beginner & intermediate
for stopping by NoVa Guitar Lessons!
I take a special approach to beginner and intermediate-level guitar
you wanted to learn to play the guitar (or do you know someone)?
you never taken the right steps to learn?
Have you tried and failed on your own, using just books or
I can help,
because I've been where you are, just ten years ago. I wanted
to play well, but without guidance, it was difficult. I wasted
a lot of time. I want to help you "get there" faster.
lessons for beginners will save
years of frustration!
took proper lessons. I attended guitar camps, and learned from
the best. My teachers made the difference. Then I added to that
foundation with proper self-education.
to play around the campfire, in living rooms for friends, at jams
and open mics, and in other public venues.
have fun playing the guitar, and
can teach you to do the same!
I focus on teaching
ADULT and YOUTH BEGINNERS
(age 12 and up) how to play ACOUSTIC
GUITAR in many of the popular "roots" styles,
such as fiddle tunes, fingerstyle blues, and chord melody, flatpick,
fingerpick and folk. I also teach how to play at jams and how to
play vocal accompaniment on guitar.
IS NO NEED TO SING! - It's great if you do, but I can
teach you how to enjoy the guitar as a solo instrument, with no
Right Approach for Adults - with the focus on FUN!
As an adult beginner,
your guitar playing will take a very different course than that of a
15-year-old future rock star. The rock guitar fantasy doesn't apply
So let's not bother
to go there! There is so much more to playing guitar than being the
lead guitarist in a rock band.
Maybe you want to
play at local jams, write some songs, entertain friends and family and
play at open mics. Or maybe you just want to play at home for your own
However you choose
to play, you can do it, be good at it and have fun. Starting
now. Why wait any longer?
guitar players spend most of their playing time at home, playing solo.
We do it because we like to play guitar. It's relaxing and mentally
challenging at the same time.
Playing alone and
doing it well is very hard to learn on your own. Good instruction and
personal guidance will lead you toward the right skills that will support
your progress and make your playing interesting, both to you and to
Good guidance and
feedback keeps YOU engaged in the process. With it, you'll want
to practice. My role is to show you how to get there.
Right Approach for Youth - with the focus on FUN!
My approach to
youth beginners is based upon fundamentally solid music instruction,
with a focus on reading standard notation music, practicing with a
metronome, and playing recognizable songs.
"Everybody's Guitar Method Book 1"
is included in the first lesson at no additional charge!
a student demonstrates the ability to play basic songs, the lessons
are then geared toward the students preferred musical interest.
note: I do not play or teach electric "rock" guitar!
Music Theory, Proper Technique and a Focus on Songs
during your first lesson with me, you will play the guitar.
You will learn proper strumming, picking and fretboard fingering exercises
that you will apply and practice from that point forward. Then we
build on it.
will introduce you to standard music notation (reading music) in a
graduated way, using the best guitar instruction book that I've ever
seen on the subject (with CD). I'll make reading music understandable,
and we'll do it at your pace. We'll also learn tab (tablature) music
notation and chord notation.
learn to play easy, timeless songs that you can build upon. We'll
turn many of them into "performance pieces" over time. You
will build a foundation repertoire that your friends and family will
appreciate, and recognize.
beginner "adult" guitar books start out with chords. That's
a recipe for total frustration. I'll introduce you to chords gradually.
So that your fingers learn to fly in formation.
use a metronome, starting on day one, so that a strong sense of rhythm
and proper timing becomes second nature. When you can play with a
metronome, you can play with confidence, in a band or at a jam.
explore music theory. You will gradually understand keys, song structures,
musical styles (blues, country, jazz, etc.) and the chord variations
that make music interesting.
introduce you to the music of "world class" acoustic guitar
players. By listening to them, I'll teach you how to learn from them,
even if we can't duplicate their technical skills. Plus, it's great
music to listen to while you work or relax.
customize your learning repertoire to reflect your own musical taste
and goals. I'll steer you away from music that you are not yet ready
to play, and toward songs that you can.
teach you how to play in a "jam" environment, play for friends
and family and at open mics. I've overcome a great deal of "stage
fright" and self-doubt. It's a process. You can learn it, too.
guitar does take practice, and there is inevitable frustration, but it
should always be fun, even when it's challenging. If it's not fun,
you're doing it wrong!
guidance along the way is the key. As your instructor, I'm also your coach,
sounding board and advisor on this journey. I'll also learn from you,
as we explore your own musical goals.
to play guitar and play music with other people. I enjoy teaching others
to do the same. I'll pass it on to you!
are truly a fan of acoustic music, and you want to play it, instead of
just listen, let's explore this together.
