‘Enjoy Learning Essential Guitar’ – Jsmusicschool ethos

03 Apr

Hi there,

Thanks for reading my blogs so far.

In this blog I’d like to start sharing my thoughts on how IMHO guitar teaching should be taught.

For me there is too much stuff out there on the web that concentrates purely on technical ability (many advanced techniques that for me aren’t particularly useful for all genres)

When I was at college there was a huge amount of snobbery about music that didn’t have particular great guitar parts in them. Music such as Oasis and The White Stripes that (although for me have great guitar parts) were frowned upon in the guitar muso world, as they didn’t showcase fancy techniques.

From my experience at University and music college, plus from my teaching and advice from others, we have come up with a tagline that encompasses our whole way of teaching.

Enjoy – At Jsmusicschool we are constantly striving to make every aspect of the learning process enjoyable. From experience a lot of music theory is stigmatized as ‘boring’ so what I do is get people to write songs using the TTSTTTS and Maj,Min,Min,Maj,Maj,Min,Dim rules as well as integrating various strumming patterns and CAGED chords. By doing that they are using theory in an enjoyable way. When learning scales, I’ll get pupils to play and practice over songs they like to make it more enjoyable.

LearningThis is obviously a broad term but whereas school’s bombard kids these days with too much homework and content, Jsmusicschool introduces pupils to ways of ‘learning to learn’. For example learning how to separate tasks better prior to integrating them, using the power of 3 to absorb information quicker and using Neuro-linguistic programming. Jsmusicschool also uses technology in lessons, blogs, tweets, backing tracks and dropbox to further a pupils learning experience. Advice on social media is given free of charge in a world now where everyone is using it, and will be valuable for the future regardless of career choices.

Essential – We focus on the most important parts of playing the guitar and sieve out all the stuff that is not necessary (or only for really advanced players). So for example when teaching chords, we’ll go through all the basic open chords, then understand the CAGED system and all the most widely used chords in popular music. So for me Major 7, Minor7, Dominant 7 chords for your standard 7th chords. Then work on other extensions later. There are hundreds of altered and jazz type chords that kids and adults will just fall to sleep if you attempt to teach them. For me they are not ‘essential’ chords that all guitarists should learn.Scale wise I’d tend to stay away from teaching diminished and whole tone/ half tone scales as they really only cater for a small minority of musical genres. Everyone should also learn the riff for Johnny B.Goode and Sweet Child of Mine!

Refining these terms is a long term process. If anybody has any thoughts on these points feel free to add some feedback.

Many thanks


You can also find me on twitter @jsmusicschool


Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Teaching


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “‘Enjoy Learning Essential Guitar’ – Jsmusicschool ethos

  1. Rich B

    April 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    These are great thoughts and I think you are doing your students a favor by thinking about this things. Simplify so they can learn and enjoy it. I have also experienced boring theory and forced music that literally had my take a break from guitar for a couple years when I graduated Music college. I’m back though. At the end of the day, music makes us feel good, Dance, share emotions, remember, and be human. That’s why we pick up an instrument, in my case at least. Sure I wanted to learn Black Dog first. That because it made me say ”’WOW!! I never heard that before. That is cool!”. I like the blog!

  2. jsmusicschool

    April 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for the comment Rich – glad you liked it!


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