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Dallas Guitar Lessons

Solace Music School

Solace Music School

4.9 15 Reviews
Being a passionate musician and singer, my desire is to impact men and women, young and old, regardless of their background, culture, race, gender or color with this God given musical gift. Anybody can learn music. My ultimate goal is to Enhance Quality Music, Psalm 33:3. I've been in the music industry professionally for over 20 years now. I've played and taught music across Africa, Europe and now America. I bring to my students diversity; jazz, classical, pop, Gospel, Contemporary, Traditional Hymns, Country etc. I teach how to read music and also play by ear. You can find some of my work on Facebook, www.facebook.com/solacemusicschool and ... View Profile
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Music Kahncepts Studios

Music Kahncepts Studios

5.0 15 Reviews
In 1977, I studied at the Guatemalan National Conservatory of Music with Professors Alejandro Herrera and Rene Abularach on Classical guitar. I also studied harmony and composition with Igor de Gandarias, Juaqin Orellana and Jorge Sarmientos. In New Orleans, I took private jazz guitar courses with steve Masakowski and Hank Mackie. In 1983 I started my own Jazz band, “Acoustic Ensamble”, a band that I shared with well known international musicians like: Carlos Gomes, Fernando Perez, Bryon Sosa, Miguel Angel Villagran, Igor Sarmientos, Alfredo Caceres, Antonio Cosenza, German Giordano, Rolando Gudiel, Roberto Abularach, Auri Ruiz, M ... View Profile
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Marino Best Guitar Instructor

Marino Best Guitar Instructor

5.0 14 Reviews
Played professionally for the USMC. A great understanding of both theory and Harmony and how to apply it for creative lead i can help you achieve your goals. Whether to play songs or lead.  You'll understand what you're doing and fully enjoy the process
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CGP ( Cool Guitar Players)  Music Studios

CGP ( Cool Guitar Players) Music Studios

5.0 11 Reviews
I offer skills of musicianship,sound, people-skills and a knowledge of musical accessories, instruments, & sound equipment. April 1986-August 2014 Music teacher for students of guitar, bass and piano. 1) Taught basic music curriculum(beginner to advanced) to individuals or groups. 2) Promoted & sold accessories for students. 3) Teachiing Fees $30/online an hour/ Travel-in-home $38 an hour.includes video recording playback of lesson if you so desire. 4) Guitar Styles: Starter, Beginner, Classical, Fingerstyle, Folk, Rock, Jazz, Country, Flamenco.   5) Piano:teach beginner level/Alfred 1A and Alfred Adult/Lesson.Techique & Theo ... View Profile
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Red Oak Classic Guitar School

Red Oak Classic Guitar School

5.0 5 Reviews
Lesson for all ages in your home!  Classic, acoustic, or electric guitar.
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Panther City Soundscaping

Panther City Soundscaping

5.0 4 Reviews
The focus in the lessons are in learning popular songs, rather than taking time going over music theory up front.  The music theory is integrated into the lessons while learning the songs.  This model is set up so that the rewarding milestone of actually being able to play a familiar song will leave beginners less likely to quit.
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Reverb Lessons

Reverb Lessons

5.0 4 Reviews
Reverb Lessons is on a mission to make learning to play, sing or create music as easy as possible. Unlike a traditional music lesson company, Reverb Lessons has designed its customer experience around you: simply sign up online, book a time with your instructor and explore your creative side. You have the choice of taking lessons online, at the instructor's location, or at your place — whatever works best for you. All payment is taken care of head of time, so no need to worry about having cash for your lesson. Reverb Lessons puts all of its teachers through a rigorous interview process, ensuring that only the best instructors help you learn t ... View Profile
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Jazz Becuzz Art Center

Jazz Becuzz Art Center

5.0 3 Reviews
My Name is Candace "Mahogany" Miller. I and my colleagues are all performers as well as Educators. We love to keep our classes fun and upbeat, teaching the fundamentals while exploring the evolution of the music world! We are a center dedicated to art for the whole family.  Music is a great way to stimulate our minds and a great outlet for our energy!  Our students range in age from 3yrs old to 95yrs old.  We want to see families find fun and creative things to do in the home beyond TV and digital devices!   And if we must use digital services,   let's be innovative and use them to create!  ... View Profile
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Larios Music Academy

Larios Music Academy

5.0 3 Reviews
 Larios Music Academy is a Christ centered music school in Grand Prairie, Texas. Students have the ability to learn, perform and create music. Larios Music Academy offers many programs such as music lessons, audio engineering, vocal classes, CD Recording and instrument sales. We have a particular program for every individual student and strive for excellence.
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Dallas Music Academy

Dallas Music Academy

5.0 3 Reviews
We provide highly individualized lessons that are tailored specifically to each student's needs and goals and our teachers hold music degrees and maintain an active career as teachers and performers.
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Soar Music School

Soar Music School

5.0 2 Reviews
We stand out first for the fact that our main focus is ministry.  The media aspect of Soar is way above and beyond any other program.  The photos, audio & video you get from music videos, concerts, etc. is incredible.
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Jordan Urashi Guitar Lessons

Jordan Urashi Guitar Lessons

5.0 2 Reviews
Custom electric/acoustic guitar lessons planned according to the kinds of music the student wants to learn to play, and according to the students prior experience. I have been playing over half my life and I am 22 years old. I am also in a successful band and have experience playing live shows. I think I could appeal to students of all ages, especially young future rockers! I have a room in a studio as well as a practice room at my house with plenty of equipment. I cover pretty much all genres, from the heaviest of metal to modern pop. One important thing I’ve discovered over my years of teaching is that students More efficiently l ... View Profile
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R Music Studio

R Music Studio

5.0 2 Reviews
I have been playing the guitar for more than 35 years and teaching guitar for more than 15 years. Over that time, I’ve had numerous students and typically have about 35 private students per week.  In addition to the private guitar lessons I give, I also give weekly guitar classes for both the City of Garland at the Holford Recreation Center and for the City of Sachse. I also have begun a weekly advanced guitar class at my church for those who have made it through the Garland or Sachse classes & need advanced instruction. Since March 2010, I have been leading the youth band at my church, Buckingham United Methodis ... View Profile
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James Tarbutton Guitar/Piano/Bass Instructor

James Tarbutton Guitar/Piano/Bass Instructor

5.0 2 Reviews
I’m a graduate of the Meadows School of Music at SMU with a Masters in guitar performance. I have studied music since a very young age, studying both piano and guitar. I play a variety of instruments including guitar, piano, bass, and a variety of folkloric stringed instruments. I believe that lessons should be tailored made for each student. A “one size fits all” mentality doesn’t work as efficiently as developing a curriculum that works to strengthen a student’s weakness and use their strengths to develop confidence.  ... View Profile
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Mike Ellis Music Instruction

Mike Ellis Music Instruction

5.0 2 Reviews
My teaching approach: Lessons are customized for each student. Beginners learn basic songs with easy chords to build coordination and timing, then students recommend songs THEY want to learn. Advanced songs, ear training, and music theory then go with the teaching of the songs they enjoy. Whether it is guitar, piano, bass, or banjo, we will have fun and you will learn to play. My influences are: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Joe Walsh, and MANY more. My lessons take place in: The teacher's studio All lessons with me take place in the following areas: Northeast Dallas, 9450 Skillman #101, Dallas, TX ... View Profile
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Rose Muisic Lessons

Rose Muisic Lessons

5.0 1 Review
My name is Neely Rose, I Studied music in California at Musicians Institute... I have been playing my whole life, it's what I do for a living, and its what I love.. I have been in several different bands, from bluegrass and country to Rock and roll. I have been teaching (mandolin, guitar, bluegrass, blues, and various styles) for 4 years. My youngest student is 8, and my oldest student is 60. I teach all levels of students. Call me or email me to Setup lessons! ... View Profile
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Michael Pollard Productions

