Easiest guitar tab to play for beginner guitar students -- open strings! I use this sheet of tablature exercises in the first week of guitar lessons. Start your students off learning how to read guitar tabs right away.
Guitar tablature is fun to show new students, because it so intuitively represents the guitar neck.
The left side of the tablature staff is like the head of the guitar; the right side is the guitar bridge. Represented at the bottom of the staff is string 6, the thickest, lowest string. At the top of the staff is string 1, the thinnest, highest-sounding string.
Reading from left to right, the numbers on the strings stand for which fret to press with the left hand fingers. The number "0" means "open string" -- pluck that string without pressing down any frets.
This exercise sheet is ALL open strings:
You might not think this funny sheet of exercises could be a guitar student's favorite "song". You would be wrong! Just today it was the favorite choice of a young boy who has real pieces far more interesting - but he feels SUCCESSFUL with this page of exercises, and that makes him feel good.
This "easiest guitar tab to play" sheet is really almost a "hand/eye coordination" exercise. Can they match their right hand gesture (whether using a pick or a thumb) to the notation on the tab?
No fret numbers on the strings takes a lot of the "fear factor" out of the job -- they can concentrate on just one hand at a time. That lowers the stress level, and makes it more likely they will remember your instructions when they get home and start to practice... that easy success helps students feel pleased with themselves.
I used to start students without a pick for the first few weeks of guitar lessons. Contact with the strings is so much easier and accurate with the thumb and fingers than with a pick, I think. After they had gotten used to plucking strings in a rhythmic manner and strumming, then I would introduce the pick. However, most young players arrive to their first lesson PICK IN HAND, already having learned to hold it incorrectly (in my estimation), so we talk about the pick hold and use the pick - as well as fingers alone - from Week One.
I don't give them all these exercises the first week! Probably only the first two, then save #3 and #4 for the next two weeks as their skills increase. It is always tempting to load students up with LOTS of GOOD stuff -- then the following week you find out it was just too much of a good thing!
Do you have a story or a question about teaching guitar? Do you think it is a hard instrument for beginners, or easy? What have been your challenges?
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