Beginner Guitar Foundations
Acoustic Guitar Lessons For Beginners
Foundations are the backbone of success. When it comes to guitar playing, most students and teachers skip the foundations in order to start playing songs faster. This is a big mistake. Foundations can be fun to study, while correct technique will set you up for a life of guitar-playing success and enjoyment.
How It Works
The Gentle Guitar™ beginner foundations are taught in three different age groups. Kids ages 5 to 8, kids ages 9 to 12, and teen and adult beginners. Each age-group has its own learning strengths and abilities. A 5 year old does not learn in the same way as a teen or adult. Small children require a patient teacher and a method that is much slower and gentler. Our teachers have age-appropriate methodology and experience to inspire and guide beginners of all ages and levels.
What You Will Learn
Basic Beginner Chords
You will learn the basic open chord shapes starting with one-finger chords. You will play along with simple melodies and learn to stay on beat and make smooth chord changes. When you can play simple chords with fluency, you will build up to full open chords. You will learn major, minor and seventh chords. The gradual way of learning will help you develop flexibility and strength in your left hand. You will make fast and smooth chord changes that sound precise and professional.
Rhythm & Strumming
How can you spot a professional guitar player? He or she plays perfectly on beat! On the other hand an amateur player has a hard time keeping beat. Almost all beginners start with a poor sense of rhythm. Rhythm is not something you are born with. It’s not a talent, it’s a skill. You will spend a lot of time practicing rhythm. You will strum along to backing tracks and melodies. You will also learn to work with a metronome like a professional performer. You will discover that flawless rhythm is your new best friend.
Standard Music Notation
Over 90% of guitar players never learn to read music. There’s a misconception that learning music notes is hard and boring. That’s because most guitar teachers teach sight-reading too fast. The student has to remember too many new notes too soon and this makes note reading seem hard. It’s actually very easy and rewarding to learn to read music. At Gentle Guitar™ we have our own unique method of teaching note reading to beginners. It’s very gentle. You will learn to read notes on all 6 strings in the first position. You will read simple modern and classical pieces without needing to reference TAB. This will open many doors for you. Later you will be able to study arranging and advanced fingerstyle techniques.
Correct Playing Form & Technique
What do we mean by technique? Technique is an optimised way of doing something. You can play a finger-picking pattern with poor technique, but you can also play it with amazing technique. Technique is one of those things that sets apart a beginner from an advanced player. An amateur from a professional. Technique is a bit like genes. It is passed down. If your teacher plays with poor technique, you will also. Don’t all teachers play with good technique? Sadly, no. At Gentle Guitar™ our teachers are trained in the traditional classical guitar technique. You will learn to play with time tested traditional and modern methods. You will have grace and speed as your fingers learn to glide effortlessly across the fretboard.
Discipline & Goal-Setting
Discipline is a precursor to genius. Discipline is the one skill that turns average people into world champions. Lack of it keeps students stuck and frustrated for years. You don’t need a lot of discipline to become a great guitar player. All it takes is 30-40min of daily practice for adults and 15-20min for kids. A little goes a long way! You will learn about how the world’s top musicians and athletes master discipline and achieve more progress in less time. You will discover the secrets that professional players use to stay motivated. No more excuses, you will achieve your playing goals and dreams! Together with your teacher you will set clear goals and start a practice journal. Kids also learn goal setting and discipline, but they follow a different kids curriculum. Kids learn about accountability and build up a good work-ethic through gentle daily exercises and games.
Music Theory & Fun Facts
Music theory is the study of music notes and their relationship to each other. In other words you will study harmony and how notes and chords work together to make music. You will also practice ear-training. Music theory and ear-training will help you create your own original music. You also need music theory and ear-training to make your own arrangements of cover songs. You won’t learn how to do that yet, but you will start building the foundations needed to compose and arrange. Your teacher will also share fun facts from the classic and modern history of music.
How Long Will It Take?
The foundations program can take anywhere from a couple months to a couple years. A five year old child will take between 1 to 2 years to go through the beginner foundations for kids. A 10 or 12 year old may take six months to a year. A teen or adult (with sufficient practice) will fly through it in 1 to 4 months.
The beginner foundations program is important because it is designed to develop dexterity and build up strength in the finger muscles and joints. Musicians are known as ‘small muscle athletes’. The beginner program will condition you, so that when you are ready, you will play advanced chords better and faster. Take your time to develop your left hand technique and the other skills mentioned here. Many students and teachers skip this phase to rush ahead, but they pay for it later with poor technique, buzzing strings, and many frustrations. A good beginner foundation will guarantee your progress and enjoyment.
After you finish the beginner foundations program, your teacher will help you choose (or combine) any of these: