First Lesson - FREE! I offer all students a free 1 hour consultation lesson for you to see if I'm the right teacher for you.
Thereafter my fee is £40 for a 1 hour lesson.
Welcome to Croydon Guitar Lessons! My name's Al Wreaves and I'm a full time guitar teacher and performing musician - I teach from my house which is just a 10 minute walk from East Croydon train station. After completing a performance Diploma at The Academy of Contemporary Music and a BA Hons Music Degree at The University of Southampton, I've taught hundreds of students of all ages and abilities both privately and in schools. I also have an up to date enhanced DBS check certificate.
My aim is simple - I want to help you get better at playing the guitar! By booking a free 1 hour consultation lesson, I'll be able to analyse where you're at with your playing and we can discuss what you'd like to achieve. I'll then explain exactly what you need to do in order to achieve these goals through a structured, progressive practice routine tailored to your specific musical interests.
If you're a complete beginner and have no idea where to start, that's ok! I'll guide you step by step through the basics and have you playing real music in no time :-). I've taught hundreds of students who had never even touched a guitar before - with a bit of hard work and a little patience, you'll be surprised how quickly you pick things up.
Feel free to drop me a message via the chat box - let me know a little bit about yourself and any musical experience you may or may not have, then we can book in your first free lesson!
At least 80% of practice time should be spent learning actual music, i.e. songs. Many guitarists fall into the trap of playing random exercises, riffs or solos then decide to move on without being able to play through the song. Although there's nothing wrong with that if that's what someone wants to do, I encourage and help students to build the skills necessary to play songs from start to finish so that they build a repertoire of real music that they can play. Let me know what songs you're struggling with or would like to learn!
Improvisation & Creativity
Aside from learning songs and techniques, another rewarding area of playing the guitar is being creative, whether that's coming up with your own riffs, chord progressions, guitar solos and songs, or learning how to improvise a solo on the spot! It seems difficult at first, especially if you're a beginner, but with a little guidance you can be musically creative straight away. If creating your own music or being able to improvise is something you're interested in, drop me a message and I'd love to help!
Grades are a great way to make achievable progress on the guitar. I use Rockschool's syllabus with students which has a great choice of well known pop/rock/acoustic songs to learn by famous artists. Although I encourage students to take exams when they're ready, it isn't compulsory! I understand it can be daunting entering for a music exam so you can still enjoy learning the great song choices and benefit from the techniques they use without having to take an exam! Drop me a message if you have any questions about studying grades or taking a guitar exam.
Ear training is developing the ability to listen to a piece of music and figure out the melodies, chords and rhythms without any written music to learn it from. Having a "good ear" is probably the most useful skill for any musician as it speeds up the rate at which you can learn any piece of music. Thousands of songs use the same or similar notes, chords and rhythms - once you start to notice this, it makes learning new music a WHOLE lot easier. I help and encourage all students to start learning music by ear - let me know if you'd like some help with this!
Although there's no right or wrong way to play the guitar (search YouTube for "man plays guitar with feet"...), there are certain principles and hand/finger positions us guitarists can try and adhere to which will greatly improve our playing. I've helped literally hundreds of students develop a great technique from scratch and correct bad habits, so whether you want to learn the strumming pattern to your favourite song or a solo by your favourite guitarist, working on developing a good technique will really improve the quality of your playing. Get in touch if you think you have a few bad habits that need fixing!
Reading Music & Music Theory
You don't have to be able to read music or understand music theory to be a great musician and guitar player, but having a basic understanding of these will really help and improve your playing. I encourage all my students to develop a basic grasp of these areas as they really help you to understand how music is put together, why your favourite band used a particular chord progression or why your favourite guitarist used a particular scale for their solo, for example. These topics are by no means compulsory, but if you'd like to learn to read music or make some sense out of the music you're learning, get in touch and I can help!
"After looking around for lessons I came across this site. I had been with another teacher that was not the right fit for me. I count myself very lucky to have found a teacher that is patient, very professional and friendly, thinks about what the student wants, no ego involved here. Lessons are so much fun, I enjoy the learning process and can't wait for the next lesson. I come away wanting to work really hard towards my goal, everything that I have expected from the lessons I have found, it's important to have a teacher that you trust and Inspires you. Things are explained in a clear and precise way, communication between teacher and student is excellent, I don't feel afraid to ask questions, because of that my confidence is growing. Being able to explain something that is a little confusing in a simple way is a delight to see and be part of. I am enjoying the learning process and growth on the guitar. I only have one regret, I wish I had found Al earlier, the knowledge and skill set I would have now, you live and learn. So I recommend this teacher very highly If you're willing to put the work in you will see your playing change for the better. The guitar is fun!"