need:

Acoustic Guitar
Scroll to Top