It's Time to Learn to Play Guitar (In Uxbridge!)
Learning to play your favourite songs, jamming with other guitar players, even writing your own songs is a lot more realistic than you may realise...
For a lot of people, learning to play guitar is a dream that they have had for years, but never acted on.
Maybe you can relate to this.
Do you want to play a song that you love?
Have you ever wanted to jam with other guitar players?
Have you ever thought about writing songs of your own?
But, do you worry about any of the following:
- That you're not talented enough to play guitar?
- You've tried learning guitar before and failed?
- Are you scared that you might not be any good?
I'm here to tell you that it is possible for you to learn and play your favourite songs.
The problem you have is not anything to do with you as a person, it's just that your approach to learning guitar was not very good.
Now, this isn't your fault! After all, you don't know what you don't know. No-one is born magically knowing how to play guitar... or how to approach learning guitar (this is true even for your favourite guitarists).
Let's take a minute to talk about why you may have struggled to learn guitar in the past:
Here Are 3 Reasons You Struggled To Learn Guitar... And How We Will Help Remove These Limitations
Reason 1: You Did Not Have A Structured Learning Path
If you have ever looked on Google or YouTube for "guitar lessons", then I'm sure you can relate to this.
There is a reason that courses and programs exist.
There is a reason why, when we are at school taking our first lessons in mathematics, we start with learning to count... and not solving four dimensional integrations.
Knowledge and skills are hierarchal.
Complex ideas rest on a foundation of basic ideas.
Advanced skills rely on mastery of fundamental skills.
At Uxbridge Guitar Lessons, we know how to structure lessons over time, to gradually move you from beginner material, to advanced material.
By taking you step by step through a structured learning program, you are able to gradually build your skills and knowledge, so that you can go from where you are today, to the level you would like you playing to be at.
When you try to learn from YouTube, or books and magazines; you are receiving lessons in a completely random order.
That isn't to say that these resources are not useful, they are - but as supplementary material, not as a primary learning path.
How We Help You Overcome the Problem of Structured Learning Paths
After your first lesson, your instructor will create a custom learning path for you, that takes into account where you are, where you want to get to, and how you learn; to help you get the most out of your guitar lessons.
Reason 2: You Did Not Receive Feedback
When learning a new skill, we make mistakes. This isn't a bad thing, it's a normal part of being human.
Making mistakes when learning a new skill is something that we should all expect.
However... we do need to correct those mistakes.
And this is a problem you have probably encountered when trying to learn guitar in the past.
You knew you were making a mistake, because what you were playing didn't sound like music.
However... you didn't understand what the mistake was.
You couldn't pin-point what you were doing that was causing your playing to not sound the way you wanted it to.
At Uxbridge Guitar Lessons, we are experts in understanding the exact mechanics of guitar playing.
Thanks to the years of experience of not just playing, but also teaching guitar, our instructor can help you overcome any problem with your playing.
How We Will Help You
At each lesson, we'll look at your playing and check that you are playing correctly, with proper form, timing and feel.
Any time we see a mistake which is holding back your playing, we isolate the root cause of the mistake and create a small, simple exercise that helps you fix this section of your playing.
Whenever you find a challenge in your playing, we will help you overcome it.
Reason 3: Not Knowing How to Practice
This is perfectly normal, and to be expected.
After all, you don't know what you don't know.
One area of learning guitar that is almost never covered properly, is how to practice.
Many guitar players experience the frustration of putting in the time practising, but not improving.
If this describes a situation you are familiar with, then it's highly probable that your approach to how you practice was not very effective.
Again, this isn't your fault.
The majority of lessons online, and teachers, simply demonstrate an exercise and then expect you to magically replicate it.
At Uxbridge Guitar Lessons, we won't just show you an exercise or part of a song that you want to play.
We will show you exactly how to practice that song.
We will show you how to overcome problems when you get stuck.
We will give you guidelines on what you should be practising and how you should be practising during the week.
How We Help You Practice More Effectively
At every lesson, we will show you exactly how you should be practising during the week.
We will show you trips and tricks to learn more effectively and help you when you get stuck.
We will guide you on exactly how to use a metronome to get the best results from your playing.
We will even help you with how you schedule your practice time, so that you can make consistent progress towards your goals.
What Do You Want to Learn Taking Guitar Lessons?
At Uxbridge Guitar Lessons, we can help you cover a wide variety of subjects.
Lessons are always tailored to your goals and to helping you become the type of guitar player that you want to become.
We can help you learn a wide array of topics and skills.
