It's 2019! You've been wanting to learn to play the guitar for a while now. Maybe you even made a resolution, but aren't sure where to start. Maybe you just want to learn enough guitar to be able to sing songs, alone or with friends.
My teaching philosophy is simple: Let's get you playing songs as quickly as possible. That's what it's all about!
Above all, playing guitar should be FUN. So don't expect to learn a bunch of theory and scales right away. DO expect to get what you need to play some actual songs, even if your previous attempts have failed.
I've watched one student after another begin to play songs – faster than they thought possible. I've seen the joy that comes with making music and with finally doing something you've wanted to do for a long time, but thought was out of reach. (Check out the testimonials below to hear students in their own words.)
Lessons are ONLINE VIA SKYPE, which allows me to teach students all over the country. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I offer in-person lessons in my Berkeley studio.
If you have any questions about whether these lessons are right for you, contact me and I'll get back to you right away!
Love & music,
P.S. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for Frequently Asked Questions as well as my personal recommendations for starter guitars & accessories.
"I bought my guitar more than 10 years ago but never took a lesson. I picked up a few chords along the way but never made learning to play a priority, despite wanting to for many years. Before my first lesson with Ty, I was full of doubt about being an old(er) dog learning new tricks. Ty quickly put me at ease, and I emerged an hour later playing (albeit slowly) one of my favorite songs! My heart was full, and I was hooked! Guitar lessons with Ty started out as a gift to myself to help me get some 'me time.' They have given me that and much more. Ty is helping me reach a goal that has eluded me for a number of years, and I’m enjoying every minute. I guess I was just waiting for the right teacher!" – Liz C.
"I signed up for 5 lessons with Ty back in February. I was a little nervous as we started the Skype session for our first lesson, but that lasted all of about 2 minutes. Ty was easy to talk to, clear about explaining the music theory and very practical in offering suggestions for how I might actually perform the tasks outlined in the lesson. By the last lesson I was playing – almost flawlessly – two of my absolute favorite songs!" – Gerard T.
"I've always wanted to learn how to play the guitar and write songs but have felt creatively stifled for most of my life. Each time I tried to learn the guitar, I was frustrated by my lack of progress and always ended up quitting. When I first talked to Ty about how it's difficult for me to access and express my creativity, she immediately understood. She is very patient and is all about making playing the guitar and writing songs fun and enjoyable. After just a few months of lessons, I can see my progress and, for the first time, I'm very motivated to continue. I've never felt this optimistic about being able to express my creativity through music, and I'm curious and excited to see how I can evolve as an artist." – Chris V.
"Working with Tylan has been a phenomenal experience. In the past few months I have gone from playing standard chords to having the tools, fretboard understanding, and guidance to do things with a guitar that I never would have imagined. She breaks lessons down into manageable pieces, provides clear feedback, and serves as a cheering squad when I try new things. As a result, I find myself having more fun and trying out new things between lessons!" – Jesse E.
To get started, choose a lesson length and quantity BELOW.
AFTER YOUR ORDER GOES THROUGH, I WILL EMAIL YOU to schedule your first lesson!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What are the technical requirements for online lessons?
A: You must have 1) a computer, laptop, or tablet, 2) a high-speed broadband WIFI connection, and 3) Skype installed on your computer. To install Skype, go here. (If you prefer Facetime or another app, or you need help getting Skype set up, let me know.)
Q: What will the first lesson be like?
A: I'll call you at the appointed time on Skype. Once we've established a connection, we'll chat for about 5-10 minutes about your current level of guitar knowledge (if any) and your goals. Then we'll get started! (Any time lost to technical difficulties will not count towards your lesson time.)
Q: How long should my first lesson be?
A: I recommend an hour for your first lesson as there's often a lot to cover. If an hour isn't possible, a half hour is fine. We'll still make headway!
Q. What's the difference between one hour lessons and half hour lessons?
A. It varies, but typically in a one hour lesson, we will fully review the last lesson, start at least one new song, and possibly add some fretboard knowledge or a left hand or strumming exercise. In a half hour lesson, we generally will review the last lesson more briefly and begin one new song or part of a song.
Q. How frequent will my lessons be?
A. My strong recommendation is to commit to taking weekly or bi-weekly lessons. I've found that making a commitment helps enormously with reaching your goals, and too much time in between lessons is detrimental to focus. After 3 weeks, you might start to forget what you were working on! A 5-lesson package is a good way to try out consistent lessons and see how much progress you make.
Q. Can I just take monthly or occasional lessons?
A. If you need to space out your lessons more, that's OK. While weekly or bi-weekly lessons are preferable, you will still make progress as long as you have the self-discipline to practice during the long gaps between lessons.
Q. What if I have to miss or reschedule a lesson?
A. Just give me at least 24 hours notice so that we can find another mutually convenient time.
Q: I'm a total beginner. I don't even know how to hold or tune a guitar. Is that OK?
A: Yes, no problem! We'll start with the basics.
Q: I know a few chords already. Is that OK?
A: Sure! We'll start wherever you are.
Q: I don't have a guitar yet. Can you recommend one?
A: A highly recommended starter guitar is the Fender CC-60S ($199), a "great-sounding, comfortable guitar for all ages" (Wirecutter). Although I've never personally played this guitar, I've heard good things about it for years. You can also get a package version, which for another $30 includes a hard case, strap, tuner, polishing cloth, strings, picks, and an instructional DVD. Another excellent option is the Yamaha FS800, also $199, which has a slightly thinner sound than the Fender, but is similar in terms of overall feel and playability. I would advise against spending much less than $200, as the very cheap models often will have string buzz or other problems. On the other hand, spending more than $300 or $400 for your first guitar is not really necessary. You can always upgrade (and/or trade in) later!
Q: What other guitar stuff do I need?
A: To start, you'll need a capo, a tuner, and a pick. A strap is optional but can be helpful, especially if you prefer to stand while you play. If you're using an electric guitar, please be sure you have a way to amplify it as otherwise I won't be able to hear it. If your guitar already has strings on it, check for rust. If you're playing on the same set of strings that have been on your guitar for four years, you may want to change them. :) I can help you with this in your first lesson.
My accessory recommendations are below:
• Kyser capo (excellent grip, affordable, does the trick!)
• Snark clip-on tuner (clips to the end of your guitar, easy, no cables needed)
• Fender medium picks (a good standard pick, comes in lots of colors)
• Fender practice amp (only if you're using an electric guitar)
• Elixir acoustic guitar strings (a bit more expensive than uncoated strings, but they last much longer - I recommend starting with light gauge until your fingers get stronger)
Q: My kid really wants lessons. Do you have experience teaching kids?
A: Yes, I love teaching kids! I started learning guitar at age ten, and I still remember how exciting it was. I've also been told by several parents that I "have the patience of a saint" when it comes to teaching their kids.
Q: Can I buy lessons for someone else as a gift?
A: Absolutely! Just send me an email after you purchase the lesson(s) with the recipient's name and contact info, and any message you'd like to pass along with your gift. I'll take it from there.
Q: I want to learn a specific song(s). Can you help me with that?
A: Definitely, unless it's the Bach Cello Suites (although actually, in high school I did learn to play the first of the six suites on classical guitar).
Q: I want to learn how to write my own songs (or practice consistently, or book gigs, or other music/performance/writing/creative goals) – can you help with that?
A. Absolutely! In addition to guitar lessons, I also offer songwriting lessons, creativity coaching, and music career coaching. Please email me to discuss these options.
Have a question I didn't address here? Get in touch.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend these products because I use them and/or can attest to their quality, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.