A band for beginners

Posted by The Fretwire on

A few months ago I was ready to graduate a couple of my guitar students.  I didn't have much more I could teach them about theory or technique.  They just needed to practice for a few years and they would be great. But one thing I noticed they lacked was the ability to play well with others.  I thought they could benefit from playing in a band setting, but since they were 11 and 13, I wasn't sure turning them loose would be a good idea. So I converted their private lesson time into a 1 hour per week band coaching session.  The 13 year old plays bass, the 11 year old plays guitar and sings, and they had a 12 year old friend that plays drums.  I call it my little league band. I expected it to take a few good months before we had a set ready to perform.  It took a bit longer than expected.  The first song took about a month to get down.  The second song took about 3 weeks (while we were also polishing the first song.) The third song will only take about 2 weeks.  So, we are moving in the right direction. Last night as the band was playing, I noticed some remarkable things: 1.  They got lost less frequently. 2.  When they did get lost, they found each other. 3.  When the lead guitar took a solo, he now listens to the bass to keep track of the progression. 4.  They are all smiling- the whole time. I couldn't have taught them any of that in their private lessons.  You only learn that by playing together. In 2 weeks we are going to an open blues jam here in Utah, where they will be performing 2 of their 3 songs.  That will be a learning experience all its own...