What kinds of guitar do you teach?

Classical guitar (nylon strings)

Acoustic guitar (steel strings)

I teach both the the nylon-string (“classical”) guitar and the metal-string (“acoustic”) guitar. Which one is for you? In the long run, that will depend on what sort of music you want to play – but if you are a beginner then you will do yourself a big favour if you start with a nylon-string guitar.
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What size of guitar does my child need?

The worst thing you can do is to send your child along with their aunty’s old guitar which is far too big for them (and has been warping in the attic for 20 years). No matter how sweet they look when they are holding it, it is still TOO BIG!

As a rough guide, most children in Years 3 -6 will get on best with a three-quarter size. From Year 7 upwards, they will move on to full size. Continue reading

Fingerstyle or plectrum?

Classical guitar right hand

Plectrum guitar right hand

The classical guitar is almost always played with thumb and fingers. The acoustic guitar can be played in this way too, but is also played with various types of plectrum or “pick”.

I always encourage pupils to start with thumb and fingers. In my performing life, I play a lot of jazz guitar – so I love playing with a plectrum! But for a child pupil it is so much simpler to put thumb and fingers right on to the strings. The plectrum just gets in the way – and you lose it, and you forget to bring it, and it ends up in the washing machine …