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You Learn from Teaching

Arlen with Hot Licks studentThere’s no question that one of the great joys of my years of teaching is simply what I learn from it! When a student has certain needs that must be addressed, it can at times, make me really have to “dig deep” for what I need. This process really helps me learn more about what makes ME tick, as well as even creating some new ideas I didn’t even know existed!

My second guitar player in my current band, Matt Rae, has been studying with me for over ten years. Over the course of this time, he has become so good and so fast at absorbing what I have to offer, there is a constant challenge to come up with new material for him. This is so demanding, that many times it has helped me create entirely new pieces of music while in the teaching process! The title track off my “Landscape” album for example, from 2005 was actually the direct result of a lesson I was giving Matt in hammer-on notes from great distances. Before I knew it, I was telling him to be sure to record this piece (he records all his lessons), so I wouldn’t lose my new composition idea!

It’s always been this way for me…even when I had to write my first book, “Slide Guitar”, I had no idea how I was getting all that dampening accomplished, or how I was isolating the notes, but Lord knows I had to reach an understanding about my own playing, even at the age of 21, which is how old I was when I wrote it!

Needless to say, this all led to making teaching an even more rewarding experience for me, and has become an invaluable tool in my creative process as well! More next time!

Arlen Roth

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Posted: 2/23/2009 4:00:05 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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