That I Teach
teach you to play music in any of the following styles:
Blues Finger Picking
- Chet Atkins-style
- Fiddle Tunes
- Folk /Rock
/ Country Strumming
- Pop Music
- Roots Jazz
Books That I Use Most For Teaching Guitar
"beginner" guitar books are really not for beginners! Most of
them skip the real basics, and focus on chords. Maybe you have bought
some. I've bought dozens.
books are my primary instruction books. They provide a very graduated
method of instruction that allows the beginner student to build real skills
books are only the foundation. I'll enhance your lessons with additional
insights, unique exercises, the use of the metronome and other songs that
fit your goals.
on any of these to open a new browser window to go directly to Amazon
for additional product details, reviews, and easy purchase!
To see more books
and instruction materials that I recommend and use for beginner/intermediate
students, please click here.
players who have influenced me
this list, you will get a sense of my own style of playing. As you can
see, it covers many genres, but it is all very acoustic-focused.
particular order, and a partial list:
- Jorma Kaukonen
- Doc Watson
- Joni Mitchell
- Eric Clapton
- Dave Matthews
- Tony Rice
- Bonnie Raitt
- Peter White
- Al Dimeola
- Lindsey Buckingham
- Richard Thompson
- Rory Block
- John Hammond
- James Taylor
- Kenny Loggins
- Django Reinhart
- Willie Nelson
- Chet Atkins
- Crosby Stills
Nash & Young
- Robin Kessinger
- Wayne Henderson
- Roy Bookbinder
- Michael Fath
plus these other acoustic music masters influence my playing:
- David Grisman
- Bela Fleck
- Jerry Douglas
- Mark O'Connor
- Tim O'Brien
- Allison Kraus
and many, many others.
good sense to work with an instructor that fits with your own musical
taste. If you also like the kind of acoustic music mentioned above, then
we'll definitely have fun while we learn!
and Teaching Locations
neither the least expensive nor the most expensive guitar teacher in Northern
VA. However, for the complete beginner or frustrated intermediate that
appreciates acoustic music and wants to pursue it seriously, I am probably
the right teacher for you who will get you on track.
earn my fee, by fast-tracking your approach, through proper fundamental
advice and genuine support and understanding of your goals and customizing the lesson to your goals.
rates vary according to time and location.
come to my house, in the Sterling/Countryside subdivision. I can come
to your house. We can meet at a local community center, if one is available
to you. Youth students under age 18 must be accompanied
by an adult at all lessons.
location, Weekday business hours
(10 AM through 5 PM) - $50 per lesson
Lessons are typically more than an hour, plus, every fifth
lesson at my location is always FREE, so my daytime hourly rate
works out to about $35 per hour. This rate applies only
at my location in Sterling/Countryside (map).
I can accommodate almost any time schedule. Plus, your fifth lesson
is free! I provide lesson materials at
no additional charge!
location, Weekday Evenings (6 PM
to 9 PM) - $65
Lessons are typically more than one hour, plus,
every fifth lesson at my location is always FREE, so my evening
hourly rate works out to about $50 per hour.
This rate applies only at my location in Sterling/Countryside (map).
Time slots are limited. Please check for specific availability.I provide lesson materials at
no additional charge!
location, Saturdays (10 AM to 2 PM)
Lessons are typically more than one hour,
every fifth lesson at my location is always FREE,
so my Saturday hourly rate works out to about $50 per
This rate applies only at my location in Sterling/Countryside.
Saturday availability is limited. I provide lesson materials at
no additional charge!
Your Location of Choice - Per lesson rates vary,
according to the travel time required and time of day.
"My location" lessons carry an additional charge above standard
rates, and the "free fifth lesson" does not apply. I provide lesson materials at no additional charge! The additional
per lesson charge is based on the required mileage/driving time/traffic/time-of-day.
Please provide your lesson location for a rate quote.
Certificates! - The gift of guitar
lessons is one of the greatest gifts of all! We can arrange a special
rate for a package of lessons, or a single lesson trial. It's your
already waited too long to pursue your goal of playing the guitar. The
time to start the process is now!
contact me for more info, and we can set a time and place to get started.
(703) 406 4698
Guitar Resume & References