1. Intangible goals
2. Putting the cart before the horse (Putting the Song before the Skills)
When I began teaching many years ago students would come to me to learn guitar. As an inexperienced guitar teacher my usual question was “What would you like to learn?” Some students would respond with the name of the song while others may suggest a general style like a rock, blues, jazz and around 50% would say I’m not really sure. The first group seemed easy enough because I had a song as a starting point. The second group was a little more challenging because I had to suggest songs in the style which they may or may not like. The third group was perhaps the most challenging because it would often take a few lessons just to find a starting point. I pondered over this problem for some time before I started to see the real problem. Very few students had any real tangible goals. Let me explain quickly what tangible goals are.
If your goal is to be a good guitarist then this is intangible. What is a good guitarist? How do you know when you are a good guitarist? In whose opinion? You see the problem is there is no way of you really knowing when you reach your goal. A tangible goal must be something you can measure. For example you could say once I can play a certain song as per the record then I will be a good guitarist. Personally I think it’s best if someone other than yourself who you can trust is the judge of whether or not you have achieved your goal. This is why the AMEB exams are good goal to aim for because industry professionals are deciding whether you are of a particular standard or not.
Putting the Song before the Skills.
The reason so many people take up guitar yet very few get past the basics is simple. It is the result of a loss of confidence. When students set out to learn guitar they are focused on the songs they want to play. The problem is they are trying often to play songs that were performed by professional experienced guitar players. It is unreasonable to expect that after weeks or even months of playing guitar you can play songs performed by guitarists who in many cases have years of experience. It would be like learning a new language and expecting to be fluent within a few months. As a result after a few months of attempting only to learn such songs students begin to lose faith. This unfortunately is all too common and often perpetuated by teachers who want to keep their students coming to lessons each week by succumbing to song requests too early.
In order to be able to play your favourite songs you must begin by learning how to play guitar and you should allow around two years depending on how much you practice. These first two years should mostly be spent focusing on developing the skills required to then go on and play your favourite songs. The G4 GUITAR METHOD avoids these problems while also solving the problem of intangible goal setting. There are seven junior levels and three senior levels before going on to the AMEB CPM exams. The levels cover the seven essential skills of guitar playing giving students tangible goals they can achieve in a reasonable time frame. So if you’re serious about learning guitar the G4 GUITAR METHOD will help you to reach your own personal goals through a step-by-step measurable process.
David Hart – Program Director
Visit the G4GUITAR METHOD Website