How long does it take to learn the basics of playing guitar?

Guitar is not the easiest instrument to learn, however, the same things that make the guitar difficult to control allow it to be expressive later on. The time it takes to learn varies, but if you are consistent with daily practice you should have the ability to play some chords and play through some simple songs and melodies in about three months. This period is the biggest hurdle, and once you have cleared it playing becomes much easier and more enjoyable.

How effective are remote lessons with you?

Honestly, at the beginning of this pandemic I had my doubts. Turns out, Zoom sessions are an excellent medium for quality communication. Teaching remotely has made me more succinct and organized as a teacher. I collaborate live with my students in Gdocs during our sessions to refine goals and practice routines, and video examples with pristine audio are provided as study guides. Having these resources available has greatly improved student success. Here are my thoughts on remote lessons in more detail.

Can I learn guitar as an adult?

Yes! In fact, most of my students are adults! If you can commit to regular, focused practice sessions you will move forward, and faster than you might think. It is completely within reach for anyone with the time and desire to learn.

Do you teach children?

Yes! I enjoy teaching children! When I was younger, I suffered from rigid, impersonal instruction, and I didn't prefer learning music that way. Having a positive experience when first being exposed to music is paramount, so I do my best to create a collaborative, enjoyable learning environment with all my younger students. There isn't a minimum age requirement, as long as your child can remain focused during our lessons (maybe with a quick break or two).

How often do you recommend taking lessons?

I recommend meeting once a week if you are just starting out. Receiving regular accountability and attention will go a long way towards becoming effective and confident in your personal practice. If you have been playing guitar for some time, how often we meet depends on what your goals are and what you feel you need from me. Most of my experienced students prefer weekly sessions as well, but I accommodate less frequent meetings.

Do I have to commit to regular lessons?

No. Many of my students have untraditional schedules and do well. Regular sessions will provide more structure and accountability, but committing to a regular practice routine at-home is most important.

How long are sessions?

I offer 60 and 45 minute lessons. I have found 60 minutes to be the optimal amount of time, but 45 minutes can work effectively.

What are your rates?

Lessons are $85/60min and $65/45min.

What payment methods do you accept?

I accept Venmo, Paypal, ApplePay, and cash.

What kind of commitment do you need from me as a student?

What I need from my students is a dedicated practice window at least four days a week, and a willingness to learn. Consistent practice of any length trumps lengthy, intermittent sessions. Guitar is all about building motor memory, listening ability, and ability to respond in the moment. This combination of skills takes time and daily exposure to create. I suggest doing sessions at the same time each day and scheduling it like any other commitment. Sometimes it helps to attach your practice to another daily activity as a cue (practicing right after dinner, for instance). Effective habits and keeping a healthy, realistic mindset make all the difference.

Do you offer in-home lessons?

Sometimes! Let’s talk more about that.

Do I need to learn to read music to play the guitar?

Most of my students do not learn to read standard notation, but do enjoy learning enough to explore the wealth of free tablature on the internet. If learning to read standard notation is something you are interested in I would love to teach you, however, it is not required unless you are planning a career in music.

Do I need to learn music theory?

No, but you will likely enjoy it in small, relevant doses. I teach music theory in a way that builds a deeper context, stimulates curiosity, and creates musical empowerment in the long-term. I’ve turned many a theory-hater into a curious, young Jedi.

What kind of guitar do I need/should I purchase?

Good question! I get asked this a lot. If you already have a guitar, or if it has been sitting around a while and you are unsure of it's playability, I recommend taking it to a luthier. Often a guitar is hard to play for simple reasons an experienced professional can quickly remedy. If it seems in good shape then let's get started!

If you are looking to purchase a new guitar, think about the genres of music you are most interested in learning. There are electric guitars (requiring amplification), steel string (acoustic) guitars, and nylon string (acoustic) guitars. If you envision playing many different genres of music then I advise buying an electric guitar because you have infinite tonal flexibility, whereas an acoustic guitar will only sound like itself. If you primarily enjoy campfire strumming, then get an acoustic guitar. If you enjoy mellow fingerpicking sounds, then consider a nylon string guitar. YouTube can be a great resource for listening to different types of guitars.

Electric guitars also require an amplifier, which adds to the initial investment. I work with many beginning students to find quality instruments within their budgets, as well as those who have been with me a while and are ready to upgrade. Sometimes I use the first session to answer questions and shop for an instrument together.

Does playing the guitar hurt?

Not much, and not often. Most playing discomfort goes away pretty quickly with consistent practice as your fingertips get used to the strings, usually within a few weeks. Calluses become pretty minimal over time.

Important to note, string tension has a lot to do with how much pressure is required to anchor the strings. Electric guitars have the lightest string tension, acoustic guitars have the heaviest, and nylon string guitars are in the middle. If your current guitar is hard to play, you can try replacing the strings with a lighter gauge, or take it to an experienced professional for a full evaluation.

Should I cut my nails to play the guitar?

I recommend keeping the nails on your fretting hand as short as possible. The length on the strumming/picking hand can be grown out a little.

Lesson Policy

Please understand that although I am deeply passionate about teaching guitar, it is still my career and primary income. Therefore, I have to abide by strict policies in order to keep my business sustainable.

  • I require all payments be made at the time we schedule a lesson to reserve our lesson slot. If we agree on a regular weekly lesson time, I require payments for the month in advance.
  • Payment methods are Venmo, PayPal (the no fee option), ApplePay, Chase Quickpay, and cash. Sorry, but no checks.
  • Lesson cancellations and reschedules require 24hrs notice. Any cancellations after 24hrs are considered paid in-full. I do my best to remain flexible for rescheduling, but I cannot guarantee it.
  • Students receive text confirmation 48hrs prior to our lesson time as a courtesy reminder; this allows 24hrs to cancel or reschedule before forfeiting lesson payment.
  • I will send a reoccuring Zoom session link for online students; please bookmark it for future use.
  • Thanks for reading!