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“The guitar is a small orchestra. It is polyphonic. Every string is a different colour, a different voice.” Andrés Segovia
On that note, have you ever thought about taking up music lessons? A recent survey conducted by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), about 70% of British children currently play an instrument. Enough to make up the next generation of great musicians, we hope!
And why not learn how to play the guitar? There are many types of guitars out there, such as the jazz guitar, the acoustic guitar, the bass, etc. All you have to do is find yourself a guitar instructor and you can become a pro in no time. You can take private lessons at home or find a music school - everything is possible in Birmingham.
Have you always been passionate about music? Well, that’s a very good reason to learn how to play the guitar. Andrés Segovia, whom we quoted above, also famously said, “The guitar is the easiest instrument to play and the hardest to play well.” Easier to learn than the piano, the accordion and the violin, the guitar is a great place to start if you’re only just beginning.
But why should you learn to play the guitar?
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world, both among young people and older generations. For a long time, it has famously accompanied countless great singers and rock bands, so it can be easy to imagine yourself going on tour, guitar in hand, and playing on some of the greatest stages in the world.
But before we get to your successful international career, we have to start with the basics: music lessons.
Whether you’re learning through music theory and sheet music or through tablatures, learning to play the guitar is quite simple. However, you can’t just give up the first time you hit a speed bump.
Once you’ve mastered some simple chords, you’ll be able to tackle some of the greatest British hits or some hard rock. Up to you to decide which style you prefer.
The advantage of choosing to play the guitar is that you’ll easily be able to find the appropriate sheet music.
Guitar tablatures, if you’re not yet familiar with the term, are a simplified notation system that sketch out where your fingers should go on the different strings. This method is quite popular among self-taught guitar players, who were never too keen on music theory. Many amateur guitarists today learn to play the guitar by exclusively using tablatures.
Learning the guitar with a private tutor or in a music class can also help you start composing if that’s something you’re interested in. Like the piano, the guitar can help you find melodies for your new songs.
If your goal is to make it in the music industry as a singer, the guitar may be exactly the instrument you need.
You’ll also probably be able to join a band pretty easily. Even if there are many guitarists in the market, bands without guitarists are quite rare, so there will always be an opportunity for you. You’ll quickly find a group looking for their new rock star.
Guitarists are also often the first to be called to liven up a campfire or any other party.
Rock, hard metal, British folk, jazz, blues, R&B, bossa nova, flamenco, gypsy jazz, and all other styles of music can be played on the guitar. An advantage that should definitely be considered if you like all types of music.
From the Jewellery Quarter to Adderley Park, you’ll find plenty of places to learn how to play the guitar in Birmingham, the second-most populous city in the UK.
Different organisations around the city offer workshops and group lessons that help aspiring musicians acquire the knowledge and technique needed to play the guitar, making music accessible to all. These associations organise workshops, classes, and plenty of other opportunities to play in a group, giving students the chance to practice the guitar in an ensemble.
It’s also the chance to meet other guitar enthusiasts and maybe even, why not, form a band?
Electric guitar, folk guitar, classic guitar, bass guitar - all guitar styles are welcome.
Those who prefer to go down the music theory route, or who are hoping to forge themselves a professional career in the music industry, should definitely check out the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
There, you’ll be able to benefit from a first-class education by music professionals with plenty of experience playing in orchestras, philharmonics, etc.
Private schools also offer professional guitar lessons. Classes are offered based on your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or pro) and goals.
These schools often propose group lessons or private one-on-one lessons, and students can choose to learn the guitar, or they can opt for piano, drums, music theory or even singing lessons.
In Birmingham, we can find Progress Music Academy, Birmingham Music School, and Solihull Music School, among others.
One last option is available to you if you want to take guitar lessons in Birmingham - you can look for a private guitar instructor. This option can be a great choice if your schedule doesn’t allow you to regularly attend lessons.
Just make sure that you choose your professor according to your musical tastes and goals.
