Copyright 2013. ATX Guitar Lessons. All rights reserved.
Monday - Friday 2pm-8pm
Do I need to have my own guitar?
Yes. Practicing at home regularly is a must in order to have success with playing guitar. It is possible to rent equipment, but
there are many affordable options. Whether you are looking for an electric, acoustic or classical guitar, I can help make an
What type of guitar should I start with?
I recommend that each student choose the guitar type that interests them most. Electric guitars are a bit easier to play but require an amp. Acoustic guitars are a bit tougher on the fingers but that is quickly overcome with enough practice. Classical guitars have nylon strings which are easier to press down but they have a wider neck. These are typically used for finger-style playing (i.e. classical, flamenco).
What style/size of pick should I use?
A standard shaped pick will suffice for most. Start with a light to medium gauge (0.5 - 0.75 mm).
Do I need fingernails to play finger-style guitar?
For classical guitar, it is ideal to have fingernails and learn how to shape them to generate the best tone and to produce a loud enough sound. This is not absolutely necessary though, but strongly recommended. For acoustic or electric finger-style playing (different style from classical), it is better to not have fingernails as the steel strings will tear the nail.
What guitar brand should I get?
This is not too important. If you like the guitar and it sounds great, then you are good to go. There are so many options available. Some trusted names are Fender, Gibson, Taylor, Seagull, Ibanez, Gretsch, Breedlove, Yamaha, etc.
How often should I practice?
I recommend a minimum of 3 separate 30 minute practice sessions per week. This is just a minimum though. Your practice will increase as your enjoyment of playing grows. If you are just starting out, be careful and don't burn yourself out by practicing too much. What is important is how effectively you practice and acknowledging every improvement. Learning guitar will present challenges, but mindful practice and guidance will get you where you want to be.
What if I didn't have time to practice before my lesson?
That is OK. Come to your lesson and we will pick up where we left off. It is better to reinforce material than to not attend. You will not be wasting your or my time and we will have plenty of material to discuss and work on.
What is a great method for practicing?
Have set days and times for your practice. Have a goal for each practice session. Set a timer (30 minutes - 1 hour) and when the time is up, move on to something else. Focus on specific concepts instead of trying to plow through everything each practice session.
What does it mean to "hit a wall"?
There are tons of ideas/techniques to learn on guitar. Everyone will have a moment when they think it is too hard for them. This is not true. It just takes a great attitude, persistence and patience.
If you could only give one tip to your students, what would it be?
Have patience and leave your ego at the door. Guitar is tougher than it seems and it is easy to trick yourself into having unrealistic expectations. Just stick with it, acknowledge your improvements along the way and enjoy the process, and you will soon be rewarded with a lifetime of enjoyment. Oh, and PRACTICE! (That is more like 3 tips. Oops!)
What genre of music is the best to learn?
Simply put, the best music to learn is the music that you enjoy the most.
Is it important to learn to read music?
The ability to read music is empowering. It can put any music at your fingertips. It teaches you a lot about how music is created as well as unlocks the guitar's maze of notes. I highly recommend learning to read music but it takes honest effort and lots of patience. As always, it is up to the student, of course.
What is guitar tablature (TAB)?
A modified system of "reading" notes that is specific to the guitar. There are 6 lines (strings) and the numbers on the lines represent the fret numbers. TAB has its place but the main limiting factors are that you won't know what notes you are playing and also the complete absence of rhythm. That being said, it has a lot of utility in certain circumstances.
Who is your favorite band and what is your dream guitar?
Those are tough questions but I will have to go with Led Zeppelin and a Gibson ES-175.
If you have a different question, please go to my Contact page and send me an email. I am always happy to help out.