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10 Tips To Becoming A Good Guitarist

10 Tips To Becoming A Good Guitarist

Online Music Lessons Skype A Lesson Best Top 10 Tips to Becoming A Good Guitarist

    Intro to 10 Tips To Becoming A Good Guitarist

    I would like to state these tips are things that I have seen while teaching for 30 years.  It’s important to know that I also have picked up some bad habits (out of laziness) and would like to note that I am not preaching, I’m just observing.

    Keep A Good Attitude

    There are, and always will be, people better than you. Take the opportunity to learn from that. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of confidence, but know when to be humble as well.

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    Tempo

    Be very conscious of your tempo while practicing and performing. It is very easy to let the tempo get away from you and it happens to everybody. Listen to the drummer when performing, they work a lot harder on this stuff than guitarists. Always use a metronome when practicing  even though it can be very annoying sometimes.

    Be Well Rounded

    I see a lot of guitarist who can run circles around me with blistering solos and crazy acrobatics but know very little about basic rhythm and keeping a good groove. Learn all you can from a great rhythm and blues guitarists. Learn as many chord shapes as you can. Playing solid rhythm guitar will get you more work and gigs than all the solos in the world.

    Read Music

    Learn how to actually read music. Reading Tabs is a quick way to obtain melodies and solos. Having the knowledge to read standard notation and understanding rhythm notations will put you miles ahead of your average guitarist and land you more gigs with better players.

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    Play With Other Musicians

    Try your best to perform with other musicians. It can be overwhelming and intimidating but the confidence, experience, and practical musicianship is something you will never learn in your room.

    Learn Scales

    Scales are a fundamental necessity of music and must be learned. Its important that after you learn the physical fingerings, you use those notes to make music not just run scales. Many guitarists play scales up and down the neck with amazing agility but  don’t really make music. Improvising is about creating melodies, it’s not a contest of how fast you can play.

    Posture

    Most guitarist practice sitting down, which is fine, but you will no doubt slouch over while practicing. This is probably due to the weight of the guitar that’s inevitably pulling you forward. Nevertheless, over the years you will develop poor posture and chronic back pain. Be a little conscious of sitting straight. Your back will thank you later.

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    Positioning

    Leave your guitar at the same height when you practice sitting down or standing up. The deviation of height will make it uncomfortable while performing standing up. Always use a strap, that will keep your instrument at the same height more consistently.

    Use Your Ears

    Try to hear the changes, riffs, solos, whatever you can by ear. I see students everyday relying on online guitar sites. Although these sites can be very helpful and get you started with your favorite tune, keep in mind many of them are wrong. Use these sites as a starting point, but finish learning by ear.

    Listen to The Greats

    When learning guitar in a certain style or genre take the time to actually listen to the greats of that particular music and you will pick up a lot more than any teacher will be able to do for you. I get a lot of students who want to learn Jazz or Blues guitar but when I ask them who their favorite artist is they have no clue or even better they don’t even like jazz. I think many like the idea of playing jazz or blues but don’t want to take the time to absorb the flavor by listening to the music. We hoped you enjoyed this article on the 10 Tips to Becoming A Good Guitarist.

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    Featured photo credit: Skype A Lesson via skypealesson.com

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    Published on November 7, 2018

    How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

    How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

    In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

    The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

    Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

    How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

    After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

    Figure Out the Laws

    Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

    The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

    Decide on an Approach

    Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

    Supplies/Resources

    Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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    A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

    Find a Community

    Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

    Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

    7 Different Homeschooling Methods

    1. School-At-Home

    Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

    The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

    • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
    • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
    • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

    2. Classical

    One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

    Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

    3. Unit Studies

    Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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    For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

    • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
    • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
    • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

    4. Charlotte Mason

    This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

    Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

    5. Montessori

    Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

    With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

    6. Unschooling

    Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

    For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

    7. Eclectic/Relaxed

    As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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    Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

    How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

    One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

    Email

    Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

    It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

    Google Drive/Calendar

    Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

    With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

    Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

    Ebooks

    Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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    E-Courses

    When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

    From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

    The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

    Some recommendations:

    Youtube

    Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

    Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

    Some recommendations:

    Final Thoughts

    Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

    Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

    Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

    Reference

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