Michael Pollard Productions

5.0 1 Review
I am a guitarist,bassist,engineer,producer,and sessionplayer with over 22 years experience in music.I have a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Guitar from Dallas Baptist University and an Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sound Recording Technology from Cedar Valley College.One of my greatest strengths as an instructor is the type of versatility that comes from my own gigging experience in classical,jazz,worship styles,country,rock,blues,rn'b and more.I custom tailor my curriculum to the interests/abilities of my students and strive to help them reach their musical ad professional goals.I offer guitar lessons,bass lessons,music productio ... View Profile
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Nic's Music Studio

Nic's Music Studio

5.0 1 Review
I have been playing piano and guitar since before my first memories as a child! I have a passion for music that shows. From being classically trained in piano, to conducting my high school marching band, to leading worship at my local church, to playing saxophone in numerous jazz combos/big bands, and singing in my university's choir, I truly have a diverse range of musicality and will use everything that I have learned to make you the musician you aspire to be! I am currently studying music theory at Dallas Baptist University where I am being equipped to be a composer (which is my dream). I am in my second year of college. Thank you for chec ... View Profile
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Music Studio Group

Music Studio Group

5.0 1 Review
We strive for excellence, not perfection. We invite you to surpass the average and aim for higher levels of excellence; an invitation to tap into your talents more deeply than before and turn yourself into a radiating powerhouse. It is time to live your purpose in life and share your unique, beautiful gifts with all others! 
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Brooke Corcoran Guitar Lessons

Brooke Corcoran Guitar Lessons

5.0 1 Review
My teaching approach: I tailor my lessons to fit the students goals. Beginner students want to learn songs, not theory. So I get the student playing /singing before I focus on scales and theory. I want to teach the student what they want to learn as well as giving them the skills to be a good musician/vocalist. I also determine what your learning style is, so that I can effectively teach you in the way you learn best. I have over 14 years teaching experience in guitar and voice, and I teach songwriting and ukulele as well.  I've been performing locally and internationally for over 7 years. My influences are: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Patty ... View Profile
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Bryan Blackmon (beginner/advanced And Everywhere In Between)

Bryan Blackmon (beginner/advanced And Everywhere In Between)

4.0 1 Review
I've taught many students in the past and enjoy helping students achieve their playing goals! I'm an adaptable teacher which makes me a beginning guitar students dream. Learning the guitar can be frustrating and unrewarding in the beginning. Being able to adapt to each students specific goals allows me the time needed to design a perfect lesson plan. 
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Magic Music

Magic Music

Magic Music was the first organization to match music Teachers of ALL different types of instruments with students for private in-your-home lessons! Our Teachers are experienced teaching ALL ages and ALL skill levels, beginners to advanced! Magic Music selects only the most masterful and professional Music Teachers for our music program. Our Teachers are some of the most fun, caring, patient, and educated in town, and have extensive teaching and performance experience. Most of Magic Music’s Teachers have Bachelor, Master, or PhD Degrees in music, and are recipients of numerous prestigious awards and scholarships. Our experienced selection pr ... View Profile
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Chandon Valentich Guitar Lessons

Chandon Valentich Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I begin with tuning, strumming, rhythm, and then scales. Once mastered, I move to teaching songs followed by teaching song writing and structure with mixed music theory. Depending on the student, I will then move on to advanced techniques such as chromatic, pentatonic, and arpeggio scales. I even teach pinch harmonics and proper bending and sliding. My gear: B.C. Rich Masterpiece Bich BOSS Pedals: ML-2 Metal Core, DD-3 Delay, Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer, Phase Shifter, Chromatic Tuner Marshall Half Stack Fender Jam 75W amp My influences are: Ingwie Malmsteen The Human Abstract August Burns Red The Deadlight Effect Oh Slee ... View Profile
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Cody Marriott Guitar Lessons

Cody Marriott Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I teach fiddle and guitar. I am the Texas State Fiddle Champion of 2007 and Five Time Missouri State Fiddle Champion. I teach breakdowns, swing fiddle, guitar lessons and tenor guitar lessons. My guitar lessons take place in: Either location Guitar Techniques: Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, Fingerpicking, Jamming Skills
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Jack Valen Guitar Lessons

