Here are some answers to common questions. Have another question not listed? Please email and I'll be happy to help.
Where do lessons take place? GDB covers West London, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. I come to your own home to save you the hassle of traveling! You just need two chairs and a reasonably quiet room where we won't be in anybody's way.
Do you only lessons in the student's home? Usually, yes. But, I may be able to arrange another venue if you don't have space for us at yours.
How long do lessons last? Generally, lesson slots last for one hour. Longer lessons are sometimes required for higher grades or to prepare for examinations and can be arranged on an individual basis. Please note that I do not offer lessons under one hour in duration.
Do I have to study for grade examinations? You don't have to, but I strongly encourage students to work towards a grade. It is hugely beneficial and provides a great focus and goal to achieve. This is particularly true for younger learners, but applies to any age of student.
Do I need my own guitar? For the initial lesson, you may use one of my guitars. However, of course, you will need your own for practise fairly soon afterwards. I can help you choose one and advise on the various options of course.
What are your qualifications and experience? I am a professional guitarist, fully qualified (PGCE) secondary school music teacher, qualified guitar tutor and former grade examiner. I also hold an Enhanced Disclosure from the CRB. Full details can be found by clicking on the "About GDB" link on my homepage.
But, I only want to learn the basics, so I only need a part-time, lower level or unqualified teacher don't I? I'd say it is precisely when you are a beginner that you need a qualified teacher perhaps even more. I guess I'd say it's not about the level that a tutor teaches to, it is about the quality of tuition that they provide at each level. I doubt I'd ever go to a driving instructor who could only teach me to start the engine, as they weren't qualified to go further than this :-)
Surely, if the tutor is a really good player and plays in bands etc, that's enough for students to get good tuition from them? This can be true. However, I can drive a car, but I'd never even attempt to teach someone else to drive :-) I'm sure they wouldn't want me to either. Teaching is a specific skill and requires enormous amounts of training to develop, so it's important to consider whether a tutor has been formally trained in this specific area.
I was told I am not at all musical, can I still learn to play? Absolutely! To be told you will never learn to play is nonsense. All you need is commitment, determination and the right guidance.
What is the minimum / maximum age requirement? I start students from around aged eight and teach all ages from there upwards. My oldest ever student was in their seventies.
Am I too old to learn guitar? Well, it's a cliche, but you are absolutely never too old to start learning. As long as your fingers work, you can learn to play guitar.
Do I have to have an audition before I am allowed to book lessons? Not at all, as I don't agree with this approach. To me, it's like having a driving test before you learn to drive!
Do I need to be able to read music? Nope! Reading music can be a useful tool, but it certainly isn't essential. Worth mentioning also that many people are scared of the whole topic of reading music, but it is actually very easy if taught correctly. I have taught eight year olds to read basic music in 20mins, so don't let it deter you in any way.
How much do you charge? My rates vary, depending on several factors and I ask prospective students to speak to me directly for a quote.
How do you accept payment? I offer a variety of ways to pay. Again, it depends on several things and so we can discuss this individually.
What about half terms? As a business that caters to students of all ages, GDB does not observe school terms. Wherever possible, all school aged students are expected to attend as normal during half terms. Summer holidays are an exception and I can be as flexible as need be during that time.