I tell each and every person that I teach that progress should not be measured by a “flow chart”, but rather as the way a tree matures; sometimes its growth rings are large and obvious, sometime they are less…but there is ALWAYS DEVELOPMENT!
When a student has been with me a year or so, his/her notes will fill a binder at least two-three inches thick, with fretboard and theory diagrams, composition notes, etc., as I truly am a visual instructor; and the guitar, above maybe all other instruments, is the most complex to understand, due to its design and the exponential possibilities of expression it subsequently offers.
I developed my fretboard diagrams back in the early 80’s and they’ve been a major part of my teaching the entire time, with a new one, every so often, being added to “the family”. In fact, the video company I was signed with, as well as each of the numerous magazines I’ve written for, used them on a monthly basis for years…because they made perfect sense.
For example, if I am teaching an arpeggio sweep-picking technique, I will at first lay out all of the triads and inversions for one major or minor key; then, will focus on just one. Once that is learned, then the graphic connection of the “forms” will expand into numerous arpeggios and positions with just one technique; in other words, they will be clearly/visually obvious! And when we evolve to, for example, “triad-stacking”, using all six strings of the guitar, they will become even easier to comprehend.
It’s the same exact concept of the Chinese proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
Those of you that have studied with me know; those that have not, come see the magic!