Looking For the Best Guitar Lessons in Paradise, CA?
Are You Facing One or More of These Very Common Problems Right now?
♦ You feel frustrated with your guitar playing.
♦ You are a complete beginner and you're not sure where to start.
♦ You just play for fun, but know that you could have even MORE fun!
♦ You have taken lessons before, but were unhappy with the teacher or the results you were producing.
♦ You want to improve, but don't feel like you have "natural talent."
♦ You often think about just giving up guitar entirely.
♦ You browse online for free lessons, but nothing is really suited to what YOU want to learn.
♦ You find that learning to play guitar is much harder than you first anticipated.
♦ You value your time and money and don't want to waste either on ineffective products or instruction.
♦ You want guitar lessons but only if they are customized to what you want to learn and your current skill level.
♦ You have tried to learn to play better in the past but for some reason got stuck.
If you said "yes" to at least one of those, you are in the right place! I have felt ALL of those frustrations personally and I help people just like you every day to overcome them! How do I do this? Read on:
"Bryan is the best choice for anyone looking to become truly great with guitar. I have had the chance to work with him personally, and was blown away by his incredible communication skills and teaching ability. All in all he is very, knowledgeable, motivated, and fun to be around. Whether you are just looking to have fun with guitar, or achieve more serious goals...Bryan is you're best bet!"
More Than Just Regular Guitar Lessons
In "regular" guitar lessons you will usually only get:
♦ A "hobbyist" teacher that has never taken a class or course to improve his or her teaching skills.
♦ Advice on how to play nursery rhymes and finger exercises, not what YOU want to play.
♦ Limited results, often in subjects that you do not wish to know about Vs. what you REALLY want to learn.
Make Your Lessons Count
NorCal Guitar Lessons means:
♦ A highly trained & qualified instructor that cares about your progress as a musican and does not keep a "day job."
♦ Honest & constructive feedback on your guitar playing that focuses on YOUR style, not someone else's.
♦ Get results fast, in subjects that MATTER to you and have FUN in the process!
A Little About Me, and Why I Am the Right Teacher For YOU
My approach to teaching guitar really began when I started taking lessons. Everything seemed, on the surface, to be right. I was taking lessons from a teacher who had decades of experience, was a proficient player, taught out of a reputable shop, had been to college for music and was showing me some cool stuff. However, I was not getting the results I wanted. Here's why:
1) Lessons Were Created "On the Fly"
There was really no rhyme or reason to what I was being taught. I was being shown scales one week, then the next I'd learn a song I'd never even heard of, then one week we even went back to the very first page of a book we had been working out of for months. While there is a need for some variety in lessons (I'm not a believer in teaching the same things week after week until you get it right), there is also a need for some basic structure.
2) The teacher did not truly care about my progress
When I realized that the randomness of the lessons was hurting my progress and keeping me from doing what I eventually wanted to be doing, I asked the teacher if we could try to organize things a bit. I was not asking the teacher to put in hours of extra work between lessons - I was content to pay him during our weekly lesson to take a few minutes (or even the entire lesson) to figure out what we should and should not be working on. I was basically told I didn't know what I was talking about, and that nothing was wrong with what HE was doing. I had done enough research at that point to know that that simply was not true!
I've spent thousands of dollars and countless hours investing in my teaching abilities (not to mention what I spent in time & money LEARNING to play guitar). While most people would view this as a waste, I often cannot stop thinking about lessons or how to make them better. From an early age I've had a strong desire to help others, and doing so effectively is important to me. Teaching guitar is a lot of fun, but it isn't always easy. Doing my job to my own satisfaction requires a lot of extra time, effort and money.
3) The teacher did not understand my goals
Everyone has their own individual goals. Some people just want to play campfire songs, some people want to write their own songs, melodies, guitar solos, learn how to compose... the list goes on. I take into account the students' desires when I begin teaching someone, which ends up making it easy for me to know what to teach, and easy for the student to make progress because they're not learning things they don't want or don't need to learn. However, this teacher really did not understand my goals (even though I told him!), which made the lessons random and disorganized (see #1).
4) There was no "learning support system"
An important part of teaching someone is to reinforce what they know between lessons, inspiring them to practice, and get them excited about playing the guitar. Often I left the lesson with no real clear idea of what to work on or what to practice. Instructions on HOW to practice were vague and unhelpful. And there were no local jams where I could go hone my skills. Essentially, I was thrown a lesson each week, picked up the pieces and worked on it on my own as best as I knew how, and there was nothing beyond lessons to really help me out. Colleges recognize the need for extra support for some students - teachers have office hours, tutors are available to help you if you need additional coaching and teachers give out their e-mail address so students can ask for help if they need to.
Here's something you probably won't hear from any other guitar teacher: IF you are putting in the time and the effort, giving your lessons 100% and still not making any progress, I will do whatever it takes to help you. My desire to teach comes right down to wanting to help people, and ultimately to see you succeed. If you give me your best, I will give you my best.
