Guitar Lessons Reading
I'm Ben Thornton, a dedicated and experienced professional guitar teacher committed to unleashing the musical potential in students of all skill levels. I specialise in tailoring lessons to individual learning styles, ensuring that even complete beginners feel comfortable and inspired as they embark on their musical journey.
Find Out More
Lessons Tailored To You
Ben is a professional musician who is passionate about delivering a high standard of music tuition to all of his students. He has vast teaching experience over the last 10 years including, 1-1 tuition (children & adults), delivering band workshops, and working for M Tech (a Guildford based music technology company that deliver group sessions for 7 – 11-year-olds, using Cubase and Garageband software). Ben has a 100% exam pass rate with his students. As well as being very easy to get on with, he is experienced, knowledgeable and adaptable. Lessons are tailored to the individual’s suitability and requirements.
£23.50 per 1/2 hour, £39.00 per hour
Guitar TeacherBen Thornton
LocationMaple Grove, Guildford GU1 1LP, UK
Get in touch to find out more.
Find out more about my guitar lessons, as well as book your first guitar lesson.
Our guitar lessons adopt a beginner-friendly approach, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable learning experience for new students. Typical first lessons focuses on individual notes, finger placement, strumming techniques and emphasises the use of the CAGED system for learning simple chords.
Furthermore, learners are provided with guidance on guitar maintenance, including stringing and tuning, to ensure a holistic learning experience. All backed up with resources, from lesson note and lessons resources, to links to online videos and interactive activities to keep aid you between guitar lessons.
£23.50 per 1/2 hour
£33.50 per 3/4 hour
£39.00 per hour
Lessons are weekly, fortnightly or as suits you.
Advice for New Students
When it comes to learning the guitar, finding personalised instruction offered by expert guitar teachers in Reading will help you rapidly progress on the guitar. Here, every student, regardless of age or skill level, can experience individually tailored guitar lessons Reading, in a supportive and engaging environment, aimed at helping you play the music that inspired you to pick up the guitar.
Professional guitar lessons in Reading for all skill levels, including tailored instruction and lesson resources.
Focus on rock & pop techniques, jazz & classical exploration, music theory fundamentals and ear training.
In-person instruction offers customised lesson plans with personalised feedback to help students make the most of their learning experience.
Getting Started with Guitar Basics
Your musical journey commences when you find the right guitar tutor. In Reading, professional teaching is offered by guitar tutors with experience and expertise, ready to guide you on your path to guitar masterdom. This starts by providing advice to new students and parents on what equipment is needed to start learning. This includes:
a suitable guitar
Having the right gear will set you up for success as you start your first few guitar lessons and begin to play the guitar at home. It isn't necessary to have all of this equipment before your first lesson, however, it is advised to get them within the first few months of starting to learn guitar.
Essential Gear for Beginner Guitarists
Getting a guitar is an important step in the road as a beginner. Renting a guitar may be a suitable option initially, especially if you find the cost of a new guitar daunting. It’s advisable to visit local guitar stores (try local guitar stores like Apex Music Shop) and speak to staff for guidance on selecting the appropriate guitar for the type of music you intend to play. For most beginners interested in pop, rock and metal electric guitars like Squire Stratocaster or Yamaha Pacifica are good options to explore.
Beyond this novice players may consider exploring brands like Fender, Epiphone, and Taylor, renowned for their quality and appropriateness for beginners, whether they are taking in-person or online lessons.
Beyond the guitar, several key accessories are fundamental to your learning process. These include:
A guitar strap
These accessories are fundamental for comfortable learning and playing the guitar. A capo is another useful tool that allows beginners to easily adjust the pitch of the guitar and play in various keys without mastering new chord shapes. This can facilitate faster learning of songs and assist in developing finger strength.
Advice when buying your first guitar
A couple of considerations should guide your decision when you’re ready to purchase your first guitar. Firstly, set a budget. A high-quality beginner’s guitar typically ranges from £150 to £600, though this can increase significant once you add in an amp, leads and other equipment (though beginner bundles go exist to get started). Keep in mind the kind of music you want to play. Different types of guitars are suitable for different styles of music. For instance, an acoustic guitar is typically more suitable for folk music and is ideal for singer songwriters.
It is recommend to inspect the guitar for any damage, evaluating the electronics, checking the tuning stability, and testing the sound quality and playability by playing a few chords or songs before making a purchase.
Tailored Guitar Lessons for All Levels
Finding guitar lessons that cater to all levels, from beginners learning the basics to advanced players refining their techniques, can only be done by finding a professional guitar teacher able to individually tailored their lessons to the student.
By adopting a personalised approach, tailoring the lesson plan to align with the student’s learning objectives and style development, each student has the opportunity to learn through playing the music that inspired them to start playing guitar.
