Frequently Asked Questions

Is left-handed guitar playing different from right-handed guitar playing?
Does it make a difference whether you learn on an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar?
How do you learn to play different styles, such as blues or country?
Why is learning theory necessary, I just want to have fun?
Musicians keep telling me I need to learn about keys. Why is this important?
How much practice time do you require?
How much are lessons?
What is your cancellation policy?
Do you teach bass?

Is left-handed guitar playing different from right-handed guitar playing?

Regardless of which hand you use on the neck, it’s taught the same way. If you use a right handed guitar and are left-handed, this places your strong hand on the neck of the guitar, which can be an advantage.

You have the choice of buying a left-handed guitar, but they are custom instruments and are more expensive.

Does it make a difference whether you learn on an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar?

No. However, the acoustic is harder to play because the strings are thicker, so it demands more strength to play. If you are a beginner and have an acoustic (and the courage), it’s wiser to use the acoustic because the hands strengthen and the fingers callous more quickly. Then if you want to play the electric guitar later it can be much easier.

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How do you learn to play different styles, such as blues or country?

The underlying theory is the same regardless of the style. A certain style sound is achieved by focusing on a particular group of resources. Being aware of the underlying theory allows a player to not only create a certain style sound, but add their own personal flair.

Why is learning theory necessary, I just want to have fun?

Theory is not necessary if you just want to learn a few songs. Some people prefer and have the most fun mimicking a song. There is nothing wrong with this. Music is for everyone and everyone has the right to play at the level they enjoy and desire.

However, if you want your music to be a creative outlet, a means of self-expression, it is best to know how things work. In reality, learning the theory is not nearly as difficult as most people think. If you know how to add or subtract you’ll be able to learn my system. The real issue is that the material must be deeply memorized, so when it’s time to create the mind has images of its options.

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Musicians keep telling me I need to know about keys. Why is this important?

Understanding keys is very important. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They allow you to make sense of the chord pattern of a song. Songs have a structure. Chord progressions aren’t random; and knowing the key clues you in to the underlying song structure.
  • Knowing keys allows you to communicate chord pattern information to other musicians more effectively. (For example a 1, 4, 5 pattern in the key of G.)
  • It is important to know the degree position each chord holds in the key. In commercial music how you color the 1 and 4 chords of the key dictate the style of the song.
  • To improvise or arrange a song, you must know two things: key and song style. Without this information, you have to randomly experiment until you stumble upon a good idea.

How much practice time do you require?

Five hours a week appears to be the minimum amount of practice time needed to sustain consistent progress with the theory and hand training. It can be done with less practice, but it takes much longer.

A lot of my students are a bit overwhelmed when I tell them how much practice time is required. But once you start to get results you’ll find yourself motivated (and having fun!) and will find making practice time a regular part of your life is easier than you thought, just as they do.

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How much are lessons?

Currently, the fee per hour is $35. My regular students meet with me for one hour weekly.

What is your cancellation policy?

24 hours notice must be given to avoid a charge. If you cancel the same day as your lesson there will most certainly be a charge unless it’s an emergency.

I must be given adequate notice prior to the canceled lesson to work in students who are on the waiting list.

Do you teach bass?

I do. In fact, I can have you starting to create and improvise bass runs in about 8 lessons. Learn more about my bass lessons.

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