Once you have fingers in the proper chord position try playing each string individually to see if all the strings are ringing.
If you find a string that isn't ringing check to make sure that your finger is just behind the fret and not on top of the fret. In guitar music, a power chord  Play  (also fifth chord) is a chord that consists of the root note and the fifth interval. London Guitar AcademyThe London Guitar Academy is London's only dedicated Rock Pop and Blues guitar school specialising in one to one guitar tuition in either electric or acoustic guitar. Each lesson is tailored to suit each students individual taste and ability; offering a fresh and innovative approach to learning the guitar.
When setting out to give tips to would be guitar teachers it is important to recognise that “There are many spokes to the centre of the wheel” which is just another way of saying that teaching people to play the guitar is ridden with variables and that no two teachers (or no two guitar students for that matter) are the same?
This section of the website will contain a series of short (what I hope are) insights into the inner workings of the brain of a guitar teacher.
These tips and tricks are not designed to work for every guitar teacher in every situation. There is another old proverb which states something along the lines of  “you can never step into the same river twice” and even though at the beginning of a lesson we might make assumptions about the likely behaviours and capabilities of our students we need to be able to adapt in accordance with the actual circumstances rather than just throw the same bunch of “stock” lessons in the same order at all of our learners?
Some guitar students will pick up particular concepts and techniques remarkably quickly but might struggle with technical or theoretical areas that we could initially predict that they would take in their stride? Whilst you need to have a plan for your guitar lesson it is important to be able to adapt (or even abandon) it should the occasion demand or the opportunity present itself?
You may find that a student needs to go back over some old ground that you thought they were comfortable with or it could be that you discover that they are more competent with regard to theoretical knowledge or technical ability than you expected at the start of the session.
The list of potential variables that exist at the beginning of any guitar lesson means that it is almost inevitable that the experience that you deliver to your guitar student will not be quite the same as the one that you thought that you would be providing at the start of the session?
Perhaps the most important tip that I can offer to someone setting out to be a guitar teacher is to say that the single principle underpinning the whole subject of guitar teaching and perhaps the key to teaching guitar for a living is to work out the answer to the question “what is the best thing you can do for this person’s guitar playing within the next hour”?
The list is presented in a random order  and is not intended to be the sequence in which you would present them to your students. The pentatonic minor scale is maybe the most useful and versatile scale for guitar teachers? A handout showing the one octave A pentatonic minor scale formula starting from the A note to be found on the D String at the seventh fret.
An essential guide to the notes to be found on the (low) E and A strings to help your students in the location of root notes for bar chords and power chords on the guitar. A handout explaining the fingering for a major bar chord with the root note located on the A string. By encouraging your students to use the root finder handout to work out where the root otes of these moveable chord shapes are located you will help them to develop their own mental “map of the neck” rather than to have to rely on a different diagram for each chord they are presented with?
Recognised by guitar teachers around the world as being the “best” chords for a novice to learn?
For more more material dealing with teaching children to play the guitar you can visit our page devoted to the topic? One of our wide range of handouts featuring  tab, guitar, necks, chord grids and musical staves.
Six empty chord grids with four lines of tab and no standard staff for when notation is not required. Two guitar chord boxes which show how to turn an E chord into an E7 chord by adding a single note a whole step below the root. The teachwombat guitar teacher’s toolkit contains more than 100 separate letter sized giant chord shapes!
The giant guitar chord diagrams were originally designed to be laminated and used during group guitar lessons but they took on a life of their own!
I’m still busy putting the graphics together for this page so there are no more pictures on it as yet but I’m sure you get the idea by now?
Not all guitar teachers use notated music but for those that do this sheet offers an opportunity to relate notation to tablature. The Major Pentatonic Scale (just an ordainary major scale with the 4th and 7th notes left out) is one of the basic scales that every lead guitar player should become familiar with and your students will find it easy to understand the fingering and structure of it when they are presented with this handout. A nice use of this handout is to get your students to play the scale but rather than play the third note of it (C#) at the ninth fret of the E string ask them to try to produce the same note by placing a finger behind the 8th fret of the E string (producing a note of C) and bending it up by half a tone to get to the C#?  Instant Country Music! Two guitar necks the first of which features the one octave scale dealt with in the Am pentatonic scale handout featured at the top of this page. There is an opportunity for guitar teachers to use the handout to show the relationship between the A major Bar Chord to be found with it’s root note at the 5th fret of the E string and the Am pentatonic scale whose root can be located at the same fret. A set of short progressions designed to develop the ability to move power chords and bar chords around the neck of the guitar. A very well defined printable blank neck gives another option depending on the circumstances.
