Beginner  /  Intermediate  /  Advanced
(designed for 1- 3 people per lesson)
 
THE LESSONS



Scales, Chords and a bit of Theory

The lessons get straight to the point, using practical and entertaining exercises to show how to play scales and chords. Students then use what they’ve learnt to improvise, jam and particularly write their own music, (the most rewarding feeling when playing guitar). At the end of each lesson we play a quick game to help each topic sink in.

For more advanced students, we look at this more in depth and work towards understanding how scales, chords and theory all fit together. And how chords and scales can be transposed to more complicated structures, giving players a better understanding of guitar; for lead playing, fills, rhythm playing and using all this to improvise around pieces of music (an essential skill required as a musician).


Practice CD

Students will also receive a monthly recordings to practice new chord progressions and improvising with scales over tunes. Made especially for each individual.


Technique & Rhythm

We regularly focus on right hand technique with an emphasis on strumming, finger picking and rhythm. Students have the option to learn reggae, ska, hip-hop, funk, blues, jazz, African, Latin American, folk, Brit-pop, indie, rock, pop, ballads... in fact any style of music!
We’ll also be slowly but steadily building left hand technique, using simple tips and fun activities to avoid fret buzz, misplacement and to increase efficiency.


 
Music Projects & Home Tasks

During the course I'll be setting projects of various sizes, including on-going compositional work, learning guitar pieces of their choice and even designing their own scales and chords (which often result in finding ones already there!). There will also be weekly homework activities, the occasional school performance and a quick test after every twelve weeks to monitor how much has been learnt.


Guitar Maintenance

We’ll also take a look at the anatomy of the guitar as well as its general maintenance, adjustments and tuning. And that the guitar needs to be taken care of and respected, as if it’s your axe (as it is often nicknamed).


Optional Extra Modules
vocal & singing exercises

Students can learn how to improve their singing and speaking voice, using a series of breathing and vocal exercises following the guitar.

song-writing

Help, or guidance, with writing music, songs and melodies (all levels); working on the structure of lyrics and creative writing content; and integrating new skills into compositions.

performing

Here students can get tips for building confidence towards performing; learn microphone techniques; stage methods; the setting up of gigs; how to use amplification; and also tips for developing skills as a session musician. This module can include an opportunity to try out on stage.

recording (additional fee applies)

An option is available, to record and master your own CD at 'Pondlife Studios NZ' www.pondlifestusios.com (for a discount price) with the full co-operation of a professional sound engineer.

music marketing

Guidance and tips of how to market your music using the Internet.

percussion lessons

Students also have the option to learn how to cleverly use various percussion instruments to join in with, and improve, guitar playing and jam sessions.

band workshops (additional fee applies)

Kids:
After several months of playing, students then have the option to be coached as a band with their friends. Lessons include how to keep time, to structure the music and to keep space; how to use amplification properly; how to work together as a team and most importantly - how to listen to one another. These lessons would run alongside the normal guitar lessons so as to incorporate scales, chords and techniques learnt, into the band music.

Adults:
Drop in classes are available for adults. Each week participants are given several tunes to learn, along with a new scale to play. The following week we run through each tune together, some playing chords whilst other the lead melodies. Also each person has the chance to improvise over the top of the tune, using a set scale and the new scale of the week.

drumming workshops

Drumming in a group is a great experience and unifies all who play. I offer workshops in drumming and percussion, where students can learn how to play a variety of modern and authentic rhythms on djembe drums (from West African to Drum & Bass), how to create their own rhythms and how to work together to produce a good overall sound. Please go to the following link for more information:

TopHat Drumming Workshop