I have been teaching for over 38 years. Unlike many guitar and bass teachers, I have a bachelors degree in education with experience teaching subjects other than music to students of many ages, as well as experience performing and teaching music. My teaching philosophy centers around positive encouragement.
While I take my profession seriously, I also try to make what I teach fun for, and relevant to, the student. I want students to spend some time just having fun with their instruments, in addition to spending time practicing what they have learned in each lesson. Practicing should also involve some “freeplay” time when students experiment with finding melodies as well as some of the different (and sometimes strange!) sounds a guitar can make. I do encourage students to try to figure out familiar melodies and favorite songs on their own; many times we incorporate these into the regular lesson. Lesson time will include basic musical concepts such as intervals, timing, meter, note values, and chord theory, including chord/scale relationships. I also cover reading tablature (tabs), interpreting chord and neck diagrams, and basic systems of navigating the fretboard.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of such resources as the public library and the internet to find guitar and bass tabs for songs they would like to learn to play. Check out the links I’ve included here for finding tabs online. I prefer that students also have recordings (cd format is best) of songs they wish to learn, as this enhances the ear training which is a part of my instruction. One of my goals is to help students learn how to listen to a song and figure out how to play it on their own. I do keep a laptop in my lesson room, so we frequently use the internet to look up songs on You-Tube as well as to find tabs.