I offer music tuition for individuals, schools and institutions
At the moment, I have online lessons available. When it is safe to offer, I will resume in-person guitar lessons and coaching in Surrey.
I have several years of professional tuition in many situations; groups, schools, individual, institutions, distance learning and community get playing projects as well as years of professional industry experience in a variety of different settings
I'm unable to offer in-person lessons during the pandemic.
Usually, I'd offer
1-1 lessons tailored to your needs and aspirations.
Live Zoom Lessons, saving you the commute and giving you peace of mind during the pandemic.
All materials included and available as soon as the lesson finishes.
Remote work at your own pace programmes - Ideal for intermediate and advanced students.
Have your progress reviewed through tasks set in the programme.
Jazz Transcription and Analysis Patreon Page
Sight Reading for Guitarists Study Club.
WHY LEARN WITH ME?
Unique professional experience
I perform regularly and I am engaged in many projects that span different genres and settings. As such my experiences often can help in helping you reach your goal, whether that's playing your first gig, composing your own music, preparing for heavy reading gigs, developing your own project, applying for music college, sitting grades, putting on concerts or simply learning AND performing (the bit that is often forgotten) your first tune.
in addition as a member of the board of examiners for the University of West London and the Registry of Guitar Tutors, students benefit from expert knowledge on how to best prepare for graded examinations, something that many other tutors cannot offer. Previous students successes include securing places on music degrees at the Academy of Contemporary Music, Trinity College of Music London, Farnham college and the prestigious Eton music scholarship. Lesson prices are competitive, fair and include discounts for block bookings.
I also currently hold a lecturing post at the Academy of Contemporary Music in addition to working as a freelance lecturer and associate for a number of other UK higher education institutions.
I'm still a student - we all are
I have a huge interest in how students learn and what the most effective ways to learn are, stemming from a need to be as efficient as possible in my own learning.
To this end, my approach will help you learn to learn and focus on aspects such as tune memorisation, linking theory, advanced aural skills for working out tunes as you hear them, how to tailor your practice routine to make the best use of your time.
My lessons are tailored around the wants and needs of the individual student, in the same way, I tailor my own practice to fit around the work I engage with.
While the lesson itself is a timetabled event, there will always be questions and queries you have along the way. To help with this here are a few things I offer that others may not.
Try a guitar - If you're new to it, and don't know whether to take the plunge, you can still come along for an initial lesson and use an instrument here, after which I can help you choose your own.
Personalised lessons - Streamlined based on many years of development.
A huge library of over 100 gigabytes of lesson materials, including transcriptions, videos, diagrams, backing tracks and software.
Email service - If after your lesson you have a question, you don't have to wait. Having regular lessons with me means I'll respond as quickly as I can to any problem you're having and I'm always happy to help you work through it.
Digital integration - I now offer a system where all the material we use in the lesson is then placed in student folder (accessible online), meaning all your material will be ready for you to use by the time you get home, or as we use it in the case of Skype. You'll never lose another piece of music again and will have a much tidier gig bag!
I am also accredited as a tutor, hold a full and current DBS check and have a number of qualifications, references and testimonials.
Above all lessons are fun and guarantee you will enjoy yourself, learn how to play the guitar in the way you want to and be ready to perform all your favourite songs and more.
What can you teach me?
To begin with, you can expect to be getting to grips with basic left and right-hand techniques, chord shapes and progressions, as well developing rhythmic understanding, song form, developing a practice routing, music reading and aural skills among other aspects. I'm a firm believer that the music should come first, teaching you these aspects as tools to develop for playing music. No exercise, scale or rudiment will be practised unless it has direct relevance to achieving a goal or performing a song. You will be playing music from the get-go, and practice goals will be set around that.
Lessons can cover anything from rock pop and jazz, classical to world music, blues, funk and metal and anywhere in between. Within this everything from subject-specific issues such as rhythm, harmony, technique and composition to repertoire development and learning your favourite songs, as well as preparation for all graded syllabuses (Trinity, ABRSM, Guildhall, Rockschool, RGT), can be covered.
While you may or may not know which direction you would like to take, I can help cater to a specific goal, take you through a variety of different concepts and music, or help you work out which direction you would like to take.
If you think of a song you would like to learn on the way to your lesson, that's no problem, we can work it out and I can transcribe the material within the lesson.
Time is a big factor for many too. While some may have a good amount of time to set aside for practice, other's dont, the way we approach your lessons can reflect this. If you're happy with a fixed lesson slot that's fine or if you'd rather have a lesson full of lots of material for you to work on, every once in a while, that's fine too.
While my lessons can cover any aspect of contemporary or classical guitar, some of my specialisms include:
Developing and maintaining a repertoire
Sight-reading and chart interpretation for band
Blues and rock playing styles, repertoire and technique
Advanced electric guitar techniques
Traditional and contemporary jazz, gypsy jazz, fusion, bossa nova and latin
Contemporary music harmony and theory
Approaches to improvising - vocabulary, phrasing, communication
Approaches to accompaniment
Approaches to composition
If you are a player looking for a specific aspect of tuition, feel free to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Not sure where to begin?
Initially, I'd recommend coming along for one lesson, to get a feel for it, with no obligation to continue. Lessons are at my home studio in Guildford, via zoom or I occasionally have slots for home visits (availability permitting).
While these things can help...you don't need a guitar. You don't need to know where you want to end up. You just need to be enthusiastic and be prepared put in the practice to develop your understanding and ability between lessons.
Fees can be paid lesson by lesson, or in advance as a block for a discount. Thinking of giving guitar lessons as a gift? Get in touch for special block gift prices.
The bottom line
I've taught, learned and been obsessed with the guitar for as long as I can remember moving through the role of teacher, performer and student. From everything I've experienced, it boils down to this: there is no other experience quite like the connectivity you get with music. It lets you express yourself, hear things, think and have fun in unique ways. I'm here to help you engage with all of these aspects and guarantee you'll come away thinking about music and enjoying the your progress and development.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Excellent guitar lessons. I tried a number of guitar teachers previous to Tom but Toms has been the best. He definitely understands what i am hoping to achieve from playing and will teach me what i need to know to reach my goals. I've learnt loads more than i have done previously, my knowledge of guitar music theory and actual technique has improved a lot and i haven't been going to Tom that long. About 3/4 months and would totally recommend him to anyone.
Aafter a year of jazz-guitar focussed tuition with Tom, he has provided excellent guidance and insight into how to work towards my established goals, with great consistency in communication, lesson content and feedback.
Through detailed, personal lesson plans, I feel that my development within soloing, music theory and thorough ability to transcribe have been massively improved through regular lessons with Tom and I couldn't recommend him more!
Tom tutored my son up to Grade 8 Classical Guitar, and through his Trinity Diploma. An excellent tutor.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need special equipment to have online lessons?
No! Just a laptop or Tablet Computer with a built in webcam/mic - You can do it with just a phone (if you're in a fix), though it is not reccomended.
Do you only teach advanced students?
No! I teach all ages and abilities
I don't have a guitar - What should I buy?
This depends on your goals and your musical instruments. Get in touch and I'll help guide you here.
Do you only teach guitarists?
No! I teach broader aspects of music - Theory, improvisation, reading, composition too.
How long are lessons
Anything from 30 mins to 2 hrs depending on age/experience.
You are free to cancel your lessons at any time, though notice of at least 24 hours must be given - as there is usually a waiting list and I can often slot someone else in