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Brian Kelly


I have accumulated a wealth of  practical knowledge  from my 40 years on guitar, 30+ years of which I performed as a pro in varied musical combos from a seven piece band to the intimate solo setting (see full bio at

  I feel a minimum commitment for a student to make progress on guitar is 20 solid minutes a day/ 3 days week; if you keep this up, you will be surprised how your fingers remember what to do – they are smarter than you think.

            What should a student learn?  I find that too many guitarists want to be just lead players, with basic rhythm/comping skills poorly lacking; these basic skills need to be developed first.   Learning on an acoustic guitar imparts more finesse and rhythm chops in beginner players.  Reading music certainly helps, but you can certainly play that instrument without this ability, and I do not emphasize this skill.
Two tasks I would strongly suggest for any player who wants to advance as a musician/songwriter:  (1) Knowing the notes on the fretboard is essential to long term playing; not the most exciting task, but very important.  (2) Basic music theory knowledge as far as chord construction (what makes a major or minor chord, what chords would typically be found say in a folk/rock tune in say the key of E, etc).  The use of a capo is important for playing certain tunes using open chords (e.g., G, C, D, E, A) and to transpose keys for ease of singing, but don’t use it as crutch to avoid playing those tough but necessary F and Bb chords!

               Today we have the internet, a huge musical resource, but guidance is needed to sort through the pile for appropriate and accurate material.  It is very easy to get tablature for songs off the net, but as I look up tunes now, I find a huge inventory of sites to potentially access, but some with way too many mistakes, of which some errors are subtle, some glaring.  It may be difficult for the student to tell which sites to lean towards and which to avoid like the plague.  So here is my core idea for the student -once a good musical foundation is established for a player, one can learn at one’s own pace from the net/videos.  Guidance from a more knowledgeable player can start/steer you efficiently down your chosen musical path in this digital age. Go for it!

           My lessons are hour sessions only, and I travel to your home.  Fingerpicking is my specialty, but I am also a skilled and knowledgable lead player.  Give me a call and let's talk soon (508-291-5286).