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Guitar Lessons

Rudy’s goal is to teach an enjoyable guitar program in a disciplined yet nurturing learning environment that brings the student comfortably into their own as a musician, vocalist and guitarist.

To facilitate learning activities, Rudy plans, prepares and delivers instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences using a variety of tools including music and guitar method books, internet websites and apps and hand written charts and tablature. Rudy will create full notation and tablature music score sheets customized to meet each student’s various special needs and learning abilities.

For beginners, Rudy has a 6 week boot camp that all students must pass to be considered a ‘beginner’ and move forward with more advanced instruction. This course teaches the fundamentals of the guitar, its construction and how it produces sounds and notes, and how it is tuned. The next five lessons focus first on the left hand, improving finger strength and dexterity moving on then to right hand and finger picking techniques. Upon completing these five lessons, the student will be able to move about the fretboard and play a basic scale. The hope is that with much practice between lessons, the student develops the ability to play guitar without too much pain, as these exercises develop the hands and fingers, correct the posture, and help create the all important finger callouses, necessary to depress the strings against the fretboard and create music. (Think of the Karate Kid method, “Wax on, wax off” or for the youngsters, “Jacket on, jacket off” and you’ll get the idea.)

To begin the six week course, the student will need the following items:

  1. Guitar in good working condition with a new set of strings
  2. Music Stand
  3. Stool of appropriate size or small chair with no arms.
  4. Digital Guitar Tuner, preferably the kind that clips onto the headstock
  5. An empty 3-ring notebook with 5 tab dividers

Rudy will observe and evaluate the student's development and assign clear and manageable weekly musical assignments. After the first 3 weeks Rudy will assess the students performance and make a written evaluation of the students progress with suggestions for further improvement. With daily practice, the student should be able to complete the Boot Camp assignments in 6 weeks, certainly no longer than 2 months, that is, if the student has applied himself and worked the exercises diligently. At this time, Rudy will evaluate the student’s performance and move forward with the beginner’s program, or, make other arrangements.

Upon completion of the ‘Boot Camp’ the beginning student will begin working on actual pop or rock songs that will teach a variety of chords and progressions that make up songs. The student will learn to strum and also fingerpick through chord changes. One of the main areas of focus in theses beginning lessons is the concept of ‘time’ and time signatures, enabling the student to ‘keep a beat’ and play along with others and, or, music on the radio or some other music playing device. It would be advisable for the student to obtain a metronome to practice with at this stage of their development.

If the beginning student can demonstrate the ability to sing in pitch, Rudy has a program that will teach students to learn to sing and play the guitar together. This will add to the enjoyment of the student and build the foundations for further learning.

Once the student has mastered 5 or 6 songs and can play in time with the instructor, and in front of an audience, the student can move up to Intermediate Guitar Student Program that focuses on more complex chord forms, Barre chords, jazz and blues progressions and how to improvise over a pentatonic scale. The student will learn how to ‘riff’ and play ‘tasty licks’ and jam on the guitar, trading lead and rhythm lines while playing with the instructor or others.

For the Advanced Student, Rudy can help expand the student’s skills and repertoire with instruction on alternate tunings, slide guitar, Travis picking and a variety of practice hints to improve vibrato, sustain, tone and to tighten up the live performance aspect of the students skill sets. Rudy’s band experience is valued in the instruction of band management and arrangements, gear selection, getting bookings and band promotion.

Learning the guitar is an adventure for a lifetime. There is always more to learn and with the foundation of skills that Rudy teaches, the student will progress individually as they will have leaned how to learn and practice new songs and concepts on their own.

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