I often get my pupils to sit and listen to Mannish Boy by Muddy Waters, and as the riff repeats and the crowd get whipped up into a frenzy I ask them one simple question ‘Why does something so simple work like this?’ if they can answer this question they have an insight to what makes music tick.
I think this is one of the truths of art that it is an emotive power and not an intellectual one. Yet we chew the cud over the scales, chords and structure and all of that stuff, but at the end of the day a piece of music has to comes out and either grab you by the throat, heart or somewhere lower to have you in its power.
Teaching is more like taking people on a journey that enables them to discover this for themselves, when discovered you then realise it has been staring you in the face all of the time and now it seems so obvious but before it eluded you.
So have a listen to the music that really grabs you that is simple and feel why it works then use that information in your playing.