Our private guitar lessons cater to all learning abilities, from complete beginners learning music for the first time, intermediate students looking to push on to become advanced guitarists and advanced guitarists trying to push on their musical goals. The lessons encompass:
Improving Guitar Technique
Understanding Music Theory
This ensures a comprehensive approach that includes contemporary music. For reference, most teachers offer pay as you go weekly lessons, with most guitar teachers offering hour lessons and half hour lessons. Lessons cost varies, depending on a range of factors like whether the teacher from a music studio, home studio or offer lessons in the student's home. Additionally, whether the teacher is a professional musician experienced teaching advanced students or have only been teaching guitar for a few years.
As beginners progress, they will then be taught the fundamental guitar techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, sliding, and bending. This is to help them to play the music that inspired them to start guitar, each of these aspects is a building block on the way to achieving that goal.
The foundational course of lessons also covers barre chords, fretboard notation, and rhyme playing, all of which are tailored to the student’s unique stylistic preferences in personalised lessons.
Learn Fundamentals of Guitar Playing
Our Reading-based guitar lessons encompass the fundamentals of guitar playing. Essential chords for guitarists include open chords (G Major, C Major, D Major, and E Minor etc.), and achieving smooth transitions between these chords is a major step to take in the beginners journey. This involves practicing the changes at a deliberate pace with confidence, and lifting fingers while retaining the chord shape before repositioning them.
In order to play major and minor scales on a guitar, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the fundamental patterns and fingerings for each scale. Consistent practice and a gradual increment in playing speed are crucial for enhancing technique and fluency.
Effective methods for practicing strumming patterns on a guitar include holding the pick lightly between the thumb and first finger, strumming from the wrist and forearm, and paying attention to both downstrokes and upstrokes.
Progressing from Intermediate to Advanced Techniques
Intermediate players can advance their skills by mastering sophisticated techniques like sweep picking, two-hand tapping, and shredding. As you progress, improvisation plays a crucial role in the advancement of guitar playing. It is essential for intermediate players to develop the ability to translate musical ideas from their mind to the instrument in order to become fluent improvisors.
Transitioning to advanced playing requires the establishment of a weekly practice routine with a focus on finger exercises, music theory, and chord shapes relevant to your chosen genre. Pushing yourself with more challenging songs and practicing advanced songs and techniques at slower tempos can enhance consistency and skill.
Diverse Genres and Styles
The versatility to play a vast array of genres and styles is one of the exciting aspects of learning guitar. Our guitar lessons in Reading encompass a wide variety of genres and styles, including:
Whether you’re interested in strumming the latest hits or playing a classic rock piece, our lessons can cater to your musical interests.
The lessons also delve into the distinguishing elements of different styles. For example, the distinctions between rock and pop guitar playing lie in their instrumentation, focus, and texture. Rock usually employs traditional rock instrumentation and highlights guitar solos and riffs, while pop can incorporate a broader array of instruments and frequently emphasises vocals and the overall beat.
Rock and Pop Focus
Our lessons cater to those interested in rock and pop guitar, covering popular songs, techniques, and performance skills. Fundamental techniques for playing rock and pop on the guitar encompass bending, power chords, strumming, palm muting, and rhythm guitar.
Beginners are advised to commence their power chord learning journey with classic songs like ‘Holiday’ by GreenDay, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ by The Rolling Stones, and ‘Come As You Are’ by Nirvana to hone these skills as just a few examples - there are plenty more songs to choose from to learn the same skills.
Rock and pop guitar playing styles have their unique characteristics. Notable rock and pop guitarists encompass:
Eddie Van Halen
Beginners can glean insights into diverse techniques, the significance of creativity, and the art of innovation in guitar playing from these iconic figures.
Jazz and Classical Exploration
Those interested in jazz and classical guitar can delve into more intricate techniques, theory, and repertoire in our lessons. Jazz guitar playing is distinguished by its utilisation of more intricate chord progressions and scales, such as altered and extended chords, diminished scales, and modes. This allows for the creation of elaborate melodies and improvisations.
The lessons also cover the significance of jazz and classical music in the context of guitar music. The history of jazz guitar dates back to the early days of jazz music, with influential figures such as Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery shaping its sound and style. On the other hand, classical guitar music has been an integral part of Western classical music for centuries, with renowned composers and virtuosos contributing to its rich repertoire.
The Importance of Music Theory and Ear Training
Well-rounded guitar lessons incorporate two key components: music theory and ear training. Understanding music theory serves as the foundation of musical language, enabling guitarists to comprehend, evaluate, and innovatively utilise elements such as scales, chords, and progressions. Additionally, it supports enhanced improvisation, song acquisition, and collaborative playing.
