Do you offer a "trial lesson"?
Yes, the first lessons is free! Decide if it's for you without spending anything.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please keep in mind this is my living.
-Unless it's due to being sick or a genuine emergency, if you don't show or cancel within 48 hours of your lesson, the lesson will be "counted" and you'll be expected to pay for it.
*Work and/or school related issues, and not having enough time to practice are not considered genuine emergencies.
-A "package of lessons" must be completed in a reasonable amount of time regardless of the previous policy. Meaning:
Unless planed otherwise in advance
*If you sign up for 4 lessons to be taken every week they must be completed in no more than 8 weeks.
*If you sign up for 4 lessons to be taken every other week they must be completed in no more than 12 weeks.
(This gives you an entire extra month to complete your lessons, which is way more than you should ever need.)
Any cancellation on my behalf will of course not be held against you.
Do you teach both acoustic and electric guitar?
Can I borrow a guitar during lessons?
Yes, there will always be both an acoustic and electric guitar to borrow during lessons. Keep in mind some people find it easier playing on their own guitars, but you're always more than welcome to borrow one for lessons.
Does it matter whether I use an electric or acoustic guitar?
No it does not, use whichever you prefer.
Do you teach children? Would you recommend your lessons for my child?
Yes, and ABSOLUTELY. The human brain learns quickest when we're young, so there is no better time to take music lessons than as a child. Music studies have proven time and time again to be profoundly beneficial for a child's development.
I usually recommend ages 10 and up. But if your child is younger than 10 and you're confident that his or her's attention span and fingers are strong enough for guitar lessons, feel free to contact me.
Why the guitar for my child?
For a number of reasons. The most cliche reason is the guitar carries a "sense of cool" with it that children are attracted to, and tend to have more fun with. It's an instrument you can play with others AND by yourself, which is not true of all instruments commonly taught in public schools. It's also a chordal instrument and over time this will spark deep musical theory conversation that will involve unique uses of mathematics.
May I come to the lessons with my child?
What if I'm COMPLETELY new to music?
Music, on a completely technical level, can be broken down into two parts, pitch and rhythm. If you seriously lack in one or both of these areas we will devote portions of our classes to certain exercises. For recognizing pitch, we will do simple voice (singing) exercises (the quality of your voice is of absolutely no importance)... For rhythm we will use a metronome and try out many different exercises. Regardless of your level I will be committed to your progress.
Can you come to my home?
Maybe, but unlikely... Availability is quite limited and please understand that I need to count the traveling time (there and back) that I'm taking out of my teaching schedule- the charge is by the hour so the cost all depends on your location- usually that means charging an additional $50 or so. Due to the high demand of evening lessons from my studio, "At-home lessons" are only offered from 1-5PM Monday-Friday. Virtually all of my students choose to take lessons at my studio, which I highly recommend over at-home lessons. But if you're interested in at-home lessons Contact Here with your location to get an estimate and an idea of availability.
Do you give Skype Lessons?
Yes, I do. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you live in New York City and are capable of taking lessons in person, it is absolutely in your best interest to do so, as Skype lessons are no substitute for a real life lesson (and you should be cautious of any teachers or schools that tell you otherwise). Skype lessons are virtually impossible for beginners, and limiting for intermediate-advance students.
Skype lessons are ideal for people who do not live in NYC, or do live in NYC but are not able to make it into the studio on occasion due to work, travel, sickness, etc.
If you'd like to set up a skype lesson please Contact Here.
What style of music do you play and listen to?
My original music is hard to categorize but is some type of modern jazz, fused with many different styles including classical, rock, electronic, funk and avaunt guard music. Listen HERE if interested.
When I'm hired to play for private events/gatherings, studio sessions, or to accompany various artists, I play what is needed. Usually that means "strait ahead jazz", rock/pop, Fusion, or singer-songwriter/folk-ish music.
I listen to a lot of music... Some of my favorites are: Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter (jazz); Kurt Rosenwinkel and Brad Mehldau (modern jazz); Nick Drake and Bob Dylan (folk); Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix (Classic Rock); Radiohead and Grizzly Bear (Modern Rock-ish); B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan (Blues); Stravinski and Ravel (Classical); Philip Glass and Nico Muhly (Contemporary Classical), Hundred Waters and Aphex Twin (Electronic); Johnny Cash (Country-ish); Ravi Shankar(Eastern/Indian); Chris Thile (Bluegrass-ish) and on and on...
