New Testimonials

A couple of new testimonials here from my lovely students…
“I was under Jo’s tutelage for many years. Before Jo, I was already a fairly advanced electric guitar player, but fancied learning finger style acoustic guitar. This, I was a complete beginner at. I found Jo’s lessons extremely rewarding, and now my acoustic skills far exceed my electric guitar playing. Jo and I learned many songs together, including Nick Drake and Bert Jansch to name just a couple. Jo managed to break these incredibly complex songs into easy to understand segments and displayed great patience as I fumbled my way through to begin with. On a general note, I found Jo to be a very friendly and knowledgeable tutor. I would have no trouble at all recommending Jo to anyone!”
Keith.  2018.
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“Jo was recommended by a mum in school.  She is not only a great guitar instructor but a lovely lady.  My son started guitar lessons when he was 7 years old.  Jo is patient and has a way of breaking things down so it is easy to learn and enjoyable.  She listens to what you want.  My son learnt to read the music when playing electric guitar.  She helped him get ready for school entrance and music exams.  I cannot recommend Jo highly enough”.
Victoria. 2018.
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Testimonials Update

One of the things I really enjoy about teaching guitar is the huge range of people that enquire and come for guitar lessons.  Such a wide age range and reasons for wanting to learn.

Allan is a Taxi Driver who has always loved music, he goes to live shows regularly and was inspired to started guitar lessons due to his enjoyment of Joe Bonamassa to name but one on his list of blues-infused players.  Allan decided to take the route of working throught RSL Awards Grades in order to build a good foundation, musical theory knowledge and hone the ability of reading TAB and playing along to backing tracks.

Here’s his testimonial –

 “jo is a very patient , skilled tutor with vast knowledge , I started my musical journey in playing later than most students , and currently taking a small gap , but will be back in touch with jo as soon as I can , I have switched between acoustic , electric and back again , all of this is no problem to jo , highly recommend , Allan , Wirral ,, thanks jo”

 

Jo

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Grade 4 Success!

Congratulations are in order for my guitar student Ella who has just passed her Grade 4 RGT Acoustic Guitar Grade with a Merit.

A great achievement and a hardworking student who is a pleasure to teach.  Roll on Grade 5!

Ella Grade 4

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Student Profile #1 : Rifka Orton

Hello,

This is the very first of my student profiles I’ll be sharing on the website.

I’ve found that people looking to learn  guitar get a lot from being able to read testimonials and read about other peoples learning experiences.  I teach a wide age range and abilities of students and people start lessons, and continue for very different reasons.

So what can I say about Rifka,  (..or Riffy..as she is often called.   A GREAT name for a guitarist!).  Riffy has been having lessons with me since she was 6.  After starting on a classical guitar she is now mostly seen with an electric guitar.  She has great playing ability, skills and techniques.  We have fun in the lessons whilst working at the moment through Rockschool Grade 2 Electric Guitar book and she has a great sense of music.

Here’s what she has to say…

Student:  Rifka Orton

1) How long have you been playing guitar?
I have been playing guitar for about six years.

2) Why did you begin guitar lessons?
I started guitar lessons because when i was six i loved the colour pink and my dad and I went to a car boot somewhere, I can’t remember where, and there was a pink-purple guitar and because of the colour i had to have it especially because it had a pony on it. My dad said I could only have it if I got guitar lessons and so I did. Now I play guitar for fun and because i don’t like pink as much I now have a red and white guitar.

3) What do you enjoy most about the lessons? and playing guitar?
I enjoy finding new songs to play and Jo helping me sound good. I also enjoy learning different techniques and styles that you find in some pieces of music and in some grading tasks.

4) What do you find the most challenging about the lessons? and playing guitar?
Some of the things I find hard include: mastering new techniques (even though I like it once I’ve mastered it), moving up a grade book and remembering scales.

5) Do you have any advice for people who may be thinking about having lessons in playing guitar?
If you own a guitar or know someone who has one that you could borrow, then try lessons out and then decide whether you want to continue.

 

Thanks Riffy!

 

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News!

This week I would like to congratulate Mal on the near birth of his first child.  Mal has been having guitar lessons with me for 3 years.  We have covered some great songs and playing techniques, mostly electric guitar – based and rock style.  The most recent being the guitar solo and riffs from Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy.   Great solo!   Lots of fun.    Mal will be having a couple months break to become a new dad.

Here is his recent testimonial regards our lessons.

To anyone thinking of taking guitar lessons I’d strongly recommend Jo. I have found her one-to-one instruction and advice about my own guitar playing invaluable – much easier than trying to learn from a book or You-Tube video. 

Before taking lessons, I muddled on and off for years by myself without making any real progress beyond a few basic chords. I got into a bad habit of settling for easy to play songs and abandoning anything I found difficult.

 Learning songs I really want to play with Jo has made a huge difference to my playing. It has given me the confidence to attempt more challenging pieces which I previously thought were beyond my reach. When I’ve been struggling Jo has managed to work her magic with different suggestions and approaches. I wouldn’t describe myself as a natural guitar player, but Jo has the patience of a saint and has really helped me to steadily improve over the last three years. 

