"What type of guitar should I buy?"
This depends entirely on your musical preference, or who you are buying for. For young beginners, a nylon string classical guitar (as opposed to steel string acoustic) is often better suited, as the nylon string material is gentler on the fingertips.
This would be my typical recommendation for young beginner
Yr 1 - Yr 2 pupils: 1/2 size classical guitar
Yr 3 - Yr 7 pupils: 3/4 size classical guitar
"What are the first things I should learn to play?"
Open position Major and Minor chords
Basic Down/Up strumming patterns
The Minor Pentatonic scale
Finger independence exercises
A healthy dose of classic beginner riffs and some 4-chord songs.
All of the above are covered in my beginner lessons!
"How long should I be practising?"
15 - 30 mins per day for primary school ages.
30 - 45 mins per day for secondary school ages.
30 - 60 mins+ for adult learners.
"Do I need to learn to read music in order to play?"
If you want to gain an in-depth understanding of topics such as rhythm, key signatures and time signatures then it is essential to dedicate some time to learning standard music notation, particularly the rhythmic aspect of it.
"Do I need to learn grades?"
Grades are an effective way of gauging your current level on the instrument and can provide added structure to your learning even if you don't intend on taking the exams. For students in secondary education, UCAS points acquired from grades 6 - 8 will assist towards college and university applications. I cover all of the popular syllabuses; Rockschool, Trinity, LCME (RGT) and ABRSM. It is worth noting that UCAS points are the same across all syllabuses.
"Do you offer home visits?"
Due to a busy online teaching schedule I am currently only available for home visits during the school holidays. The main areas I cover are Balham, Clapham, Putney and Wandsworth. For students located in Croydon and the surrounding areas I can offer lessons at my home studio location.
"Are online lessons as effective as in-person lessons?"
Many of my students moved over to online guitar lessons in early 2020 and have continued to study with me online. This includes students studying for their graded exams who have all passed with excellent results. Prior to this, I had been teaching a handful of students on Skype for a number of years.
The use of screen share technology allows both the student and myself to view the lesson content simultaneously. Through webcam I can analyse your playing technique, provide close-up demonstrations and offer clear guidance, just the same as you would expect in person.
All online lessons include supplied PDFs / audio / video content and I am always on stand-by to answer any questions via email.
If you would like to give online lessons a try, drop me a message about arranging a free taster lesson!
"How long are the lessons and what are the fees?"
I offer 30 minute, 45 minute and 1-hour lesson slots. Fees will vary depending on duration and location. For online guitar lessons and lessons at my Croydon location, there is the option to book a block of 5 lessons at a discounted rate. For home visits, fees will be slightly higher to cover travel time and expense. Drop me a message for more info!
"What is your cancellation policy?"
I do my best to reschedule any lessons that cannot be attended within the same week, although due to a busy teaching schedule this is not always possible.
Last minute cancellations:
To avoid forfeiting any fees, I kindly request that students provide a notice period of no less than 48 hours.