Note: You don't have to do all of these! These are just options - lessons are tailored to what you want to learn.
Having said that, here are some things that you could learn:
Beginner Guitar Lessons
Are you a complete beginner and want to get started with the basics? That's great - we can help you with that.
We will help you get started with the basics of open chords, barre chords, strumming and riffs, so that you can start playing music on the guitar.
From playing your first melody to strumming through chord progressions, we will help you every step of the way.
Learn Your Favourite Songs
A lot of people can think of a song that they would like to play on guitar.
We can help you learn that song.
After a free introductory lesson, we can let you know how realistic it is to learn that song in a given time frame... and get you started on the path to playing it.
From learning a simple riff to playing songs at your first open mic night, we will help you every step of the way.
Learn Lead Guitar
For a lot of aspiring guitar players, lead guitar is the pinnacle of guitar playing.
Do you dream of being able to rip through a complex solo, executing it flawlessly?
Maybe you want to write your own solos?
We can help you master the complex techniques such as alternate picking, legato, sweep picking and tapping (as well as integrating those techniques), as well as understanding the theory that underpins the subject.
From playing a minor pentatonic, to sweep picking a monster chord progression into an exotic scale, we will help you along the way.
Jam With Other Guitar Players / Play in a Band
Some people want to play guitar at home for fun.
Some people want to jam with other guitarists, or even play in a band.
Whether you want to play in a jazz duo, or play in a heavy metal band, we can help you develop the skills you need to achieve that goal.
Learn Music Theory
Some people want to learn music theory, and how it applies to the guitar.
So if you want to learn how your scales, arpeggios apply to chords; and how they all fit together on the guitar, we can guide you through a program that will help you develop those skills.
From learning the notes on the neck, to understanding omnibus modulations, we will help you every step of the way.
Learning how to read notation is a skill that few guitar players develop... at their loss.
When you can read music, you can music for any instrument, and play it on guitar.
You can also take your own musical ideas and write them out.
We can guide you through the process.
From recognising a handful of notes, to playing a classical concerto written for violin, we can guide you every step of the way.
Learn the Art of Improvisation
Improvising on guitar is really, really fun.
And like anything else, it is something that you can learn.
When studying improvisation with us, we'll break down the topic into bitesize and approachable challenges, so that you can work your way from playing something simple, to making your guitar sing.
From noodling over a chord, to playing an emotional solo over complex chord changes, we will help you step by step.
Learn How to Write Your Own Songs
Songwriting, like any other skill, is something that you can learn.
There are rules, principles and guidelines that you can use to help you write a song.
Whether you want to write a song for acoustic guitar and vocals, or for a full rock band; we can help you learn the music theory tools and apply them to writing your own songs.
From writing your first riff, to arranging and demo'ing your first song, we can help you get your first EP written.
Personally, this is one of my favourite topics.
If you want to study composition, we can take you through the process of learning music composition.
You can apply these skills to rock guitar and write gripping instrumental songs, or even to a full orchestra and write your own orchestral music.
We can cover 4 part writing, thoroughbass, counterpoint and form; giving you the tools to compose as much music as you have time.
From writing a motif, to composing a sonata, we can guide you through the process.
How Will We Help You?
In order to make an informed decision on a teacher that you think will be the best to you, we recommend you talk to a few different teachers to get a feel for who you think can help you best.
Having said that, here are a few ways we think we can help you:
We Listen To What You Want
Before we start teaching you, we do a free introductory lesson.
This allows us to listen to what you want, to understand where you want to go, and to develop a plan to get you there.
Full disclaimer: We'll probably also teach you something to help you fix an immediate frustration that you're having with your playing.
We Will Create a Custom Learning Path That Walks You To Your Goals
A lot of teachers will take a "cookie cutter" approach to teaching guitar, putting all their students through the same method books, or teaching them all the same songs.
We will take your goals and put together a plan for you, that walks you there one step at a time.
If we do use method books, it will be because they are a direct step to helping you become the guitar player that you want to be.
You Get Immediate Feedback and Help With Your Playing
At every lesson we will review how your practice went during the week.
If anything needs to be fixed, we'll immediately address it, and give you techniques and solutions, on the spot, that will help you fix the problem area in your playing.
We view your progress as our responsibility, and as long as you are putting in the effort practising, we are going to put in the effort to make sure you understand the lessons correctly and are getting the most out of them.
If you are working on something like composition, we will review your score each lesson and problem solve any mistakes that need taking care of.
