I am currently accepting a limited number of students who would like to become better players (beginners welcome too). Ideal for "grownups*" busy schedules, I offer flexible lesson plans at affordable prices, focused on a wide variety of music and styles from the classic rock era. Folk, blues and jazz, both acoustic and electric. I also have a lot to offer those who have experienced frustrating log-jams trying to improve their technique. So if you'd like to advance a little or even just get started, and thought you didn't have the time, no more excuses... your time has come!
Learn at your own pace! To accommodate your "grown up" schedule, you can take your lessons weekly, bi-monthly, every 3rd week... whatever works for you.
Learn at my studio or from home via SKYPE. I'm in the North Tampa area of Florida, and for many reasons you'll get the most out of lessons by coming here. But if the travel is a burden SKYPE is another option. If you have a broadband Internet connection, a webcam, and understand the limitations, we can do lessons that way too.
Repair and Optimize your guitar! A poorly setup guitar will impede your progress, make your playing worse, and turn practice into torture. Unlike an electronic keyboard, all guitars require individual setup and adjustments to feel comfortable and sound their best. Unfortunately unless you have a fairly expensive instrument, the factory will NOT bother to provide this time consuming individual attention. I will inspect your instrument and make repairs and adjustments as necessary. These range from intonation and neck (truss rod) tension adjustments to more elaborate procedures like fret leveling or tailpiece filing. In many cases the improvement will be dramatic and you'll enjoy the instrument 100% more. (References provided on request.) For students, most basic* adjustments will be included in the price of your lessons.
What you'll learn
Have fun learning real songs from day #1. We'll start by setting reasonable goals for some songs you want to learn. Of course there will be music theory and exercises too, but lessons should help you start having more fun with the instrument right away.
Learn the essential musical tools. Good musical tools can be re-used in a million different ways, and even those who have played for years are delighted to discover new ones. For the beginner, a few correct strums, picking and finger styles can enable you to play hundreds of songs, and you'll be surprised how far a handful of chord fingerings can take you. For the more advanced, a few new scales and patterns will open up whole worlds of soloing. You'll also learn the proper way to bend notes (an essential classic guitar sound for blues and rock styles). Finally, we'll focus on a strong rhythmic feel as you begin to use these tools, so you'll sound like a pro. And if you want to advance further and dig in, I can take you all the way to jazz improvisation.
Train your EARs, not just your brain and hands. Over time you'll learn more about scales and harmony and rhythm, and the principals that make the music work. But everything you learn will be applied to actual songs, examples, or musical improvisation. That's essential! All the theory in the world is useless if you don't develop your ears as you learn. Ultimately, developing your ears will make learning new songs 100 times easier, while preparing you to solo, improvise and write your own music.
Learn GUITAR music! If you like the guitar enough to work and practice, chances are you appreciate music in which the guitar is actually a main feature. My personal preferences are rooted in the classic rock era, when I would say the guitar was king. Of course I will encourage you to start working on the songs YOU want to play from any era, and help you develop the skills you need to play them well. But I do advise picking songs with real guitar parts before attempting to re-interpret music where all the instruments are synthesized. And by the way, while I will teach you music theory, I'm not going to make you spend lesson time learning to read music unless you want to. It's a useful skill but it is neither essential nor required.
Break down barriers in your playing. I've become a reasonably accomplished player over time, but am certainly no guitar genius. I stuck with it, had some good teachers and bad, and learned to overcome many challenges. As an engineer (my "day job") solving problems has become part of my nature. So if you've been playing a while and have had some frustration trying to improve, I can probably help you a great deal. Whatever problems you've faced as a guitarist, I've BEEN THERE, and will likely have some useful insight into helping you chip away at the barriers and get past them! The guitar is probably the number #1 instrument for developing bad practice habits and poor technique. Sadly this is often caused by teachers who didn't understand a student's problems and just assumed things would work out for them. There are few things more discouraging, annoying and detrimental than a teacher who won't address your concerns, or answers with useless advice like "just do it" or "just keep at it." Great players may charge a lot and gather a large following of students, but that does NOT make them good teachers. And by the way, here's a pleasant surprise...
Prices that won't break your budget, starting at only
$25 per visit*
This is based on 45 minute lessons*
taken every 2 weeks. Schedules are flexible, and prices will vary
for lessons taken less often. Advance payment required for all initial SKYPE lessons
Please use the form below to send me an email. Make sure to either include your own email or a phone number (and best time to reach you). Let me know what you'd like to accomplish and I'll get back to you shortly.
* means required fields
* 'Grownups' in this case generally means 'People over 30'. Its not a hard fast rule, just a guideline based on my musical history and the typical adult's need for flexible scheduling. 'Basic' guitar adjustments usually include bridge height and intonation settings, truss rod tension, and personal guidance on performing these setups for yourself in the future. More extensive adjustments requiring tools and extended time (such as tailpiece/nut filing or fret dressing/leveling) may require a separate fee. The basic fee and lesson time shown is a guideline for the average case. For example, if you elect to take only one lesson/month and are putting in significant practice time, longer lessons for a slightly higher fee might be a good choice, in order to cover all the material your are working on. We can also work out monthly plans.
Incidentally though everyone learns at their own pace, it is my experience that you should be able to practice 10 or more hours between lessons to ensure you are moving forward. The mind may learn quickly, but the body takes more time to train. For further reference, 10 hours/week minimum is a realistic goal for more advanced players wanting to make significant progress.