John came to me 3 weeks before a scheduled concert to gain some performance techniques. Upon hearing his playing, which was an excellent display of acoustic finger picking and percussion, I decided his main focus should be to work on dynamics. His unique style brought a new flavour to songs such as Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns ‘N’ Roses and Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper, and we worked on bringing out the melodies with dynamic techniques.

 

To really prepare John for his performance I showed him some basic skills for setting EQ and effects for his guitar and amplifier as well PA. We also played around with placing a microphone in front of his acoustic to add another source of amplification.

 

The concert, which included a sold out matinee performance, were a success! To my delight, John came back for follow up lessons. I honestly felt that having worked on his dynamics in the initial 3 lessons, there was nothing more I could do for him. His playing I would say was at an advanced level. However, when we stripped back his playing to the basics of strumming patterns and song structure, it was clear he had a few gaps in his ability. This is worth noting as a player, that you have never mastered your instrument!

 

Lessons are now progressing from basic strumming patterns to learning songs such as Peaceful Easy Feeling by Eagles. Next is to build up scale and theory knowledge to be able to learn popular guitar solos with an aim to become proficient at improvisation and accompaniment.