Developing your ear through ear training exercises is equally important. It enhances your ability to:
Recognise and reproduce pitches
Recognise and reproduce melodies
Recognise and reproduce chords
Recognise and reproduce intervals by ear
This improves your musicality and improvisational skills.
Fundamentals of Music Theory
The fundamentals of music theory, including reading sheet music and understanding scales and chord progressions, are covered in our guitar lessons. Novice guitarists should familiarise themselves with fundamental music theory elements such as intervals, major and minor scales, and box shapes.
Understanding how to read sheet music offers several benefits for guitarists, including:
Facilitating music memorisation
Enhancing music comprehension
Broadening opportunities for professional work
Being crucial for aspiring professional musicians
Developing Your Ear
Ear development is crucial for guitar playing as it facilitates accurate tuning, song playing by ear, improvisation, music transcription, rhythm improvement, and a deeper appreciation for music.
Ear training enhances a musician’s capacity to:
Develop relative pitch
Discern harmony, chord progressions, and intervals by ear
Enhance overall musical perception
Tailored Lessons for All Ages
Guitar Lessons Reading is focus on providing guitar lessons for all ages, from young children to adults, creating customised lesson plans and age-appropriate instruction. Typically a professional guitar teacher based in Reading will provide guitar lessons to individuals of various age groups, with the minimum starting age being 7 years old.
Customising guitar lessons for different age groups can involve:
Adjusting lessons to align with children’s interests and learning styles
Providing trial periods for more mature students
Modifying the pace and difficulty levels based on individual progress and abilities.
Customised Lesson Plans for Young Learners
Young learners enjoy customised lessons filled with engaging, age-appropriate activities and songs. This is achieved through implementing a beginner-friendly approach to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable learning experience. The curriculum emphasises the use of the CAGED system for teaching simple chords and incorporates multimedia resources such as videos, games, and interactive activities to keep the learning experience enjoyable.
Young learners are introduced to:
Age-appropriate songs such as ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘Let It Go’ are easy to learn and can effectively maintain the interest of young learners.
Advice for Parents of Young Learners
Parents of young learners should nurture a supportive environment to facilitate their child’s journey in learning guitar. This includes:
Procuring a suitable guitar
Enrolling their child in lessons
Supplying essential accessories
Designating a dedicated practice area
Helping to maintaining a consistent practice schedule
Parents should recognise that experiencing frustration is a common part of the learning process. They should:
Provide positive reinforcement and support
Ensure that their child receives instruction from a qualified teacher to learn proper technique
Acknowledge and commend their child’s effort and improvement.
Adult Learners: Breaking the Myth of "Too Late"
It’s never too late for adults to embark on the journey of learning guitar. Learning guitar as an adult provides benefits such as:
Strengthening memory and brain capacity
Improving coordination, dexterity, and flexibility
Boosting confidence and concentration
Enhancing mental health
Reducing stress levels
Teaching valuable skills
Sustaining motivation entails establishing explicit expectations and objectives, immersing in enjoyable musical pieces, and seeking support. Overcoming challenges can be accomplished by emphasising the pleasure of music, seeking inspiration, enhancing self-assurance, breaking down challenges into manageable segments, and exploring adaptable lesson alternatives that align with adult schedules.
The Unique Benefits of In-Person Instruction
In-person guitar instruction in Reading provides unique advantages, including personalised feedback, customised lesson plans, and a nurturing learning environment.
Regular attendance on a weekly basis is advisable to ensure optimal progress and adherence to a structured learning program. However, it does allow some flexibility in scheduling for students. It is important for new students to understand that maintaining consistency is crucial for maximising the benefits of their weekly or fortnightly lessons.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced player looking to refine your skills, personalised guitar lessons in Reading cater to your unique needs and musical preferences. From mastering the basics to exploring diverse genres and styles, understanding music theory, and developing your ear, the journey to guitar mastery is a rewarding one. So why wait? Start your musical journey today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically beginner guitarists will need a guitar, picks, a tuner to get started, as well as an optional strap, and an optional capo depending on the songs you wish to play.
Not mandatory, but it's beneficial. Learning to read sheet music enhances your understanding of the instrument and opens up more opportunities for playing different styles. Most guitarists however can read guitar tab, which is an alternative to sheet music.
Acoustic guitars have steel strings and are versatile for various genres. Classical guitars have nylon strings and are ideal for classical and fingerstyle playing.
Yes, many resources are available online. However, a combination of self-learning and guidance from a teacher can be highly effective and produce faster progress.
Scales are the building blocks of melodies and solos. Learning them enhances your understanding of music theory and improves your improvisation skills.
Find out more about my guitar lessons and how to book your first session.