What To Expect When You Contact us
Here is a step by step guide to starting lessons and how you can expect them to go:
- You submit the contact form to apply for a free introductory lesson
- We'll have a brief phone conversation to make sure we're a good fit for each other - this is to check things like the style of music you're interested in and if we can help you with your goals
- We'll have a free introductory lesson where we can sit down and talk together. We'll see where you are at with your playing and talk about where you want to go. We'll set some expectations for your goals and put together a plan to get you there that you are happy with.
- We will then schedule lessons at a time that works for both of us, and we will start you on your journey
What To Expect In Lessons
We currently offer private lessons. This means that you get personal attention and help with your playing.
At lessons, we will either cover new material, or continue to work on exercises from the previous week.
You will be given exercises and music to work on, that is a stepping stone to take you to the next level with your playing.
You will be told exactly how to practice during the week.
When reviewing your progress from the previous lesson, we'll make sure you understand the concepts correctly and can accurately, and musically, apply them on guitar.
Scheduling and Availability
Some people want a lesson every week.
Some people want a lesson a couple of times a month.
Some people want the same time every week.
Some people need more flexibility in their schedule.
At your introductory lesson, we will work out a time and a frequency that works best for you.
You can have the same time every week, or you can take advantage of our flexible booking system, and book in online on a time and day that is convenient for you and your schedule.
Lessons are available Monday-Thursday, and there are limited slots on a Saturday morning.
-- UPDATE --
I am no longer taking on students. However, I do have a range of books on guitar practice, technique and transcriptions, which you can find by clicking the button
About Your Instructor
Sam Russell has been playing guitar for over 15 years.
In that time he has taught 1000s of lessons to students from Uxbridge, and also all over Europe at guest guitar clinics.
Sam has released a classical baroque album, transcription books, written for the biggest guitar website online, released a high octane heavy metal album and a series of classical pieces.
He is currently working on an album of instrumental guitar songs.
Lessons Are Available Online and In Person
I realise that everyone has a different personal risk tolerance when it comes to covid and the current pandemic.
That is why we offer lessons in person, or online via Skype or Zoom.
The choice is yours.
Frequently Asked Questions
All lessons take place at my home in Cowley, Uxbridge.
I live quite close to the Tesco/Esso petrol garage.
My exact address will be given when we organise your introductory lesson.
The 222 bus stops very close to my house.
There is parking on the street next to me.
The 222 is about 15-20 minutes from both West Drayton Station and Uxbridge Tube Station.
I have too many students to travel to each on individually.
All students must travel to me to attend lessons (unless we are doing lessons online).
Lessons are £25/25-30 minutes.
Sometimes we run a little longer.
How long is a piece of string?
This may seem trite, but it's accurate.
This depends on your goals, how much you practice, and the speed at which you learn.
There is no such thing as "learn guitar in 5 weeks".
Learning guitar is a process, and it takes time and commitment.
But, if you put in that time and commitment, you will get a great result.
If you think you can learn guitar in X amount of time, please do not contact me - you will not be happy with your process.
I have students who have been with me for over 7 years and are still learning and working on their playing and skills.
I have been playing for over 15 years and have reached a very high level with my playing and still take lessons with specialist instructors.
Join the club!
I struggled a lot with a lot of basic elements of playing guitar when I started out.
I still struggle daily with what I work on with my own playing and composition skills.
We tend to mislabel the process of learning as "struggling".
Learning takes effort. But I will do my best to help you along the way.
Not at all!
I've taught a lot of students in their 50s and 60s and even older.As long as you practice, focus and put in the effort; you'll make progress.
If you are worried about Covid, you are welcome to take lessons online through either Skype or Zoom.
I have taught many students this way, and teach some international students this way, and it is just as good as in person lessons.
If you focus, practice and keep at it, the sky really is the limit.
I have students I have taught from scratch who now:
- jam with other guitar players
- play in a duo at open mic nights
- play gigs in bands
- make music videos for their songs
- compose their own instrumental guitar songs
- compose their own orchestral music
Some of these goals can take years to reach and are incredibly rewarding when you do reach them.
I recommend beginners start with a maximum of 30 minutes a day.
Depending on your goals, you can practice this much every day and make good progress.
If you want to become a very advanced level guitarist / composer, you will need to be practising for at least 2 hours a day.
The level you reach will be a reflection of your daily commitment to playing.
I recommend students take one day a week to not practice, to rest their hands.
The 222 bus stops very close to my house.
There is parking on the street next to me.
The 222 is about 15-20 minutes from both West Drayton Station and Uxbridge Tube Station.
Check out my range of guitar books here: