“Do I have to be a great guitar player to take the Teaching Guitar Workshops?” is a question I get asked pretty frequently. The answer is a resounding, “NO!” The Teaching Guitar Workshops (TGW) are 5-day professional development courses designed to teach you how to teach classroom guitar. If you play like Segovia after a week, we figure you came in sounding like Segovia. I know what you’re thinking: “How can I become a guitar teacher (of any substance) in just five days?” The answer: “Attend a TGW!”
We shot some video summer 2014 when we were at NAfME HQ doing a TGW. In this series of videos Rob Pethel, one of our TGW Clinicians, takes us through how to teach barre chords. Barre chords are physically demanding, but once you get them the guitar really opens up to you. In these short videos Rob breaks the task down incrementally. You will go through finding the bass note, making power chords, making major chords, and finally barre chords. These videos can easily be turned into six weeks worth of lesson plans. Add a song or two and you’re golden for half a semester! Watch and have fun.
Bassline Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun exercise that knocks off a lot of birds with one stone. Use this exercise to: 1. Teach the notes on the E string. 2. Get your kids playing bass lines. 3. Get the “low-down” on barre chords. 4. Build up speed and precision.
Teaching Power Chords
If you can play Rob’s bass note scavenger hunt exercise, this lesson will be a cinch! The bass note is the motorcycle, the ring finger is the sidecar. Where the motorcycle goes, so does the sidecar – gotta love it!
Building the Power Chord
Playing Barre Chords is physically demanding. Build up to it from the bass note, to the power chord, the power chord with three fingers, the E major shape, to a barre chord. If some of your students have trouble, have them play the bass note. This is a great idea for classes with differing abilities!
Completing the Barre Chord
You found the bass notes, played the power chord, put down your middle finger…now just lay your index finger across the B and E (5th and 6th) strings and you’re done!
Barre Chord – Bottom to Top
Putting it all together, Rob takes the class through the bass note, power chord, add the pinky, add the middle, lay it down…you’re done! One blog post, less than an hour of your time, and you have the framework for teaching Barre Chords! That’s some of the heaviest lifting you’ll do when you attend a Teaching Guitar Workshop.
Teaching Guitar Workshops will be located in various locations around the country starting in June. Graduate Credits and letters stating clock hours will be available. NAfME members should register today. Enroll by January 1, 2018, to save $100! Use promo code EB2018 at checkout.
For more information visit www.GuitarEduNet.org or contact TGW at 212-795-3630.
Get Guitar in Your School with Teaching Guitar Workshops!
Robert Sulkow, Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association Inc., updated February 16, 2016 (originally posted March 11, 2015).
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.