My grand daughter Alyssa is eleven years old. She loves music and want to learn how to play guitar. I have started giving her guitar lessons. This is not an easy job. A guitar teacher has a big impact on creating an environment where the student wants to learn. I don't want to be the reason she stops playing. I want to be the person that inspires her to play.
There are a couple avenues that you can take to become a great guitar player. One method is to practice and learn musical scales. If you are playing in the Key of C. You would play C,D, E,F,G,A,B. This would be all white keys on a piano. If you were going to write a song in the key of C you could play any of these notes and they would sound good. (They would be in the right key.) Now you might have to play around with them to get a great melody that is easy to sing.
Another method is learning from music books. This was one of my earliest methods of learning. I had the Alfred's basic guitar method and Mel Bay books. These books are a combination of scales, sight reading music, and learning songs. I remember when it was thought the best way to learn music was the Suzuki method. I never learned this method. It involved listening to a simple melody and learning how to play by ear. I think this is a great way to learn if you have an ear for it.
All of these are great ways to learn the guitar but we are not very patient students. As a student we want to play songs. I remember playing songs but they were often times not the songs that I wanted to learn how to play. I wanted to play the songs that were on the radio now. The songs in the song books were Hank William, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline songs. I wanted to learn Alabama, the Eagles, Grand Funk Railroad, and Three Dog Night. Alyssa and I have worked on a couple songs. One was Blake Shelton's- Boys Round Here. It is an easy song with two chords. Next we worked on a Taylor Swift song, the riff for Smoke on the Water, and For What It's Worth.
I started out taking piano lessons. I learned how to read music. I believe this hurt my piano playing. I played the right notes (most of the time) but it lacked feeling. Louis Armstrong was a world renowned trumpet player. He was asked, Do you read music? I love his reply. He said, "Not enough to hurt my playing." Music is about feeling not exact notes.
I hope that I become a good guitar teacher. No, that is not what I want. I want Alyssa to love playing guitar and have fun doing it. That is why I play guitar.