Guitar: Super fun. Super frustrating... It can be done.
A lot of people say it's the hardest instrument to learn. Bragging rights aside it really is possibly the hardest instrument to learn for the first 6 months to a year and there are a variety of reasons for this. However, don't get discouraged. Once you get over the initial difficulty, it's quite an accessible instrument.
Here are some of the reasons learning guitar can be difficult, and how we help solve said problems.
Guitar methods are not as developed as those for piano, band, or orchestra. I'm always amazed at how detailed and helpful piano methods are, and there are tons of them all competing to be the best. Guitar? Maybe I'm too picky but there are very few quality methods to choose from until you're past the beginner stage. Much of that is our (guitarists) fault. We have too short of an attention span and little patience, making pacing extremely difficult for method book designers. The best solution available to day is a combination of old-school methods, on-line videos, tabs, sheet music, and computer methods like Yousician and Hook Theory.
Guitar learning is very repertoire based. Very few people just want to learn to play. Most people just want to play...Taylor Swift, or AC/DC, or whatever is interesting at the time. As a result, it is very difficult to get students interested in learning page by page and teaching the songs we (the teachers) already know. We take a different approach. Yes we often make suggestions to guide students, but we always combine the songs that our students find exciting. We don't stop there, however. We also use these songs as tools to teach theory, rhythm, and technique, so we're not just jamming on songs, we're using your favorite tunes to create a custom guitar method.
Guitar requires an extreme amount of dexterity right from the beginning. A guitar instructor I was interviewing once said to me "I don't understand what piano teachers do for 30 minutes. Put your finger here. What's left to talk about?". Often times it feels absolutely impossible to get your guitar to do what you want it to. You might struggle for 20 minutes to get one horrible sounding note to limp out of the sound hole. Oh, and understanding the guitar? Fugetabout it! I mean all the notes look the same and there's at least three of every note. No not three octaves. Three unisons. AND three octaves! What could be more confusing? But like I tell my students, "impossible and nearly impossible are two very different things" Trust your teacher. Focus on the exercises we write in your assignment folder and not on the big picture. Piece by piece...we'll get you there.
So what will learning guitar at The Stage be like?
Firstly, we let our students and parents guide the learning process. We'll assess your goals and interests and align our teaching approach with interests. This assessment starts with the free Meet N Greet. Once we've established if learning to read music, or writing, jamming, rock, or pop is what you're after, we will begin to construct a repertoire based learning method. We take the list of songs you're interested in, and we order them based on difficulty and necessary fundamental skills. Then we use those songs as the excuse to teach you how to play guitar. We break down the fundamentals, teach the theory, and practice practice practice. You'll learn to play songs, but that really isn't the focus of the lessons. The songs you learn are only the context within which you will learn to play guitar! Fun? Yes. Effective? Yes. Once you're up for it, you'll get the opportunity to join us for a Rock Camp, Concert, or Recording Session.