I teach people how to play tunes. From that beginning you can take your playing in any direction you like, because once you can play a tune well you have all the basic ingredients needed to become a good musician - learning by ear, from notation or both. It works for complete beginners and even for very advanced players who need to take their music somewhere new.
Once you can play tunes, everything else will start to make sense. I teach chords one step at a time, starting with what we call the root note and then taking it is far as a pupil wishes to go - sixth and seventh chords, ninths, elevenths, thirteenths are all easy enough once you learn how to put them together.
Many players are really singers who strum chords, and if you sing well, after a couple of years of hard practice with a few simple chords and a song book or two, this can sound wonderful...you don't need a teacher to do this, just the determination to get your fingers strong enough to change chords quickly. Then if you feel ready to work out some really interesting accompaniment for your singing, get in touch!
Ralph McTell and Donovan were both huge influences on thousands of songwriters because they are wonderful singers and great guitar pickers. Here is Ralph live, creating such a warm atmosphere with his audience.....he takes a lot of beating!
Learn from the masters
To see how far an electric guitar can be taken playing tunes, take a look at this clip from one of my favourite concerts, Jeff Beck playing at Ronnie Scott's in London. Here he is playing John Lennon's 'A day in the life' in his own unique style, an inspiration to us all to try to find our own way on the guitar, which gives the greatest satisfaction of all, because NONE of us will ever be a Jeff Beck, an Eric Clapton or a Jimi Hendrix.
You might not like Jeff Beck's music - it is a cult thing which people come to when they recognise his ability to portray the whole range of human emotion on one instrument, his Fender Stratocaster, and other top players are in awe of his expressive skill.
Learn from the masters and then do your own thing, just as Beck, Clapton and Hendrix did all in the space of a couple of years in the sixties, along with The Beatles, Dylan, The Who, the Rolling Stones and others, changing pop music forever.
Things didn't end in the sixties......there is still new music to be made and my aim is to help every pupil find something special which they can achieve within their own capabilities. It is hard work, fun and very rewarding!
You can see the whole Jeff Beck concert on YouTube, but it is so good that I'd recommend buying it, then watch it again and again to learn how great musicians work.
YouTube has become a great teaching aid, so I use it to help pupils whenever appropriate, but first they need to learn the basics. There are some great tutorials available free on YouTube, when you know enough about the guitar to choose wisely, but even really experienced players find that nothing beats the help you can get from your own teacher.
As well as YouTube, I also use Skype and video. Find out more about the range of lessons on offer here.