Is my child old enough to learn guitar, and what ages do you teach?
I teach children of all ages. 3 or 4 is usually the very youngest age, and they will need to get a child’s guitar, preferably an electric with light strings.
Are you good at teaching kids?
Yes. I’m teaching a number of youngsters at the moment. I keep things simple, manageable and entertaining.
There is usually a particular song or two that a child loves, and teaching a simplified version of this gets them motivated to play.
How long are lessons?
Lessons are an hour long. I really believe in hour long lessons. It allows enough time to review material, go over new material, and actually have a connection with students.
Can anybody learn to play guitar or are some people not talented?
Anyone can learn to play the guitar. Some people believe that their hands are too small, or weak, or that they don’t have “talent”. Some of the best players of all time actually had missing fingers, or serious diseases that made things more difficult for them, but this didn’t stop them. Others say they have ADD or ADHD. In my opinion, ADD is practically a prerequisite for becoming a great guitar player.
What is your teaching style like?
I adapt my style of teaching to people differently. If you want to pursue music seriously, then I will push you harder and emphasize different aspects of the guitar. If you just want to strum some songs casually, then things will be more relaxed.
I teach a combination of songs, music theory, ear training, and technique. I have a large shelf full of guitar books, and I’ve been through a number of different curriculums, which allows me to choose the right exercise or song at the right time for specific students.
My teaching is also based on feedback, combined with examples. I explain a concept, play an example of it, then ask my students to try. Once they do this I provide feedback on what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.
Shouldn’t a child/person learn to play acoustic guitar first before electric?
This is simply not true. Many parents believe firmly in this, even if they know little about guitar. My father also believed this and forced me to play acoustic first. Acoustics are more difficult to play, and aren’t as exciting or interesting as electrics. This makes guitar more difficult and less enjoyable, meaning your child is more likely to give it up, and more likely to get injured trying to play. And that’s not good.
I suggest an electric as your first guitar. You should see the faces on kids when they play an electric guitar for the first time. I have both an electric and acoustic in my studio that I allow students to play so they don’t have to bring their own guitars.
If you have a child that wants to play guitar, I would get them a small electric, and a small amp with a number of different “effects” such as distortion, chorus, flanger, delay, etc. I would also recommend getting some effects pedals that you can plug into you guitar. This makes the guitar sound crazy. It becomes the ultimate toy.
Do you come to houses to teach?
I no longer offer any more house calls. It’s very inconvenient, and I have most of my teaching materials at my studio.
What styles of music do you teach?
I teach rock, blues, folk, popular music, jazz, and both fingerstyle and pick style guitar. This includes technique, music theory and ear training. If you’re hellbent on learning classical finger style guitar like Andres Segovia, or hardcore old style jazz guitar like Joe Pass, then I would recommend another teacher.
What is your rate?
I charge 30 dollars for a full hour, which is a very low rate for guitar instruction.
How are payments handled?
I prefer just cash or check for each lesson. That keeps things simple. Some people are very averse to this, and really want to pay in chunks. I also don’t offer discounts for blocks of lessons.
Do you offer half hour lessons?
Not currently. A full hour offers you so much more. A half hour compromises teaching quality, and it is usually only a little less money.