Schumpert Music Services provides instruction in classical, folk, and pop guitar for both regular 6-string guitar and bass guitar. If a student is just beginning his/her guitar experience, the type of guitar used for personal practice makes a big difference in the student's ease of playing.
1. The electric guitar is the easiest one to play if the strings are set properly very close to the fret board. The guitar must be "set up" properly in order for it to function well as a practice beginning guitar. 2. The classical style, nylon string guitar is the next easiest one to play because the nylon strings require less tension than steel strings and the wider neck makes it easier for the fingers to play a particular fretted note without touching other strings around it. 3. The steel-stringed dreadnought style (basic country-western style) is by far the hardest guitar to use for a beginning student. The dreadnought us usually too big for a younger student. The heavy tension strings hurt the student's fingers and the narrow neck makes it difficult to play chords without "rattle" sounds or "deadened" strings. While the dreadnought guitar is adequate for an adult male who begins guitar lessons, it is not acceptable as a learning instrument for a younger student.
It a parent has any doubt about whether or not his son or daughter has the correct guitar for beginning his instruction, please call Mr. Schumpert to discuss the matter. Don't forget that having the correct size of guitar is as important as having the right type of guitar. For younger students, 3/4 or 1/2 size guitars may be required. Mr. Schumpert is happy to assist the students in obtaining the appropriate size. Beware that there are some smaller size guitars which have steel strings and usually cost about $35.00 to $45.00 which are poorly made, don't stay in tune, have rough edges on the frets. These cheap instruments may be the right size but they are virtually worthless as a practice instrument. If you see an inexpensive guitar for sale, remember, you usually get what you pay for.
WE START WITH FINGER PICKING: In order for the students to acquire the ability to play any type of song, students are first taught finger picking styles and then instruction in the use of the pick is presented later. The reason for this is that if a student first becomes proficient in the use of the pick only, it is discouraging for that student to then try to go back and learn to do finger picking styles. This experience makes the student feel as if he/she is starting all over again.
On the other hand, if a person learns finger picking styles first, the proper technic of playing with the pick requires so little instruction that many students are able to teach themselves with a little practice on their own. The final result is that the student is able to play both with their individual fingers and with the pick as well.
THE STANDARD LESSON FORMAT: The following is the basic format which is used in most beginning guitar lessons.
1. Warm-up exercises 2. Learning of strums and picking patterns 3. Chord studies 4. Learning to read guitar music 5. Learning of special songs not found in our guitar instruction book.
The guitar students are not "graded" each week as are the piano students. The guitar lessons are thus, a little less formal and more relaxed. Emphasis is placed upon laying a solid foundation of good playing technic and note reading ability. In the lessons, there is a high percentage of excercises which are played as teacher-student duets. Once the student has mastered the "basics", he/she is permitted to play more of the type of guitar music that he/she prefers personally.
The study of the guitar can be one of the most personally fulfilling experiences of a lifetime. As in all instruments, any prior experience which the student has had in learning to play the piano will directly benefit the guitar student tremendously.