Why would you like to learn how to play the guitar?
What is your favourite kind of music?
Who would be your favorite artists/bands?
Do you wish to be a musician or do you only want to learn how to play songs?
The previous question constantly baffles them.
The solution is”Yes, there’s a massive gap… to me anyway.”
If a student just wants to learn how to play tunes then I find the songs they enjoy, work it out in various keys and then teach them the chords along with anything else that they should play the song exactly the way they listen to it. This method is quite effective in them learning to play the tunes they love and in building a repertoire extremely fast. In a year a number of my pupils have learnt between 30 and 50 songs.
I find that the students who prefer this method want rapid results and do not mind not knowing any music theory. Their objective is to simply play tunes and have fun. I, also, have a good deal of fun teaching them. One reason I like this process is that I do not need to enter heavy music concept details.
For those who need to be serious musicians my approach differs. We develop a repertoire of tunes slowly, but they know each and every detail about music – reading, theory, scales, chords, arpeggios, improvisation etc.
This procedure is highly involved and instructs the student how to think as a musician, the way to listen as a musician and how to do as a musician. By the end of the courses the student can walk into any test and pass with flying colors, they’ll have the ability to pick up any piece of music, browse it and play with it.
It is about understanding how chords work in combination with scales, it is about understanding how to use chords, scales and arpeggios to improvise and create new melodies and harmonies; it is about understanding what a chord is simply listening to it.
Thus, in my estimation, there’s a massive difference between just learning how to play tunes and becoming a musician. One isn’t better than another. The end goal is merely different. Which one would you pick?