Are you a parent looking for the most effective guitar lessons for your child?
Do you want you teenager to take guitar lessons that get results?
Do you want your teenager to unlock their full potential on the instrument?
Are you a teenager wanting to be able to play your favourite songs on guitar?
Do you want to be able to play your favourite guitar solos?
Do you want to be able to write your own songs?
Sit down, look at a song, or watch a video on youtube about some aspect of playing guitar.
I’m also going to guess that you don’t progress very quickly, don’t really understand how the guitar works, and quite often it feels like a struggle. How do I know that? Because I have been where you are. I can sympathise with how it feels spending hours and hours, days and days, trying to learn your favourite song. I remember how it feels to want to write my own songs, but having no idea how to do it and feeling like I didn’t have a single creative bone in my body. I know what it feels like to have a teacher that teaches you random bits and pieces of guitar theory and songs here and there. I remember what it feels like to sit with my metronome trying to improve my technique... and for some reason it didn’t work.
I understand how that feels... and how frustrating it is.
I know that you want more for yourself and from your guitar playing.
Maybe you want to stand with your electric guitar and write your own killer riffs?
Maybe you want to record an EP of your own music?
Maybe you want to take the stage front and centre and play killer solos on your guitar?
I want to help you do all that. Allow me to spend a few minutes explaining how:
Understanding rhythm. This is vital for learning killer riffs. You need to be able to listen to a riff, and not just hear a bunch of notes, but be able to know rhythmically what is happening - are they using a string of semi quavers? Are they playing in triplets? Are they moving into a compound time signature? When you conceptually understand rhythm, you then know what it is you are trying to get your hands to do, rather than trying to replicate a seemingly unrelated set of sounds. We will train you to be able to understand rhythm in detail, so you can not only play your favourite riffs, but deconstruct them so you know why they sound so awesome... which is vital for writing your own! Once you conceptually understand rhythm, you need to be able to play it, which brings us to:
Having the technical ability to play these rhythms. When I talk about technical ability, I mean basic things like moving your pic, holding down the correct frets, being able to move between frets, having a consistent palm mute, etc. This is actually quite easy to learn, if, you have a well structured and thought out training program, that allows you to incrementally increase your ability and consistently re-enforce what you have already learnt. Which is what we do for you, so that you can play all of your favourite riffs and songs.
Does writing your own music require some sort of natural talent or gift as a songwriter? Fortunately, the answer is no! We can train you to become a good songwriter.
What do you need to be able to do, in order to be a good songwriter?
Understand the music theory behind how riffs and chord progressions work. The foundations of being able to write your own music are music theory. Now, when I say music theory, I don’t mean sitting down with a pen and paper and being really bored. I mean learning how the guitar works, how music works, how you can get tonnes of short cuts for your own awesome riffs! For example, when you understand what scales fit over which chords, you now know how to write a guitar solo over any chord progression. When you understand key signatures and scale harmonisation... you understand how to write chord progression that sound great, every single time, and you know they will sound good before you play them! When you understand how scales and scale harmonisation integrate with each other... you can write your own riffs.
So now you understand music theory and you can write your own ideas, you need to be able to put your ideas together, you need to understand:
How songs are structured. Songs are not randomly thrown together. They have a structure. A very typical structure is something like:
⁃ Chorus to fade
I’m sure you can think of a few songs with a structure very similar to this. Understanding how songs are structured allows you to take your ideas and start putting them together. This also helps you understand what sort of ideas you want, what sort of arrangement you want to use (more on that later) and it can also help you come up with new ideas. You also need to understand how to move from one element to the other, what sort of rhythmic density is appropriate for each element and how you can use dynamics to make different sections jump out. There is quite a lot involved in structure, but knowing how it works gives you a vital skill. We will teach you what all of these terms mean, give you examples and also train you on how to use them in your own songwriting. Once you have your structure in place, you need to understand:
How to arrange the other instruments... there is more than just guitar!
So your song is coming together! You know some theory, you’ve written your first ideas, got them fitting together in a structure... now you need to understand how to arrange the other instruments! You need to know how to write the bass guitar parts, the harmony parts and also the vocal parts. If you want to use strings (for example violins, cellos) or other instruments (maybe a keyboard or synthesiser?), you need to be able to write those too. There are also the drum parts to think about. This is the stage where your ideas start to really come alive and start sounding like “a song”. But if you can’t do this.. all you really have is a bunch of guitar riffs - and no song. As a musician, you want to understand how the different instruments involved interact with each other, and what their roles are. Ideally, you want to be able to write the lyrics and vocal melodies, even if you can’t sing. But once you can do this... now you can write entire songs. And if you can write 1 song... you can write 100! And we are going to guide you through each step of this process.
