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Giving guitar lessons

posted on #1
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Hey all,

I was recently asked if would be willing to teach a guy how to play guitar. I don't know how much he already knows, and I told him that although I have been playing guitar for 52 years I do not read music. I play by ear, but I know most of the basics of scales and chord patterns and such. The question is... How much is a fair rate to charge for my time when all can really do is show him scales and chords and maybe help him to play some songs that he likes???
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posted on #2
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I get the point of trying to know how much you could ask for your effort ! What i don't get is how not reading music would make you a cheaper or less worthy teacher ?? All you can do ... really ??
My best advice would be find out what a teacher charges in your area and there you go : that's your fair rate ;)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #3
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I'd second oli's opinion here - not reading music doesn't say anything about the quality of your teaching - if you would do a pro workshop on letssay phrasings, that might as well be super-expensive.
Just tell the potential student what you will be able to teach, and what you won't teach - if the student expects to be trained to take part in a band which reads sheet music fluently, then you are the wrong guy to consult, if that is not the objective, he might give you a try. Just be open about what you have to offer.

Second and really important aspect about charging a fee is: How long are your lessons going to be? some students can improve greatly with 30min sessions, I'd say 45minutes is ideal, an hour is max...
BUT: even if its a short session, be aware that the time of preparing your place to teach in will be the same, or -if you plan to teach the student at their home- think of the time you'll spend commuting there and back, that needs to be payed just as the room & cleanup if you teach at home.
Me, I'd teach for more or less free if there wasn't the side effort of keeping a schedule, setting up a room, traveling to and fro and such... that's what started to feel like work at some point, so it might be worth giving a thought when thinking of fair pricing.
Just my 2 cent on the matter, hope it helps :)
posted on #4
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Thank you guys for your input.

I have what used to be a large bedroom with a separate bathroom setup as a studio specifically for music. (With acoustical baffling and all.) My plan is to have him come to my house that way all he has to do is bring his own guitar, or I have both acoustic and electric guitars available for use.

I think his expectation is just to learn more about the basics of guitar like chord variations and possibly rhythm structure and such. He seemed baffled when I told him that there are a dozen or more ways to make a D chord for instance on the guitar so it should be just good basic principles of learning the notes on the neck and how these notes interact to create chords. That and how to mentally transpose keys by knowing where he is in relation to these notes...

I think I'll start him at about $20 for the hour and see how it goes from there.
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posted on #5
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there you go ! you have it figured out :)
allthough 20 bucks an hour sounds a touch underrated in my books it might be just fair in your area !
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #6
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Joined: 09.06.14
Not a reader as well. I've always learned by ear and by watching other guitarist I liked while they played live. Written music can tell you everything you need to know about how to play the song...but it can never tell you how to feel when you play it.
Acousticeg
posted on #7
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Acousticeg wrote:
Not a reader as well. I've always learned by ear and by watching other guitarist I liked while they played live. Written music can tell you everything you need to know about how to play the song...but it can never tell you how to feel when you play it.


I know what you mean about the feel... I learned violin starting at the age of 9 with a private teacher. It was all reading the notes from the paper. Once I found the guitar I forgot all about reading music and concentrated on having fun playing.

I even learned how to play bass while playing live with a band. That was fun. I have to be able to feel my
playing more than just parroting back someone else' stuff. If your not having fun with music stop playing. I'm trying to teach myself piano right now and I'm having a blast figuring out the chord structures.
Edited by BooDoggie on Octobre 18 2020 19:46
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posted on #8
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BooDoggie wrote:I know what you mean about the feel... I learned violin starting at the age of 9 with a private teacher. It was all reading the notes from the paper. Once I found the guitar I forgot all about reading music and concentrated on having fun playing.


Lol this is uncanny! Exactly like me, I started with a violin around that age but hated it, all I wanted was a guitar :D . When I first started with the guitar when I was 16 or so, I learned a lot about the chord names. Then I stopped playing for about 20 years so now I don't even remember chord names. Basically, I don't know jack but I can still play a little bit by ear, and show beginners the odd trick.

Most important thing is to have fun ;)
posted on #9
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Cool... What really got me started with guitar was that my Dad was teaching guitar lessons at our house. When I was 10 I told him I wanted to play guitar. One day he came home from work with a used 1954 Martin 0-18 that he got at a local pawn shop. He showed me a few basic chords and told me that if I really wanted to play the guitar I would figure it out... I still have that guitar, and I play it almost daily.
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