Welcome to my blog, here I will be posting lots of tips and techniques for beginners and experienced guitar players alike. Feel free to leave a comment on any of the posts or contact me if there is something you would like me to write about.
Des was a complete beginner when I first started teaching him. After a successful career in football he wanted to play the guitar for enjoyment and have something fun to do in his spare time. He knew absolutely nothing about the guitar and had never had a single guitar lesson. Des is now able to play any song he wants in the style of soul and reggae, which is his preferred genre of music. Des also knows a heap of theory which he wanted to learn and also likes to play blues guitar.
Des is now a brilliant guitar player and enjoys playing for his own satisfaction.
Kalli joined me for guitar lessons as a beginner / intermediate player and wanted to learn the skills on the guitar she needed in order to express herself musically. She worked very hard with me and has become a great singer songwriter. As you can hear she can write excellent music and I am very excited to see her career as a singer songwriter develop.
Kalli regally performs live at various venues throughout the U.K and also has her music published on itunes and soundcloud as well as regually appearing on UKcountryradio and glastonburyfm.
Here’s what Kali has to say about her guitar lessons with Rob Greco in Nottingham:
“I enjoy my guitar lessons so much! Rob is great at tailoring the lessons to suit your own style and focuses exactly on what songs you want to play which makes it much more fun and engaging to learn. I am always learning new techniques and I’m amazed at how quickly I’m making progress. I would recommend Rob to anyone he is a great guitar tutor!”
So I wonder how you’ve been getting on the last few days with realising when you’ve been distracted during your guitar practice or guitar lesson and just coming back to what ever it is you’re doing on the guitar. If you’re anything like most people, the you’ve probably found it quite difficult to remember to be present whilst practicing the guitar, remember this is completely common. Again its simply because the mind is so used to wondering off. We spend so much time lost in thought so it really does take a little bit of time and a little bit of patience actually building up this skill.
Practicing the guitar between your guitar lessons in Nottingham. Hopefully by now you’re really getting a sense of what it means to apply awareness of your guitar tuition in every day life, no matter whether that’s finding short moments in the day where you actually can pause to pick up your guitar and play and not do anything else for a short time, and simply check in and allow yourself to have some time with the guitar.
But also that idea of familiarizing yourself with being present no matter what you’re doing, the moment you realise you’re distracted just gently bring the attention back to what you was practicing on the guitar or reading from your notes from your guitar lesson in Nottingham and starting to get a sense of what it means to apply awareness in everyday guitar practice no matter what you’re doing.
Long term what were looking to do with our practice time on the guitar is to build up stability in this feeling of really strong familiarization with what it means to be present whilst practicing and after a while that simply becomes a way of living and habit with your guitar practice and playing. It requires surprisingly little effort.
When we talk about integrating quality of practicing the guitar into every practice session, there are two ways of doing it. One is integrate being present in everything you are doing whilst you have your guitar in your hands with what ever you are doing. Another way is to find short bursts of time throughout the day where we can almost do a mini version of your guitar lesson or practice routine. You might find the odd minute or two where you are sitting on the bus or train or in a waiting room or at work. You don’t even have to be sitting with your guitar at all, you could be standing in line at the check out. You can use that time to just look over what you’ve done in your guitar lesson, it doesn’t even have to be that obvious but you can use that time to just visualize various chord or scale shapes or maybe a passage to the song you did last time in your guitar lesson. You will find, throughout the day that you get quite a lot of opportunities which at first might not have appeared to be there to just give yourself a mini guitar lesson.
Practicing the guitar
From time to time whilst playing the guitar either in your home or at your guitar lessons you might find your mind drifting off and your playing suffering because of that.
When this happens its best to have a break if needed or work on something else which your guitar teacher has given you. I always look back to my honeymoon (jokes aside) my best guitar playing took place when I came back after three weeks of being away from the guitar. I felt refreshed and actually missed playing my guitar.
From time to time playing the guitar might seem like a chore and its important to split your practice time into sections. Have some fun down time playing songs you enjoy as well as working on parts which you might find challenging.
I gave a guitar lesson today and the man I taught said he was really struggling with his barre chords and that he felt frustrated with it. He had taken a few days off to unwind and came to his lesson today and was absolutely fine for what I would deem acceptable at his level of playing. Very often we can put unrealistic expectations on ourselves and this can be damaging to our overall practice and improvement of the guitar.
To summarise take a break if you are finding your mind drifting off and also to just be aware that leaning the guitar takes time and to just enjoy the process of watching yourself grow.
Over the next few blog posts we will look at some of the obstacles to practicing guitar and how to over come them when they arise. We will also look at your motivation. You’ll have your own reasons why your going for guitar lessons and why you’re learning the guitar. Its really important to recognise how it impacts those around you as well because when you bring that attitude to your daily guitar practice it tends to soften the mind and making the practice feel that much easier. Imagine how good it will feel to be able to play at ease to your friends and family just being able to pick up the guitar and play! Perhaps you would like to perform in front of others at an event such as an open mic or a jam session or you might want to join a band. Maybe you want to play for a special occasion such as wedding or a birthday for your child. Either way, use these motivations each tine you pick up the guitar.
