New Guitar Student in Vallejo Loves Lessons
Recently a new guitar student of mine in Vallejo California, who has been taking lessons for 3 months, expressed how much he loved his last private guitar lessons. He pointed out that he likes how I organize his weekly lessons by giving him a printed worksheet with his assignments and how I also email him a copy for his weekly records. I have found that keeping things simple but providing a structured approach is key to a student’s success. Here are a few key things to practice especially for newer students:
- First, do a finger stretch in 1st position on all 6 strings and hold for 60 seconds per string (1 to 3x’x per day). This builds flexibility as well as callouses on finger tips for playing both scales and chords.
- Then, practice with a slow metronome minor pentatonic scales in 1st, 5th and 9th positions for acoustic and on electric add the 13th and eventually 17th positions. Start out with alternate down and up picking technique keeping your eyes focused on right picking hand to make sure you are always alternating with first a down and then up picking stroke.
- Then, practice chord fingerings starting with 15 basic open chords followed by 5 bar chord formations with roots on 6th and 5th or strings. A major, A major 9, A minor and A minor 9, and last A minor 7th. I have students start very slow with metronome at 60 b.p.m. and transpose to all keys of A, B, C, D, E, F and G.
- Then we work on naming notes on all 6 strings from open string to one octave higher. Example: E open, F1, G3, A5, B7, C8,D10 AND E12. You must say out loud as you play each note which helps program your mind.
- Finally practice reading music notes. I love using Hal Leonard Guitar Method Books 1,2 and 3 along with Easy Pop Melodies Books 1, 2 or 3 which come with CD’s that students should learn to play with.
These guitar finger exercises are also great for preparing you to read music which will enable you to learn music theory applied in playing all styles and tempos of music all over the world. Music truly is a universal language and reading music will truly help you understand how to jam and perform with other musicians no matter where they are from.