Tag Archives: rock

10 Guitar Learning Problems

10 Guitar learning problems

What are the main learning difficulties you encounter in the majority of students that come to your school?

First of all, I must say that all students that attend the Creative Guitar School, either in the classroom context, or through the e-learning program, are all eager to learn, play and immerse themselves into the journey of music. It does not matter whether their goal is to become a songwriter, a blues guitarist, a jazz guitarist or simply a solo musician, as they all wish to enjoy playing their favourite songs on such a beautiful instrument as the guitar, anywhere and at any time. 

1.To accept that learning guitar is not an easy task.

The main difficulty I perceive in all beginner guitar students, is overcoming the initial surprise that learning a new instrument is not as easy as they thought.

Why? 

Students need to understand that when they play the guitar, they are actually speaking a language through an instrument. Therefore, if they are not aware of the musical language, they will not be able to play with much fun and they will start to experience constant frustration.

 2. The lack of understanding of the musical language.

Music is an aural language where we create or reproduce a sequence of pitches in relation to a pulse.  Students need to develop a competent aural understanding of melody and rhythm and this takes time.

My courses are designed to help students not only physically play the guitar, but to be able to hear and understand what they will play before such occurs.  This approach will help reduce your guitar learning problems .

3. Previous internet studying has lead to confusion.

Most of my student’s first understanding of how to play the guitar, comes from the internet. This is a virtual world where they see a lot of guitarists doing a lot of fancy stuff on their own. The stuff they see, generally only lasts a few seconds,  and initially it seems cool to follow, listen and also want to do. 

4. Learning is not only about playing chords. 

Also, most of these guitarists share the impression that playing a song is about playing a set of chords and that is that. When students try to copy what they see, they soon realise they cannot do it right or it does not make sense,  and that is when they encounter their first major guitar learning problem.

It is hard to explain initially what should make sense in your guitar learning,  but it generally comes down to playing in a group format where you must define your role as melody and accompaniment in sync with others. If your learning allows such, then you are in the right direction. If not,  please get a music teacher to show you what the language of music is all about.  A teacher will help you overcome initial guitar learning problems.

  5. Learning guitar through you tube.

I strongly recommend to avoid learning with any youtube video that does not have the support of a teacher, and any youtube video that does not teach you how to hear what you are playing. 

6. Lack of understanding of what a song is.

Also, most guitar youtube videos show you how to play chords and this really is not what you should learn,  as the most important aspect of any song is its melody. Do not learn licks, don’t learn chord progressions, learn full songs and learn how to create your own accompaniment, no matter what style you wish to play. You can  apply this rule to blues, jazz, funk, rock, classical or flamenco guitar, but please, play full songs. Then, after you can play full songs, you will be ready to learn licks and how to create them.

If you choose to only mimic the movements of others, then your creativity may be blocked and as a consequence, anxiety or anguish may appear at your doorstep. 

7. To not be able to hear what they play.

My videos teach you how to hear and play. With each guitar video, the students must consolidate their learning by completing a series of assignments. The final objective of all basic guitar learning is for the guitar student to be able to play a melody, accompaniments and solo of any simple song. You must be able to achieve this in a relatively short period of time, in a musical context where you hear it all happening at once, just like in the real world. 

As a guitarist, this will require a lot of practice on your behalf. Music learning is not easy and the guitar learning can be a slow but rewarding experience. 

Please consider that music is a relaxing therapy and you will only be able to relax when you express a full musical idea. A full idea includes the melody, the accompaniment and variations from start to end.  And, all of these played in a musical context that includes tempo. This last recommendation will greatly help you reduce your guitar learning problems.

8. Not understanding what it means to be creative.

In order to be creative on the guitar as a performer, you need to be skilled in a variety of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic resources that will allow you to develop the chosen composition. 

It must be your objective as a performer to tell a story on the guitar with the composition you are playing. The song will always be a repeating structure and as the song progresses you will need to add variations of rhythm, harmony and melody to achieve a flow in the song, and also to strive for a climax, which all songs have. 

You will use your creativity to play all these variations on the go. 

9. Overcoming boredom of repetition

Guitar students tire quickly from trying to learn something new. This is another major guitar learning problem.

Music is a discipline that requires a lot of repetition to memorise sound and technique. There is no shortcut to this.  However, repetition can be fun.

How ?

By playing the guitar in tempo and in the context of a song.

