Pat Shelby

Pat Shelby

Pat Shelby has been playing guitar for 34 years. He is an award-winning guitarist and has been a worship leader for 17 years. Pat's passion for teaching guitar and equipping worship teams is expressed in his mission statement, "To equip musicians to master their gifts as an offering to The Master." In 2012, Pat launched his official website patshelby.com and blog worshipBOOST, to share that passion with the world. In addition to serving as the Worship Director at Rejoice! Church in Dundas, MN. (Northfield area) for the past 11 years, Pat teaches lessons through his own guitar studio and through Forte Fine Arts Academy in Lakeville, MN. He also enjoys arranging songs for worship teams. Pat makes his home in Northfield, MN. with his wife, Brenda and their two sons.

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A screenshot of the top of my Thumbtack profile page.

One day I saw an ad on my Facebook page from Thumbtack.  Have you seen it?  It said something to the effect, “Thumbtack needs guitar teachers!”  Curiosity got the best of me one day so I clicked on it.

Turns out they do!  Thumbtack connects people that have project goals with professionals that can help them accomplish those goals.  As a private guitar teacher, I can post a profile on Thumbtack that allows people searching for a guitar teacher to send me a request for a lesson quote.  If they like the quote, Thumbtack puts us in touch and voilá, I’ve got a new student!

Thumbtack made it pretty easy to get started.  The sign-up process was guided and surprisingly easy.  When finished, your profile will have a clean and professional look.  Here’s a link to my profile.  (I’ve included some screenshots of the edit view of my profile page in this post.)  You can include a bio, studio logo, details about the kinds of services you offer as well as professional credentials and that’s just for starters.  You can included links to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, too, not to mention your Music Teacher’s Helper Website!  When you’re ready to reply to customer requests you purchase credits, which are currency on Thumbtack, you use to pay when you send a quote to a customer.  (Quotes cost between 2 and 9 credits depending on the type of project.)  For guitar lessons it costs 2 credits or about $3 to send a prospective customer a quote.  Would you be willing to pay someone $3 to find you a new student?  That should be a no-brainer! [···]

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One of the biggest challenges students face when playing guitar is learning how to strum correctly.  They usually have a favorite song they’d love to learn how to play but when they sit down to try and figure it out it just doesn’t sound right.  Every time they try it, the strum sounds all herky-jerky instead of smooth and flowing.  Sound familiar?

Before we get started, be sure to open this PDF: Keys To Strumming, which I’ll be referring to throughout this post.  If you’re wondering what chords to play during this lesson, click here to use any to use any of the common-tone chord shapes I wrote about.

THE QUARTER NOTE BOUNCE

It’s fairly easy to teach a student how to play the quarter-note strumming pattern in Fig. 1 (Keys To Strumming PDF).  All you have to do is play a down-strum on every count (or beat). Every time you strum down, you count 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.  But there’s really more going on here.  Once the down-strum is played, you have to lift your hand back up to prepare for the next down-strum, right?  This down-up movement of the strumming hand is more accurately represented by eighth notes.  Look at Fig. 1 again.  The arrows above the staff, hovering over each down beat and up beat, represent those eighth notes.  In other words, you should be counting “one and two and three and four and” as you strum down, up, down, up, etc.  This steady down-up strumming movement is what I call The Quarter Note Bounce. [···]

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http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-purple-hair-dude-image13241414A friend recently offered to take me out to lunch if, in return, I would let him pick my brain about teaching guitar.  He was feeling the tug to teach and wanted to explore how I got started.  It was fun for me to recount my story – I’ll share some of that story here.

Growing up, music was the most important thing to me.  I declared myself a music major when I entered a 2 year junior college in 1977.  I loved every aspect of musical performance, however I was convinced that I did not want to pursue teaching.  When the end of my 2 years at this school came, I was lost and confused.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was certain I would fail if I tried to continue school so I did a 180 and hit the road.  Literally.

I started a career as an over-the-road bus driver.  I traveled all over the U.S. and Canada taking senior citizens on vacations and driving regular routes.  I borrowed a guitar from one of my brothers during this time and started teaching myself how to play.  I loved playing that guitar, but I didn’t have any aspirations to do anything with it.  I totally kept my playing on the down-low. [···]

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