Adding stickers or marks on the fretboard

Playing classical guitar

If you are in the guitar teaching business for more than 30 years, most likely it is very hard to be surprised or amazed with something, but no, that’s not the case here. My so called “colleagues” never get tired to invent “new ways of teaching guitar”, new ways of making the guitar lessons more “fun and enjoyable”, “easier” for the student, but the most important is that they always manage to surprise me and make my day. 

I often get students who were taught by other teachers, and I am sure they get some of my students too…that is how it works. What I saw on the guitar fretboard of my new student few months ago is the following:

Guitar fretboard with stickers

This is the guitar of a little boy who has been taking guitar lessons for 2 years. Looks like his guitar guru was trying to teach him chords, and the poor boy was struggling to remember how and where to put his fingers. The guru started probably with E minor chord because the orange color stickers seem to be the first that he carefully placed on their places. I am having a bit of a hard time to back engineer this innovative method, but I am sure you get the point. 

In some cases such a things will work I will say. For example some guitars have marks right on the fretboard. They indicate the frets 3, 5, 7, 9 etc. Most of the guitars have dots on top of the neck, on frets 5 and 7. Those frets are almost in the middle of the fretboard. The guitar player uses them just as “landmarks”. But if there are dots or marks on each fret, the fretboard becomes too busy and the landmarks become useless. 

If you notice such marks on your child’s guitar, it is an indication that their lessons are not of a great quality. You should try to find out what is going on. For example you may want to attend your kid’s guitar lesson. Observe how the teacher teaches, do they use music notation, do they use papers at all. If you are not sure what to look for,  you may read about of what a guitar lesson may consist of: here

The same goes if you notice letters or note names written above or below the music notes. It also doesn’t work, it is a waste of time and resources. The music is not an exception from the other subjects. It uses the same pedagogical tools as the other subjects do.

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