FAQs about the lessons; Cost, etc:
What’s your main focus when you teach students?
Every time we have a new student, we assess their current skill to determine what lessons we need to give them to improve their skill to the next level and to achieve what they want to achieve. Each student has different level of skills, strength and weaknesses. Some have strong sense of pitch, but weak sense of rhythm and vice versa. Also some of them lack of coordination. When we identify their current skills, then we give them the appropriate lessons that will improve them in those weak areas and enhance the strong areas. We will also encourage students to learn songs that related to the current lessons to apply directly the lessons currently discussed to play actual music and have fun with them. Ultimately, we teach students to learn songs quickly and accurately, teach them to improvise and create their own music.
How much do you charge per lesson?
We charge $60 per hour and you would have to pay monthly in advance (4 lessons) for private tuition. All of our students attend one lesson per week to ensure their playing progresses at a faster rate. Weekly lessons also give you enough time to practice but not too long, so you don’t learn bad habits or make mistakes that will slow down your progress. The lessons will also include some ear training exercises to improve your musical ability and enable you to sing and play at the same time.
What if I can’t make it?
We understand that things happen. If you can’t make a lesson please let us know at least 2 days in advance and we can reschedule for another day or time. If you do not give us prior notice or do not call at all, we will charge you for the lesson you miss as we have committed our time to you when we could have used this time to teach someone else.
Where do you teach?
We teach at Harry’s home studio in Hurlstone Park, Sydney, NSW. We will give you the details when you are ready to start lessons. Harry’s Guitar Studio, is located in: Hurlstone Park, Sydney, NSW. It is 200 meters from Hurlstone Park train station.
What times and days are you available?
Our availability varies as all our students come on regular basis once a week, sometimes some move to different days or some don’t have the discipline and give up. The best way would be to book lessons online and we will arrange the time that suits you. Here is the update of current available spots.
What levels do you teach?
We teach all levels of students from absolute beginners to advanced (professionals). All the teachers will ensure students have a good understanding of technique and knowledge before they progress to more advanced learning with Harry.
What do you teach?
Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, ear training, sequencing, songwriting and arranging. All lessons includes: Learn or improve your skill on your instrument Improve your musical ability (sense of rhythm, pitch and harmony) Learn your favourite songs in minutes Accompanying singers Playing solo and playing with other musicians Improvising Write your own music For more info, please click info page.
What styles do you teach?
We teach Contemporary, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Ballad, Country, Reggae, Heavy Metal and more. Normally we teach our students to master guitar or bass and they can decide whatever kind of music they wish to learn or write.
There are some famous guitarist who are self taught, so why do I need lessons?
There are millions of people who study music from when they are very young or who have a university education but musicians never stop learning. Music is a very complex art and you can learn something new every time you pick up the instrument. These days, everything requires knowledge. If you want to be a good cook, you can take a cooking course. If you want to be a good dancer, you can go to a dance studio. If you want to be a boxer, you can go to a gym. Music is no different. Yes, you can learn by yourself but it will take much longer. You may not know when you are doing things wrong which are slowing you down or even learning bad habits which are very difficult to unlearn. Some people may wonder why they’re not progressing and get frustrated and at the end of the day they give up. There are books and CDs available to learn any instrument in the market but with a qualified and experienced teacher you will learn the most practical and effective way to master your choseninstrument and the theory to support your playing. You will be amazed how much you learn even after one lesson.
What’s the best age to learn guitar or bass?
Some people start learning instruments when they’re five years old and some people start when they’re in their 50s. The reason why people think that they younger we are the easiest to learn something is mainly because the younger people normally have less responsibility and more time to practice. So, the best time to learn is now. However, if you are already in your 50s, you have to be realistic with yourself if you can really be dedicated and make time to practice or not. Playing musical instruments require thinking, listening, feeling and coordination that will require lots of practice to become good at it. So, you will need to be dedicated and make time to practice, otherwise you will never progress. It’s the same for anything you really want to learn. Our youngest student at the moment is 12 and the oldest is 65 (but not started from scratch). Please note that we don’t take students younger than 12. We normally don't recommend any younger kids than 10 to learn guitar or bass because it will require some level of strength to press the strings to the fingerboard. Through our experience, if the kids start too young, they normally hate the guitars rather than loving them because it hurts their fingers.
What do I need to bring to lessons?
You just need to bring your own guitar or bass, a pick and a folder to put the material and homework in. A positive attitude and dedication will help. 🙂
I know someone who can play guitar and sing songs even though they don’t know what chords they are playing. What do you think about that?
That’s fine if they are playing for themselves but if they want to play music for an audience and team up with other musicians, they’d need to learn the language of music to communicate with other musicians. This will save time when it comes to putting down ideas or rehearsing.
Most music teachers recommend having one lesson a week, wouldn’t it be better if we come fortnightly so we would have more time to practice?
Most music teachers recommend you attend a lesson once a week. The reason is if you come more than once a week you wouldn’t have enough time to practice the material, but at the same time if you leave it longer, you could start to make mistakes or start developing some ineffective ways of playing that will slow down your progress.
