About: Tampa Guitar Lessons

 Whether you are looking for homeschool private guitar instruction,  guitar lessons for kids  in Tampa Florida, or just using my website for it's various teaching and learning resources, thank you for stopping by.

 If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me directly via email me on the CONTACT page, and I will be sure to give a quick reply.

 Also be sure to check out the free learning resources on my website found here: Free Printable Sheetmusic and More!

Thanks again, and here's to making music!

Shawn K.

NOW ACCEPTING NEW STUDENTS!
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    NEED FREE SHEET MUSIC?

    Looking for an online metronome? Free printable sheet music? An online chord book? Check out my Sheet music and resources page, found here: Tampa Guitar Lessons Resource Page

    HOW DO I PLAY THAT SONG?

    Need some chords for a song? Struggling on a rhythm? Let me know, and I will post them up on my Popular Song Tabs & Chords Charts page (click on the link!). Thanks!

    Where do I get a beginner guitar in Tampa?

     My students get special discounts at several stores in Tampa, Florida, including Sam Ash Music Tampa, and Guitar Center Tampa (*existing students* make sure before you buy so I can refer you to the manager for the discount!).

     Additionally I have been factory trained and certified by Gibson, Fender, Peavey, Martin, Takamine, Taylor, Larivee, and was a vintage guitar buyer and back when I worked for a music store, I was awarded as the "National Guitar Associate" for Sam Ash (Twice!). 

     If you are looking for a beginner guitar, or even something more advanced like a Gibson Custom Shop, Contact the Tampa Guitar Teacher for more details. Not all models are created equal, and it would be a shame to get a beginner guitar that would prevent you from playing rather than inspire you to play more!

    Also check out my Guitars For Sale Page 

    Tampa Guitar Teacher . Com

    Guitars For Sale!
    Tuesday
    Jun242014

    What's the big difference in between musical styles? 

    Muddy Waters for many is the embodiment of Chicago Blues, along with Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy.Often I have students that have a big question: 

    What's the difference between musical styles? 

    In other words, what makes a "Rock" song a "Rock" song and what makes a "Country" song a "Country" song, and what makes "Reggae" music "Reggae" music or "Jazz" music "Jazz" really ? 

    That is a great question, and the answer is always changing over time. Let's explain the basics though! 

    #1 Traditionally music was identifiable by region and learned locally from family or the small town you were in. 

    This meant that way back before cheap transportation (cars, planes etc) musicians didn't relocate as often as they do now. Also music was quite often something that was a primary form of entertainment (before Radio if you wanted to hear a song, well you either had to play it yourself or know someone who did). Much like evolution, when things are isolated, they develop in unique ways. 

    This created different unique styles of music that often varied, sometimes as specific from one town to another. This is why when some people talk about a specific kind of music genre, like the Blues, they may specify the sort of blues "Chicago Blues" or "Delta Blues" for example. 

    The differences however become much more drastic based upon the places someone's traditional culture may be from, as again, way back when before Radio, or TV there was really no other way to learn music than from one's tight knit family or other people in the town you were in. Much of the music landscape today can be traced easily back to the early 1900's and even much further.  In America, the landscape culturally and geographically was very very vast. It was easy for small pockets of certain kinds of music to develop on their own, isolated from one another .... until Radio became a major form of entertainment and listening to music. 

    Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were a Punk band filled with seasoned members of influential groups that decided to cover songs that many thought were completely unable to be made into Punk rock with great success.

    #2 Music Genres were invented partially as a need to identify the sort of recordings or radio programs that begun to exist. 

    When Radio became something that people could listen to in their homes, of course music was very very popular. And different Radio Stations would often broadcast the music from their specific areas (because that was all there was in that area). But something interesting happened: People heard other music for the first time they had never heard before! And they knew it was different than one sound they had been hearing. There needed to be names that were more specific for broader genres. 

    This is how the music genres of Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Blues, Rockabilly, Hillbilly, Western, Country, Country Swing, Do Wop, Pops, Jazz and so many others came to be separated. By subject matter and tonality. 

    #3 Basically though, it often comes down to Rhythm, tempo and tonality. 

    A Pop / Songwriter song can be played as a Punk Rock song (like Paul Simon's Me and Julio being Covered by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes), and by that I mean a song can be played in a variety of styles, but in reality the difference between the styles in this modern era is the tonality of the song (the kinds of instruments used) and the underlying Rhythm of the song. The Rhythm tends to be most important, as originally, different sorts of music identified specifically with different sorts of Rhythm or Rhythmic Accents. This is the difference between many styles of Latin Music ... interestingly each one has a specific dance the coincides with it that highlights the special accents in the rhythm. Yes Rhythm is really that important. 

