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“I believe every guitar player inherently has something unique about their guitar playing. They just have to identify what makes them different and develop it.” Jimmy Page
And you, have you identified what makes your guitar playing unique? If you haven’t yet figured it out, but you find this message inspiring, then you should definitely think about taking up guitar lessons.
Among the most legendary musical cities around the United Kingdom, Glasgow easily stands out for harbouring one of the most vibrant and dynamic independent music scenes. Named UNESCO City of Music in 2008, Glasgow hosts a wide variety of artists that represent every musical style under the sun, from classical and contemporary pop to Celtic and even country music.
Can you find a more iconic city to learn how to play the guitar? Whether you’re interested in learning how to play the jazz guitar, the acoustic guitar, the bass, the electric guitar, the steel-string guitar or the ukulele, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for in Glasgow. All you have to do is decide whether you prefer to take private guitar lessons with a personal instructor at home or attend group lessons at a music school, and you’ll be jamming to your favourite hits in no time.
But the first question you’re probably asking yourself is, why should you learn to play the guitar?
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world, across cultures and generations. It has historically accompanied some of the greatest musical legends and rock bands in history, like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, and Eddie van Halen. And not only is it a popular instrument, but it’s also fairly easy to play, once you’ve mastered the theory, of course.
So, before you start dreaming of your successful international career, let’s start with the basics: taking music lessons.
The first thing you need to master, whether you like it or not, is music theory. Once you’re able to read sheet music or guitar tabs, learning to play the guitar is quite simple. However, it’s important that you don’t give up when you play a wrong note or mess up a chord.
Because learning the different chords can take a while, but soon you’ll be able to jam to some of the greatest rock songs in history. Or to your favourite flamenco tunes, if that’s your preferred style.
The advantage of choosing the guitar over other instruments is that the appropriate sheet music and tablatures are easy to come by.
Guitar tabs are an alternative notation system, where notes and chords are portrayed using numbers placed on a six-line staff, with each line representing a different string on the guitar. This method can easily help beginner guitarists learn how to position their fingers on the different strings, without necessarily any prior study of music theory. In fact, many self-taught guitarists today learned how to play the guitar just by using tablatures.
However, if you prefer to pursue a deeper guitar training, then a private tutor or a group lesson is likely the best path for you, especially if you’re also interested in composing. The guitar will then become a valuable addition to your new original songs.
The guitar is also a perfect instrument for those of you who love to sing, as it can perfectly accompany your voice
Whether or not you like to sing, however, learning how to play the guitar can be useful if you’re interested in joining a band.
Many new bands cropping up around the city often look for budding guitarists, and you’ll be booking back-to-back gigs in no time.
Rock, jazz, blues, flamenco, R&B, gypsy jazz, bossa nova, classical and countless other music styles can be played on the guitar. So, if you like all types of music, the guitar is definitely the instrument for you.
From Greater Pollok to Springburn and North East, you’ll surely find somewhere to play the guitar in Glasgow, a city rich in musical culture.
A myriad of different organisations throughout the UK are making the arts accessible to both children and adults alike. Creative Scotland, for example, is the official government body that works to support the arts throughout Scotland. One of their programs, the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI), is helping young people acess a high-quality musical education. So far, the YMI has awarded £1.6 million in funding to about 50 organisations throughout Scotland, that will go to organising workshops and investing in rehearsal spaces so that children can have better access to the art of making music.
For those of you who are interested in pursuing a professional music career, and who imperatively want to learn by first understanding the music theory, you can always explore the option of attending the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, located in the heart of Glasgow.
You will benefit from being taught by a staff of music professionals, most of whom continue to play professionally today in orchestras all around the world.
Various independent music schools also offer one-on-one and group guitar lessons, for beginners and more advanced players alike. Based on your level and on your own objectives, they will provide you with a program of study.
In Glasgow, some of these schools include the Glasgow Music School, Village School of Music, and Glasgow Music Studios.
Another option you have in Glasgow is finding a personal guitar instructor. This is probably the best option for you if your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend weekly group lessons.
