I truly enjoy teaching guitar lessons, particularly beginners. Of course I was also once a beginner, and I still remember the nervous anticipation and excitement associated with picking up a guitar for the first time. Whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned player, you probably have at least a few questions about taking guitar lessons with me. I hope you’ll find the answers you’re looking for below. If not, feel free to reach out to me through email or over the phone, and I will help you to the best of my ability.
Where are you located? How long are your lessons? How much do you charge?
I teach lessons in a dedicated music space in my home located in the Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene, Oregon. The minimum length of a lesson is double the time it will take for you to commute to and from my home. Typically, guitar lessons tend to be about 90 minutes.
When it comes to money, I try to find a comfortable balance for everyone. Eugene is a college town filled with many passionate young people like I once was. I don’t ever want to be responsible for stifling a student’s enthusiasm for learning the guitar because of money. If finances are tight, we can work to determine what will be a reasonable rate for you or your child.
I am available for lessons in the afternoons and evenings, 7 days a week.
What is your experience as a guitar teacher?
I have been teaching guitar since 1980. I have taught guitar in Portland, San Francisco, New York City and now, Eugene.
I have been playing guitar since I was 11 years old. I graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1988, and I obtained my Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 1990. For more information about my experience, click here.
What do your lessons consist of?
I try to cover 3 areas in each guitar lesson that I teach. Sometimes, we veer off course, but that’s usually productive as well…
- Simply play something you want to learn, for whatever reason. (Yes, “Stairway to Heaven” is fine.)
- Investigate the theory, harmony and rhythm in a piece of music. Maybe the one we just played…
- Learn a new technique or technical skill. This could be anything like playing slide, finger picking, guitar set-up, learning to finger a blues scale, getting a good sound from your amp, learning to read music, proper posture etc. Almost anything really.
I prepare and do my “homework” before lessons. At the end of each lesson we will come up with a plan, however loose, for the next lesson or two. We will also create a list of songs that you want to play. We will refer back to this list for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just for a fun 10 minutes of rocking. Other times, it’s to note a point of theory like the song’s harmonic structure or the use of more mechanical concepts like volume swells or arpeggios.
I’m a beginner to guitar lessons and don’t currently own a guitar. Do I need to buy one before I start taking lessons with you?
No. In fact, I would actually prefer it if you didn’t. Coming to your first lesson without a guitar is fine. I have many guitars at hand for you to use during your lesson, and spending time with you allows me to gather information about what kind of guitar will be best suited for you. My years of experience has taught me what to look for when determining which guitar will fit a beginner best.
I also like to accompany my students to purchase their first guitar. I’m not a salesman and don’t receive commission, so you can trust me to give you honest advice. And I did, years ago, work for 6 months as a guitar salesman for a major retailer, so I am very aware of all the pitches and shady deals salespeople throw at you.
Do you teach kids?
I will only teach kids who are at least 11 years old, and I do require a parent or guardian to be present for the entirety of at least the first lesson. It is absolutely imperative to me that I feel comfortable with your child and that you (both parent and child) feel comfortable with me. I may request that a parent or guardian be present at all lessons until this has been achieved.
My schedule is constantly changing. Do I need to sign up for a weekly time slot or are you flexible with your schedule?
I can be as flexible as you need me to be. You can choose to schedule lessons weeks in advance, or you can decide at the end of each lesson when you want to come in next, or you can let me know by text or phone later if your schedule is not yet set. However, the sooner you schedule your lesson, the more likely you are to get the time slot you want or need. Getting your preferred time slot also sometimes makes for a more fun and productive lesson.