    Gogol Bordello started in Manhattan NYC but has band members from all over the world. They describe their music as Gypsy Punk, but incorporates a variety of modern and old world musical styles; since their formation the band has become a major international festival draw.#4 The Exception: 

    In this day and age, being specific to styles can be very confusing: often there are pop singers being called country, that arent' from the "country" and don't sing anything like a traditional country singer. This makes things rather confusing ... but as I originally said, the definitions of music are changing all the time. Since we are in a world where we now can discover thousands of new sounds in a matter of a few hours, a process that once literally was impossible until the last decade, we now have music that can have a Hip Hop Beat, with Jazz Vocals, with Country Fiddles, and Folk music percussion, and it is being sung in Japanese.

    At this point, all the boundaries to different styles are open. 

     

     

    Friday
    Jan032014

    South Tampa Guitar Lessons: Now Accepting New Students & Beginners

     The Holiday season was a fun & fast placed blur this year! lots of new guitars and student accomplisments, with so many beginners young and old learning new songs, and some even recording and starting their first bands with friends. 

     I am currently accepting new students in the greater South Tampa Area, with a few openings and times available on various days. These spots tend to fill up quickly!

    Learning guitar or bass can be quite difficult without proper enstruction and encouragement, be you a complete beginner or an adult player who has grown tired of playing the same 3 chords again and again. 

    Don't let that guitar or bass sit and collect dust! Give a call, and let's get you going on new material and excited about playing music. 

    Wednesday
    Jan012014

    Q: I just got a new guitar for Christmas, now what? 

    A 1957 Gibson Reissue Guitar for Christmas? A very lucky kid indeed!

    So, you just got a guitar for Christmas, and don't know where to start? Don't feel bad. Many of us were in the very same boat when we began... 

    I remember it well ... a festive Christmas tree, waking up at the break of dawn to go take a sneak peek at the presents, and noticing the unmistakable outline of a wrapped up guitar. 

    My excitement was uncontrollable. My stocking was filled with the iconically neon wrapped Ernie Ball Strings and a box of spare guitar picks that were all the colors of confetti. 

    And then ... just a few months after that, the guitar sat... in a closet. 

    You see, the first day that I had the guitar, after the Christmas excitement and pandemonium subsided, I followed the included instructions and plugged the electric guitar into the amp ... and ... well, it sounded terrible. What could I do? I had never even held a guitar before. 

    The guitar was out of tune, and there is no way a beginner can tune a guitar on their own. And if a guitar is out of tune, even a profesional can't make it sound good until it is put back into tune.

    These first couple days with the instrument were incredibly frustrating. So I did what most teens or pre-teens will do. I stuffed it in the closet and played video games instead. 

    This is sadly what happens to the majority of guitars gotten as a gift during the holiday season. If it weren't for my parents getting me guitar lessons, which eventually would start my musical journey down the right path, I would have had no path at all. 

    Simply put: Guitar & many other instruments are just too tough to go-it-alone for 99% of people that pick them up for the very first time. 

    So, if the question is: "I just got a guitar, now what?", my answer is find someone that can help you learn a.s.a.p. while you are still super excited and motivated and inspired by your new gift. I have not met a single person, or student that has been able to get through the beginning phases of guitar without having some help via a good teacher, or previous music instruction. If you don't have a teacher yet, find a friend, or relative to lend a hand.

    Nothing is more frustrating than loving music and wanting it play it and not knowing how to begin. 

     

     

    Wednesday
    Oct022013

    Should I learn from a Private Tutor or a Learning Center? 

     After over a decade of teaching guitar and music instruction, I've met and worked with a myriad of other instructors, students and also have been familiar with the teaching methods of various tutors and learning centers. I often get parents of students inquiring what the difference is between going with a learning center v.s. a private tutor.  

    Private Tutors are often very experienced instructors. Rather than teach at a learning center or music store, many private tutors have a skillset or resume that makes their services specifically in demand. This often includes members of the local orchestra, published songwriters and composers, and degreed players of specific instruments that have decided to open their own learning studio. In the case of elite instructors, as required by advaned students, a private music tutor is really the only option. Some private tutors teach out of their own home, some will have a small studio space with recording equipment available, others teach in the home of the student as a convenience for busy schedules. Private tutors typically do not group a bunch of students together into "group lessons", offering instead individual attention only. 

