Guitar Lessons

Like all things that are worth achieving in life, it is not easy to play the guitar well. However, if you want to learn, finding a qualified and experienced teacher will certainly help. I have two specific diplomas in guitar teaching with a specialization in acoustic guitar teaching. To achieve my certificates, I had to perform on the acoustic guitar and demonstrate my teaching to the examiners.

 

As proof of my study commitment, I have two degrees: a BA and an MA. In 2006. I started teaching the guitar to a beginner who lived down the road from me, and I still enjoy teaching the basics to beginners living in my community. The lessons take place in Primrose Hill which is near Belsize Park, Camden Town, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead and St. John’s Wood.

Over the years, I have seen my pupils go from strength to strength. I believe that anyone can achieve a playing standard that will bring joy into their life. I enjoy listening to my students as their confidence grows. The acoustic guitar can be a springboard for a song or an idea or a lyric that could light up the world. Rock guitar can be a great way to release some pent-up energy or to enjoy a musical conversation with a friend. But for the ultimate in relaxation, the classical guitar is the perfect instrument for fuelling the musical imagination.

 

 

Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic guitar lessons centre on strumming technique and finger picking technique. With a solid knowledge of chord shapes, and basic major and minor scales, it is possible to provide guitar accompaniment to almost any popular song. A long list of songs can be learnt with only fifteen chords. Whether it is folk, rock, country, blues or pop, the acoustic guitar provides the perfect bed for a song to lie on.

I provide a series of lessons for beginners which focus on improving finger dexterity so that chord changes can be made on tempo. At the more advanced end of the spectrum, the alternate thumb technique is taught. These finger picking lessons provide the foundation for many exciting acoustic guitar pieces. Once the instrument has been mastered, it is possible to perform solo acoustic versions of well-known songs that will instantly please almost any audience.

 

Not only is the acoustic guitar a fantastic instrument for accompanying the voice; it can be used as a vehicle for song writing. As a songwriter myself, I can help my pupils to complete their songs and record them. My studio includes an eight-track simultaneous recorder, two acoustic guitars, professional microphones, plus an acoustic guitar amplifier.

 

Progress is achieved through hard work, patience and well-organized practice. It is a commonly held belief that it takes ten-thousand hours to become an expert on any instrument. As someone who has committed himself to an entire lifetime of practice, I can confirm the truth in this statement. I started playing over twenty years ago as a young adult and still learn something new about the instrument every single day of the week. On the surface, the guitar is simply a box with six strings; but we all know that it is so much more than this. It is the window into the soul of the imagination, a therapist and the vehicle for deep emotional meditation.

 

Rock Guitar

I teach the specific techniques, fingerboard knowledge, aural awareness skills and music theory required to perform rock music. The repertoire covered in lessons ranges across the rock genre: classic rock and heavy metal being the most popular sub-genres. Lead guitar is taught with respect to the techniques and fingerboard knowledge required to improvise an exciting solo in any key. Guitar chords and rhythm playing are taught alongside music theory. Finger exercises and warm ups are stressed as an important way to build up rock guitar technique.

There are two guitars in my studio that were built to play rock music. The first guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul given to me when I first started playing guitar. It is heavily built and painted in a cherry sunburst finish. Over the years, my Les Paul has been repaired many times, but it still holds its thick tone and gives an extra boost of volume when I need it. I enjoy teaching blues rock and classic rock using this instrument. It is a particularly good instrument for guitar licks that involve any kind of bending and is ideal for performing chunky chord riffs.

 

Whereas the Les Paul is a heavyweight guitar, my Ibanez RG1500 is lightly built for faster scale runs and fret tapping. I employ this guitar when I want to explore guitar techniques that stretch my technical ability as a rock guitarist. It works well with progressive heavy metal and with complex instrumentals that require a four-octave range. It has an extreme whammy bar that can loosen string tension in a split second. This surprisingly versatile guitar can create a variety of sounds, from a thin country rock twang to an ear chilling black metal noise. It is painted in dark purple with a black scratch plate.

 

I started learning guitar in the time before the internet. Rock guitar was my chosen style because it was more accessible than classical or jazz guitar. I never had any formal guitar lessons. Instead, I would watch VHS cassettes, read guitar magazines and take out books from the library. If I had been taught by a good teacher, then I would not have made so many mistakes whilst learning to play.

 

This particularly loud style of guitar music has the power to stir the hearts and minds of a live audience. Rockers employ the guitar riff to instantly gain and excite listener attention; as classical composers do with their use of the light motif. These riffs are the stock in trade and hallmarks of the rock genre. They take the form of either syncopated chord patterns or singular melodic lines. In addition to guitar riffs, rock songs often have an eight or sixteen bar guitar solo, exploring certain elements of rock guitar technique.

 

Playing rock guitar is enjoyable because it yields results relatively quickly, but like most forms of guitar playing it takes many years to master. Finding a good guitar teacher to help at every step of the journey is far more likely to yield positive results. All rock guitar teachers worth their salt can demonstrate a proficient technique, set up a series of exercises to help build fretboard confidence, and fill in any knowledge gaps that the pupil may have.

 

Classical Guitar

For the ultimate in relaxation, pick up a nylon strung guitar and start learning to read music. At the start there will be many different techniques to practice and develop, but eventually the classical guitar will reward you with hours and hours of beautiful music. Not only can you learn guitar arrangements of the most popular songs of all time, but also there is an exciting repertoire written by guitar composers for the guitar: waltzes, preludes, andantinos and dances can be learnt as soon as the beginner has learnt and practiced the basic techniques required. 

 

The classical repertoire stretches across the globe and to the beginning of musical history. The guitar plays a small but significant part in this history. It is not often found in orchestras, especially outside of Spain, but as a solo instrument it is matched only by the piano for its breadth of choice and mass appeal. The syllabus which I used with my pupils covers guitar arrangements of all the greatest composers living and dead. As you progress up the levels through motivation and practice, you will develop the skills needed to play solo classical guitar and be rewarded by the mysterious meditative qualities that the instrument possesses.