Lessons

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

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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

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Categories: children's lessons, Goals, Grades, Learning, Lessons, Playing Skills, rockschool, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

 

 

 

 

Categories: Goals, Learning, Lessons, Playing Skills, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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New Free Resources

Hi All,

I have just added some more diagrams to my ‘Free Resources‘ page.  These are all PDF quality hand out prints and I will continue to add to them.  There are a range of things on there at the moment from Chord Charts to Guitar Diagrams.  The most recent is of a split page of Acoustic Guitar Labelled Diagram / Strings on Guitar & Electric Guitar Labelled Diagram / Strings on Guitar.  These are for students and teachers alike.  Please head over and have a look and download for your use.

Enjoy

Jo

Categories: downloadable PDFs, Free lessons Aids, Lessons, notes on the guitar fretboard, teaching resources | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

RGT Grade 4 success!

I have heard the news this week that one of my students has received a Distinction in her recent RGT Grade 4 Acoustic Guitar exam.  Super news for this time of year and a job well done.  All the hard work pulled off 🙂 Congrats to Maisie Scannell!

Categories: Grades, Lessons, Music Theory, RGT, Testimonials | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Testimonials Update!

Its great to get feedback on lessons and teaching methods and to see what works.  My guitar students are so varied and in that require different methods of communication and goals/plans.  I do my best to observe and cater for the individual in the hope I can help them get to where they want to be.  If they don’t know where they want to be, I try my best to help them find it.
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Here are some updated testimonials from some of my current students.
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“As an adult guitar learner, Jo has been ever so patient with me and my confidence in playing has improved immeasurably. Jo is a talented and knowledgeable teacher and I would absolutely recommend her” Normandie
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“Jo is outstanding, I was having trouble sumarising Jo’s guitar tuition, but that just about covers it. I’ve taken up guitar for a couple of reasons, but mostly personal amusement. Given that I’ve started with almost zero musical knowledge, Jo has shown extreme patience, insight and skill in diagnosing the numerous inventive ways I find to get things wrong. She works well, finding where I’m going wrong, correcting and providing ways for me to improve. Jo is good at providing building blocks you need and breaking things down into manageable chunks to learn.Simply put, in my opinion, it’s definitely worth seeking Jo out and seeing how she can help your guitar playing progress” Chris
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“Jo has been a fantastic and inspirational teacher for me. As a “mature” learner who has been trying to play guitar for several decades, I’ve had several teachers but Jo has really helped me to develop in ways that none of the others could. She responds fully to my preferences regarding songs and styles and also comes up with excellent ideas. The mix of technique and performance practice is perfect for me. And she’s such an easy person to like”Jack
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“Jo has been teaching my two daughters for around 3 years now and in that time they have made great progress in using various techniques, grade work and playing for pleasure. Importantly they really enjoy their lessons and their practice!” Annette

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“Jo Bywater is the best guitar teacher I have ever had. The lessons are very much focused on my own interests and the songs and skills I wish to learn which makes practising much more fun than just having tasks set for me. She has a fantastic eye for detail and uses this ability to break down complex riffs and songs into smaller, more easily understood techniques. Jo is patient, she communicates really well and is very understanding and flexible with lesson times and bookings. I would recommend any guitarist, beginner or expert to take lessons with Jo as her great skill and broad knowledge mean everyone stand to learn something new”  Dan

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New season new guitar lessons

Welcome back!

After a refreshing summer and break from the routine of school and work I know lots of you are ready and raring to go.  For some it will be in starting a new hobby and for others it will be getting back into the swing of things again.  New seasons are the best time to pick up and launch into learning and new pursuits.  It’s the same for us teachers as well.

For those of you interested in learning a little more about guitar lessons don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask away.

Hope to see you picking up 6 strings and making some noise!

Check out the FAQs and the rest of the site to see what I do and where I’ve been.  If you have any questions after that please get in touch.

Jo

Jo Bywater

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