     Private Tutor Benefits: 

    • A longer teaching resume 
    • One on one interaction for students
    • Many are professionals in their field or elite instructors
    • Some travel to the student 
    • Many provide other teaching resources such as recording and composition instruction

     

    Learning Centers have become a familiar institution, often offering multiple instrument disciplines under one roof. Often Learning Centers are attached to music stores, and keep more regular 9 to 5 hours, with a standard storefront. Teachers come from all sorts of background, from just out of highschool to musical journeymen to classical instructors with degrees. Pricing is often standardized, and group lessons are usually offered. Learning centers are typically paid by the month with no makeup options or refunds, and limited scheduling flexibility. 

    Learning Center Benefits:

    • Many instrument instructors available
    • Storefront or music store housed 
    • Supplies often available on site 
    • Accept credit cards 
    • Often standard 9-5 hours 

     Which is right for you? With all teachers, or tutors, you want to check their resume of both real world work and also their track record of working with students. Often with learning centers, you would walk in the door and pay the monthly fee, and then they would pair the student with a teacher.

     Should I get Group Lessons? I usually reccomend not doing group lessons unless the student is very very young or under 8 years of age. Usually group lessons at a learning center are intruductions to music and rhythm, in a more entertaining manner rather than focused instrument instruction aimed at very young kids. Traditionally I find that 2 months of private instructon with a student that is ready and interested in an instrument is about as effective as 6 months of group lessons. 

    Try meeting the teacher first and finding out more about the instructor before committing to instruction. While there's some great pro-level instructors at learning centers, I have also run into situations where some take on new employees with little or no experience whatsoever, which really can short-change someone's chance to learn an instrument. And with private tutors always ask for a resume and references when possible. 

     As always if you have any questions about Music Instruction or Guitar Lessons in Tampa, please contact the Tampa Guitar Teacher. Thanks again! 

    Monday
    Jul292013

    FAQ: Will the summer heat and humidity mess up or ruin my guitar?

    Gibson guitar's new "Ocean Guitar" prototype is absolutely not a real thing.  First things first: the answer is both yes, and no. Will it affect your guitar? Yes. Will it ruin it? Hopefully not. Lets go over what you should be careful about in a little more detail. 

     Wood is a material that is generally rather strong for it's weight, and even the most rediculously huge airplane the world has ever seen was made of it.

     But while wood is strong, it also can be springy, and all wood regardless of type and strength can be affected by heat and humidity. Some even describe wood as "having memory" this means that wood can often be heated and bent into shapes that it will then retain. In fact this is how acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments are shaped in the first place; they are steamed and heated up over a metal bar that allows the sides of the guitar to have the familiar hourglass shape that we find so lovely to look at. That is actually a good thing ... but ... 

     Where this can all go wrong is in extremeties: when wood is too dry, or too wet, or too hot or too cold. Different kinds of wood react differently for different reasons, which is why certain woods are used still to make classic boats, and furiture and architecture that will be exposed to the elements. That being said, if you get a guitar wet, like in a flood, it will certainly never be the same. It may play again, but the swelling that will happen to the guitar when it takes on water can do awful things to an instrument, often causing it to have to be completely rebuilt, if that is even possible.

     Here's what you need to worry about, during the summer time and winter time:

     

    1. If an acoustic guitar gets too wet, or too humid the wood will swell and cause the body to "belly". It can also cause the neck to warp, and additionally cause glue joints to become soft, resulting in things coming apart. Guitars don't seem to have much of a problem with marginal humidity. I am in Florida, for example, and it's always hot and humid. Moderate exposure doesn't tend to hurt the instrument. 
    2. If an acoustic guitar gets too dry, say in the middle of winter when the heater in a house is turned on all the time, it can shrink the wood, causing it to crack in sometimes very damaging ways. During winter months in most northern states, having a humidifier is a must if you have a wood musical instrument. 
    3. Extreme cold can shrink the wood, causing cracks. Usually this is in the finish only with the exception of drastic examples, but very cold weather will suck the humidity from a guitar, giving you the other problem above. 
    4. Extreme heat can loosen wood glue, cause swelling and other issues. 

     

    So in short, keep your guitar out of the snow. Keep your guitar out of the swimming pool. A little humidity, or even a splash of rain isn't enough to mess most modern instruments up, but with older instruments more care should be taken. 

    As always, if you have any questions about these or any other issues be sure to Contact the Guitar Teacher

    Have fun!