Miami Beginner Guitar Teacher | How Guitar Teaching has Changed in 30 years
Hi this Dyce Kimura, a Miami beginner guitar teacher. The guitar is really hard to play. It really is. Sometimes I forget that because I’ve been doing it for so long. But if I keep teaching people and stuff I realize this stuff is hard. It’s hard to figure it out by yourself. It really is great to have a game like Guitar Pro or, I’m sorry Guitar Hero. Guitar Pro is another thing. Guitar Pro, Songster, these are online applications and programs that make it really easy to play because you can get a song, you can download it, and with Songster you just pull it up if you log in online.
You just enter in the name of the song and it shows you the tabs, and then you can hit the play button and it actually plays the notes back to you at whatever speed you choose. You can change the speed. And it shows you the fingers and where they belong on the guitar and it plays the notes back to you kind of like the video games. It’s just interactive. You can just play along with your computer, you can stop it, you can slow it down, you can loop it, you can print it, you can go in and isolate certain tracks, you can mute the drums or mute the lead guitar or just isolate the rhythm guitar and loop that until you get it and slow it down even. Just work on a little section and then expand it. You can manipulate it completely. As a Miami beginner guitar teacher, this has really made guitar playing really fun and easy. You can really learn very complex concepts and stuff that otherwise, you would have to get it face to face. And now you’re able to just get it online and it’s streaming 24/7. It’s great.
Obviously the other thing is Skype lessons. I am a Miami beginner guitar teacher as well as a Skype guitar teacher . But that’s just opened up so many doors. Imagine you’re living in a rural area or you’re in a different country. Let’s say you’re Costa Rica or maybe Nicaragua or something, or Africa. And you want to have cutting edge guitar lessons from an American pro or a British pro, and there’s just not a lot of people that play on that level in your little town or even in your country. You can access American pros … why do I say American as if that’s better than other things? It is. America, United States particularly pioneered music. We invented Blues, we invented Jazz, we invented Funk, Rock & Roll. We invented Motown, R&B, Gospel, Soul. Americans invented Hip-Hip. And then UK had a big part to do … the UK invasion especially in the sixties. But between London and the United States, we have basically pioneered the world with just about every style of music that’s mainstream. There’s been a few other exceptions like I think the South Koreans came up with Gangam Style. That was big for a few months, Gangam Style. But that’s gone. But the Blues is still here.
So in 2016 I don’t know if anybody’s still talking about Gangam Style, but I’m not the only Miami beginner guitar teacher still talking about Blues, and Funk, and Jazz, and Rock & Roll, and Soul, and Guns & Roses. After 1987 they’re back on tour. It’s 2016 so that’s kind of cool, went in full circle there. So yeah, if you want to learn from an American you can just get on Skype, which I do. I do Skype lessons as well. I find it to be really good.
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I remember too that there was this movie that came out, I can’t remember what year. I’m thinking maybe 2006 or 2005 when I was working as a Miami beginner guitar teacher, there was a movie that came out called School of Rock and it was like a funny movie, it was a comedy. I don’t watch a lot of TV so I can’t remember the name of the actor but I like him a lot. He’s just kind of a really funny guy. He started teaching these really snobby, preppy, rich kids. He started teaching them just how to rock and roll. Never in the movie is he using books and notes. He’s just like hey put your finger here, put your finger there, and you do this while that one does that and just go. And these people, they’re all from this background of being super structured and never free to just let it rip. And this guy comes in and he just teaches them to just let it rip. And the kids, for the first time in their life they’re like free in their instrumentation and their expression. And in the movie the guy, he turns out to be a fraud, he never went to music school. He was like homeless living out of his van. But the kids loved him.
I really resonated with that movie ’cause as a Miami beginner guitar teacher, I was doing that stuff actually before the movie came out. I was working with kids. I remember playing with a bunch of kids and we went and played their middle school talent show and they did Sweet Child of Mine. I remember the place was like a riot. Everybody rushed the stage. They just couldn’t believe that these middle schoolers were like jamming out Guns and Roses, note for note. I was in the background playing rhythm guitar.
But I got to witness that and then a few years later the movie came out. I was like man I’ve already been doing that. But that concept has now really taken root and now locally here, I’m in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area in Florida, we have locally like a school of rock … that was the name of the movie. We’ve got the local equivalent here. And so that’s taken off as even a business plan, as a way of teaching.