Jack Valen Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I begin with how to choose & take care of instrument, how to string guitar & how to tune the guitar. I teach numbers, music theory, chord campatibility & key structure, beginning with 1st position. I play 5 different instruments including guitar. Major influences were Chet Atkins, Mel Bay & BB King. I had formal jazz lessons under John Perkins. I've open shows for big name acts & local bands. My guitar lessons take place in: Either location Guitar Techniques: Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, Fingerpicking, Vocal Accompaniment, Performance, Improvisation, Jamming Skills, Reading Music, Music Theory, Scales and Exercises, So ... View Profile
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Graham Bower Guitar Lessons

Graham Bower Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I have been playing guitar for 13 years and have been teaching for 2 1/2. Most people who want to play guitar do so in order to learn to play a song. That is my main focus of lessons. All techniques, scales, chords, etc. are taught in order to use them in learning/playing a song. My influences are: In the order they come to my mind: Trey Anastasio (Phish), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jimi Hendrix, Dave Matthews, Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger (Umphreys Mcgee), Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever (Coheed and Cambria), John Frusciante (RHCP), Chuck Garvey and Al Schnier (Moe.) My guitar lessons take place in: The teach ... View Profile
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David Williams Guitar Lessons

David Williams Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I teach and stress fundamentals. I use a series of books that act as a guide and let you learn at your pace. I interject my own additional ciricculum to help you execute and learn faster. My influences are: Jimmy Page, Randy Rhodes, Eric Clapton, Slash, and many more. My guitar lessons take place in: The teacher's studio or the student's home Guitar Lessons with me take place in the following areas: I teach in my home which is in Lewisville Tx, or I offer online lessons using a web cam Guitar Techniques: Song Writing, Scales and Exercises, Music Theory, Reading Music, Jamming Skills, Improvisation, Performance, Finge ... View Profile
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Jason King Guitar Lessons

Jason King Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I am a jazz player by trade, however, I am also church musician I have studied with some really good players ,and have played with some as well. Im not the best player ,but I believe I can show you how to be. I do have a B.A. in music performance from texas wesleyan university My guitar lessons take place in: In the teacher's studio Guitar Techniques: Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, Open tuning, Fingerpicking, Slide Guitar, Vocal Accompaniment, Performance, Improvisation, Jamming Skills, Reading Music, Music Theory, Scales and Exercises, Song Writing, Recording and Production, Guidance In Equipment Selection ... View Profile
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Adam Stilwell Guitar Lessons

Adam Stilwell Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: I don't like to teach anyone How to play the guitar, I just prefer to pass on abilities I've learned over a 7 year span, and then encourage the student to grow from what he/she learns and provide the tools to do so. I've been in a few bands, lead guitarist in all but one. Influences: Jimmy Page, Adam Jones, BB King, Santana, Chuck Berry, Hendrix, SRV, David Gilmour, and myself My guitar lessons take place in: In the teacher's studio Guitar Lessons with me take place in the following areas: I mainly teach in my studio, but in certain situations I can travel up to 20 miles. Guitar Techniques: Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, ... View Profile
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Rachel Loss-Cutler-Hull Guitar Lessons

Rachel Loss-Cutler-Hull Guitar Lessons

My teaching approach: My goal is to help each of my students become the best musician possible. I'll provide technical and interpretive instruction, as well as instruction in reading music (as necessary) and in music theory (as desired). I'll teach you not just what to do, but why to do it; I believe technique exists to serve the music, not the other way around. I've played guitar since 1989, and taught at Eastfield College in Texas 2005-2015. I have earned an MM in Guitar Performance. I also write music from time to time. I've played with string players, wind players, vocalists, and other guitarists. My influences are: As a guitarist, my t ... View Profile
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Courses & Guides

Guitar Lessons for Beginners

Guitar Lessons for Beginners

Want to learn how to play the guitar? Go from knowing nothing about the guitar and learn to play songs everbody loves with this free course.
12 lessons 1.5 hours All levels English
Guitar Chords

Guitar Chords

Learn the best guitar chords, how to read guitar chords, and how to play guitar chords. Easy step-by-step lessons for beginners. Want to check out the lessons?
33 lessons 6.5 hours All levels English
Guitar Lessons

How much do guitar lessons cost?