Other artists I've been listening to in the last few years who are slightly more obscure and harder to categorize are The Books, Joanna Newsome, Caroline Shaw, Wayne Krantz, Sufjan Stevens and many more. I'm also involved with many local musicians in NYC who I also listen to as much as anyone else.
If you don't recognize any of these names, it really should not concern you, we don't need to listen to the same music.
What do I need to bring?
For your first lesson all you need is a guitar (and you can even borrow one at the lesson if you prefer). For additional lessons you'll be given a paper with required and recommended material. Required material shouldn't cost anymore than $20 total, and many students will already have some if not all required materials.
Do we have to work on reading music?
Yes, we will work on both reading and writing basic music notation. But it's up to you how much time is spent on it. Most students spend only about 5 minutes of their lessons reading/writing (and often not every lesson) but some may want to spend more. It all depends on your interest and what's appropriate for your level and goals.
Why do we have to work on reading music?
In addition to these being guitar lessons they are also in a general sense music lessons; and being able to read and write is part of the study of music as it is with all languages. I also won’t contribute to the abundance of illiterate guitar players because it hurts the instrument's reputation.
If you're worried about reading and writing music notation, please remember 5 minutes (out of an hour) every other lesson or so to learn basic notation is not much to worry about. It's been my experience that reading/writing is very rarely an issue with students- but that being said, if you're someone who will all together refuse to learn how to read and write on a basic level for just 5 minutes, unfortunately these lessons will not be right for you.
Keep in mind being able to read and write music is an immeasurably useful skill.
Can I buy lessons for a friend or family member as a gift?
Yes, but there are a few rules and things to keep in mind listed below...
-Unfortunately free first lesson is not offered as a "gift lesson" nor will it be included in any package of lessons purchased as a gift.
-The student would need to own a guitar of their own to practice on at home.
-The lesson(s) must take place or start in no more than a month after the purchase.
-The student would also need to fit into my schedule and vise versa... (Read more below on this)
The biggest thing to consider is scheduling/availability... I teach Monday-Friday 12-9PM (no weeknds) - afternoons are fairly open, while night lessons (6PM and later) are highly in demand- although there are always at least some random openings.
I tend to break New Yorker's schedules down into two types, and here's what I'd recommend for both.
-The busy and/or unpredictable schedule: Say they can only do lessons at 7PM on one specific day of the week- or maybe they can't commit to any day/time on a recurring bassis (etc.) In that case, it's usually a better idea to purchase only one lesson as a gift, and at that lesson the student and I can plan on how to schedule future lessons.
-The fairly flexible schedule: Say they don't work a 9-5, and/or have flexibility in their work/school schedule, and/or have at least some afternoon availability, etc. In that case, purchasing a "package" of lessons should be perfectly fine.
So if you're interested in gift lessons, just Contact Me Here and we'll try to work out the details.
How often are lessons held?
Most students take lessons every week and every week is recommended. Occasionally a student might want to take lessons every other week, twice per week or only every few weeks. However, due to the high demand of evening time slots (between 6PM and 10PM) evening time slots are reserved only for students who can commit to weekly lessons. "Package lessons" are only offered to students come on a regular basses (at least every other week for afternoons, and every week for evenings)
What are the days/hours I can take lessons?
I hold lessons Monday-Thursday 1-10PM and Fridays 1-9PM. (I don't teach on Saturdays and Sundays). Contact Here for openings.
Do you accept credit and/or debit cards?
Yes, but please remember an additional 3% is added to cover transaction fees. To avoid the 3% charge just bring cash or a check to the lesson. Cash is always appreciated.
How much do lessons cost?
Please check the 'Prices' section of this website.
Do I have to play guitar to take music theory lessons?
No, but you must play an instrument and should know how to read music.
Do you give group lessons (2 or more people)?
Yes, but in general I don't recommend it. Because such personal attention is needed when studying any instrument and the speed of progress varies greatly from person to person, one on one lessons are typically best (and you should be cautious of any other teachers or schools who tell you otherwise). However, if the students are more advanced it may not be as much of an issue. Either way, if requested, yes I do give group lessons.
Prices for group lessons are $7.50 less for each student compared to a private lesson.
Do I need to own a guitar to take lessons?
YES. Practicing what is discussed in lessons is 90% of learning any instrument. If you want to try out one lesson before buying a guitar that's perfectly fine, but after that lesson you absolutely must own your own guitar.