A pair of blank guitar necks illustrating two positions in which to find the notes of the C Major Scale. A progression featuring some of the chords with complicated names that novices are sometimes surprised to find that they can learn easily.


The scale formulae through two octaves with a second neck detailing that formulae from the nut to the 12th fret.
The chords of Gmaj7, Cmaj7 and Dmaj7 presented as a progression along with the appropriate chord grids   Major 7th Chords A handout explaining how maj7 chords are constructed by means of adding a note to a basic triad. Two necks outlining suggested fingerings for two separate octaves of the melodic minor scale. Another two necks this time showing the scale formulae for the melodic minor as well as that formulae as it could be extended from the nut to the 12th fret. A handout explaining the fingering for the minor7 bar chord with a root note located on the E string.
A handout explaining the fingering for minor7 bar chords with a root note located on the A string. Combined two octave shape with suggested fingering on the first neck with the second showing the mode extended around the neck of the guitar   Mixolydian Mode Sheet 3 The scale formulae through two octaves with a second neck detailing that formulae from the nut to the 12th fret.
Sheets featuring a printable Blank Guitar Neck (or necks) are an invaluable guitar teaching aid and can help to make our lives as instrumental teachers easier and much less stessful? The teachwombat materials (follow this link to download and print some free samples now?) take the whole concept to another level. In addition to the blank guitar neck already mentioned other sheets feature blank guitar chord grids combined with guitar tablature and musical staves allowing teachers to enhance the effectiveness of their lessons by providing their students with chord progressions and a graphic representation of important riffs, solos and single note figures. There are three areas that we must pay attention to when helping our novice guitar players to become well rounded musicians but it is a big mistake to treat all three areas as being equally important at all stages of a guitar student’s career. If you see a child playing with a ball there is no requirement that they have a detailed understanding of the physics governing gravity and momentum before they can have fun and develop capabilities that will serve them well in later life and the same holds true for someone (of whatever age) who wishes to play the guitar but can not (yet). What better way to get them to practice that phsychomotor skill than by telling them how they can get to play music that they like and recognise (surely a large part of the reason why they want to play the guitar in the first place)? Our job as guitar teachers is to identify the best chords for a beginner guitar player to learn and to present them with a bunch of songs (or fragments of songs) that they can use in order to develop that ability.
It is generally recognised by Guitar Teachers the world over that there are a bunch of open chords that are not too difficult to play which also offer guitar students the potential to learn,practice and perform thousands (and possibly millions?) of songs. Teaching Guitar to groups of students is a challenging activity that presents its own problems and opportunities.
This is not to say that group guitar lessons cannot be successful and rewarding but it is a good idea to consider some of the issues surrounding group guitar teaching before setting out to do so.
One of the basic realities is that the student group will almost inevitably contain a wide variety of guitar players in terms of experience, ability and aspiration. Differences in terms of age, musical taste, prior experience, technical ability and (lets face it?) potential will mean that each group will present you with a unique set of guitar teaching challenges.
A guitar teacher looking for a stress free and worthwhile teaching experience would do well to have a plan in place that would allow students of mixed ability levels to take something from a lesson. It is useful when guitar teaching to have a plan that allows a group of students to work on the same basic materials with abilities on different levels. An idea that can be effective is to play a (looped?) backing track consisting of four chords suitable for a beginner guitarist (say A D G and a return to A?). When this works well (and it does) every guitar player in the group is challenged at the level appropriate to their current ability with the added bonus that no-one is left behind. There is also an opportunity for the less experienced and capable members of the group to look at the activities and performance of the (slightly) more advanced group members and to be inspired and encouraged by the idea that with a little practice they too can expect to move on to more advanced material? You can download a free backing track and handouts for this lesson by visiting this link to a page outlining the first eight lessons for a beginner guitarist Use it during the course of your guitar lessons (either with groups of individual students) with our blessing.
The study of bar chords can provide a guitar teacher with an ideal opportunity to build technique and also introduce music theory to their students? There are really two different objectives with regard to bar chords as far as our students are concerned. To ensure that they become capable of working out where bar chords are located on the neck of the guitar? Root notes of the four common guitar bar chord shapes are located on the (low) E and A strings. Up until this point (the point at which when a student is technically ready to move on from playing the open chords of the CAGED System) I tend to steer clear of music theory in preference to helping my students to develop the ability to change between simple chords (in time) and developing single note skills by practicing recognisable tunes and riffs (song intros etc) using guitar tablature rather than notated music. To properly understand how to work out where bar chords can be built on the neck of the guitar people need to know about the (seemingly strange?) way that musical notes are named and set out.
