External link opens in new tab or windowThe bare essentials - MannofieldMusic Guitar Lessons in Surbiton, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London

It would be almost impossible to list everything that would or could be taught at lessons because every individual is different. However, some essential main topics are listed below in order to give you a rough idea of the content of lessons. Furthermore, included at the foot of this page there are links to pages, which are related to the content of music lessons. These include: observations regarding the question of 'styles', along with examples of the types of accreditation that a qualified teacher usually has, and a page to highlight the much debated External link opens in new tab or windowpros and cons of Tablature and Music Notation. 

 Read more - continued...


External link opens in new tab or windowMannofieldMusic Guitar Lessons in Surbiton, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London


Lessons are geared towards an individual's stage of development. Every person is a unique individual with unique attributes, innate skills or problems, and will acquire knowledge perhaps in a different way from the next person. Therefore, every student's unique individuality will be recognised and treated with respect.



External link opens in new tab or windowMannofieldMusic Guitar Lessons in Surbiton, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London

The content of lessons is really about 'Musicianship' …………………….

ALL students will acquire a degree of musicianship in at least some of the following areas:

Music Knowledge (theory).

Music knowledge is essential in achieving PRACTICAL results

Knowledge = Empowerment (and fun) because it widens your musical horizons and allows you to play & explore previously unknown areas of the world of music.


Understanding how the FINGERBOARD works using METHODS to locate the notes.

 How to Tune the instrument with or without an electronic device - various methods including natural and artificial harmonics.


Picking-Hand techniques - Plectrum & thumb and fingers (all classic) styles. All sub-categories e.g. Tirando, Apoyando, Tremolos, Rasgueados, Golpe, Tambor, Pont, Tasto, pure tone, etouffez etc.


Stopping-Hand techniques - Positions and correct finger (and thumb) placement, Slurring (Hammer, Pull-off, Glissando, string-bending), types of vibrato, double-stopping, parando, movable chords, Barre etc.


Harmonics - All Natural & Artificial harmonics explained and techniques acquired to execute.


Ear training with regard to intervals, chords, and melodic memory.


The Stave and standard Music Notation also incorporating the 'Positional Fingering System'.

Learn to read music notation with a simple systematic approach.


Accidentals, Key Signatures, Relative Major and minor keys and why they are related.


Key Construction - understanding where keys come from.


Note Values, Rhythms, and Time Signatures.


Scales, Arpeggios, and removal of the esoteric mystery of modes.


Tone Production and Dynamics.


Systematic development of reading skills by working through a tutor book, commencing with simple tunes.


Graded material to afford the pupil the opportunity to obtain official qualification(s) through the Trinity Guildhall process at a later stage if the student wished to do so (NOT compulsory).


The Order of Triads, 4-note chords, and further extensions in major & minor keys, & 'altered' chords.


Understanding Chord Construction & how to create 'new' chord shapes from scratch.


Making sense of Blues, Jazz, and standard chord progressions.


Harmonising melodies - Solo Guitar - Bass including 'Walking' Bass.


The concept of Tonality and understanding modulations by analyses of chord progressions (and melodies).


Constructive Improvisation based on knowledge, emotional content, and techniques.


Composition, transposition, and arranging - music writing skills.


And perhaps even a little philosophy...

Throughout lessons, the notion will be projected that Musicians should have no self-imposed barriers to listening to or playing any 'style' of music and understanding that what matters most is the quality of the music.

Therefore, students are encouraged to develop a critical mind when listening to music and thereby gain an understanding of the meaning of 'quality'...

 Music is a subjective art form created from objective building blocks, and some music may be an acquired taste.

Real music should move us somehow and so it has some sort of meaning.

Students are encouraged to listen, and listen again. Listening is not the same thing as hearing; listening is active, hearing is passive.

If the music is complicated and uses different 'voices' (strands of music e.g. melody, harmony & bass) at the same time, we need to use sustained attention to listen to what every individual voice is doing at the same time. Listening requires effort and concentration.

If the music has no meaning to the recipient, it could be because it is not really music but only a collection of sounds (poor quality). On the other hand, the music may be true but the quality is simply not perceived.

Music is a language and it would appear logical that to fully communicate musically, it would be ideal to have a shared musical vocabulary between the performer and the listener.

We should try to know what we hear when we listen.


FAQ - "What styles do you teach?" External link opens in new tab or windowCLICK HERE

FAQ - "Why choose a qualified instructor?" External link opens in new tab or windowCLICK HERE

FAQ - "What is Music Notation and Tab"  External link opens in new tab or windowCLICK HERE

FAQ - "How much do lessons cost?" External link opens in new tab or windowCLICK HERE

FAQ - "What lesson times are currently available?" External link opens in new tab or windowCLICK HERE


Coming soon - Jazz and Classical Guitar lessons in Surbiton, Kingston upon Thames

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Copyright (c) 2009 - 2023 by Dr Bill Mann, Surbiton, Kingston, London