By changing the outlook a little bit, by changing the thoughts, when approaching a practice session or guitar lesson and thinking how it will benefit you and others around you by playing the guitar and being able to show loved ones how well you’re doing, usually what happens is the mind softens a little bit and we start to find a bit of extra space and are able to switch off from the day and are able to enjoy the many benefits of playing the guitar.
You will have already discovered that when you sit down to practice the guitar, the mind will immediately sit still and be prepared to concentrate on the guitar practice. Try not to change your mind or stop thoughts, instead try to change the way you relate to the thoughts and the feelings you may have as you sit down to play your guitar. A big part of it is how we choose to frame the exercise and how we choose to approach the exercise – it really comes down to motivation and intention. Usually in every day like we are caught up in our ‘stuff’ and because of this, the mind can feel quite full and not able to concentrate at will.
As a beginner Guitar student it can be daunting knowing just where to start and if to learn on line, from a book, with a teacher or all of the above?
Very often online tuition aims for the masses and ultimately satisfies a minority. It can be confusing learning from a book because the book does not give you any way of knowing if you are playing correct and very often (from my experience) if a guitar teacher is inexperienced can cause just as much confusion also.
I chose to learn via a guitar teacher and I had mixed opinions of them whilst I was learning. My first teacher was a perfectionist and would not allow me to move onto something until I had thoroughly mastered the previous lesson. Slowly I grew disenchanted and quit. It wasn’t to do with lack of talent or practice – It was the fact that this is Music which is an art not Mathematics.
I am very fortunate to have quit the guitar – Why you may ask?
Well…. I picked it back up again quite soon after and moved onto a different teacher. Honestly! the difference between the two was astonishing! I quickly regained my confidence and continued to learn the guitar. One of the all time great teachers and mentors was Tom Hess a master guitar teacher in Chicago. Tom taught me that music learning is a Geometric process not a linear one.
The majority of guitar books are written in a very logical linear way, it makes sense that if the person teaching you was taught this way then they will pass this information and method down to you (through no fault of their own). This type learning makes perfect sense if you were learning a topic which is linear such as Mathematics. Music is not one of those topics.
LINEAR guitar teaching methods don’t work as well for beginner guitar players for a variety of different reasons . Students progress very slowly, or give up like I did (thinking that they are to blame), leaving both the teacher and student feeling confused as to what went wrong. Often to compensate for this, the teacher will not use any book at all and create their own method to teach but if they were taught in this logical linear way they will pass that information to the student. This often produces very slow progress.
Many technique based exercises are muscle based and can take weeks or months to develop others are more theoretical. Think about a body builder, would he or she just work on one arm and then move on to the next once the right arm is perfect? Sounds ridiculous! Why would we do this in music with a certain part of the song which is difficult to play?
After meeting Tom I was introduced to his way of teaching and I saw results faster than anything I expected. Tom now mentors guitar teachers and I am privileged to be member who he has fully mentored on how to effectively teach the guitar and avoid certain common potfuls. Also as a member of the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle I have access to all of the cutting edge teaching methods available today for the topic of Music.
I pass on my training to each and every pupil and my aim is to get you to do in a month what would have taken me three.
If you are interested in finding out more please contact me today on 07814272649
Rob’s enthusiastic yet patient teaching style allows me to progress at my own pace. I can’t recommend him enough!
I have been seeing Rob for guitar lessons for a few years now. I am a guitar teacher myself and Rob has given me lots of confidence he really knows his stuff.
I have been having guitar lessons with Rob for six months or so. He is really welcoming and friendly and sessions are relaxed and are at a pace that works to suit me. I get to choose the stuff I enjoy playing rather than being told what to play which makes a big difference to me and means I learn because I’m enjoying it and want to practice inbetween sessions. I have really come along way since starting with him, because I think he believes in
me and my capabilities and cares about his students and tailors sessions to the individual.
Thanks Rob. Wish the school teachers were more like you, think they would get better results!!
I like the way you really care about Oli
Rob is an outstanding teacher and has helped me enormously with his flexible, patient and professional approach
Having started as a complete beginner I found Rob to be very friendly, taking the time to find out what I wanted to learn.
Lessons are adapted to suit what it is you want to play. Rob is very knowledgeable and offers plenty of support when there are elements I do not understand. I would highly recommend anyone willing to try Rob as a teacher.
You will be rocking in no time….
Hi my name is Vic and i have been taking lessons from Rob for a few months now. I have tried a few teachers in the past but I think Rob is an excellent teacher by comparison. He is friendly easy going and makes the lessons enjoyable. Also it is nice to take lessons in a proper studio rather than someones front room. If you want to learn guitar or already play and want some advanced lessons I highly recommend Rob as a teacher.