Just make sure you take the time to choose your guitar tutor, according to your goals and music taste!
Depending on whether you decide to play the electric guitar, the acoustic guitar, or the ukulele, your guitar lesson will vary according to the type of instrument used. However, all students will learn the basics to eventually become independent and to be able to play on their own.
The goal is to make sure everyone makes fast progress.
Classical music, jazz, pop, film music, rock, blues... no matter your favourite music genre, all students are welcome in group lessons, whether it’s at a music school or with an association.
The first lesson is often used by the instructors to get to know their students. They’ll want to know each student’s personal and professional objectives, and they’ll also be assessing their strengths and weaknesses.
While some people will likely struggle with the music theory, others will have trouble with the practical side of playing the guitar.
It’s true that sight reading, reading guitar tabs, and note dictations can sometimes be a bit difficult.
However, learning the music theory is almost an obligatory passage when you decide to take guitar lessons at the national conservatoire, for example. Most guitar instructors ask that their students be able to recognise the different music notes and keep tempo.
Once you’ve learned and mastered the theory, you’ll dedicate your practice time to covering simple songs, accessible to beginners.
Slowly, apprentice guitarists get used to where their hands and fingers should go, and they become more flexible. It’ll thus become easier to play and to know which cords to pluck.
Certain instructors propose group lessons and even prepare an end-of-the-year show. This is of course not the case if you decide to take private lessons. However, you can always sign up for gigs around the city to practice your performance skills and start making a name for yourself as an amateur musician.
As your level improves, you’ll be tackling harder and harder pieces. After some years of pratice, you’ll be learning more complex covers and will maybe be ready to start composing your own songs, if you haven’t started already!
There are many different ways to take guitar lessons: online, at home with a private instructor, in a group at a specialised music school, etc. So, why should you choose to go with a private tutor?
Taking group lessons, especially when learning an instrument, can sometimes be a bit frustrating. You don’t necessarily all like the same music style, and not everyone has the same skill level. When you take group lessons that are “open to all levels,” you may find that they are either too boring or too complicated for you.
Taking guitar lessons with a private instructor allows you to have their full attention throughout the lesson, so that they may focus on your own personal and professional objectives. What’s more, a good teacher will identify your problem areas and will help you resolve them so that you may quickly advance in the field.
By choosing private lessons, you’ll also be able to choose your own practice schedule, according to your own availability. A huge advantage that allows for flexibility if your plans for the week suddenly change.
Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your level, private instructors have experience with all types of students, and will know exactly how to help you meet your goals.
And, sometimes, they also have experience with other instruments and can accompany your guitar-playing with the piano, the saxophone, the bass, the cello, the flute, the harmonica, the clarinet, the trumpet, etc.
The O2 ABC, the Stereo, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the Arches, the Old Fruitmarket, the Royal Glagow Concert Hall… Glasgow is a city bursting with iconic music venues. A dynamic music hub where you’ll easily find your ideal guitar instructor.
If you wish to take guitar lessons at a music school, all you have to do is take a look at the schools we listed above and visit them directly to ask for more information about their lessons. These schools often propose lessons in other instruments, such as the drums or the piano, as well as musical awakening and music theory lessons, among others.
To find a private instructor that will teach you all about the history of the guitar, and who will point you towards the best music stores in the city, just check out the personal ads in the paper or online.
You’re sure to find tutors with all types of professional experience to teach you music.
On the Superprof platform, for example, you can choose from about 28 personal tutors in Glasgow, and from 2,448 online tutors. For an average rate of £20/hour, you’ll learn the basics of playing the guitar and master the proper technique.
Also, at Superprof, all of our guitar instructors in Glasgow offer the 1st lesson for free!
This first lesson is a great way to test a private tutor before committing to weekly lessons with them. You can also use it to ask them for some advice before purchasing your first guitar, for example.
As long as you find an instructor that you get along with, you’ll feel comfortable enough to make mistakes and to listen to their advice, and you’ll be making progress in no time.
“That’s the cool thing about the guitar, there’s always more to learn” Jim Heath.