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How Do I Become a Guitar or Bass Teacher?

Updated April 17, 2017

A skilled guitar or bass teacher requires training in different topics. Some young musicians start giving lessons informally to gain experience while a beginning professional or still a student. To be a serious teacher you need a certification. To be an effective guitar or bass teacher you will need a solid knowledge of your instrument, a basic understanding of music theory, and patience. The desire to teach and share your love of music is the most important skill you will have as a teacher of bass or guitar.

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  1. Get a degree. This will help you attract students. Some young musicians may start giving lessons for free or half the price of regular teachers just to get experience. However, most students will more likely trust a teacher who has some formal music education. You can get an undergraduate degree in Music or Music Education from a regular university or a conservatory. Conservatories focus more on performance and studio practice than most university music departments.If you want to teach in a high school you will need a teaching credential in addition to your undergraduate degree. To teach at the college level you will need a masters degree.

  2. Get experience as a performer. A good guitar or bass teacher will have experience playing and performing the instrument. The more live concerts you have performed, the wider your perspective on the music teaching process will be. Learn as many different styles of music as you can. You will have students who want to learn a variety of music styles. The knowledge of a variety of styles will allow you to work with a larger number of people. If you are interested in classical guitar, you should still study jazz, rock and various folk styles, as you will have students who request to learn various songs.

  3. Create lesson plans. Lesson plans are very important in organising the development of a guitar or bass course. Set general as well as specific objectives and goals at the beginning of every new course or level. Allow some flexibility for the plans as well. Remember that every student is different, with a different learning rate. The lesson plan should be able to be adjusted according to specific needs or requirements of individual students.

  4. Be patient with students. Remember that every individual has his/her own learning rate. Some students may have more free time to practice your lessons than others. Whenever you have a student with learning problems, remember how difficult it was for you when you were a beginner. Be responsible. Teaching guitar or bass is as important as any other job. Responsibility is a basic issue in any job.

  5. Tip

    Be motivating. A successful teacher will inspire the students to continue learning and to enjoy what they are doing. Don`t try to impress them just by showing how good of a player you are. Let them play and enjoy even the simplest tune.

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Things You'll Need

  • Guitar
  • Bass guitar

About the Author

Pamela Ann Ludwig has lived, worked and studied on five continents. Her articles can be seen online at various websites. She holds a Master of Arts degree in history from San Francisco State University and has experience teaching different dance disciplines as well as English to speakers of other languages.

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