But I have witnessed more changes as a Miami beginner guitar teacher and I want to talk a little bit more about technology. The invention of electricity has been a big part in changing guitar in general. Guitar was never a real dominant band instrument until the electric guitar was invented. They used to play the acoustic guitar in big jazz band and he had like a microphone and they would just kind of strum these big fat strings. A never-ending kind of lead work. But then with the invention of electricity we had a guy could get up with one guitar and sing, with a base player and drummer like Eric Clapton did with Cream or Jimmy Hendrix did with Jimmy Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsies, and could just dominate the stage.
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Electric guitar really changed the way students learned too. If you’re an absolute beginner, the easiest way to learn is on electric guitar. And a lot of people actually struggle with that when I tell them that. They’re like “I thought acoustic would be easier.” Or I’ll get a phone call as a Miami beginner guitar teacher like hey I want to take guitar lessons. And they’ll say I want to play the normal guitar. And I know what they mean, they mean the acoustic guitar. But the electric guitar is not abnormal. You just plug it in, just like a vacuum cleaner. You just plug it in. It’s not rocket science.
But basically I tell it to people like this. Some of you may remember the old fashion type writers. If you learned to type on a old fashion type writer … if any of you have actually typed, I mean this is 2016 as of the shooting of this video, but some of you may remember the old fashion type writers. You have to literally drive the key into the paper. You got to punch that key and it punches into the paper and it like stamps the words, like tah tah tah tah tah. You are the motor. So when you’re typing on a old fashion type writer, you’re the motor getting the machine working, plus you got to spell, and plus you got to actually figure out what you want to say in the document that you’re typing in terms of not just the grammar and the spelling but the overall theme and the message. So it’s a lot of work.
And then along came the laptop and here’s my cordless Bluetooth MacBook Pro keypad. You can just kind of float and fly. It’s great. I even have autocorrect. It’s great. They suggest words and stuff. So it’s so much easier to learn to type on a laptop or a keypad than on a typewriter. In the same way it’s so much easier to learn to play guitar from a Miami beginner guitar teacher on electric guitar than on acoustic guitar. On electric guitar the neck is a lot thinner, the strings are a lot thinner, it’s requires a lot less physical exertion and strength to play it. You have a lot more options. You can just turn up the gain or the volume. If it’s late at night and your housemates want you to be quiet, you can switch to headphones. You can get them as clean sound, just as you can on acoustic. You can get one on electric. And you can overdrive it. You can get it to do whatever you want it to do.
So there’s a lot of advantages and nowadays a lot of beginners are just playing right from electric guitar and they’re having huge success from learning from a Miami beginner guitar teacher. So people, back in the day like me, I started on a nylon string guitar and it was cumbersome. I’m six years old, it was humongous. I got a picture of it somewhere on Facebook I think. And now people are playing a lot smaller electric guitars with smaller necks. So if you’re a child or a girl or even a guy, its just way easier to play and grip.
So there’s a lot of things that are different already in 2016. Playing electric guitar is easier and then playing with tabs, playing with Guitar Pro, there’s apps that you can use, there’s free lessons on Youtube, there’s Skype lessons. You can download and even interact with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I think Rock Band you can even plug your guitar into the game and you can start playing that way.
But as a Miami beginner guitar teacher, I want to talk a little bit about the social dynamic that’s changed in millennials. So it’s often the millennials … I’ve got millennials that want to take lessons, and then I have the children of baby boomers that are taking the lessons. The mentality, usually it’s the one that controls the money that control the course of the lessons. So you have parents buying lessons for their children. So if the mind of the parent is saying, well I always thought that you have to start on acoustic, then that’s what they make their children do. If the mind of the parent says oh but I always thought you had to play classical like I see in a lot of Asian countries and Latin American countries or parents that are from those countries, then the child has to overcome all those stigmas and obstacles.
But if the parent can be open-minded and be like let’s ask the teacher who is the professional and see what teaching method they would use and why, those are the ones that tend to have the most success, if you end up with a good Miami beginner guitar teacher. If you end up with a bad teacher, obviously, there enlies the fear I guess, and that’s why parents want to take control. But in the mind of the parents in my opinion, over the last thirty years, it’s more socially acceptable for the child to want to be a rockstar. I guess with the invention of MySpace and Youtube and Instagram and SnapChat … of course MySpace has phased out, but Facebook.
