Giving kids a push in the right direction

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Pualee, May 6, 2019.

  1. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Meister

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    How would you advise some young(er) kids to start playing lead, jamming or improvising in music?

    I'm looking at a middle school aged youth band that is primarily just rhythm and singing. There are 2 guitar players doubling on rhythm. Each has access to electric, but not using it right now. The other parents and I are interested in getting the players together outside of their normal practice - which is dominated by getting singers and players on the same place at the same time.

    ---

    How should time be invested when they get together? How about things they should be doing on their own time?

    Genre is primarily pop/rock (major and minor keys).
     
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Tell them to watch some youtube clips of great lead players doing their thing.
    Tell them who to search for.
    Tell them they will get laid very easily if they can play a cool solo and learn to improvise.
    That should be more than enough motivation for them at that age.
    Worked for me back then and it's still working today to some degree other than when i'm feeling sleepy or preoccupied with something else.:)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  3. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    First thing I'd do is make sure this is something the kids want to do.
     
  4. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I know nothing about teaching music but I would hazard a guess that basic song structure know-how, playing in the pocket, playing rhythm and learning how to listen to other musicians is more important. I think lead playing will show up as needed?

    Maybe I'm wrong. IIRC back when I was young the kids who all wanted to play lead guitar were not very good at doing other things. The few who took jazz guitar lessons seemed to know best where to put in the solo and how to do it. A few others were just really good at listening to guitar music and recognizing where and how to solo. Everyone else was a poor rendition of Slash or Eric Johnson or Jimmy Page.
     
  5. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This is just from the perspective of a parent sitting in the audience, but I've sat through many school concerts, from middle school to grade 12, concert bands, jazz bands, R'n'B combos and jazz combos. It takes a long time to get proficient at soloing! I'm talking any instrument. I've noticed that the sax, trumpet and piano players get pretty good by grade 12, but the guitar players are still ho-hum. All I can say is good luck!
     
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  6. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Tell the promising ones to seek lessons outside the school. Preferably from a rock guy that can play. I took lessons for a couple years with guys in local bands as well as studied music in high school at the same time. No one is school could play decent lead. I sucked at theory but could outplay them due to the external lessons and more motivation to practice. Music theory is extremely boring and unmotivating for most kids. Especially the creative types.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  7. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Both my kids take lessons. My son is probably about to bail on them. My daughter is more focused

    Neither “get” the idea of improvisation. They work off the music from the lesson and that’s it.

    I think the advice above, see if they Want to do it, is spot on.
     
  8. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

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    When my son was small (5-6) he was watching me play guitar and I asked him if he would like to learn. He said no. When he got into his teens and his friends started playing he became interested. Soon they were all coming to me and asking me to show them how to play certain songs. These were songs I didn't know so I began showing them how I figured out how to play the song (this was before YouTube). Then we made a deal. I would show them a song and then they needed to learn a song on their own and show it to me before I would show them another one. They learned how to learn and they learned how to teach.
     
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  9. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    got bass & amp at a store way back when,,ripped off a phone number from the Flyer posted on bulletin board. 3 days later in a band..its all desire..it comes from within..you will progressively on your own practice & learn ..
     
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  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Key word in bold. ;)
     
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  11. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    nah..lack of good players vs guitar players..last i checked they are needed & a drummer & singer..instead picking me apart..the main thing is if you want to do it .,.you can,,desire & practice equal results
     
  12. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    PARCOs method is one I'd try.
    I don't like the whole "I only play lead, you play rhythm" idea.
    We're trying to play guitar. As such, one day, you may need to play with a large group, a small group, or accompany a vocalist, and your experience should be well-rounded so
    that you're able to play what is appropriate. I sometimes have to play with a guy in our praise/worship group who only wants to play leads or power chords. It doesn't sound good.
     
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  13. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    For what it’s worth, I played surf instrumentals in the 60’s. That’s a great way to learn lead. Most pieces could be played as simple instrumentals until i developed the skills needed to add complexity. Rockabilly came next. That includes real improvisation. The genres are a little dated but they still provide a good format for learning playing and performing skills. One or the other guitar players will likely be better than the other. He’ll probably start playing lead first. The point will be to build on skills in place to become a better player. The guy who starts playing lead will also have to learn to give the other guys in the band some time in the spotlight or they’ll break up before any of them really become skilled performers.
     
  14. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    Jazz is the genre built around improvisation. I would lock them in a room and make them listen to it twice a day in four hour increments.
     
  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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  16. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    As teacher I know this: 1) It must be fun for them individually. 2) If that is met, then they should want to collaborate with each other with the idea of achieving something. It must be simple first time out. One simple song working on rhythm, time, beginning and ending the song together. SOLOS ARE NOT IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME. 3) Let them define the goal and they all must agree upon it. It cannot be mandated by parents. This then becomes the kid's goals and they can take ownership of it. 4) The roll of the parent/teacher is to guide them with ideas to overcome their challenges. (this is call scaffold instruction.) Only offer your ideas when they ask for it. They will want you're approval but it's on their terms.

    Remember, middle school aged kids are very socially driven, insecure, and as such hyper sensitive so little things will be magnified 10 fold. Peer approval will override adult approval so keep this mind as well and at the same time they have an acute sense of smelling B.S.

    Good Luck and enjoy the ride.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  17. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    I'd tell them to SING!
    It's the singer that always gets the girls!
    There's a million guitar players, a few bass players, and even less drummers, but singers, good singers, they are very few and far between. They are the star of the show. And they always get the girl.
     
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  18. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    That's brilliant!
     
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  19. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Teach them the ol' Jimmy Rodgers blues shuffle, then jam some blues with them, taking turns playing solos.

    You can lead a horse to water....
     
  20. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

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    Are the kids asking for help from the parents? Or are the good-intentioned parents looking to help them based on the adult observations?

    If the kids are asking for your help, then, by all means try some of the stuff that has been suggested. But if this is unsolicited advice I'd say to just leave them alone and let them have their fun.

    In either case, good for you for encouraging their musical development. Just make sure you don't unintentionally wreck their fun.
     
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