Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"When will I be able to play a song on guitar?"

This is the question almost all guitar students ask their teachers. Lets face it, we learn guitar to play songs. Most students initially don't mind if they are easy guitar songs as long as they sound like something they know. 

The answer to your question

My answer to guitar students is simple. You can play a song on guitar right now if you can strum. Simply tune the guitar to any chord you like and play a one chord song. The real question you should be asking your teacher is not when but what can you play. Your guitar playing will evolve with practice. There is no end point. The skills you posses now will allow you to play certain songs and as you develop more and more songs will be within your skill set. 

Find guitar songs around your level

There are always more guitar songs out there to challenge you so all I can say is enjoy the current challenge. If you feel frustrated chances are you are trying to play songs on guitar that you are just not ready for. If you really want to play a song on guitar now just ask your guitar teacher to show you a song within your current range of guitar skills.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

5 Tips to Get the Most Out Of Your Guitar Practice

  1. Stay organised. Keep everything you need in one place so you it can easily be found. You want to be able to get into a rhythm (pun intended) with your practice. Spend a few minutes before you start guitar practice organising your space and checking you have everything at arms length.
  2. Set time limits. I work in 10 minute blocks. For example I will start with one picking exercise for 10 mins and then perhaps one scale for 10 mins followed by another skill for 10 minutes and so on. I will do the same with a song working on a small section of a song for 10 mins. This stops me from wasting time and drifting from one thing to the next.
  3. Track and log your practice. Be aware of exactly how much time you are practicing and what you are practicing.  When you track your practice you become more aware of your progress. Its actually hard to explain but this raised awareness will make you feel more confident about achieving your goals.
  4. Prioritize. Like most of us there are probably thousands of songs you want to play and you are anxious to learn them all but will they make you a better player? Learn to put what matters first. What is the one thing that you most want to be able to do on guitar in a year or 5 years from now? Put on top of your list.
  5. The big picture. Knowing your ultimate goal gives your practice meaning. I recommend all students write out an Ultimate Song List of no more than 25 songs they hope to one day play. This gives students a clear direction.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Flintstones Theme

One of those tunes everyone seems to know and is good for learning syncopation. Enjoy.

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The G4 Guitar Method is a structured method of learning how to play guitar. Its a unique system built on 27 years of research and experience based on a proven strategies. To view a video and learn more please visit our website at


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How do I get my child started learning music?

Many parents ask the question of when should their child begin to learn music. The short answer is 'As soon as possible'. Even before we are born we are able hear sounds. Researchers found that music played to babies after 20 weeks from conception caused a response in the womb and even recall after birth. Although science still has much to learn about the full effects I can personally vouch for the value of starting to learn music early as many of my best students over the years were introduced to music at a very early age.

Where do you start? Music learning is similar to language. Its starts with listening (exposure) by playing music at home, playing an instrument or singing songs. A musical home environment is really the best way to inspire and introduce your child to learning music.

What songs should you play or sing? Remember its like learning a language so although most music will be good they recommend more relaxing music. Babies can be sensitive to loud sudden noise as we all are if we were not expecting it I guess.

I found a great website full of children's songs called As far as I can tell its free and will give you access to lots of children's song and includes the lyrics, melody and even some videos.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How Children Learn Guitar

Children learn music very differently to adults. I have been teaching guitar and studying teaching for close to 30 years. What I have found is children learn primarily by association. That is they associate some kind of meaning to learning music. If that association is positive they will most likely continue to pursue music their whole life. If it is negative they will probably give it away at the first opportunity. This means that its vitally important that we build positive associations to music early and yes I understand this is easier said than done.

The parent's challenge
A parent's challenge is to a build this positive association to the experience of learning guitar. The good news is what matters most to children are their parents. Parents who work with their children especially in the first 6 to 12 months will generally have far greater success because this builds the positive association. Learning guitar = happy times with Mum and/or Dad. The benefits of working with your child go beyond just the ability to play guitar. In most cases your relationship with your child will grow and strengthen as a result.

The secret to your child's success on guitar
The secret is practice of course be this comes from parental support and guidance. If your child has recently begun lessons or seems to be losing motivation try sitting with them when they practice and help them work through the challenges. Leaving a young child to learn guitar by themselves is akin to giving a 3 year a book and telling them to teach themselves to read.

Getting your child started on guitar 
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The G4 GUITAR METHOD is a structured method of learning guitar. Its a unique system built on 29 years of research and experience based on a proven strategies. To view a video and learn more please visit our website at
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