Now that you have written your songs, you need to:
Understand how to record your ideas
Is this as simple as playing record and hoping for the best? I wish! When it comes to recording your ideas, you need a rock solid sense of time. You need to be able to play to a click, incredibly accurately. You need to know where every single note in your song goes, in relation to the beat. You need to have a great sound, and to know what types of sounds and effects you want to use. You need to be able to spot when you are not playing in time. And if you can't do these things... your recording will be a nightmare. This might sound like a lot to think about... and it is! But the good news is, these are all things that you can be taught how to do, and trained to reliably do, repeatedly, so that every time you sit down to record your music, you can just go ahead and record your music. That is what we are going to train you to be able to do. Once you have done this, you start to:
Understand the process behind songwriting
Songwriting isn’t a spark of divine intuition (unless you are Mozart). It’s a process. It is a process you can learn. It is a process that we can teach you. It is a process you can be trained on, like any other aspect of playing guitar. And we have figured out complete, comprehensive and simple method to take all of these things we have talked about... and get you doing them! We will take you from knowing your first chord to being able to compose entire albums of music. And as if that wasn’t enough... the process is so much fun!
An while you have learnt all this, your friends who aren’t training with us have learnt two positions of a minor pentatonic scale and are super confused about what “modes” are and how they work, while you’ve been working on becoming a guitar god - your friends are going to be amazed at what you can do with your guitar playing!
Once you know your scales, you need to start developing:
2. Jaw dropping speed
I remember back when I was learning to play guitar... the one thing I was absolutely dying to be able to do was to play killer solos. I wanted to have the fastest, most expressive, jaw dropping solos. So I practiced to my metronome religiously. I spent hours working on the exercises to develop speed from magazines, articles, my favourite guitar players. And it worked... sort of. I would get a bit faster. But the process was very slow. Very tedious. Not very efficient. Once I learnt the proper way to practice to technique, I made huge advances in my speed. You see, the thing with technique is, we don’t want to practice playing a bunch of notes... we need to practice how we play those notes, and we have to practice how we play those notes in a very, very specific way. And when we do that... you can rip through 10.. 12... 14... 16 notes a second, without even trying! And that is what you want, right? When it comes to training you on this technique, I have done all the hard work for you. I know how you need to be moving the pick and what you need to be mentally focussing on. All you have to do, is practice what I say, the way I say to do it. It really is that easy. And you are going to make progress and advance your playing... every single class! Want to learn to sweep pick? Easy - I have a training program that can have you sweep picking at over 1000 notes per minutes... effortlessly. Once you have the speed, you need:
3. Totally killer expression
What do we mean when we talk about expression? The technical term is “note ornamentation”. It isn’t what notes we play, or how fast we play them, it is how we play them. Do we slide into them? Do we pre-bend down to them? Do we bend up, hold the bent note, then re-articulate with a vibrato that will grab every listener in the room and make them 100% focussed on what you are doing? Ideally we want to be able to do all of these things! To make our solos more expressive, we need to:
A) Know what our options are. What are the different ways we can play a single note? We have all the answers, and will share them with you!
B) Train on how to use them. Knowing what the options are is a good start, but we need to be able to use them. Training on using expressive techniques is not as simple as “just playing it”. You need to train on each specific element of that technique. For example, did you know that there are three different exercises required to train you to have a totally killer basic vibrato? More advanced vibrato requires addtional exercises. We know what they are. We know how to train you on them. We know how to turn you into that guitar player with the totally killer vibrato.
C) Integrate them. You’ve trained on your different techniques, awesome! But... can you use them together? Can you slide into a note, bend it, in tune, then re-articulate with a delayed vibrato? We will train you how to do that (By the way, when you can do that it sounds amazing!).
D) Apply them. You have these killer techniques under your belt... but can you take them and apply them in different musical situations? In different key signatures? Once we have trained you on how to do this, you will be able to use these techniques any time that you want to.
Hopefully you are starting to understand why teaching yourself can be so difficult, and the advantages to being trained by an expert guitar coach, on how to be an expert guitar player. It really is as simple as working on what we ask you to, the way we ask you to do it :) And by getting training, rather than trying to figure it all out yourself, you progress much, much faster, saving yourself years.
And most importantly,