Guitar teachers from all over the country have let us know that they’re eager to participate in our latest feature: video profiles, and the latest to do so is Ted Kirkendall who is giving guitar lessons in Indianapolis, Indiana. We invite you to check out Ted’s full profile today, and, while you’re here, take a look at what Ted had to say about his guitar teaching below.
FindaGuitarTeacher: So, here we are talking with Ted Kirkendall today for FindaGuitarTeacher.com. Ted, thank you so much for joining us.
Ted Kirkendall: My pleasure. It’s good to be here.
FindaGuitarTeacher: So tell us first: Where do you teach? What part of the country do you teach in and what part of the city that you’re in?
Ted Kirkendall: I’m in the heart of the Midwest, Indianapolis, Indiana, specifically the neighborhood of Broad Ripple. It’s kind of an artsy part of Indianapolis.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And do you teach in students’ homes or do students come to you or is it a combination of both?
Ted Kirkendall: It’s a little of both. I try to get them to come here as much as possible, but I’m happy to drive to someone’s home if need be.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And do you find that you teach more children or more adults or is it kind of a mix of both – what’s your experience with that?
Ted Kirkendall: Well it’s always been quite a mix, but certainly more children than anything else; probably twelve and under.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And how young are your youngest students?
Ted Kirkendall: I have a five-year-old right now, and that’s going very well. She’s quite advanced.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And what’s the general climate for guitar lessons where you are? Do you find a lot of people want to learn to play guitar in your area?
Ted Kirkendall: It’s gotten a little tough in the last few years .. really. Probably five years ago, it was really booming. Not so much anymore.
FindaGuitarTeacher: What do you find are the most common styles of guitar that people request to learn?
Ted Kirkendall: Mostly rock, but definitely some blues and some country … the odd metal type … that was more back in the eighties. The guitar lessons were heavy in metal students back in the eighties.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And what are some of the other styles of guitar you offer?
Ted Kirkendall: I teach pretty much any western style of music. I don’t do much classical guitar. I can get people started, but that’s such a specific technique, I send them on to somebody who’s really involved in that.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And can you tell us what are your fees and what’s your scheduling format? How do you like to set up your guitar lessons with students?
Ted Kirkendall: Typically, it’s once a week for a thirty minute guitar lesson. I do have some students that take an hour, and some that will come, especially with adults, some of them might come whenever they can. But, for the most part, it’s thirty minutes every week.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And in simple terms about your guitar teaching approach? What do you tend to focus on with your guitar students?
Ted Kirkendall: Sure. Every guitar student is different, but I want to make sure that everybody has the basics … that they’re using the proper guitar technique. Especially if it’s somebody that’s already been playing, I want to make sure that no bad habits have been developed. With kids, usually twelve and under, I get them started reading music, and, as you get into your teen years, people tend to be a little less enthusiastic about reading. For the more serious students, maybe some music theory, some improvisation. But, I try to give them what they want, really, in addition to what I think they need.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And can you tell us a little about the equipment that you use when you teach … about your guitars … do you own a bass … what kind of recording equipment do you use, if you do that?
Ted Kirkendall: I do some recording. I have a home studio with my laptop and Cubase software. As far as different instruments, mostly it’s either acoustic or electric guitar. I do take bass students, as well. It’s all really high-end stuff; I’m a professional, working musician. So it’s all hight quality.
FindaGuitarTeacher: Do you have a favorite guitar that you like to use?
Ted Kirkendall: I do. I have a G & L, which is Leo Fender’s last company before he left us, and it’s in the style of a Telecaster.
FindaGuitarTeacher: And do you offer guidance to your guitar students about purchases of their own gear, and what can you tell us about that?
Ted Kirkendall: Well, I certainly do, if they ask, I’m more than happy to give advice. You do tend to get the question: What’s the best guitar or what’s the best amp? And that’s impossible to answer, especially in these days … there’s so much out there, and it’s really good stuff. It’s getting cheaper all the time, which is unusual. There’s just so much. I can tell them, you know, what I use. I can suggest certain things to stay away from probably more than what to look for. I think that’s more important, because more of a beginning guitar student would really have no idea what they might be looking for.
FindaGuitarTeacher: Well, Ted, thank you so much for talking with us about your guitar teaching today. It’s been great to hear about it.
Ted Kirkendall: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you very much.