The more you practice as if you were playing a full song or playing live with others, the sooner you will overcome the boredom of repetition. 

It is good to repeat in the context of a song as this will give you the framework to be creative. A repeating structure is the best scenario to be creative in the long term.  

10. Not playing in tempo 

If you are playing the groove correctly your ideas will flow effortlessly. The structure is what allows the maximum creativity, it is a frame work with boundaries that will allow you to bounce around endlessly.

Please notice that I mention you need to play the groove correctly. The groove is the pulse of the song, the underlying heartbeat, you must feed this pulse and make it vibrate so the song can flow and breathe. 

In all my guitar courses, both those that I offer in a classroom setting or those that I offer online, the main element  which I am always insisting upon, is the pulse, the beat and rhythm.  Please also visit my main site to hear examples of my musical productions that reflect all the above concepts.

The more you play to a beat, in tempo,  the more relaxing your music will be and as a consequence the better you will feel. 

Blues Guitar Lessons- The Essence

The Joy of Playing Blues Guitar

I love my blues. I adore playing blues on the guitar, as the feel it produces, will make my day.

When I started playing blues, my guitar teachers introduced me directly to contemporary blues, with a lot of chord changes, and did not focus on the origin of the blues.

Due to my thirst for the true feel, I started listening to the classics as Muddy Waters,  and asked myself how these original artists were able to achieve such clarity in the blues feel.

This way of approaching melody and chords has inspired and laid foundation for most contemporary music. In Level 2, all Creative Guitar students start mastering the beauty of blues  and the joy it produces, as part of our daily playing . Blues guitar lessons are incorporated in level 2, 3 and 4 courses .

The Secret of Blues

I believe that there is more than a secret in blues guitar playing; there is a realm of delicate harmonic tension balance that we must caress to keep the magic flowing.

Blues is like a cloud of sound that floats on top of our chords.  Blues comes alive when we create the contrast between the blues sound and the harmony of our tune.

The first step we must take, to feel this sound cloud, is to understand what key we are in, or the tonal center of our song. The first chord of our blues will define our tonal center. If our first chord is a G, then we can assume that we are playing a major blues in G.

Note: I assume you are aware of the blues progressions and the blues scale.

Blues Guitar lessons Melbourne

Have you ever felt that when you move away from the G chord, you need to play something else that you cannot find?

Have you ever felt that the blues cloud, the blues feel ,disappears as you play other chords?

If you do not have this feeling, then I must assume you are playing the blues correctly. However, if  you do, then consider that the more you move away from the G chord, the more you will need to play the blues sound, and the less you will need to play the other chords completely.

How do we keep the feel

If you are loosing the G blues sound, when you play the C chord, then only play the root and add more G blues sound to your playing. In the same manner, when you play the D chord, avoid playing the full chord and add more blues sound to it. ( the G Blues )

In all blues styles, you will hear that the magic occurs when we contrast the sound of the chord with the tonal center blues scale.

At the Creative Guitar School, in your blues guitar lessons,  I will guide you through the different blues styes and how the relationship of harmony- melody and blues scales, interact to achieve the desired sound.

Can I play the blues sound over any chord progression ?

Yes. For example; if your song is in C , you can play the C blues scale over any chord, and if done right, it will work.

As I mentioned,  blues does form part of most contemporary music, we enjoy in our daily lives. In your guitar lessons,  I would strongly suggest learning more of this style, as it will give you a natural advantage in achieving a unique sound in your playing. Blues is a colour that creates a special contrast, that can add harmonic and melodic richness to your playing

What to learn ?

In terms of knowledge, in your blues guitar lessons, you will learn how to define the rhythm guitar or the lead solo guitar, in various keys, 8 or 12 bar progressions, and styles.

You will also learn,  in your blues guitar lessons, where to find the notes that sound blues all over the guitar neck; in various keys. And how to play a solo that creates contrast between the chords and the blues.

You will learn to create phrases, based upon logical melodic questions and answers; call and response.

You will learn to talk with authentic blues phrases; by acquiring vocabulary used by the classics.

You will learn the major pentatonic scales of all chords, the mixolydian scale, major minor arpeggios, and all  harmonic- melodic tensions available.

In summary,  a whole set of musical tools, to tap into , to give you unlimited resources for all your creative needs.

Your ideas will not stop popping up, and soon you will be able to find them and play them on the guitar.

As a professional session guitarist,  I also heavily rely on these skills, so to be able to develop diversity and quickly tap into the different musical genres I am asked to play on .

