Acoustic Guitar Community

Welcome to the Acoustic Guitar Community.



For anyone interested in teaching guitar or starting or growing a teaching practice. This is a positive, collaborative, professional and respectful environment. It is open to anyone, but please follow these guidelines or you will be asked to leave.

Members: 171
Latest Activity: Apr 30

Discussion Forum

Getting new students? 3 Replies

Started by James Kuhnel. Last reply by GuitarMC Jun 13, 2013.

Teaching Males vs. Females 6 Replies

Started by GuitarMC. Last reply by GuitarMC Jun 13, 2013.

Any tips for teaching C9, Cadd9, C2, Cadd2, Csus2 16 Replies

Started by Donna Zitzelberger. Last reply by GuitarMC Jan 23, 2013.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Teachers to add comments!

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on April 1, 2011 at 9:18am

Terry -

I read your original post and didn't reply because I am in the same situation and I wanted to hear what the others had to say. I have taught banjo but that's another animal. The reason I am hesitant about teaching guitar (even though I've been playing for 45 years) is because of my lack of formal music training. By that I am not referring to the college courses I took in classical music but rather music theory.

I can read music, I know the timing, and I play classical solely from standard notation. But I will probably never be good enough to play completely by sight, up to speed. Rather, I spend time each day learning, sometimes measure-by-measure, the pieces I commit to memory.

I also play blues, country, R&R and anything I can get my hands on.

I found a place that has a good basic course and completed it a couple of months ago. Please look up Christopher Davis (maybe Chris Davis). He's a classical guitarist who not only offers this course (Music Theory 101) and others (learning the fretboard, etc.). He will be offering a more advanced course soon.

What I like about this one is it actually makes sense. It's not something you can download and learn later, though you can download the lessons and exercises - just not the videos he sometimes uses to explain things. You'll see what I mean. You also have contact with him and he's very good at answering your questions and you can see all the other students' questions and responses. Cost is $25 which gives you access to the fretboard study, etc.

Even if you don't get his course, I highly recommend his blog. It's free and there is a lot of information there, including extensive posts on practice which you will need as a teacher.

The reason I didn't want to teach at this point is because if I am sitting here wishing I could play easily by sight, why should I teach someone else who someday will be wishing the same thing?

Andy and Joseph make some very good points. First, let them know you won't be teaching any theory right up front and let them make that decision. Second, getting the student motivated and keeping them excited about playing are paramount. I don't care if you hold a PhD from a prestigious music school, if you can't read your student, make them so excited about guitar that they just can't keep their hands off it, and if you don't help them through the plateaus and other dangers, if you don't make them think for themselves, you're not a teacher. I know this from personal experience (as I've written about at the group before).

So maybe, like you, I can teach. I have taught many classes in other areas as well and I know for sure I will keep my students' interests in the forefront.

If I do, I will stress the importance - especially to the younger students - to learn music theory as it will benefit them. I advise you to do the same should you teach. You can refer them to other teachers who teach that.

I also think it's to their credit that the teachers at this group did not chastise you or otherwise discourage you from teaching. That says a lot about their chracter.

Like you, I would appreciate thoughts on this. I also wonder about developing a course and testing it out on someone before going public?

To close an already too long post, I just want to say one last thing: There is a difference between being an instructor and in being a teacher.

Thanks, all.

Comment by Terry Angelli on April 1, 2011 at 7:18am

Well lookie here there ARE folks on this group! ;-)

Thanks to all who posted about my not having a strong background in theory, etc.. I've since further researched this and see that I do need those skills but that it is not a prerequisite for taking on students. So I'm going to seek out theory info both on the web and possibly and instructor for myself. Can anyone suggest a good website for learning theory?

I've also taken on a student that I'm going to instruct for free to test the waters. This will give me further insight to be able to take the next step in seeking paying students

Now what about advertising?  Any suggestions for the best approach to this? Anyone have success with Yellow pages, Craig's List, etc.?

Comment by John Gundrum on April 1, 2011 at 6:13am
Still breathing here!!!  I pop in here and there in between many other things happening.  Like right now, gotta get back to making some sheets!
Comment by Joseph Anthony Zarola on March 31, 2011 at 9:26pm
You don't need degrees, You need to communicate with practical knowledge.  Most guitar students I have, aren't interested in theory or reading skills, they want to play. Play for them, get them motivated, and give them individual attention right from the start. Position, relaxation, and please have FUN! Laugh with them, and make the experience a happy one.
Comment by Joseph Anthony Zarola on March 31, 2011 at 9:22pm
Hello. I am alive also....just watching and enjoying...I think we are all so busy with additional hours and costs this year, that we don't get the down- time we used to have for an enjoyable evening chat. Thanks for the wake-up call!
Comment by Andy Tulenko on March 31, 2011 at 9:07pm


No, we are not dead.  Just busy.  Sorry I did not get back to you on your post. It's hard work to get and keep students, and I'm struggling to do it.  Everyday is a new adventure.

Nothing wrong with teaching with your credentials.  Just be sure and let your students know what kind of lessons you will be giving.


I don't have any music degrees either, but I know theory and have the know how to pass on my knowledge and skills.  So, go for it.  You should invest the time to learn some theory.  You will be surprised at how easy it comes to you since you have been playing so long.



Congrats!  I know the feeling.  I love teaching. It fills that need that we each have to do something that makes a difference.

Comment by Terry Angelli on March 31, 2011 at 5:04pm


Congrats on your 25th year! That's great. It appears that this group, despite 161 members, is dead in the water.

I posted a "hello" and asked a question (post right below this) over two weeks ago and got ZERO response. So either the 161 arent interested OR none want to deal with a guy who has no formal training? Who knows?

Anyway hope you have another 25 successful years teaching!

Comment by Loren Neufeld on March 30, 2011 at 4:10pm
Hey y'all! Celebrating my 25th year of teaching guitar, bass and mandolin! I still love the teaching/interacting with all the students. Never a dull moment. I'm in Manitoba, Canada. Have some good fingerstyle players this year. I teach privately but closely networking with a local music store.
Comment by Terry Angelli on March 10, 2011 at 7:27pm


Just wanted to introduce myself and I hope to gather some good informtion from this group. I am 60 years young, have been playing for 40+ years and looking at retirement.


Currently I am an instructor at a trade school so I have the instructional how to down and have been considering teaching guitar as I wind down my career.


However I wonder how marketable my playing / teaching skills are because I have zero theory and reading skills. But that never stopped me from playing and learning and I think I could appeal to someone like myself who just wants to learn chords to be able to strum some songs.


Any feedback would be welcome!


Comment by Joseph Anthony Zarola on March 1, 2011 at 8:46pm
Hello David, I wish you the very best in your endeavours, especially with the un-selfish journey into child-needs.   If there is any way I can be of assistance, let me know.  A rudimentary love for music is a prerequsite for a successful experience with these children...they respond to movement, and happiness....may your efforts reward both them, and you. Cheers!

Members (170)


Check Out the Latest in Acoustic Guitar

Free e-newsletter!

Sign up for Acoustic Guitar Weekly—the weekly e-mail newsletter that delivers coverage of players and gear, lessons and technique tips, and advice about performing and recording. Get it now!




Be alerted to the latest articles on, including lessons, CD, guitar, and gear reviews, how-to tips, and player profiles.

© 2016   Created by Acoustic Guitar.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service