But all these different vehicles where people are now discovering great music and that’s just in your face through social media, that parents are more and more and more open to that being a bonified way of making a living as opposed to, when I came up as a kid if you wanted to become a professional guitar player, the ideology that comes with that is well you must be a bum or a vagrant or some kind of dropout or a rebel or just a dangerous individual. But now it’s more accepted. You can be a human being and have human thoughts, emotions, and attitudes and play the guitar professionally, and be really good at it. So I’m grateful for the change. I had a lot of obstacles to overcome in my family growing up in Asia by the way with a lot of old school mentality. Look I got some notes here.
Okay on that same line with modern music is more accepted, you’re finding accredited schools that are now teaching modern music. These are rare and few and far between, but comment in the comment section below if you’ve heard of this because I’m trying to remember if Berkeley has a modern program or a rock program. But rock guitar, believe it or not, is no longer considered obscene or rude. By the way a little history on rock music, rock music when Jimmy Hendrix came out playing rock music and it was like … the record labels at the time they thought it was just going to be like a hundred thousand dollar experiment and would just blow over and people would get over it. It was like an underground movement. They didn’t really realize that it would be the next big thing and rock and roll was here to stay. So they didn’t really invest a lot money into it. That was probably their big mistake, and lot of the mainstream labels.
But also the colleges. So it’s just looked at with total sneering at rock musicians. Like oh rock musicians they’re just … first of all that’s not even music, and they all need to just get haircuts and apologize to their parents. Or whatever the case may be. But it’s really changing now. There’s even systems like with musicians institute. I actually had a couple friends that went to guitar institute at musicians institute. Musicians institute is in LA, it’s called MI. And then GI is guitar institute. But I think Berkeley has a rock program. You can find them. Colleges have accredited programs.
There are some non-accredited colleges that also teach rock. It’s not accredited yet, but even the fact that they’re teaching rock music at college is a huge giant step for modern musicians of just gaining social acceptance and being able to have this thing validated and bonified by the parent. You got to realize that if you set out to go be a professional rock musician, you’re basically going to be self-employed and there’s no rule book. You’re a sole proprietor, you’re paying your taxes maybe quarterly hopefully. You’re in business, you’re marketing, you’re chasing leads and giving out quotes. It’s just like any business. It’s just like being an exterminator or a lawn service. You’ve got clients, you’re chasing leads, you’re dealing with stuff. So there’s a lot of business aspect to it, of being a professional musician or rock musician and people are starting to realize that. They’re starting to realize wow, this is a bonified industry.
I’m noticing as a Miami beginner guitar teacher that parents are really changing their mindset. So it’s either because of these video games or because there’s just an overall change in consciousness in the millennials and maybe even the children, well in the children obviously but also in the baby boomers that are getting lessons. People are more open to learn the kind of music that they actually want to play, as opposed to forcing them to play the stuff that they had to play when hey were kids. That’s a lot. If you think about it there’s just humongous differences between learning guitar in 2016 as opposed to learning guitar in 1986.
Another difference that I just thought of just now is there’s a lot more good Miami beginner guitar teachers. I am a full time guitar teacher. But being a guitar teacher … finding a good guitar teacher used to be few and far between. Very few f them could do it full time thirty years ago and most of them, they had jobs on the side. Most of my guitar teachers that I remember were just scraping by and they just weren’t able to charge very much. They just were dealing with children and mostly it was like they’re ostracized from being viewed as a real professional. You’re not a yuppie if you’re a guitar instructor. You’re basically some guy that really needs to grow up and get a haircut and learn how to live life on life’s terms.
Some of my classical teachers, because i played classical I had a classical teacher that was famous … he went on now to be a famous [inaudible 00:35:38] recording artist and signed and doing a lot of CD’s and everything. Touring and everything. But I think that was a rare case. Most of what I’ve seen is that they really didn’t get a lot of the recognition. Not the same amount that you can get now in 2016. I think it’s much more accepted as a bonified job and it’s a little more respectable. So I’m obviously glad for that because that’s my vocation. But I’m noticing that change. There’s a change in consciousness there, in regards to this profession, which is really cool.
So anyway, those are just a few of my thoughts. Please comment below. If you have questions, I do read all my comments and I answer the comments as soon as I can. And I do answer everything. So please comment if you have a question. Also, if you want to subscribe or like the video, that helps me out. Look forward to seeing you guys at the next video. My name is Dyce Kimura. Thanks so much.