Note

I do not recommend, a beginner guitarist, should start off only with blues guitar lessons. All guitar students need to have developed a sense of rhythm, harmony, melody and technique, before immersing themselves in this beautiful language.

That is why,  at the Creative Guitar School, students must complete level one of their learning, before moving into this style. You need a good sense of rhythm , melody and harmony to enjoy the beauty of blues.

Extended listening

These are some of my favourite blues players I listen to.  The list will take you through a variety of styles in this musical language.

Magic Sam Style Blues Son House, Muddy Waters, and and John Lee Hooker Styles

Elizabeth Cotton,, Tampa Red, Robert Johnson, Blind Blake,  Big Bill Broonzy, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Corey Harris, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin Hopkins, Tommy Johnson, , Tampa Red, Blind Lemon Jefferson, BB King

School Concert

Students love to perform at our frequent concerts. I also enjoy to see how students work together, play together, and develop their musical expertise; socially.  It is fun , engaging and above all very satisfying.

Discipline 

Music requires discipline in our learning. All my guitar courses are based on structured learning. There fore, in order to complete the guitar courses, to your own satisfaction, please allocate 20 minutes every day, during 10 weeks, for all your guitar exercises.

Group effort

All guitar courses, that develop the basic level of learning, require that the student commits to a daily practice routine so as to keep up with the rest of the group courses,

Groups also get together outside class hours ,to help each other  in their  musical adventure and to prepare for the concerts.

I hope to see you at one of our next Guitar Concerts . Sign up to get the latest news on all our events , courses  and my specialized Melbourne Concerts.

 Blues Guitar Lessons and Basic Improvisation

B. B. King The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.

Blues Guitar lessons in Melbourn

Here a the Creative Guitar School in Melbourne I offer a selection of courses  and masterclasses geared towards the achievement of your personal goals as a musician or artist.

Basic Improvisation

We will approach basic improvisation by applying to the twelve bar blues form the pentatonic scale, riffs that we will memorize and transcribe from master blues players, and our own riffs and melodies that we will learn to create.

We will learn:

  • to vary riffs both rhythmically and melodically.
  • how to  structure solos in relation to the form of the blues and to create tension and release.
  •  to create solos with chordal tones.
  •  how to combine chordal sounds with pentatonic major and minor sounds.

We will have a lot of fun.

 Course Content Blues guitar lessons and basic improvisation

  • Blues Soloing
  • Improvising and creating melodies
  • Improvising and thinking rhythmically
  • Minor blues
  • Creating melodic variations
  • Solo length and creating climax
  • Playing chord tones
  • Chord scale soloing
  • Chromatic approach shapes that help define chordal movement

The blues sound is a major influence in contemporary styles of music.  This sound is defined both by chord progressions and by specific scales.  These chords and scales can be taken out of a blues context and incorporated into other styles of music in order to add the blues touch we might require.  My blues guitar lessons  students will learn to understand what makes the blues sound, how to create blues melodies and how to play chords in a very unique and special manner that only blues players master.

I personally adore Muddy Waters, BB King and Steve Ray Vaughn . Let´s understand how they play the blues and what makes there playing so special. Let´s make our blues playing also sound special.

Guitar Lessons, How to learn effectively?

Guitar Lessons. Enjoyment and self expression

I wish to take you on a journey to explore the secrets of this magnificent instrument, the guitar. Furthermore, open an extended gateway for your ongoing personal development and well being in your life.

Music is the language of emotions and the guitar is the tool we will use to tap into those unique, beautiful, inner feelings, we all have.

I wish to guide you on your journey on how to play the guitar.  Our learning experience will produce a tool box which will give you the skills you need to play whatever you wish, and how you wish. The ultimate goal of your guitar lessons is enjoyment, through self expression.

 Guitar Lessons Courses What will you learn?

The guided pathway

At the Creative Guitar School, I cater for all levels of learning in a  diversity of styles through your guitar lessons. I would now like to address the learning goals of those who are just starting out.

All musicians need to start out. Furthermore, we all deserve the right to reach our goals. However, we may find obstacles along the way and crash into them. When this happens, frustration may settle in and the guitars may end up on our walls.

I want all guitar beginners in a years time, from when you start your guitar lessons, to be able to play, off by heart, the following or similar tracks.

We generally learn three tracks,  per course, of similar material.

