Leeds is a city like no other. As the sort of unofficial capital of Yorkshire, it’s a blossoming metropolis of students, artists, and other people who are getting a little fed up with the sheer inconvenience of London. And any local will testify that it really is a beautiful place.
Musically speaking, Leeds has developed a hugely rich culture, pumping out lots of new bands, including the Kaiser Chiefs, Alt-J, Hadouken!, and The Pigeon Detectives. And if you are the sort of person who wants to be a little musical too (which we’re guessing to be true, as you’re here on this page!), you’ll be pleased to know that the options for musical education in the ‘Capital of the North’ are plenty.
For guitarists, we have put together here a list of the best learning opportunities in the city. It is far from exhaustive, as there are literally hundreds of people offering guitar tuition in Leeds. But, whether you are a beginner who wants to learn to play your favourite songs, or already a musician hoping to master a new skill or genre, you’ll without a doubt find a guitar teacher to suit your style and needs.
Roundhay Music are a not-for-profit music tuition organisation that has been offering high quality music lessons for over three decades. They teach everything – from the ukulele and the banjo to piano, music theory, and musicianship – and their teachers are adept at every style – jazz, classical, folk, or rock.
Besides private guitar lessons around the city, Roundhay also runs ensembles and group workshops – as well as classes within schools. With their large variety of services, teachers, and instruments – you can learn the acoustic, the classical guitar, or the electric guitar – they really are a brilliant organisation. It’s only a plus that their focus, since their inception, has been on the community.
If you want to be a guitarist, but your heart isn’t into all the power chords, riffs, and licks of rock guitar, you might be better off at the Instituto Cervantes – an international organisation dedicated to the promotion and teaching of Spanish culture.
Why? Because the Institute on Woodhouse Lane offers a number of musical courses, including one in Spanish guitar playing. Here, you’ll learn the fundamental aspects of flamenco guitar – the chords, the techniques, the rhythms, the repertoire, and the peculiar style of finger picking – that makes the Spanish genre so wonderful.
The course is taught by an expert instructor, Elías Bolufer, and a fun thing is that you can take the classes either in English or in Spanish – to practise another language too!
Learn flamenco guitar in Leeds.
Superprof, on the other hand, offers the possibility of learning any style, any guitar method, or any guitar techniques you may possibly want to learn. Superprof is an online platform pairing tutors with students across the world. Globally, there are over five million tutors you can learn from on Superprof – the majority of whom offer online lessons – whilst Leeds hosts twenty-eight guitar tutors at an average price of £19 an hour.
Regardless of your level, you will find the guitar instructor on Superprof who will turn you into a guitar player yourself – and they offer lessons at their home studio or at yours. Learning the guitar has never been so easy!
The North Leeds Music Centre runs out of Allerton Church of England Primary School, and is run in turn by the Leeds Music Education Partnership – an organisation working to give every child in Leeds the opportunity to learn music and the arts.
The centre is open to learners of all ages, and runs group piano lessons, singing lessons, and guitar lessons. It runs on Saturday mornings, during school term time, and offers music classes for absolute beginners, intermediate learners, young children, and those who just want to get together and play. In terms of guitar, acoustic guitar lessons and electric guitar lessons are both offered – as well as lessons in the bass guitar.
Learn to play music – and guitar! – in Leeds.
If you like your guitar learning with a touch of history, you might want to take lessons at the Yorkshire College of Music & Drama, founded in 1894. It’s now on St Mark’s Avenue, in the centre of town.
As you would expect from a music school, they teach every variety of instrument – from the clarinet to the cello – at all levels. So, if you are a beginner or an advanced grade eight guitarist, you’ll find something here for you. They also run music theory courses and groups for ‘musical appreciation’, to broaden your knowledge beyond your musical instrument.
Rooms in the building can be hired out by private music groups – your personal band maybe – so it’s a great resource to know.
Like any big city in the UK, Leeds has a dedicated music college, at which you can pursue further and higher education in music – academically or focused on a career in the music industry. The Leeds College of Music is a particularly accessible one, with programmes to encourage younger musicians to learn and develop the range of their musical skills.
Those looking to play the guitar at degree level can study courses tailored towards jazz, classical, pop, songwriting or production, business, and musical theatre. Each of these courses is three years long, and you will be awarded a degree from the University of Hull.
A great thing about the Leeds College of Music is that they don’t limit themselves to higher education. Instead, they run a number of short courses which, whilst they don’t yield an academic qualification, offer the opportunity to learn how to play your musical instrument in groups of like-minded people.
The Introduction to Acoustic Guitar, for example, runs weekly over fifteen weeks and will teach you guitar basics such as strumming, basic chords, fingerstyle, and ensemble work. This course for those beginning guitar starts very simple: learn to tune up, to master the best techniques for practicing, and play songs that you know and love.
Swap Guitar Hero for the real thing with a guitar tutor.
Leeds is also home to a number of private guitar teachers who excel in different styles of music, techniques, and instruments. They are also individually based all over the city, so finding one convenient for you might actually make you want to go to the lessons!
First Pick Guitar Lessons are based in the Roundhay/Gledhow area of Leeds, and the teacher, Geoff, is a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors. It is run from Geoff’s fully equipped home studio, which contains everything you could possibly need to enjoy your lesson.
Geoff has been teaching for over fifteen years, and he now teaches everything from beginner guitar lessons to specific blues courses.
Freebird Guitar Tuition is a guitar tuition company whose tuition expert, Leon, travels across Yorkshire teaching. He also offers guitar lessons online.
He covers ukulele, bass, and guitar, and offers everything from music theory to soloing and improvisation. He offers half an hour, forty-five-minute, and hour-long lessons, and, as a songwriter himself, he encourages you to experiment with your own creativity.
Rob Hobson Guitar Tuition has been active in Leeds for the last fifteen years and Hobson, the tutor, is based in Kirkstall. However, he is also happy to travel.
His teaching approach is flexible, tailored to the style that you prefer, and this applies to the length and frequency of lessons too. Teaching electric and acoustic guitar, and offering a free first lesson, he is worth checking out if you are in north Leeds.
Mike Pearson of MJP Guitar Tuition has taught over four hundred students over the thirteen years that he has been teaching – and he also teaches peripatetically in schools. He is located in Pudsey, but, again, he travels all over the city.
He also offers courses based on different styles you might like – from metal to blues to general rock playing.
Tom Elliott – of Leeds Guitar Lessons – has been playing the guitar for a quarter of a century, and he is now based in Bramley. His website is quite a resource in itself – with blogs, advice, and video tutorials – and he offers lessons to everyone from people who have never before touched a guitar to those who already have some solid chops.
If you live in a different city, we also have guides on the best guitar lessons in London, guitar tutoring in Birmingham, Manchester’s guitar classes, and lessons in guitar in Glasgow – as well as on the best options for guitar lessons in all of the UK.