GUITAR LESSONS with LUKE PARKER an
About the Guitar Lessons
Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced
“It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.”
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).
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.
Progression of lessons will vary according to each person's needs and goals, but the progression will generally follow the curriculum of the Registry of Guitar Tutors (RGT) / London College of Music (LCM). See this link to the Registry of Guitar Tutors' website for more details: RGT
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 performance, and a tailored test after every twelve weeks as revision and to monitor how much has been learnt. Students will also receive recordings to practice new chord progressions and improvising with scales over tunes. Made especially for each individual.
We’ll also take a look at the anatomy of the guitar as well as its general maintenance, adjustments and tuning, and how to take care of your instrument.
“When you strum a guitar you have everything, rhythm, bass, lead and melody.”
Dave Gilmore, Pink Floyd
Optional Performance Modules
• exams / grades
Option to work towards and take internationally recognised guitar exams from Grade 1 to Grade 8 through the London College of Music (one of the world's most respected music exam boards [est. 1887] and certified by the University of West London, UK).
• performance awards
For those who don't like taking exams, but like the idea of getting some kind of qualification, there's also the option to try for a Performance Award, which can even be assessed by submitting a video of your playing. This would be assessed by the London College of Music.
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.
• vocal & singing exercises
Learn how to improve your singing and speaking voice, using a series of breathing and vocal exercises following the guitar.
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, mix, and and even release your own music.
• bass guitar lessons
The option to learn how to play bass guitar as well as guitar.
• band workshops (additional fee applies)
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, arpeggios, chords, and techniques learnt such as improvisation into the band music.
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.”
Beverly Sills Chairman of the Board, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and opera singer.
Click here to see prices of guitar lessons.
About Me as a Guitar Teacher
I’m a guitarist, singer songwriter, music producer, and a dedicated, enthusiastic teacher of all these skills. I have two music teaching diplomas through the London College of Music, University of West London, a distinction at grade 8 on guitar, and over 12 years of experience teaching guitar to all ages and levels - including at St. Luke’s Junior School in Brighton (England); Raphael House, Steiner School in Lower Hutt (New Zealand); and at the Australian International School (AIS) in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, (Vietnam). I’m also an accomplished music workshop leader and co-founded a ‘music and performance’ workshop company called TopHat Workshops est. 2002 in the UK.
I have been playing guitar for 27 years, and 20 years as a professional guitarist. I have recorded and produced six albums (see here), have appeared on another five, and as a guitarist I have played live with a variety of bands in the UK and New Zealand, and as a guest player with bands in Indonesia, South Korea, and West Africa. I currently play in three bands in New Zealand and also offer a solo world music guitar show. More info on my current acts here.