 

Another recent event and acheivement is the success of one of my other students Jamie in attaining a Merit of 78% for his Rockschool Electric Guitar Grade 2 exam.   I’m happy and proud and looking forward to starting his Grade 3 journey after the Summer. In the meantime we are spending some fun time polishing up Sweet Child of Mine and Enter Sandman!

 

Jo

Categories: children's lessons, Goals, Grades, Jamming, Lessons, Playing Skills, rockschool, students, Testimonials | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

New Grade Success!

I’m very happy to belatedly congratulate my student Jamie on achieving an 80% Merit in his Rockschool Grade 1 guitar exam in December!

Jamie started having lessons with me 2 years ago after deciding the life of a rock star was calling.. now aged 10 with a nice list of benchmark riffs under his fingers (Sunshine of Your Love and Sweet Child of Mine firm favourites…) he’s on the quest of Rockschool Grades.

It’s really amazing for me to see this progress and smiles when young students are talking and getting excited about guitar. Even better when they put the work in and see themselves playing riffs they didn’t think they would be able to a few months ago.

The stage is calling! Turn up the amp….

Jo x

spinal_tap_-_up_to_eleven

 

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New Year, Achievements & Guitar Goals

Hi All,

Happy New Year from me!

2016 was a fantastic year in terms of teaching and creativity. I had students I’m very proud of head off to University and achieve successful Guitar Grades.  I also had an influx of new students to get to know and work with.

I love the freshness of the New Year to take stock and decide what’s important and to get some new goals in place..

With learning to play guitar one of my big lessons came after I had been playing for quite a few years and that was to just pick something, practice, get good at it and learn how to use it.

For me one of those choices was when I started learning to play slide guitar.  I had always been overwhelmed with the amount of routes you can take in guitar playing and often  that would slow me down as I dabbled and didn’t really feel like I was progressing.  I struggled to know my identity and direction as a player.

I learned to make decisions through writing songs. When you write songs you have to make a decision on where to go otherwise the song never gets finished.  This is how I learned slide.  I picked a slide, a few artists and a song and began to learn.

I then began to experiment with the slide once I had some techniques and understandings down.  Then I decided to write songs using my slide.That’s how I came to play slide guitar.

One step at a time. Always.

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So my point is this when you’re on your journey of learning…  Pick something, however small and do it. This will get you somewhere.  Oh, and enjoy…(required!).

So. HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Choose a couple of goals and get stuck in.  Don’t be put off by the fact that if you set a time limit you may not be ready,   this is often the case.  You will definitely be closer than you were when you began and that should be enough motivation to keep going.   It’s also allowed for you to change your goal if it no longer fits, but, keep moving….

And

Periodically take a moment to look back at what you now can do.  This can be really inspiring!

Best of Luck

Jo x

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations! University & Distinctions..

This week was my last guitar lesson with one of my long time students heading off to University.  Maisie began lessons with me at 13 years old and we have spent the last 5 years working together through RGT Acoustic Grades and ABRSM Theory, as well as some composition and learning songs.  The final achievement being her Distinction at RGT Grade 6 level.

I’m very proud and it’s been quite a journey. It has been very enjoyable for me to work with a student over that period of time, to see the development and get to take part in that. She now gets to begin the next chapter of her life studying for a Degree in Music. Exciting times.

Best of luck, it’s been a pleasure and thank you for the gifts!

maisie

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Beginners Basic Blues Progression in C

Today I’d like to share one of the lessons / handouts I’ve created to work through with some of my beginner guitarists in relation to the legendary 12 Bar Blues.  

When looking for lesson content to get my students building on their strumming patterns and chord changing, the 12 Bar Blues is a very useful template.  In its most basic form of just 3 chords, this can be developed from the most simple rhythm of , 4 x ‘down strums’  and then adding complexity at a suitable rate.

When working with people who come to guitar playing with no experience, yet love music, this is something I have found works often, as even with Major Chords the sound of the progression is recognisable as Blues.  As the students become more learned in chords I substitute the Major Chords for Dominant 7 chords and then onto more complex chords and introduce a shuffle rhythm.  

The main focus for me with beginners is to get their hands and fingers moving around progressions once they know some chords, if they recognise the sounds they create then this is a great driver.

The handout below is also great for building in an awareness of strumming 4 times per bar and getting a feel for 12 bars and a turnaround.  Some people pick this up instinctively but not so with all learners.  I’ve found this a useful starting point!

Enjoy!

Click Here for PDF version

Click Here for other PDF Downloads

12 Bar Blues in C

Categories: downloadable PDFs, Free lessons Aids, Lessons, Open Chords, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lesson slots available – July 2016

Hi all,

I have some slots for lessons available at the moment due to some of my long term students relocating and going off to University.  Although I am very sorry to see them go, I am also very happy and proud that we have some talented musicians developing.  The last few years have been dedicated, fun and interesting with me learning as many lessons as them…as ever.

For those interested in lessons or knowing of anyone who may be in the Liverpool area please message me for further information, to book a lesson or feel free to browse the website.

I look forward to hearing from you and starting a musical journey!

 

Thank you

Jo

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