I tend to use the root finder to point out the fact that there is an interval of a whole step (2 frets) between each (natural) letter name other than between B and C and also between E and F which feature a half step (1 fret) interval.
Power chords are played on amplified guitars, especially on electric guitar with distortion.
Every guitar student is on their own journey and therefore every lesson is bound to be at least slightly different. If a guitar teacher expects this and has a range of resources and strategies designed to accomodate this reality then they should be able to take this variety in their stride? A handout explaining the fingering for a major bar chord with the root note located on the E string.
This handout will ideally be used before the one dealing with three note power chords and will serve to encourage students to develop the ability to move fixed shapes around the neck of the guitar.


This exercise is designed to build independent finger movement into the fretting hand and to encourage a correct approach to the use of plectrum strokes. This sheet is as useful as it is simple and guitar teachers can use it in a whole load of different ways. The first showing the extended scale described in the handout above and the second displaying a new position for the scale (starting from the A note to be found on the g string at the second fret) This handout also provides information on linking the two positions.
The first fretboard diagram combines the fingerings from the first and second octaves from handout No 1 and the second extends the A Aeolian mode around the neck.
The first neck gives the correct fingering for the scale whilst the second provides the scale formulae. The first neck uses open strings (down to the open E string) whilst the second position shows the notes of the C scale one position higher on the neck. The first neck has a representation of the standard one octave scale with the “outside” notes highlighted. This handout is another that can be used in conjunction with the one entitled Bar Chord Root Finder to locate and identify any desired M7 bar chord. This one again can be used in conjunction with the Bar Chord Root Finder to locate and identify any desired M7 bar chord. Use with the root finder to explain how this shape is another that can be moved around the fingerboard to create any minor chord as required.
These two progressions show common variations on the standard twelve bar progression and use more complicated dominant 7th chords. Use in conjunction with the Bar Chord Root Finder to help students develop the ability to create any desired three note power chord. Before I put together these materials I used to waste loads of time actually drawing guitar necks onto bits of paper during the course of the lesson itself! We have produced a range of printable sheets for guitar teachers that give a huge range of options to anyone setting out to make a living by providing guitar lessons.
It is true to say that one of the skills developed by an experienced guitar teacher is to know when to “push” one or more of these three topics whilst maybe holding back on another until your guitar student is at a more appropriate stage? Having said that they do not need to attempt to understand the theory behind the things that they can not yet play? They just need to be able to press their fingers down on some wires whilst striking those same wires with a plectrum. Developing the ability to play music that they like and recognise will be the activity that improves their technique.
Music Theory can (and should) be introduced where appropriate or useful but for the novice study of music theory should wait until they can actually make some music on the guitar.
These chords (C A Am G E Em D and Dm) are useful because students do not have to stretch too far or use fingers (the pinkie?) over which they have not yet developed sufficient control.
The best way to do this is to teach them the guitar chords that are best for a beginner to learn alongside a whole load of songs that feature only those chords? You will also face this diversity with your students when teaching one on one but at the risk of stating the obvious you won’t have to meet them (and therefore cater for them ?) all at the same time. By the time we have gone around each of the students in our group conducting an in depth assessment of progress (or not?) since the last session then we will most probably have run out of time to teach and because we have been working with individuals then most of our group will have been doing nothing for most of the time? If our students can identify all of the notes on these two strings then it is simply a case of “hanging” the appropriate major or minor shape onto the note in question?
A great workout for a beginner guitar player which can also be used (once they have gotten used to the fretting hand pattern) to instill correct plectrum technique by using alternating down and up strokes with the pick. Another versatile guitar teaching aid that can be used over and over again in a huge variety of circumstances? The second neck includes information on a correct approach to fingering the notes in question. I freely admit that this was in no way an effective use of either my time or (more to the point) my student’s money? The printable resources feature not just blank guitar necks but also a huge variety of combinations of graphics designed to help guitar teachers to get their message over to their students.
Another feature of the chords is that novice guitar players are not required to hold down more tha one string with a single finger ( such as is the case with the openthe F Chord?) which is something that they can find dispiriting if confronted with too early in tyheir playing career. Although we of course claim (and enforce!) our copyrights with this stuff there is no reason why your customers (and your competition) should have any idea where you got these fantastic resources from? There are printable handouts featuring single guitar fretboards as well as some which feature two guitar necks side by side. All that is required is that you encourage your student to strum the guitar once (as the chord changes) leaving two whole bars to allow them to change to the next chord shape. This handout can be used along with the one entitled Bar Chord Root Finder to locate and identify any desired major bar chord. This handout can also be used in conjunction with the one entitled Bar Chord Root Finder to locate and identify any desired major bar chord.



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