Do I need electric AND acoustic guitars to teach?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Placid Blue, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    I want to start teaching guitar, but I wanted to get an opinion on the guitars I will need.

    I already have an electric guitar, but would I also need to have an acoustic guitar to teach students with? Or do you think students would be happy to learn acoustic guitar with me using an electric guitar?

    The reason I ask is that I am kind of a minimalist when it comes to owning things, and I have no reason to get an acoustic guitar other than for teaching purposes.
     
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  2. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    Probably would only work for kids that are absolute beginners. Would you go to study acoustic guitar with a teacher that doesn't play one?
     
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  3. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I don’t think it will matter much what you are playing. I took lessons with my first guitar teacher for six years or so and 90% of the time I played electric and he played an acoustic. I don’t think it will matter if your just working with beginners and are teaching stuff like chord shapes, theory, and tunes from like Hal Leonard books and such.

    In college I was taking lessons with a classical guitarist so playing etudes and duets like that would ideally call for two nylons.
     
  4. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I guess it just depends on what your target audience will be but when a kid is progressing and sticks with you for a few years you may find yourself with a handful of students who are vastly different in skill level and what they are interested in. Also you don’t wanna limit your audience of potential students so teaching acoustic might be required at some point. The best part of teaching lessons though is how it expands your own playing. It’s shocking how much better I understand a concept once I have taken the time to understand and clearly explain it a few different ways to another person. Good luck !
     
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  5. Miff

    Miff Tele-Meister

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    I think it’s a good idea to have one. You’re not just teaching the physical & mental skills of playing the guitar but also the sounds that the student should be aiming to make. Without an acoustic you cannot demonstrate the target acoustic sound.

    Why not think about what acoustic guitar you might recommend to a beginner - and then buy it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  6. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob Tele-Meister

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    If I were an absolute beginner, I would expect my teacher to insist that I start on acoustic. One of the arguments I would expect to hear is: that if I spent three months on acoustic, practicing open and barre chords - then my fretting hand would be stronger and calluses more developed than if I had started on electric. I would then expect my teacher to have an acoustic also.
     
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  7. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    What if the student had their own acoustic guitar and I demonstrated using my electric guitar? And if they needed to hear the exact sound they are going for, I could borrow their guitar for a moment to show them. Do you think that could work?
     
  8. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    I have taken lessons (off and on for 40 years). While I have seen teachers who only have acoustic, I have never seen one who only had electric. There are times when the instructors said "try this." And then I did not nail it and they said, "no like this." It would only take switching guitars back and forth 10 times in a lesson for me to get annoyed. Most recently the guy had both. He'd start with electric, but many times he'd switch to acoustic to show me something. I think you could get by without an electric, but not without an acoustic.

    A Fender CC60S is $199 and doesn't take up much space.
     
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  9. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, I think I will go ahead and get an acoustic then, maybe like a cheap yamaha one.
     
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  10. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I was gunna say that before , I really think Yamaha has some really nice offerings in the 100-300 dollar range
     
  11. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob Tele-Meister

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    Yes, cheap is good as it supports the concept that you don't need have expensive gear to be a good player.
     
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  12. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    I don't think its absolutely necessary to have one. The vast majority of lessons I've taught or taken have been on electric. Most of the acoustic stuff that people will want to learn can be taught on an electric without much problem. With that said...having an entry level Yamaha or Ibanez acoustic sitting around isn't a bad idea either. If you haven't played a bunch of acoustic guitar, ya might want to test out some different sized ones. A lot of people will instinctively reach for those stereotypical looking big ol' Yamaha dreadnaughts (they are pretty good) but then struggle to wield the thing due to the size.
     
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  13. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    I just bought a Yamaha FSTA which is a concert size with their TransAcoustic technology.
    I have several Yamaha’s and they are all extremely well made. I have a a nylon string that is 38 years old that I bought brand new that has solid rosewood back and sides and a quarter sawn cedar top and mahogany neck. It plays and sounds like angels singing and I’ve never even touched the set up on it in almost four decades, it was perfect when I bought it and hasn’t changed.
    I own many guitars, the Yamaha’s are some of the finest I have.
     
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  14. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like you are primarily an electric player, so any advanced techniques would be taught on that, basic stuff, can be taught on anything.

    Some one looking (& paying)to learn say flat picking of fiddle tunes is going probably have & expect to see a high level acoustic. As it doesn’t sound like that level of acoustic playing is your forte you could probably do w/o..

    Still if you are teaching primarily kids / beginners it’s less distracting w/ acoustic, no amp, cords etc. it’s also nice to have one if you end up traveling to schools, community centers etc for group lessons as it’s easier to move around the circle w/ a untethered object.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  15. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would get a acoustic in case a student is learning on acoustic. A cheap acoustic will work fine as long as it plays and sounds nice.
     
  16. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Simples- YES you need both.
    For technique, hand and arm strengthening for your students an acoustic. For ease of playing and success an electric. Students need both.
    Look at Justin Sandercoe's videos of him teaching Lee Anderton and that nice girl- he teaches them on both from his collection.
    Students need success as well as challenges.
    I was a Maths teacher before I became an electronics lecturer.
     
  17. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    Teaching electric on an acoustic is akin to teaching trombone with a trumpet, IMO.
     
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  18. unfamous

    unfamous Tele-Meister

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    Your posing this question makes me wonder if teaching is for you.
     
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  19. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    are you teaching how to play the guitar as an instrument or something else ?

    RE: I studied with a teacher in the late 60's , he played a D'Angelico , I played a Gibson Melody Maker . The fretboards were exactly the same . now that I think about it, I don't even recall him playing any guitar during our sessions. I studied out of 2 or 3 Mel Bay Chord Orchestration books and various chord substitutions / forms . None of it had anything to do with learning Beatles songs , at least that was my impression at the time.

    RE: I studied with NE Guitar Guru, Link Chamberlain ( before he passed) I brought a guitar, he played a piano ! My study was to apply what I already knew to the bigger picture. Playing guitar, any song, any style any genre.

    However, it did take about 20 years for it all to sink in , before I realized just how much I really did learn back then.


    So, what are you teaching, I think that matters. Why are guitar students coming to you ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
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  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's a fallacy sure to stop kids from playing guitar altogether. Especially when 80% of the new guitar students are teenage girls.

    Electrics are easier for beginners to play on. String tension is so much lower, fingers don't hurt, they are easiest to play.
    Parents fear electrics because of the noise but don't understand you can play unplugged or with headphones. An acoustic is loud all the time. Mention that to a parent and you see the light bulb flick on. Acoustics can have pickups stuck on and be plugged into loud amps too.
    Getting a cheap electric to play well with a good setup is easier than an acoustic.

    I'd say either get a Yamaha acoustic, or get something cheap in the $50-$100 range from a big box store and pay your guitar tech $100 to level the frets and give you a good setup so it will play like a $1,000+ instrument. A cheap guitar with a good fret level job will be easier to play than a mid-level guitar with no fret level and a roughed-in setup. If you're paying $50 for a setup anyway then the fret level is only $50 more and is a huge value.

    .
     
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