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Electric & Acoustic Guitar lessons, based in North Leeds

My name is Robert Hobson. I've been a private guitar tutor in Leeds since 2005 and have gained a great deal of experience teaching people of all age groups and ability levels.

I personally get a lot of enjoyment from teaching the guitar and work hard to tailor lessons that are fun for my students, whilst improving their own playing at a comfortable pace.

Styles of music and theory I cover

I teach both electric and acoustic guitar to anyone who is at beginner level, right through to advanced and grade 8 players.

I cover a large range of styles including (but not restricted to): Blues, Classical, Folk/Fingerstyle, Indie, Jazz, Metal, Pop and Rock.

Technically, I specialise in hybrid picking and legato. Theoretically, I have a keen interest in compostional techniques and an extensive knowledge of advanced jazz theory.

fingerstyle guitar lessons, acoustic playing, music notation, sight reading

Where my lessons take place

I offer lessons from my home in Kirkstall, Leeds, close to the Kirkstall Forge train station, just off the A65. Very convenient if you live in Horsforth, or near the Leeds ring road on the North side. Here I have my teaching aids, spare amplifier and acoustic guitars that you may use during a lesson.

For an additional fee, lessons at your home are possible. I am available to travel to North Leeds and surrounding areas, including; Collingham, Linton, Wetherby and Harrogate.

blues and rock guitar lessons, guitar amp

What you can expect from lessons with me

My approach to guitar lessons is relaxed and informal. Lesson topics are normally directed towards your own personal areas of interest, with an emphasis on teaching you practical applications of the techniques you learn, in context of the styles of music you enjoy. After all, the goal is to learn to play music, and hopefully have fun at the same time!

The benefits of private guitar lessons

Plenty of guitar players, especially beginners, will attempt to teach themselves. I was no different when I first picked up a guitar in 1993. Many will try to find free online guitar lessons as well as books and videos to get themselves started. It rarely works, and often you can find yourself struggling and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there. A tutor is able to assess your specific needs and then break down the relevant areas into manageable chunks.

Using books and online mediums is a fantastic resource for learning, but only if used in the correct manner. Unfortunately, they can't dynamically interact and respond to the questions you have, they can't inspire you in the same way a great teacher can and they certainly can't explain how to improve your own personal guitar playing.

Quite simply, private lessons are the quickest route to get you playing at a level you are happy with: it certainly worked for me!

Guitar set ups and servicing

I have over a decade of experience maintaining both electric and acoustic guitars in a recording studio environment; mainly set ups and occasionally pickup installation.

I provide a guitar set up service with a same day turnaround time, returning your instrument to your personal playing requirements.

Guitar set ups include:

Guitar set ups are £30 (£15 for my regular students). Strings are not included in the price, nor any hardware you may want replacing. Drop your guitar off at my home in Kirkstall, and I'll have it ready for you to pick up later that day. Contact me at robsilentcity@hotmail.co.uk or 07759 592887 to book your guitar in.

My fees for guitar lessons

I offer "pay as you go" fees for ad hoc lessons, or discounted rates if booking a block. Prices vary from £14-£30 per lesson depending on length and how often you'd like tuition. Contact me for further details.

Lesson length

I recommend 30 minutes for beginners (grade 1-3), 45 minutes for intermediate (grade 4-6) and 60 minutes for advanced players (grade 7-8). Some of my students prefer to have different arrangements and I'm always happy to comply with your requirements.

Lesson Frequency

Lessons are either taken:

Try a guitar lesson for free

Introductory lessons are free, so why not pop over for a chat and see what I can do for you.

Some free advice on perfect guitar tuning!

Tempered Tuning

Not many guitar players know this, but it's actually impossible to have your guitar perfectly in tune to pure notes everywhere on the neck. You may have noticed yourself that sometimes if you perfectly tune a pure E major chord for example, then the next chord you play sounds offensively out of tune. This is due to a phenomenon called "Inharmonicity", present in all plucked or struck stringed instruments.

A plucked open string on a guitar vibrates with a speed that has a fundamental frequency. It also produces a series of harmonic overtones. If we divide a string into two halves, then at the twelfth fret we get a harmonic which produces a pitch one octave higher than the fundamental. This occurs because the string is vibrating twice as fast. For example, the first A above middle C on the piano (or 5th fret on the guitar's high E string) has a frequency of 440Hz. If we half then length, the speed doubles. Mathematically the first harmonic at the 12th fret should be vibrating at 880Hz.

But it is not!. It vibrates slightly faster and therefore the pitch will be slightly sharper. This occurs because of the physical properties of strings. The less elastic they are, the more inharmonicity present.

In early pure tuning methods such as Pythagorean Tuning, one or several intervals were unpleasantly out of tune creating a problem for any musician/composer that wanted to modulate to different keys. In the 16th century a system called "Equal Temperament" was invented where all 12 keys were made to sound acceptable without having to retune to a new key. This was done by approximating the intervals between notes rather than using the Mathematical values.

Equal Temperament is how the modern day guitar is tuned and within this system all octaves should be pure. Using this knowledge, I like to tune my guitar using an octave method which ensures that the instrument is acceptably in tune all over the neck. Many people use the 5th fret method and tuning against open strings, but more often than not, I personally find this results in poor tuning.

How to tune

fig 1 - octave shapes across the guitar neck. Each group of two notes is the same but one octave apart.