Read more about local pricing and what to expect in our cost guide.

Frequently asked questions

How much do guitar lessons cost?

The average cost for guitar lessons is $40 per hour. Available for all ages and all skill levels of guitar playing, the pricing of individual or group guitar lessons can start as low as $20/hour. Teachers charge based on their location, years of teaching, levels of knowledge and expertise, and travel time (if applicable). Lessons can last from half an hour to a full hour, and are priced accordingly.


How long does it take to learn guitar?

If you just want to learn a few chords to strum along to some songs, then learning to play the guitar really isn't that hard for most people. Many students are able to learn a few chords and get a decent strumming pattern going after a few weeks. If you've had prior experience playing an instrument, you can expect to pick it up after just a few lessons.


Should I take guitar lessons online or in person lessons?

Private in person guitar lessons with a skilled instructor that is focused on you, your interests, and your progress is the most sought after experience and hard to replicate online. Plus, you tend to learn faster in person. On the other hand, online guitar lessons are quickly becoming popular. The selection of teachers is not limited to those in your geographical area and you can communicate via video in real time with your teacher in the comfort of your home. When filling out your request on Lessons.com, we recommend you select both online and local options, then compare your options and see what works best for you.


How old should children be before starting guitar lessons?

A child as young as 4 can begin to learn if they are really motivated and have a patient, creative, and devoted teacher. However, we've found almost all kids under six are too young to benefit from formal guitar lessons, as they require dexterity and levels of concentration children their age can't provide. That being said, lessons do not need to be formal right off the bat, and can just provide a fun introduction. Also, your child may benefit from using a ukulele to start, as it's smaller and easier to learn, but very similar instrument.

Instructor

Dallas Guitar Lessons

(93 reviews)

Dallas Guitar Instruction

Brandon Richardson · Dallas, TX


Featured Instructor

Riley Wilson is a guitarist, singer, performer, guitar teacher, as well as writer and, in this interview with Lessons.com, it’s clear that Riley is passionate and accomplished in all of the above. He offers guitar lessons in the Dallas – Fort Worth neighboring city of Frisco, as well as Skype guitar lessons, and you can check out the Riley Wilson Guitar Teacher Page today to watch the interview. Here’s what Riley had to say about his approach to guitar teaching.

Riley Wilson Dallas Guitar Teacher

Lessons.com: We’re here today with Riley Wilson. Welcome, Riley, and thanks for taking the time today to talk to us about your guitar teaching.

Riley Wilson: Thank you very much for having me. This will be fun.

Lessons.com: It will be fun. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your teaching. Can you tell us first, where you teach? What city and what state are you in?

Riley Wilson: We’re in a town called Frisco, Texas. We’re twenty-seven miles, straight north of downtown Dallas, and if folks that are not from this area would know where Plano, Texas is, we’re the immediate town north of Plano.

Lessons.com: Okay. And do you teach guitar at your own location, or do you travel to guitar students’ homes?

Riley Wilson: I do. I teach here at the house because we have a lot of electronic gear that I use; I use that during my guitar teaching, and we can talk about that. I use a lot of software; I use a lot of things that would make it very difficult for me to take what I have elsewhere.

Lessons.com: So, people travel to you, and can you please say the name of the town again where you are?

Riley Wilson: Sure. We’re in Frisco, Texas. Everyone that’s not from this area will understand about it shortly because the Dallas Cowboys are moving their practice facility here, and Toyota International has just relocated their international headquarters – or their American headquarters – from Torrence, California, here. They’ll be here in a year, so … Frisco – we moved here in July of ’96 – had about eighteen thousand people. It’s now over a hundred-forty-thousand people, and by the time it’s done, it’ll probably be half-a-million people, so it’s been a really good place for us to be. I can tell you that.

Riley Discusses What It’s Like To Teach Guitar in Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex Lessons.com: That’s what I was just thinking. I was going to ask you what the guitar lesson climate there in Frisco, Texas and in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. It sounds like, with the growth, it would be a great place to be a guitar teacher.