Students learn a total of 6 simple songs of their choice in two levels in their guitar lessons.

    • Compose a few songs like the following:

Students compose one song per level

Play three concerts. Please follow this link to see the 2016 and 2017  Guitar students and teacher concerts

.

Play along , off by heart  tracks by: Police, Ed Sheeran, Justin Beiber, Paco de Lucia, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Norah Jones, Bb King, and James Brown.

How to study and progress with joy

We will learn to play on the guitar all the above, off by heart and with joy. I must insist, that you have to feel good about what you do,  every step of the journey. You have to have fun.

A students needs to understand what they know, what they do not know and how to get to the next step of their learning, with care and patience.

The more we are able to feel what we are doing, the quicker we will learn. We will only remember physical movements for a short period of time. But, we will remember a song and how to play it for life, if we  relate movements to specific sound and emotion.

Structure

I assume you have listened briefly to the above material.  How do we go from knowing nothing, to playing all the above material?

We need to first establish that everything we play, must be related to  a structure: it must have a beginning, an end and a tempo.  We learn to play the guitar swiftly, only if we reproduce the same scenario that occurs in the professional world,  in a simple musical context.

In your guitar lessons ,you will start off by learning chords and rhythm. If you follow the exercises correctly,  in 3 weeks time, you will be playing a song from top to bottom.

Aural training

In order to learn efficiently, you must be able to hear what you do , feel it and know where the sound is to be found on the guitar.  You need to memorise melodies and the corresponding harmony associated.

You need to hear the harmony in advance, so as to anticipate the desired emotion. In order to hear, you must sing or mumble and you need to create. Only when you create, will you be able to make sense of melody, harmony, rhythm and structure.

You cannot memorise a mechanical movement outside a musical context. There must be a targeted desired sound and emotion so you may memorise what the movement is for.  I will guide you, with specific exercises to help you hear and find the sound on the guitars.

Goals

In a short period of time,  you will be able to play simple melodies, solo guitar, play in a group setting, play bass lines, counter lines, create diversity in rhythm and have lots of fun.

You  also need to follow discipline which is based on repetition with love and respect for your limits.  There should be no need for frustration or negative thoughts in your learning.

Very soon you will experience positive results and find the joy of sharing music in a group setting, creating your own melodies and hearing how they come life.

Technique

You will notice that I have not mentioned the word technique, as such really is only a consequence of all the above. We need movement to create music and all the above exercises, require solid technique,  for us to be able to feel them and enjoy the experience.

How much do I need to dedicate per day for my guitar practice ?

I have designed the courses so that if you dedicate 20 minutes, every day, during 20 weeks you will have accomplished all goals.

Guitar learning requires constant dedication and work, but the results are extremely rewarding.

Group learning

I have designed a series of exercise to be completed in group settings,  to encourage guitar students to interact and get together outside classroom hours. This will help you in your training .

Concerts

All  guitar students will get a chance to play at the School concerts.  Ee celebrate the events every 10 weeks.

You can do it

There is no secret in learning to play the guitar. We only need dedication and above all, to understand what we are doing and why. Music is not just about playing  chords, it is about playing a song in a tempo, with a beginning, an end, with changes, sections, and intensities.

You tube videos, generally,  show us how to play a songs with chords. But, not what to take into consideration to be able to coordinate all the movements, in a sequence and in relation to a specific tempo.

All songs are glued together by tempo. All the exercises you will enjoy in your guitar lessons are based on playing in tempo. Which would be like feeling a constant heart beat to your playing.

Interview

Please call me to schedule an interview for your guitar lessons. I need to asses your skills and recommend you the appropriate group for your learning, based upon your musical knowledge, aural and visual learning skills.

The next level

Once you have completed your first two levels, you will be ready to understand how to learn any style or music of your choice. You will have all the tools you need to undergo further challenges and the resulting joy of such.

You may read about all guitar lesson levels offer through guitar lessons at the Creative Guitar School through this link.

Times

All courses are scheduled during the evenings. Private guitar lessons are scheduled during  morning and afternoon hours. Please refer to guitar lesson prices and conditions through the following link.

More info

If you would like to learn more about my professional activities, outside the educational scenario, please refer to my Melbourne Concert Latin Flamenco Guitar Site.

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concerts

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concert December 9

Every 10 weeks, all  my guitar students get together, enjoy a nice lunch and perform  a memorable concert.