5) When I terminated my lessons, I did not communicate why I desired to leave
I've been doing you a good job about telling you all the bad things about this teacher (and putting all the blame on him), but in the end I still liked the guy. I didn't want to hurt his feelings - so when I told him I wouldn't be taking lessons any longer I didn't tell him why. I just told him I couldn't afford it anymore, I didn't have the time for it, I'd "come back in a few months." I probably was not the first student to have an issue with the way he taught, and I probably was not the last, so he is likely making the same mistakes to this day.
Teachers cannot improve effectively unless they get feedback. They can try to guess why someone left, but they're not mind-readers. I have an "open door" policy - I want to hear your complaints, because even though it's sometimes awkward to tell someone you're unhappy when you know them well, it's ultimately what will help me improve. Not just improve for you, but for all my students.
If you have an issue with something I will listen and do my best to fix the situation. If you don't tell me, then I can't do anything about it. :) I've done my best to communicate a sincere and strong commitment that your time and money are well invested with me. If I've done this well, feel free to click here so we can get started. Or if you want more information...
"Bryan is very patient – an excellent quality in any teacher. It’s obvious when working with him that he is as invested as much as you are in your guitar/music education; he takes the time necessary to break things down to make you a better player. His lessons are very straightforward and effective in providing you with what any student should know – but Bryan also is able to intuitively size up his students to determine what they individually need or want to know. His playing and ability have set the bar for what I would like to be able to accomplish myself. With his help, my own technique and understanding have improved quite a bit – and although I still have a long way to go, I’m confident Bryan will help me get there."
Choosing a guitar teacher is not an easy process and you do not wish to spend your valuable time and money only to not get the results that you want. Here are some questions you might have:
Will taking guitar lessons with you really make me a better guitar player?
Yes, they absolutely will! I have helped all types of students with varying skill sets, ages and musical styles overcome their playing frustrations and move on to reaching their goals.
Will lessons really be structured to fit my needs?
Yes! Many people have the idea that every guitar teacher teaches theory & sheet music... and for the most part, they are right. However, I prefer instead to focus on what the student wants and needs from guitar lessons. Guitar lessons should be an escape from the day-to-day stresses of life, not an additional headache!
How do you determine what to teach me?
Lots of teachers teach out of books or use a "teaching method" for their students. I personally do not subscribe to either idea. I do use a book for absolute beginners but only as a supplement to other materials. From day one I establish goals and interests, much like a therapist would. I then focus on solving specific problems or issues you might have while playing guitar. Books and methods have been written out ahead of time and leave no room for flexibility, my teaching philosophy however works wonders for my students and gets them the results they want quickly.
Are these lessons going to involve lots of boring memorization?
NO! I would never ask my students to memorize something without giving very clear reasons on why they should learn it. Most of the time I focus on getting the student to to WANT to learn something before handing over pages on pages of rote memorization (something else I never do). I know that you will get the best results when you actually want to learn and feel like you aren't being forced to.
Am I even good enough to start taking guitar lessons?
I have taught students of all skill levels, but believe it or not most have been TOTAL beginners. Some people came to me who had only just purchased their first guitar! You do not need a college degree, exceptional memory skills or anything else like that to come take lessons with me. The only students I will not work with usually are rude or disrespectful.
Can you teach me my musical style?
There are only a few styles I do not feel I have a good enough grasp on in order to be able to teach. Styles like jazz, classical or flamenco require years of study to attain full mastery and I simply do not have enough interest in them to invest myself into them. If you would like to learn rock, blues, alternative, country, folk, metal, pop or praise I can certainly help you. If, for whatever reason, I do not feel I am qualified to help you I will do my best to find an instructor that suits your needs better.
Do I have the time to learn right now?
Yes you have the time to learn! Believe it or not there are THOUSANDS of hours wasted each day by people who practice guitar in inefficient matter. If you value your guitar skills enough to make time in your day, you can achieve results even if you dedicated only 5 minutes of clear, focused study each day.
I've thought about getting guitar lessons before but don't lessons make you less creative?
With some guitar lessons, that may be the case. However, if you study with me I have several lessons prepared on how to INCREASE your creativity. If you are already a creative person then you will be able to take the skills & information that I teach you and use them in your own unique way. If you are NOT already a creative person, I can help you in that area as well.
Am I too old to begin learning to play guitar?
You are NOT too old to begin learning to play guitar. Unless you have specific instructions from a physician to not begin studying guitar you CAN learn to play. (Even if you do have those instructions it may be wise to seek out a second opinion.) Many people hear stories of guitar players like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Emmanuel, who all started very young and became very good players.
However, starting young has NOTHING to do with becoming a better guitar player! Watch these guitarists play on stage... what do you notice? All great players share a passion and love for music. Bottom line, if you want to learn to play guitar there is nothing stopping you.
I hope I have answered all of your questions to your satisfaction. However if you do have additional questions feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer them.
Or, click here to contact me