Riley Wilson: It’s a really good place. It’s always been a good place. I’m originally from Shreveport, Louisiana; I’ve lived all over the United States, attended GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Los Angeles in ’83 and ’84 and, after ten years in North Carolina, we moved here in July of ’96, as I said. It was a very small town at the time, but Texas has always been interested in guitar and guitar music … so many guitar heroes from this area: Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Miller … all of these people are from Texas, so, because of that, there’s always been a tremendous interest in guitar. Frisco’s been a great place for us, because, as I said, I’m conveniently located to Dallas or Arlington, or Fort Worth, Grand Prairie. We’ve got, you know, probably three million people in the metroplex plus. So, it’s a great place to be.

Lessons.com: It sounds like it. And, what styles of music are your guitar students most often interested in learning?

Riley Wilson: Well, I would say, probably, the vast majority of folks are probably interested in rock. Country, of course, is huge here in Texas, and then, of course, you’ve got blues – a lot of older adults are interested in that. I’ve got a lot more students that are interested in jazz these days, which has been kind of fun, because I happen to love jazz. But, we do a little bit of everything. I teach classical guitar, as I said, because I attended GIT; I’ve been through all of that curriculum, and we’ve got all of that here.

Riley’s Book: “Guitar Made Simpler” and Why He Uses It To Teach Guitar What I typically will do is I’ll typically start people off with a guitar method that we wrote and published back in 2006 called “Guitar Made Simpler – An Intelligent Approach” – I’ll put up a shameless plug for it. (Riley holds up a copy of the book for viewers to see.)

The reason that I did the book is, like a lot of guitar teachers, when I graduated from GIT and moved back to Raleigh, North Carolina, I wanted to teach guitar, and I wanted to share with people what I had learned in my experience at GIT. In fact, that the way I learned, which was basically by ear, and very slow, very inefficient, wasn’t a good way. I made everybody do Mel Bay for about nine or ten months, and that was kind of a dry text, and I kept going through all these books, and they didn’t do what I wanted to do, which was present material in a really slow, easy-to-understand fashion. And that’s why we call the book “An Intelligent Approach”. I’ve been through several of them that I thought were less intelligent.

So, we put the material in the book in a way that people can learn guitar, almost from the very beginning, and it makes sense. It doesn’t go too quickly; we don’t have, what I call speed bumps in the book. If you’re learning the notes – three notes on the first string. Now, when we go to the second string, now you have six notes. well, you’ve just increased exponentially how much somebody is supposed to retain. The book gives a combination of notation and tablature. We have not one, but two audio CD’s, because we weren’t able to get all the instruction and information on one CD.

Riley Discusses The Art Of Giving Guitar Lessons

Lessons.com: And, do you teach both adults and children.

Riley Wilson: Absolutely, absolutely. In fact, it’s interesting … I’ve had guitar students probably as young as eight or nine years-of-age, probably for the thirty years – almost thirty years – we’ve been teaching guitar. I feel that nine-and-a-half or ten is the magic age to start. After that, it doesn’t matter; you can go as long as you want, and I’ve got plenty of adults in their forties and fifties and sixties that do guitar lessons. So, it’s a wide cross spectrum.

Guitar Lesson Fees and Scheduling Lessons.com: Two questions: What are your guitar lesson fees? And what is your scheduling format – how often do you work with students?

Riley Wilson: That’s a great question. We typically do thirty minute guitar instruction, and lessons are a hundred-four dollars a month, so that’s a twenty-six dollar per half-hour lesson. We typically do that once a week. I’ve been through forty-five minute and hour long guitar lessons, and I found for myself that with our students, unless it’s a tremendously motivated person that’s working two or three hours a day in practice time, that they’re generally not going to get as much out of a high powered thirty minute lesson – and we try to do a high-powered thirty minute lesson here. So, that’s typically how we do it.

