Questions and Answers
Q: What style do you teach?
A: Aaron is fluent in pretty much every genre of music from metal to pop and classical to jazz. With Aaron being versatile in so many styles of music, it allows for students to decide the direction which they would like to go in and follow their own interests and learn the techniques and the stylistic conventions that are required to perform the chosen genre of music. Examples of areas that can be explored in lessons include learning accurate versions of your favourite songs, songwriting and composing skills, music theory, performance techniques, sight-reading and improvisation.
Q: Do you accept students of any level and suitability?
A: Complete beginners, intermediate and advanced guitarists are all accepted. Aaron teaches students that are completely new to the instrument right across to advanced guitarists that are looking to improve areas of their playing and musicianship with support from a guitar instructor.
Q: Do you offer group lessons?
Aaron has experience teaching groups ranging from 6 to 40 students per class. If you are interested in group work or your team would benefit from the experience of a fully qualified music teacher with experience of being head of a music department to be part of a larger project please do not hesitate to get in contact.
Q: How do you accept payment?
Payment for guitar lessons is accepted on cash basis or through BACS.
Q: Do I need to own a guitar for guitar lessons?
A: Aaron does have spare guitars in his studio in Peterborough that students can use, including 3/4 sized acoustic guitars, full size electric and bass guitars. However it is highly recommended that students own their own guitar. Among other benefits, owning your own guitar provides the opportunity to practice exercises in between lessons and allow you to make quicker progression towards your goals as a guitarist and musician.
Q: Do students need to start learning on the classical guitar or the acoustic guitar before moving onto electric guitar?
A: The shortened answer to this is, 'no students do not have to start on acoustic guitar'. In truth there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches of electric and acoustic. An advantage for starting on electric is that the strings are lighter and not as thick as the acoustic; learning to play on an electric guitar with light strings can be easier than physically struggling to push down heavy steel string acoustics guitars. An advantage to starting out on the acoustic guitar is that the initial cost is cheaper as you don't need to buy an amplifier.
A question to ask yourself is 'what type of music do I like to listen to and what music do I want to invest my time in learning to play on the guitar?' You can think or write out your thoughts to this question if you like. If your list includes lots of acoustic based songs then you might do well for yourself to buy an acoustic guitar and having acoustic guitar lessons. Alternatively if you like classical guitar pieces then you would do well to go into a music shop and have a go on some nylon string classical guitars. If your list includes lots of rock, metal or pop music then you very well might be best to get a small practice amp, a guitar lead and an electric guitar. In any case it is good to go to a music shop and hear the guitars in real life. Most music shops will have a member of staff hat will be happy to demo the different types of guitar available to you.
Q: I have heard of the term 'Classical Guitar' and 'Acoustic Guitar'. What is the difference?
Classical guitars require a very different technique to play than steel string acoustic guitar. Classical guitars have nylon strings that are tied on to the bridge in a loop. If you wish to go down the nylon string classical guitar road then you will be learning techniques that are a finger style based and aim to become a master at using the right hand without a plectrum to play beautiful pieces of music, all on the guitar quite often solo and with no accompaniment. Think of the guitarist John Williams. Classical nylon string guitars are used in certain jazz styles too such as flamenco, afro-cuban and bossa-nova. Check out on YouTube Paco de Lucia & Al Di Meola - Mediterranean Sundance for an example of latin jazz being played on a classical guitar.
On the other hand acoustic guitars sound much brighter and use steel strings. The strings are attached to the bridge using either pins or balls at the end to secure them. If you want to sing and play acoustic songs then it is likely that you are heading down the path of steel string acoustic guitars music. The genre range is huge for acoustic guitars from folk to rock, jazz to acoustic metal - yes there really is such a genre. Entry models for acoustic require being mic'ed up if you wish to play live. This can increase chances of feedback which is not good. Higher end models will include a 1/4" jack output for a standard guitar lead to go into an acoustic amplifier or PA system. Some acoustics include digital tuners and EQ controls. If you are looking for a basic acoustic guitar without all the extra pro features you will find them readily available, basic acoustic are good for keeping costs down when just starting up. Keep in mind that strings are often heavier than electrics however. Bending notes on acoustic guitars is often incredibly difficult when compared to electric guitars with lighter strings. Listen to songs like Michelle by The Beatles for example of a strummed and picked acoustic guitar song. If you would like to hear how an acoustic guitar sounds check out the YouTube video of Guns n Roses - 'Patience'. All guitars on this track are steel string acoustic.
Q - What are the Guitar Grades?
A: Guitar instrumental grades are exams that progress in levels often from debut to grade 8 and Diploma levels. The common marking system for graded instrumental exams are pass, merit and distinction. Popular accredited boards for guitar include Rockschool, ABRSM and RGT. These are often accepted by universities. Apart from that the grades are well structured and offer a practical way to understand music theory in the form of scales, modes, arpeggios, chords, sight-reading, improvising alongside performance skills, stylistic awareness and interpretation. Aaron teaches the repertoire and supports students in the process of preparing to take their instrumental exams. These include having mock exams with examples of the grading system used by the exam board which gives opportunity providing a mid shot of formative feedback to act upon before taking that actual exam. Feedback from an experience guitar instructor if acted upon can really help to increase marks of an exam alongside perhaps the most important thing which is to help your self on your journey to become better as a guitarist and musician.
Q: I have another question that is not listed, what do I do?
A: Send Aaron a message using the contact page of this website. Aaron aims to get back to all relevant enquires within three days.