I am not sure whether to learn guitar or bass, what do you suggest?
That is a matter of taste but if you learn bass it is less complicated than guitar. Also, it would be easier for you to join a band as more people are interested in learning guitar than bass.
How long does it take to learn how to play guitar?
Some people want to learn music just as a hobby and some want to be professional musicians. Some people learn faster than others. Some people are talented and practice hard, some are talented but don’t practice enough, some are not as talented but practice hard. Some people can also focus better than others. So, it all depends all of those above and it also depends on how good you practice and how much you practice. What we do is teach you the most realistic and practical method to master a guitar or a bass, improve your musical ability, learn songs in minutes, create your own melody and write your own music. Even after your first lesson with me you will notice an improvement in your playing. My teaching method combined with your regular practice will make you a better musician.
How long does it take to learn how to play bass?
It is less complicated than guitar where you need to play chords, melody, fillers, riffs and solos. When you play bass, you still need to understand how all the notes you play relate to the chords and use all the notes on the scales in musical context although you play bass lines which are one note after the other rather than chords. Also, you can get away with just a bass and an amp without having to add sound effects like guitarists do.
I am a very busy person and don’t have much time to practice, but I want to learn music. What’s your advice?
Nobody has time if they don’t make it. The same goes for money, you won’t have any if you don’t work for it. So, if you want to achieve something you have to make time and work for it.
I am left handed. Should I play a left handed instrument or just standard (right handed). What’s your advice?
Well, in my opinion there is no such thing as a right handed guitar or bass because you work with both hands and in fact we work with your left hand more when you play a standard guitar or bass -what you’d call right handed. I have a few students who are left handed and they play standard guitar or bass and they don’t have any problems as they realized that they work with their left hand more. So, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s completely your choice, but it’s easier to get a standard guitar or bass than trying to get a custom (left handed) version.
I would love to take some lessons with you, but I live too far away from you. What’s your advice to find a good teacher close to where I live?
It is very important to find a good teacher so you don’t practice an ineffective way to play. My advice would be try to find a “teacher” not just a tutor. What I mean is someone who has proper training. The teacher doesn’t need to have graduated from university but they must have musical training ie not someone who is completely self taught. Of course it would be better if you could find someone with proper qualifications as a teacher. Find a teacher who is also a player and a player who is also a teacher. Normally they are busy, but it would be worth being on their waiting list. You wouldn’t learn how to cook from someone who teaches cooking but never cooks, would you? Do your research and be prepared to sacrifice a little bit of time in travel to learn with the best. If you live too far away from Harry’s Guitar Studio but would still like to have lessons with us, you can have lessons via Skype.
Do you go to people’s houses to teach?
No. We have students booked in for lessons one after the other, so we don’t have time to go to people’s houses to teach.
Do you teach Flamenco or Spanish guitar?
Flamenco is a style of music, but the way to play guitar is the same. So, when you know how to play guitar well, you will know how to learn different styles of music.
Do you teach classical guitar?
No. We teach students how to read tablature or standard musical notation so they can go home and practice the material that we give them, but that’s not our main goal. Our goal is to teach students the skills they need to learn their favorite songs quickly, to improvise, write their own music and to be able to play by ear, heart and soul. So, we teach contemporary music including Pop, Blues, Country, Folk, Funk, Rock, Heavy Metal and/or whatever music they want to play. But not classical.
Do you teach children?
Only from 12 years old up. NOTE: All students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or adult for the entire lesson.
If I was taught by other teachers in your school, would I learn the same way and the same stuff as if I was taught by you?
Yes. I’ve already trained them my way of teaching and they also teach under my supervision. So you will learn exactly the same things. If you are committed and progress to intermediate level, then they will pass you on to me to go to the next level (advanced).
Can anyone learn to play guitar?
I would like to say YES, but as you can imagine, your favourite guitarists can play the way they do because they have invested time in studying the instrument and practising. So, if you practice smart like we teach you, you should be at least a good player. Our goal is to teach our students to be better than good. They can achieve this by listening and applying what we teach them. Again……. practice SMART not just practice hard. So, if you follow our method and way of practice, YES you will be a great player.
My friends tell me that I am ‘tone deaf’, do I have any hope of learning music?
Well, you should at least try it and see if your friends were right or wrong. Hopefully they are wrong. For people who can’t hear notes, it is still possible to learn by reading musical notations but it will be very hard to learn to play music by ear. If you can’t hear notes, you can’t learn songs by ear. It’s as simple as that. The good news is we can actually teach those of you who have this problem, BUT, you would really need to work hard, listen very carefully and practice patiently.
I don’t have a guitar yet, could I borrow one from you to start lessons until I know what kind of guitar I will buy?
Yes. Ideally you need to have your own guitar, but it is a very good idea to get our advice before you buy a guitar. If you don’t know what kind of guitar to buy yet, you can still come for lessons and use our guitar and during the first lessons you will be given some advice on what guitar you should buy.
I will come straight from work, can I use your guitar to have a lesson so I don’t have to go home and get my own?
Yes. You can use one of ours with no extra cost.