The other day I had a question from one of my online beginner students. The question was the following:
.....I love learning songs, but I noticed that a lot of other sites have you practicing just techniques, and play songs much later. How come your lessons are mainly songs and not just techniques?
Good question, so I think the answer deserves to be read by all.
In my years as a private guitar teacher before setting up my beginner guitar lesson website, I tried all sorts of methods of teaching the guitar. Until I started focusing the lesson agenda around songs, there were a lot of students who just did not have the motivation to practice at home, on their own time.
I was teaching mainly the techniques, riffs, and focusing on a lot of theory before having placed the emphasis on teaching easy guitar songs to beginners. This was good for students who were at an intermediate level, but not so good for beginners. Since the key to learning the guitar is practice, the beginners just weren't practicing enough. So I started thinking about how I could get them practicing more? I realized that the reason they were not practicing on their own time was that they just didn't have the motivation to do a bunch of exercise drills. The exercises were difficult on their own for beginners, and to top it off, they weren't even very musical, so they didn't see where they were heading.
Thats when I had an epiphany! Find some really famous, but easy to play guitar songs that have a variety of technical elements. My beginner students will already be familiar with the songs, they'll like them, want to play them, and actually devote their own time to practicing them. Since each song requires a variety of techniques to be played correctly, they'll be practicing the techniques as well! And it worked 🙂 They loved playing cool Metallica songs, retro Beatles songs, fast paced Green Day songs, etc.
My personal students were practicing the songs at home, and thereby practicing the techniques they needed to be able to play guitar and advance. My students were motivated to practice, since they knew what the outcome would be. The exercise drills were present when practicing the songs as well, but they were now very musical in nature. They could quickly show off to their parents or significant others, which is always rewarding, so everyone was happy.
This is why TheGuitarLesson.com is centered around guitar songs. By learning songs, you inevitably practice every technique you need to become an able player. You're motivated to learn the song, thereby have an intrinsic motivation to practice. Now how great is that? 🙂