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I'm a child, can you teach me? I teach children all the time. Usually when a kid is 10 years old or so, that's been a great age to begin learning the guitar. There are some exceptions to this of course, I have had students as young as 6 years old! If you're excited about the idea of maybe learning the guitar, you have nothing to lose with signing up for a free one hour consultation lesson. Also, you may want to look into picking up a 3/4 sized guitar if you're not quite grown yet.
I don't have a guitar, do I have to buy one? Initially, no. You may use one of my guitars at the beginning, but keep in mind, lessons alone without having a guitar to practice on will make progress near impossible. For those who do not have a guitar, I still welcome them to take their free consultation lesson before they decide on if they want to continue taking lessons and/or purchasing a guitar. Often times we end up discussing entry-level guitar purchasing options at length during these consultation lessons.
What's better to start with - electric or acoustic? Either. Whichever one is more attractive to you is probably going to motivate you to play/practice it more often regardless of ease or difficulty. Who's your guitar hero and what are they playing? I will mention that there are actually three main types of guitar - electric, acoustic, and classical - each with their own pros and cons. Electric guitars are the most versatile and easiest to adjust/maintain, but they need a lot of extras (like cables, amplifiers, etc.) in order to be truly operational. Acoustic guitars seem to be the most popular beginners choice, they sound pretty and don't require any extras to play, but they are the most rough on the finger tips (not for whimps), and are difficult to adjust/maintain. Classical guitars aren't very popular for whatever reason, but they are an acoustic instrument so they don't require any extras to play, and because of the nylon strings classical guitars are the easiest on the three types on the finger tips. Classical guitars are also a lot wider than electric or acoustic counterparts, so those with small hands may not like the space between the strings, but those with large fingers may actually prefer a classical guitar because of which. I hope this helps.
Is it okay if I've never played an instrument before? Absolutely! You don't need to have any previous musical training to benefit from taking lessons, I take in brand-new beginners all the time. Although having any previous instrument experience (flute, trombone, percussion, etc.) certainly doesn't hurt, do not let that discourage you from signing up for lessons and attempting to learn guitar.
I'm an expert, and only need help mastering one or two concepts. Can I still enroll? Yes. I have a handful of advanced students that either do one-off lessons, or do a short-term "training camp" for a couple of weeks. Often times these lessons are spent mapping out a training regime to achieve those advanced goals.
I saw that there is a recital, do I have to play on stage? No, you do not need to take the stage. Performance is not a requirement, but it is highly encouraged. I didn't take the instrument seriously until I had my first performance. I was terribly frightened to get on stage in front of my entire school, but after it was all said and done, I was truly HOOKED!
How long will it take me to learn to play the guitar? Forever. Just kidding. Well, sort of. I'm still learning to play the dang thing! But in all seriousness, depending on what your definition of "play the guitar" is, it really depends on how much dedicated time and effort you put into it. Some people are naturally talented, but even so, there is a common denominator between everyone; the time and effort they put into the instrument. To answer your question, if your goal is to play campfire style with open chords on an acoustic, that might take 3-6 months (or less) of regular practice and learning to sound good at it. Barre chords can take up to a year (or more), although some have done it within a week. Simple guitar soloing can take 1 day, advanced guitar soloing can take a lifetime. I mean, it really depends...
How do you take payment? Credit? Check? Generally it's pay as you go, but some clients prefer to pay upfront for many lessons in advance. Either or is fine. I also have a point-of-sales system via Square, so I can take payment pretty much any way you can pay me. Credit card, debit card, personal check, cash, and now even Venmo are all acceptable. Whatever you prefer!
My child wants to take lessons, do I need to be there? Can I drop them off and run errands during their lesson? Initially, a guardian must be present. Long term, a guardian probably doesn't need to be present. It is for everyone's safety that a guardian is present for a minor's lesson at least initially. The guardian may wait inside the studio (there's a comfortable couch with a lovely cross breeze), or can wait out in the car as long as they don't leave the car running. Although I'm able to record most lessons (mostly for learning, but also for security reasons), I like to wait until a rapport is built with the student and guardian after a couple of lessons before the student is left with me. Once everyone is comfortable, you can drop your kid off and run to the store or whatever, but please please please be back in time before the lesson is over so I'm not kicking your kid out on the streets unattended in order to accommodate my next student. Thank you in advance!
Do you teach more than one person at a time? I have done small group lessons in the past, but barring unique circumstances, I prefer not to teach more than one student at a time.
I'm traveling to Oahu for work/vacation. Do you teach visitors? Yes. Believe it or not, I've been surprised at how many visitors sought me out for lessons while visiting here on Oahu. Many people have found that they finally have some down time to invest into practicing guitar while they're away from home. Usually I can create a training camp for the visiting student if I know the length of time and the amount of lessons they're looking to do while here on the island. If you have the time, why not? I'm located relatively close to Waikiki too and have a Biki station (603 MANOA - UH POOL) about a hundred feet from my front door.
How long do people usually take lessons? I actually have that exact information! According to my records, as of September 2020, out of the 158 students who have enrolled since I started record keeping in 2014, the average length of enrollment for the past 7 years has been 172.6 days (so about 6 months). Most people who reach the 6 month mark tend to continue taking lessons for a longer while. Those who don't reach the 6 month mark typically discontinue lessons at about 3 months in. Surprisingly, I've had a handful of students re-enroll over the years after discontinuing lessons for whatever reason(s), which has been pretty cool.
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