Private Guitar Lessons
in Webster, NY
Specializing in the Beginner

Email Me Here

Welcome ... I have taught many adults and children who previously knew nothing about the instrument.  Now, many are confident enough to take requests while sitting around a campfire.  ALL my students can read music and play ANY song they wish.   I specialize in the beginner and those who have unsuccessfully tried to teach themselves for years!   Please read the FAQ's listed here.  You'll be glad you did.

Frequently asked questions:

What do you mean by you specialize in the beginner? -There are many guitar “teachers” out there.  When I teach, I explain what you should do and why you should do it.  Then if you encounter a problem later, you’ll know how to correct it yourself.  This level of explanation is required for a beginner but is most often missed by most “teachers.”

I don't have a guitar yet; do I need one to take a lesson? - Yes.  You should bring your guitar with you for each lesson and be able to practice with it between lessons.  If you don't have a guitar yet, give me a call before you go looking.  I’ll gladly give you some information so you’ll be an educated consumer in your shopping.

I don't know anything about music; do you really think I could  learn to play? - Yes, if you practice.  How rapidly you learn will be directly related to how much effort you put into practice.  The fact that you know nothing about music or the instrument means you haven't built any bad habits, so actually you'll be the perfect student!

Do you teach Music Theory? - Absolutely.  I’ll teach you to be a complete musician and you’ll have fun doing it.  You’ll not only learn how to play the guitar and read music, but you’ll also learn how to transpose and build your own chords.  I include everything from the “circle-of-fifths” to the “Tonic – Sub-dominant – Dominant” relationship.  If that sounds scary, it won’t be when you build on it gradually.  Before you know it, you’ll know a great deal of music theory and won’t have seen it coming!

How long is a lesson? - Although individual lessons are planned for 30 minutes they frequently run longer; charges remain the same regardless how long they run over.    Students are scheduled every 45 minutes.  The objective is to challenge the student but not give them so much as to discourage them.

Can I double-up and take two lessons at once? - The amount of material covered in a lesson is dependent upon the student.  Some can absorb more than others and some have a better understanding of music and of the instrument than others.  I don't recommended more than one lesson per week.  Learning to play guitar is both a mental and physical learning experience.  Physical dexterity must be accomplished through repetition (practice).  If too much is expected, the student will struggle and be discouraged quickly.

How much should I practice? - If a student practices one-half hour every day, they will be successful.  Practicing one hour every other day is not the same. Remember, you’re trying to build some physical dexterity.  Therefore, consistent repetition is necessary.  Elton John once said, “If I don't practice for one day, I notice it.  If I don't practice for 2 days, other people notice it.

How much does it cost? - Each lesson is $20.  Each Instruction book is   approximately $7.  Supplemental handouts and CDs are free to students. 

What if I can already read music? - Wonderful, you’re on your way to success. But remember, since learning to play guitar is also a physical learning experience, you’ll still need a lot of practice to build finger dexterity. Typically, a student who can already read music receives a longer lesson in the early stages.

How old are your students? - Students have ranged in age from 10 to 72. However, younger students must be able to read very well.  As most of everything covered in the lesson is in the book, it may frequently be necessary for the student to refer to the text during practice sessions.  I've found the most youngest age that is successful is around 10.  The student must have the dedication to practice which usually comes at that age.

Do you teach electric or acoustic? - Although the electric has pick-ups, needs amplification, and sometimes has a longer neck, they both have metal strings and are both played exactly the same.

Do you teach classical guitar? - The primary physical differences between these two guitars are the strings and the head. The electric or acoustic has metal strings while the classical guitar has either nylon or catgut strings. In addition, the classical guitar typically has an open head. These physical differences do not matter in learning to play the left hand of the guitar as the left hand is played the same on all guitars. However, the classical guitarist must learn special fingering for the right hand as they must use multiple fingers, rather than a pick to strike the strings. I do not teach this right hand classical guitar fingering.

What if I just want to learn how to play chords or a few songs? - I could teach you a lot of chords, but you won’t really learn how to play the instrument. Since your learning experience is a direct reflection on my teaching ability, I would prefer that my students learn the right way by learning to read music. There is a difference in learning a few songs or chords and learning how to play the instrument.  When you learn how to play the instrument, you can play any song.

What kind of music do you play? - Sometimes I play Jazz, sometimes Rock, somtimes Country.  Since I can read music, I can play anything.

What curriculum do you follow?    - Most students are started using Hal Leonard’s Book 1.  This gives a good introduction of both beginning music theory and guitar basics.  Several customized handouts supplement this book, increasing and reinforcing the learning experience.  The second phase is Alfred’s Book 2, which is also supplemented with about a dozen custom-made handouts.

Who are you and what are your credentials? – My name is Bob Tabone.  I have a BS in Economics, with a minor in Music Theory, from the University of Rochester.  I have been teaching many years and have had many adults and children who knew nothing about the instrument. Now, most are confident enough to take requests while sitting around a campfire. All of them can read music and play ANY song they want. I specialize in the beginner and those who have unsuccessfully tried to teach themselves for years!

Where do you teach? - Lessons are held in my home studio, located at:  1102 South Creek Drive in Webster, NY.  For directions, please give me a call or click here for a pdf file with directions.

Can you supply me with some references? - I'm usually asked for references once or twice a year.  However, I really hate to bother current or past students with this request.  I did it once.  Some sent me a copy of what they wrote.  Click here to see them.

Is there a place I can wait while my child has a lesson? - Absolutely.  Although, you'll be in the next room, you can hear most everything that's going on.  In fact, my policy is that any student under 18 must have an adult wait for them.

More questions? Call me or send me an e-mail