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I'm a long time player that has been asked to teach. My first students are father (40s) and son (early teen). Any opinions on teaching them together or separately ? They seem to think that learning together is a viable option. I would like to teach them songs that they come up with. Also, would appreciate any resources for materials.


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Hey Mish,

If you can fluently read standard notation, then teach them standard notation, (let them learn tabs on their own, don't even tell them what they are). Guess the big question is are you teaching them basic guitar or how to "flatpick" or just play songs?

Hi Dave - They are rank beginners so I would see basic flatpicking guitar as the 'course syllabus'. I don't sense the music they listen to has given them a strong appreciation for finger style. I would like to mix in songs that they want to learn since I feel that it's a good motivator. I'm not sure exactly how much theory to make them digest to start with. Maybe I should dissect the theory contained in the songs they want to learn and build from there.

Keep the ideas coming !

Are they both interested in the same kind of music? If so, then learning together is a viable option.

Show them the basic first position chord shapes: C-A-G-E-D, and the idea of a chord progression: I-IV -V. Get them to sing songs over a progression. Encourage them to find basic melodies on the fretboard to tunes which they know, no matter how simple.

See where it goes from there.

If they are wanting to learn traditional/roots acoustic music, Dan M has put together a fine course with his Flatpicking Essentials. Also consider some good basic songbooks, like Peter Wernick's book, or Bert Casey's.

Keep it simple but fun.


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