Guitar lessons in Edinburgh

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By Guitar lessons in Edinburgh, Jan 12 2018 01:35AM

This may seem to be a very biased topic on the blog of an edinburgh guitar teacher, however I have supplemented my own guitar education with lessons throughout the course of my learning, and I also wouldn't turn my nose up to learning a few things from someone now, if I thought I'd find it useful.

Many of us hear of all these great 'self taught' players, and aside from it being a claim many people make without it being entirely true, it's a truism that the vast majority of people don't have the musical maturity when they're learning an instrument to know what's important to sounding good, and know where they're going wrong. One would be surprised how little the learning musician can really hear how they sound; this is paramount if you want to actually get better, and it's a key aspect that getting Edinburgh guitar lessons should be able to help you with.

Furthermore it's entirely human nature to want to see results from doing something difficult sooner than is reasonable (think losing weight/getting in shape). However with guitar this leads players to practice in the worst way possible and give themselves massive flaws in their technique. A classic example is the wannabe shredder that practices everything as fast as possible because that's their end goal; they've heard Steve Vai and Joe Satriani and are trying to copy it right away. What they haven't seen however are the hundreds of hours of slow practice that people who can play fast have done before you've ever heard them play.

One of the other major things most people might gain from Edinburgh guitar tuition is not just how to practice, but what to practice. So many players will find themselves sitting playing over the same things they already know, or trying to take on too much at once, or simply overwhelmed (as I have often felt) by everything they want to or feel they should be learning. If you have a good teacher and you are enthusiastic about getting better then it's by far the most efficient method. On the other hand if you're just starting out or at an intermediate level then you might just not know where to start, or not want to learn any bad habits before it gets too late. As always, to find out more check out

By Guitar lessons in Edinburgh, Oct 19 2017 02:00AM

John Scofield played the festival theatre on the 14th July, and it should have been a mandatory attendance for every guitar teacher in Edinburgh. Aside from his incredible knowledge of harmony and sense of melody, it was a real lesson in tone and phrasing. Scofield studied at Berklee college of Music, where learning scales and arpeggios were seen as a means to an end and a lot of work was on ear training and phrasing, definitely an aspect of teaching that most Edinburgh guitar lessons could benefit from. It's a trap that most teachers/lessons end up in: teaching scales and technical material because it's easy to teach, easy to learn and comes with a more immediate sense of achievement. You can't avoid learning this stuff of course, but it's important not to play any of it like a robot, and that's one thing that really hits you when watching Scofield play; from the first couple of notes you can tell it's him and it couldn't have been anyone else. If you really listen to his playing, key aspects about his phrasing are his use of dynamics and accents; it's rare that he'll play more than a few notes without subtly varying the volume of each one. Combine that with giving every note it's full value and you've got the makings of some hip guitar playing, and that's before you've had to worry about reaching his near perfect level of groove. His individual sound and tone isn't reliant on amp settings either, when you here him play acoustic it's the same sound that comes out. Being able to develop that level of distinction in one's own sound is rare, but it's something we should all be striving for. Compare John Scofield with Pat Martino; their sound is heavily linked to their technique. Scofield uses lots of slurs and picks when he wants to accent, Martino picks almost every note and uses crescendos and diminuendos (as well as accents) to create movement in his lines. So, when you're practice technique, remember you're practising your feel as well!

By Guitar lessons in Edinburgh, Mar 1 2017 03:00AM

We've all heard someone say it (teacher, friend, guitar shop employee) but as annoying as it may have been, there's certainly some truth to it. One of the main goals of seeking Edinburgh guitar lessons should be improving your tone, which is more to do with technique than amp settings. Technique can be a tricky subject too though. For some people focusing on technique means playing fast, which is a divisive topic among guitarists (I once heard of one Edinburgh guitar teacher who thought that playing faster was the only way to get better!). However, whether you have shred guitar aspirations or not, technique really means everything about the physical aspects of playing the guitar. Giving every note it's full value and playing slow enough that you make sure to achieve this. Getting every note to sound the same, with equal volume, then practicing varying the dynamics (volume) and using accents creatively. This can be pretty difficult for your picking hand to begin with, so you'll need to practice slowly. Try this: play a technical exercise (scale, arpeggio etc.) in semi quavers and try accenting on the 1, then 2, then 3 then the 4. Then try writing out 2 beats worth of semi quavers (so 8 notes) and circling a few randomly. Then try and accent these notes in your exercise. Using volume in your practice routine is important and it isn't limited to accents, using dynamics and feel within your technique practice (as if you're playing mozart or your most heartfelt solo) is the best way to get the most out of your practice routine. It's tempting to just let your fingers run through stuff and sometimes that's fine, but most of the time try and make everything you play sound as musical as possible, even if it's just a scale. As always, to get into any of this stuff in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to get in touch to book a lesson at Happy playing!

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