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If you're teaching guitar there are a number of tools you must own to be profitable and stay sane. The more things you can find to make your life easier the better. You'll have more fun teaching guitar and have more time to focus on becoming a better guitar player and instructor when you use the right tools.

Here are a couple of things that over the years I have become totally dependent on.

Writing supplies

I know this one is general sense, however I'm mentioning it since I used to work with a guitar instructor who never had a pencil or manuscript paper and always interrupted my guitar sessions to ask me for some. Imagine how amateurish this must have appeared for his students.

A few things I suggest always having on hand at all times are a pen or pencil, a notebook for taking simple quick comments, an assorted variety of chord chart paper for writing chord shapes, scales, and arpeggios on, and some type of combination TAB / Manuscript paper for writing out song and guitar solos.

Cell Phone

This has become a lot more valuable with the current advancement of technology and smart phones. Your phone is your best friend. You can use it to keep track of all your student's phone numbers, to schedule lesson times and if you have internet access you can even look up tabs and music videos or video guitar lessons.

I recently upgraded to a smartphone with the capability to install applications and found a 4 track music studio app, and app for reading Guitar Pro Tabs and an app for writing songs. Talk about a sweet little tool to have when you need it ..

Business cards

Your business cards should have the easiest way for students and parents to get a hold of you, your email address, your web url and the physical location of your music studio on it.

Receipt Book

If you are planning on charging for guitar lessons you need a receipt booklet for obvious reasons. One thing I'll bring up is the capability to take credit card payments from your smartphone. I know, I'm all geek advocate today, but it's a pretty cool idea

An app I use for this is called "Square" and it's FREE! They even send you a little device that plugs directly into your phone gives you the ability to swipe people credit card. The funds are then directly deposited into your bank account of choice and both you and your customers are emailed a receipt. Seriously, how sweet is that?

If you're not into technology you'll be taking mostly cash and checks for your lessons. There are tons of paper receipt options out there but I recommend creating your own template with your logo and contact information if possible. It just looks more professional.

A Schedule

You'll need an itinerary for tracking your students as well as some promotional tasks associated with running a profitable teaching business. As with most things we've discussed to this point there are several options available for scheduling.

Any standard schedule booklet will be sufficient but I favor the ones that break the days down by the half hour so I can keep track my lessons better.

If digital is your game go with Google calendar. It's cost nothing, has more scheduling options than you'll need, plus you can sync it across multiple devices.

Guitar Gear

Obviously you'll need a guitar and amp unless you are planning on only giving acoustic guitar lessons. From my experience, guitar effects pedals are a really enjoyable reward for kids who have been practicing.

For students who maintain regular practice, I like to set aside 5 to 10 minutes of jam time at the end of a session to rock out with different effects.

A small multitrack recorder can also be a cool way to spice up your instruction. Record a student and let them hear what they sound like. I even started doing monthly recordings and giving the students a CD as a way to track their improvement.

A drum machine, or CD player with Jam Tracks is also terrific for students who are eager to start playing with accompaniment. I also use a Boss loop station for this since I can record a chord progression and demonstrate licks to lay over it.

This is a small list of things that have become common place in my studio. There are plenty more tools you can add to this list, and feel free to do that.

Rock on!

Must Own Tools for Teaching Guitar

Must Own Tools for Teaching Guitar