I just love how music lovers can join to share their passion of life through music. As always, it feels just great to see everyone having such a good time with music,  and all our friends.

Guitar lessons and the baby chair

In the picture, we have the baby chair,   which unfortunately did not fit any of our sitting postures.

In the following picture we can see, and really get the feeling of how hard a student has to think, to remember the name of the song they  have to play. memory test with phong guitar lessons

The concert was a great success  and once again I must say thank you for making the Creative Guitar School the place to be.

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concert September 23

We all came armed with our guitars, marching like true stars!

Congratulations to everyone. What a delightful day having you all play at our regular Creative Guitar School Concert. We held the concert on September 23, at the Armadale Uniting Church Hall.

The warm up lunch and the aftermath, truly justified all the hard work you have put into your guitar.

We all know that guitar playing requires discipline. It is a daily journey exploring,  enjoying aspects of who you are, that are hidden behind layers of our constrained emotional adulthood. Music brings out the child inside of us, who wishes to explore and enjoy life with true happiness.

On September 23, we heard songs from Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Bach,  Paco de Lucia, Beatles, Adele, MGMT and many more. Students played solo, in duos, trios and in quartet.

Guitar Lessons Structured Learning

The objective of the Creative School Music Curriculum is to encourage guitar students to learn songs in a manner where they can play them live, in a group, or an ensemble.

We play all contemporary music styles as: jazz, pop, reggae , blues, funk, and especially flamenco which is one of my guitar passions.

We require all students to understand concepts of structure, harmony, melodic variations, rhythmic variations, improvisation and composition. All students learn to hear a melody and play it on the spot. They also learn to identify the chord sof the songs they wish to play,  by understanding the tonal centre, and the chords derived from such.

Our creative self expression will benefit from structured learning. I also set guidelines to help achieve our musical objetives with true satisfaction.

 

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concert group ensemble

New Guitar Courses starting NOvember 2019

Online: Pivoting Techniques, Songwriting Exclusive

Starting October 23. Google hangout group session on Fridays at 7p.m . Read more

Updates on upcoming class room courses

Beginners 1 

  • Tuesdays at 6 pm,  starting  November 18: Two spots left
  • Fridays at 7 pm, starting November 8: One spot left
  • Saturdays at 9 am starting November 16: One spot left  left

Intermediate

  • Tuesdays at 6 pm,  starting November 12: One opening left.

Private lessons available slots left:

Mondays at 10  am.

Book a free 30 minute assessment;  discover your guitar skills and the most adequate Guitar Course for you.

All other courses are currently full 


Updates on upcoming Concerts

Dear 30 of November 2019

We are coming for you armed with our guitars, marching like true stars!

  • Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 12 PM – 2 PM
  • Uniting Prahran (Armadale location )86A Kooyong Road, Armadale, Victoria, Australia 3181
Creative Guitar School Concert

Same place, same time.  Better food and better music.

On Saturday November 30 we will be celebrating our latest concert of the year 2019. Special performances by: The Superb Squealers, The Misty C Chord Specialists and the famous Lack of Practice Guitar Ensemble.

If you would like to join in on the fun, please RSVP; so we may reserve a table for you. The Smart Guitar Dress Code will be imposed.

Upcoming Guitar School Concert September 23

Upcoming Guitar School Concert September 23

  • 23-0-2017      Time: 13.00 – 15:00

Armadale Uniting Church
86A Kooyong Road
Armadale, 3143
VIC, Australia

upcoming-guitar-school-concert

Ticket price: Free
info@thomaslorenzo.com
https://www.thomaslorenzo.com.au

Join us for our Creative Guitar Experience and upcoming guitar school concert.  All  our guitar students will showcase their guitar arrangements and compositions in large and small ensembles. We have over 35 students ready to storm the stage and bring delight into all our lives.

At the Creative Guitar School,  I focus on developing self expression through personal creativity. But this must be accomplished with the joy of sharing who we are, and what we feel with others. Not only must we express, but do so in manner where others can understand the emotion we wish to portray.

Music is a language that requires a clear exposition of melody and accompaniment.

Concerts are held at the end of a 10 week cycle. On the same day, and before each event, we organise a get together with food, drinks and a barbecue. The concert is recorded on video and shared privately with all attendants.

I would also like to invite you to my Melbourne Guitar Concert series. Please follow the above link for more information.

Please fill in the following form if you would like to know more about our School: courses, levels, prices and when new courses are scheduled to commence.