Frequently Asked Questions


How much do lessons cost?

Hourly lessons are £35 for regular weekly or fortnightly attendance. £40 per hour for ad-hoc/intermittent lessons.


How do I pay?

I am able to accept card/contactless/ApplePay/GooglePay payments at my studio or in advance via the payments page here. I can of course take cash payments.

What if I can’t make it to the lesson?

I require 48 hours notice if you need to cancel, otherwise I will require full payment for the lesson.

If you are unable to give me 48 hours notice but are able to reschedule the lesson then I'm happy to do this instead, depending on whether I have any slots available.

I'm super-keen to get started! Can I turn up early?

It's best to turn up on the dot of your allocated time, as I don't have a dedicated waiting area & I teach back to back lessons during busy periods.


What age should my child start learning guitar?

I have found that around 9 years old is the earliest age to start contemporary guitar, any earlier and children's hands may be too small. However do feel free to email or call to discuss further!

What is a DBS check?

The Disclosure & Barring Service check is a certificate of any data the police may hold on a person. I hold an Enhanced DBS Certificate (which is updated annually, and you are welcome to view when you or your child comes for your first lesson) stating that I have no criminal convictions, which is required when working with children or vulnerable adults.

Do you do home visits?

No. It's time consuming to travel to & from people's homes, and the logistics of carting all my gear, getting set up, makes it impractical.

Do you teach during half term & school holidays?

Yes, I teach people of all ages and therefore I do not break for school holidays & half terms.

It is your responsibility to let me know beforehand if you or your child won't be attending during school breaks. My lesson cancellation policy still applies & I will require payment for no shows or late cancellations.

Do I need to bring my own guitar?

Yes, as you will need your own guitar to play at home too, plus you'll be more comfortable and play better on your own instrument. You are welcome to use one of mine in the lesson if yours is temporarily out of action.

I’m new to guitar, what make should I buy?

If you need any advice on this and anything else tech wise drop me an email I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction before you part with your hard earned £.

Is there anything else I should buy?

A tuner is essential if you're new to guitar, and a capo will come in useful occasionally, but a metronome is an absolute must for any stage of your guitar playing. A metronome is not your enemy, it's your trusty friend!

Tuners & metronomes are readily available as apps for smartphones and tablets, I use Polytune and Tempo.

I want to learn acoustic, but where’s your acoustic guitar!?

My last acoustic guitar didn't survive a trip through Stansted Airport outsize baggage reclaim! I haven’t owned another since as I'm primarily an electric guitarist.

However I am well versed in acoustic fingerstyle etc, and I teach acoustic exam syllabuses, I simply don't need an acoustic guitar for my own purposes.

How long should I practice for?

I prefer to call it playing, not practicing!

Everybody has a different approach, but often the most effective playing is to do so when you feel motivated to. For more technically demanding playing styles you will need a much more focused & regular practice regime which is of course something I can advise!

Alternatively, I'm pretty sure I have a copy of 'Steve Vai's 10 Hour Guitar Workout' somewhere...

How frequently should I have lessons?

That is entirely up to you and how fast you think you can learn and how much time you have to play/practice (see above!).

Sometimes a fast approaching lesson can also be motivation to get playing! But of course with fortnightly or intermittent lessons you may lose focus if there is too much time between.

What if I want to change to weekly or fortnightly lessons?

That’s no problem, however, if you change to fortnightly lessons it’s likely the alternate slot that becomes available will be taken by someone else and so returning to the same weekly slot may not be possible if you change your mind.

If you want to change to fortnightly lessons, I may ask that you take another available fortnightly slot so as to free up a weekly slot in certain cases, as quite often I have very limited places.

Do I have to learn to read music?

No not at all, it’s not necessary for contemporary guitar, however understanding some basic rhythms is incredibly useful and it’s highly likely we’ll do some in lessons early on. Guitarists usually use what is called 'Tab' (short for tablature) which is pretty easy to read instead.

If you wish to learn to read traditional music notation we most certainly can do that as well.

Do you teach music theory?

Absolutely. I'm a theory nerd. I teach music theory to an advanced level and it’s all very much guitar orientated. I have had great results with helping students understand music theory applied in a practical way to guitar, and vice versa if you're doing music theory on another instrument or for GCSEs/music theory exams.

What songs will we play in lessons?

If you’re a beginner we’ll run through plenty of well known standards to start off with, and as soon as possible we’ll get around to doing some songs that you want to learn. It's really helpful if you can give me a wishlist of songs you'd like to learn too!

What gear do you use?

For the gear nerds reading this I currently use Aristides & ESP guitars, Neural DSP Quad Cortex amp modeller, plus other audio equipment & software by Focusrite, Logic, Strymon, Mixwave, Roswell, Alesis, Beyerdynamic, Line 6, G7th, Dunlop, GruvGear🤓

And one final thing…

We recently rescued and subsequently adopted a kitten, she may come & say hello in your guitar lesson. However if you don't like animals/cats or are allergic, let me know and I'll make sure Doris stays well away!