Electric guitar lessons, beginner’s guitar lessons, classic guitar lessons, etc. Your guitar lesson will vary according to the instrument you choose. However, there is a common base that is used to teach students the skills they need to spread their wings and fly solo.
The ultimate goal is that students progress.
Classical music, jazz, pop, film scores, rock, and R&B lovers are all welcome in the same class, whether it’s at a music school or at a program organized by an association.
Instructors often use the first class to get to know their students. The goal is to understand the expectations of each student and to start identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
While some students will struggle with music theory, others will have more trouble with the practical aspect of playing the guitar.
Sight-reading, reading a guitar tabs, note dictations... all of these can sometimes get a bit complicated.
However, learning music theory is almost a mandatory rite of passage when you start taking guitar lessons. With some exceptions, most guitar instructors require their students to be able to recognise the different musical notes and keep the right tempo.
Once you’ve learned and mastered the theory, your practice time can be dedicated to repeating simple compositions that are more accessible to beginners.
Little by little, you’ll get used to the notes and the gestures, and your hand and fingers will become more flexible. It’ll soon be a lot easier to pluck your guitar strings and play your favourite songs.
Some instructors also offer their students the opportunity to practice as a group and to prepare an end-of-the-year show. This is, of course, not the case if you decide to take individual guitar lessons.
As the year goes by, the pieces get more and more complicated. After several years of practice, you’ll be given more difficult covers to rehearse, and you’ll even be able to start composing your own melodies if you haven’t done so already.
Rhythm, arpeggio, tempo... perfecting your skills should remain, first and foremost, a leisure activity, meaning that you take pleasure from it.
There are many different ways to learn how to play guitar, whether it’s by taking online classes, at-home guitar lessons, group classes, etc. So, why should you choose to take guitar lessons with a private instructor?
Learning the guitar in a group setting can sometimes be a bit frustrating. You won’t necessarily be learning in the music style that you love, and you must be ready to follow the group’s skill level. This can sometimes be either very boring or very difficult when you decide to take mixed-level classes.
Taking lessons with a private guitar instructor allows you to have your instructor’s full attention and to share your personal goals and aspirations with them. What’s more, a good teacher will know how to help you make fast progress in the field.
Giving private lessons is a great way to get to know your students and to support them through their trouble areas.
By choosing to take private lessons, you’ll also be able to choose your own class schedule with your instructor. Nothing will stop you from following your passion to play!
Musical training, contemporary music, musical awakening, guitar for beginners, private tutors often have more than one string to their guitar!
It’s your chance to learn music theory and to practice reading guitar tabs in the best conditions.
And maybe your tutor will even be able to teach you other instruments (piano, saxophone, bass, cello, flute, harmonica, clarinet, trumpet, etc.).
As the birthplace of many new musical styles, such as Bhangra and heavy metal, Birmingham boasts one of the largest and most vibrant music scenes in the United Kingdom. A great place to start taking guitar lessons!
If you wish to take guitar lessons in a music school, all you have to do is show up and ask for more information on their classes, or just check out their website. These schools often offer other types of classes, if you want to learn to play the drums, the saxophone, or music theory, for example.
To find a private instructor who will teach you the history of the different stringed instruments, or who will give you some great recommendations of good music stores, try checking out small businesses or shopping centres. These stores often have notice boards full of personal ads where you can find independent tutors available for guitar lessons around the city.
You can also find these personal ads online, on websites like GumTree, for example. You’ll find many different instructors with varying levels of experience to help teach you music.
On the Superprof website, you can choose among 21 personal instructors in Birmingham. For an average rate of £22 an hour, you’ll learn the basics of playing the guitar and the overall technique. Folk or electric guitar, it’s up to you.
The first lesson is often offered by the instructor for free.
This “test lesson” can be the chance to test out your private lesson and to ask for some tips to purchase your first guitar (Gibson, Yamaha, Fender, Ib Ibanez). Everything you need to get started with your new music lessons!
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