NEIL BURNS MUSIC

TUITION



Neil has over ten years experience as a guitar teacher having taught in many schools and colleges in the South West.  He currently holds a teaching position at Torquay Boys Grammar School, Taunton School and Exeter College.

 

He has taken many students through graded guitar examinations and all students have achieved excellent results mostly with merits and distinctions.  Previous advanced students have gone on to study at leading conservatoires such as the Guildhall School of Music in London, The Royal Northern College of Music and the Middlesex University Jazz Course.

 

He has used the Trinity/Guildhall classical guitar examinations, the LCM acoustic guitar examinations and the Rock School Syllabus for electric guitar.

 

Although some students benefit from working through graded examinations, Neil does not consider this approach essential, as each student is an individual with individual needs.

 

Neil can teach any style from Classical and Jazz to Rock. Beginners and advanced students are welcome.

Some thoughts on teaching and learning

There are many wonderful guitarists in the world today with poor technique who have achieved great things in spite of poor hand position, bad fingering and so on.

These guitarists are often very blessed with wonderful musical talent, the other 99.9 percent need to make life easy and get the technique right from the start. For many young students, correcting bad habits and trying to grasp certain exercises and concepts may seem like hard work but in the long term it’s the easier road.​

 

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Teachers open the door,

 but you must enter by yourself - Chinese Proverb



It is important that the student devotes some time several times a week to practise in between lessons. Much of the lesson is about looking at how the student has been working independently since the previous lesson. Neil believes a big part of his job is to try to steer the student towards more effective practise methods and routines.  Students are encouraged to develop a love of music, whether it be classical, jazz, funk, pop, or metal. Developing a passion for the guitar and music is essential.​  Lists of guitarists for students to check out can be suggested, but it is the student who must do the listening. Decide "Do I like this music?",  "Don't like this music?", "Love this music?"

                                                                               

 

Sometimes you want to give up the guitar youll hate the guitar but if you stick with it, youre  gonna be rewarded Jimi Hendrix

 

We can all get stale, our fingers feel like drunk spiders, they just aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do!  We have chosen to learn a complex and difficult musical instrument.

We can all get disillusioned when progress is slow, or we find an area of practice next to impossible, but the guitar is a wonderful instrument with so many possibilities, if we strive to overcome our difficulties we will achieve the rewards of our efforts.

 

​​​Have Fun!

Aside from technique, practise, becoming better guitarists, comparing ourselves to other players, (whether we are professional or students, we all do this), accessing how cool we think we look in the practice room mirror etc etc ... the most important thing is to learn to love your guitar, to love playing it and to have loads of fun. Enjoy it!





Neil has consistently found that when practising a difficult piece of music, if it is broken down into 4 bar sections, 2 bar sections, 1 bar sections, 2 beats! The difficult areas can be homed in on with patience, concentration and the constant use of the metronome​,

accuracy and eventually speed can be achieved. This approach does take determination and patience but it works! You may have to get very “zen” about it, or better still just do 5 to 10 minutes here and there, this doesn’t have to be painful!

Technique

"He who is impatient mostly arrives at his goals late. Step by step is the only way" - Andres Segovia



"You're always learning about this thing Every time you pick it up" - Keith Richards

Neil believes we never stop being students. We are all trying to learn how to play the guitar and trying to become better guitarists.