Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | January 9, 2019

Get more for your money

No it’s not a free offer and it’s not going to make you rich but the start of a new year is always a good time to reconnect with some habits that will help you get the most from your guitar lessons.

It’s “concentration and focus” that we are talking about both during lesson time as well as your practice time and here are a few ground rules to think about.


Turn off your phone, tablet or any other distracting “social media”. In lessons you don’t need a phone unless you are using as a Tuner; but then turn it to Flight Mode. Anyway it seems that the Tuners on phones are not always accurate.




At Practice time get rid of all distractions; turn off the phone, close the door, do whatever you have to do to aid concentration for the next 30 minutes.



  1. Make practice regular. Maybe allocate a certain time of the day and try to stick to it. I have two periods set aside for practice and if one doesn’t work out then the next period usually does.
  2. Be organised. At lessons know what we are going to be doing and have any questions organised in advance. You can warm up at practice with scales and exercises but this can be difficult when travelling to lessons, so use a mental warm up. Go through the scales and pieces you are learning in your head. It’s a great way to help memorising music.
  3. Ask questions if you’re not sure. If you’re unsure of something in a lesson, stop and get it clarified. It’s better to fix it or understand it now, rather than later. I have some students, who every time they are given a new piece request a video of me playing it and at a speed that they can play along with. When they are able to play the piece along with the video I’ve made for them, a second video is made at a slightly faster speed. And on it goes until they are able to play the piece at the suggested speed.
  4. Review your goals. It’s great to have long term goals but you need to break them down into achievable and measurable short term goals. Talk about your next guitar goal; be it learn a line of music by the next lesson or maybe just get the rhythm right on one pesky section.

Think about it this way. You are paying me for a service and you want to get the best value for money from me so every minute is important.

Remember that “Concentration and focus” has to be offset with fun and enjoyment so think about why you’re learning guitar and make sure that you set aside some of that practice time to just enjoy the challenge and have fun with music.


Happy New Year

Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | December 17, 2018

Almost a lifetime


Sometimes it does feel like I’ve been a Guitar Tutor at W.E.A. for a lifetime and I remember the first course I did there, although the names and faces of those students have long been lost to my memory. In fact it’s only been 15 years of tutoring there but that equals a lifetime or more  for many of my students.

I haven’t kept a record of how many classes but I know that it was at least 60 courses of “Beginner Guitar” and “More Guitar”, and over 600 students that passed through them.

I was recently presented with my 15 years service certificate to celebrate my work at W.E.A. and the fun it brought to hundreds of students. Many students started with a W.E.A. Beginners Guitar course and then became private students at Glenelg Guitar Studio as they progressed further.

Finally, thank you to those who have helped me put together this website-my good friends and students Ian and Robyn-and my family Kath, Danielle, Jason and the Chihuahua’s!

Christmas greetings to you and your family and I will see you in the New Year.



Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | November 27, 2018

….and the winner is…..

It was a lovely warm Spring day at Glenelg and crowds of people were wandering along the esplanade enjoying the sunshine and a few were braving the still chilly water of the Gulf.

Some lugged guitar cases through Moseley Square, headed for a short Saturday morning session at Glenelg Guitar Studio. Yes, you guessed it, it’s exam time again !!!!

13 students conquered their nerves as well as the syllabus and spent 15 minutes or so being assessed by the International Music Examination Board examiner. It was the culmination of a years work for many and for some it was the first step in measuring their “guitar progress”.

And the WINNER IS………..

Well, actually they were all winners. No matter what grade or ability you are, just stepping up and working towards assessment makes you a winner in so many ways. To those who did it: Congratulations.

The List of WINNERS ( in no particular order !!)

Ian Pope Grade 3

Jack Stone Grade 3

Anthony Bria Preliminary

Jack Timberlake Grade 1

Jesse Gibbs Grade 3

William Healey Grade 4

Veaco Smith Grade 1

Huwan Leibbrandt Grade 2

James Gluyas Grade 3

Malcolm Lindner Grade 4-Classical Guitar

Harrison Sparrow Preliminary

Hayden Sparrow Grade 2

David Peacock Grade 1

Congratulations to all.


Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | May 14, 2018

I believe I’ll dust my broom

“Dust my broom” is an old saying originating in the American south meaning that “I’m leaving and won’t come back”. Not to be confused with Mothers’ often screeched “Go clean your room” which many may be more familiar with.

“Dust My Broom” is a blues song originally recorded as “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. It is a solo performance in the Delta blues-style with Johnson’s vocal accompanied by his acoustic guitar and the song has become a blues standard, with numerous renditions by a variety of musicians.

What it brings to students today is the playing of melody and rhythm in the one piece which embodies the sound of the Delta Blues. It’s achievable by students from grade 2 onwards and is an excellent learning piece, not only for the incorporation of the melody and rhythm but to give you a taste of the Delta Blues.

Have a look at the snippet from me and enjoy the original from Robert Johnson. As always if you are interested in learning this piece please talk to me at your next lesson.

Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | March 4, 2018

What’s in a name ?

What’s in a name ? Well a lot I suppose, when you’re in the music or entertainment industry and want to make it easy to be remembered.

Lots of famous people have changed their name, either legally, or just by taking a stage name. Sometimes it really because their parents didn’t think ahead that far when planning to name their child, or maybe that traditional family name just doesn’t suit today’s language.

Did you know that  Miley Cyrus was actually born Destiny Hope Cyrus. As a child she was always smiling, so her parents nicknamed her ‘smiley,’ which later got shortened to Miley.

Katy Perry was born Kathryn Hudson. She decided to change her surname to Perry (which is her mother’s maiden name) so that people wouldn’t confuse her with actor Kate Hudson. Elton John, the ageing singer, changed his name from Reginald Kenneth Dwight, because when it comes down to it, Reginald isn’t exactly the most hip and happening name.

Actors also feature with oddball actor Joaquin Phoenix originally known as Joaquín Rafael Bottom. He probably changed his name because he was the butt of too many jokes.

But getting back to musicians. Here’s a great piece from Australian artist James Gabriel Wanderson Keogh. Oh, that’s Vance Joy in case you didn’t know (he took that name from a character in a novel).

The piece is “Georgia”, which is a very interesting piece that can be learnt by students from grade 1 onwards. Don’t let the speed put you off as it also sounds great when played at a slower tempo.

As always let me know if your interested in learning this piece when next we catch up.

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