What about an amplifier? Should I buy a nice one to start?
I would invest more in the guitar or bass and start with an inexpensive amp, and then upgrade as you get more advanced.
What do I need to bring for guitar/bass lessons?
All you will need to bring is your guitar or bass, a pick (for guitar), a strap if you are more comfortable using one, and a three ring binder. I have an amplifier and cable to plug in to and I will provide you with materials and a lesson plan to practice during the week.
How often should I attend lessons, and what length of lesson is good for me?
I recommend being on a consistent schedule to progress as a student and to have a timeframe to motivate you to practice for. 1 lesson a week is normally good, although I have students that do two lessons a week for a more accelerated program. I do very few hour lessons every other week, as I need to schedule someone to alternate with these students and I don’t do half hour lessons every other week because it is not enough of a commitment for a student to advance. If you have the time to practice, an hour lesson will give you more exercises and focus to keep from developing bad habits, plus I offer a discounted rate for weekly hour lessons.
Are there any other supplies I should get for playing guitar or bass?
An electronic tuner and metronome are both very important tools you will use as a practicing guitarist and/or bassist. A good tuner that clips on the guitar or bass headstock is the Snark Super Tight Instrument Tuner. Although a clip on tuner will be more accurate and easier to use, the free N-Track Tuner App for iOS, Android, or Windows phone is a good alternative. A great free metronome App I recommend is the Pro Metronome App for Apple iOS or Android. Guitar Tuna for Apple iOS or Android is another relatively decent free alternative that has a tuner and metronome in one App. A proper music stand for practicing is an excellent investment, as is a guitar stand. Students are typically more motivated to practice if they don’t have to pull the guitar or bass out of a case or closet.
How long will it take for me to get good?
Good is a relative term… it is always hard to say how long it will take for a student to advance, it is largely dependent on the amount of time they put into practicing, plus having the right instructor to guide them. Some students pick up the instrument more naturally than others as well, but I will say I have had students that had a harder time in the beginning surpass naturally inclined students because they worked harder at it. Learning to play an instrument is no different than learning to play a sport, it takes practice to improve.
Is the guitar or bass easier to play?
The bass is overall an easier instrument to play as you generally play single notes and not chords. It is a lot of fun to play as well!
Do you have students that alternate between guitar AND bass lessons?
I do! I have several students that alternate between guitar and bass lessons, as well as students that learn songwriting, producing, recording, and mixing audio. There are no differences in price in the type of lesson and you are free to alternate between any of these subjects at any time. However, if you are just starting out I would recommend beginning on guitar and getting a good foundation down before starting to learn to play the bass guitar.
What pick should I use for playing guitar?
A medium gauge pick is good to start with as it is a good balance between ease of use and sound quality. Thin gauge
picks have a tinny sound to them while heavy gauge picks sound the best but are usually a little more challenging to use for a beginner because of the stiffness. In general, I personally prefer the sound of the 1 mil Dunlop Tortex picks, although I might use a different thickness or material to achieve a specific sound when recording. If you find the pick is slipping from or turning in your fingers, you may want to get one that has a non-slip texture to it, such as the Dunlop Nylon Max-Grip Pick.
Do you teach students how to read music notation?
I do and I require students that are serious about learning jazz or classical guitar to learn to read music notation. For all other students, I will teach them to learn to read notation if they want to. Nowadays, everything is written in tablature so it is not an absolute necessity to learn notation and the student’s limited time is usually better spent working on technique, scales, improvising, and learning songs.
Will you come to my location?
I only teach out of my location in Laguna Hills, Ca.