First Lesson

If you already have guitar playing experience and are interested in advancing to the next level, your first lesson with me will include some or all of the following:

  • Discussion about your musical background and past experience.
  • Discussion about your musical goals and primary interests on the guitar as well as what music inspires you.
  • If you have something you are working on, I’d love to hear it.
  • If you do not have something specific that you’d like to show me, then I will ask you a series of questions in order to gauge where your skill level is at with scales, chords, music theory, and time which will also reveal any technique issues that we can work on during our lessons. If there is work to be done in any of these categories, we will find creative and exciting ways to make improvements on them.
  • Depending on what you want out of guitar lessons, we will likely decide together on a piece of music that inspires you. Whether this is a popular song, a jazz solo, or a classical guitar composition, we will use this piece to work on various elements of guitar playing for a number of weeks. Any piece of music can be used to discuss and work on almost any element of music such as improvisation, scales, theory, time, composition analysis etc… including your own original material, which I tend to prioritize if you like composing your own music.
  • Though we may work on a specific piece of music, my focus will tend to be less on the execution of that one piece. Instead we’ll work on analyzing the song, understanding the theory, optimizing the technique with which to play it, discovering compositional concepts, and simply using it as an excuse to discuss and learn deeply about the core elements of music. The goal is to learn the language that all the music we love comes from, not just how to play one song at a time.
  • Keep in mind that it can sometimes take several lessons before I discover the topics that truly excite and inspire you. Once I find those, then we’re off to the races, and I can devise the best approach to take in order to nurture your unique interests and aspirations.

If you are brand new to the guitar, your first few lessons with me will cover the following:

  • Discussion about your musical background and past experience.
  • Discussion about your musical goals and primary interests on the guitar as well as what music inspires you.
  • Note names and number labels for the open strings.
  • Tuning
  • Single note technique exercise, which will later become your daily warm up
  • Right and left hand positions and technique, including how to hold a pick or how to play with fingers depending on your stylistic goals.
  • Method book to purchase
  • C major scale
  • An introduction to chords on the guitar and the theoretical structure of chords
  • Together we will decide on some short term and long term musical goals for you to accomplish while taking lessons. This will include choosing a song or piece of music to start working on right away, as well as a reasonable practice routine that you feel good about.