Skype Guitar Lessons with Riley Wilson

I do have some folks, for example, that will do lessons via Skype. We’ve got a lot of students that travel. Dallas Fort Worth is a very big business center worldwide. So, we’ve got people from all over the world that work here. Many of them travel, so there’s often times, I end up doing a Skype guitar lesson with students, because they can’t make it physically here. And that’s worked out really well, and so I think that video guitar instruction and doing Skype and all that is a wonderful way to help people to get an opportunity to play with a guitar instructor, in front of a guitar instructor, at least once a week, so they reinforce the good habits and don’t get into bad ones!

Lessons.com: And, do you help your students learn how to use recording equipment?

Riley Wilson: Absolutely! In fact, in addition to teaching guitar, I also do gigs. I’ve got a pretty successful one- man band in this part of the United States, and so I use Pro Tools to create backing tracks that I use for gigs – in fact I’ve got two shows on Saturday where I’ll use those. So … We use Garage Band, I’ve used Pro Tools with students. We definitely use Transcribe and Guitar Pro. I’ve always been a real big believer in using electronic tools to help us. In the old days – when I started playing guitar in 1966, you would get an album or a forty-five and slow it down and scratch up the record … and many of the older folks would relate to that. And then in the seventies – if you were lucky – you had a tape deck that could slowly in the eighties … and so … Now we use digital audio – it makes the whole process so much better. If I’m playing along with, for example, a Van Halen or a Kiss record, we don’t have to tune down, you just speed up the recording a half step … we can play along with that, so that works really well.

Lessons.com: And, when you’re teaching, what guitars do you use? Do you teach guitar with both acoustic and electric?

Riley Wilson: Absolutely. For example, if I’m teaching classical, I’ve got an Alvarez nylon string that I’ll use for that. I’ve got a rotating cast of characters that I’m often using. I love to launder instruments, so … I have a Variax that I use on my gigs, that allows me to get electric and acoustic sounds. I’ve recently been doing a lot stuff with acoustic guitars, so I’ll typically play an Ovation for that. I have a bass guitar; I even have a pedal steel. I don’t teach pedal steel. I do teach, by the way, electric and acoustic guitar, and bass guitar … occasionally will do voice lessons under duress. (Riley smiles warmly and knowingly.)

Voice lessons – I work a lot harder than I do when I teach guitar or bass, generally … so, I do mostly those, and probably, in the future will ramp up and be able to do pedal steel lessons, because it’s a great instrument. I’ve learned it enough to play it mediocrely … but, of course, I could teach what we do, so that may be an option in the future.

Lessons.com: Of course. You teach what you know, and then you move forward from there.

Riley Wilson: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Lessons.com: Well, one last question before we stop for today: Do you offer guidance to your guitar students about what guitar to look for and what to look for in a guitar?

Riley Wilson: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, my background, in addition to not only being a guitar teacher, and a voice talent – a performer – I’m also a writer. I did a column for twelve years in Vintage Guitar called “The Gigmeister”, and I’ve also written for Gig Magazine back in the eighties. I have a solo blogger column that I do with the L2P.com, which is basically the folks from Gig Magazine, that’s online … so, I’ve been doing equipment reviews and gear reviews, and all that kind of thing, generally for magazines, since the mid-eighties, and so I have a lot of opinions about that. One of my big things is to get try to get students to get the correct scale length for their guitar. For example a lot of students will end up with a 25.5″ scale guitar, and they’ve got small hands. And it just doesn’t work very well. So I suggest that they do that … yeah, absolutely. I enjoy shopping on Craigslist … in fact, that’s sort of a guilty pleasure of mine – In fact, I’ll often buy them (guitars) that way.

Yeah, absolutely. What I always tell people is, in terms of my guitar teaching philosophy, if you learn anything from the ground up, be it scuba diving or driving a car or a foreign language, you have to start small, and you have to start with the basics, and sort of go step-by-step-by-step. And, that’s the reason that we wrote Guitar Made Simpler, is that I wanted people to be able to succeed with guitar. I’ve been playing guitar for over forty years – almost fifty, in fact, so I wanted to do something for people that wanted to learn guitar, that didn’t want to pull their hair out, and wanted to have success from the very beginning.
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