How Do I Get Started?
Here is how to start:
Fill out the evaluation form to tell me about yourself, your musical skills, knowledge, strengths, weaknesses, frustrations, background and guitar playing goals.
When you are done, select one of the lesson plans I suggest to you on the next page.
Here is what happens next:
I will go through your evaluation from in detail and create a lesson strategy to get you from where you are in your playing today to where you want to be.
It’s all based on everything you told me about yourself, your musical background, your challenges and your musical goals.
(Note: please be patient with me on this part. It may take me 2-3 hours to create your lesson strategy. I don't want to rush this step, because it’s going to play a huge role in you becoming a better guitar player quickly.)
Next: I create your actual lesson materials.
These are the exercises, drills, concepts and techniques and that break down your goals into bite-sized steps that improve your playing.
As you follow these steps – you become a better guitar player. Same way you follow the navigation system in your car.
But as you practice – you are not alone.
Here is how I help you in between your lessons:
- I train you live on video every week in live training classes. There I take the hardest guitar playing topics and break them down to make them easy to master. Plus, I get to see you play and answer your questions live on video.
- We also do live guitar practice sessions for you, me and my other students. We all practice guitar together and work on things each of us may struggle to practice individually.
This helps you to get stuff done and improve more quickly.
- I'm here for you when you need me. Here is what this means:
If you have questions – email me anytime - day or night. I answer your questions in detail and you always get a reply from me directly.
Plus, you can talk to me every week live on video in Office Hours (where I answer your questions live on video).
- You can send me recordings of your playing for feedback. In my feedback, I help you diagnose and remove bad habits from your playing and erase all obstacles slowing down your progress.
- You can join our exclusive community on my students’ forum. There you can get support from my top guitar students – many of whom are now professional guitar teachers themselves.
I’ve coached them on how to teach guitar in the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle.
All you have to do is practice what I tell you to do at least 30 minutes per day 5 times per week.
If you can practice more – that’s great. But if you practice the lessons I give you just 30 minutes per day, it becomes almost impossible for you not to improve.
Check out the results my guitar students are achieving:
Here are a few more guitar student success stories:
“The lessons with Tom are great! I've learned a lot of things in a short amount of time.”
I don't have time to mess around, I have to get going as fast as I can. Whenever I get a new online guitar lesson from Tom, there is always more in there than you can imagine. The materials are ALWAYS over and above expectations.
Tom does a great job with that and I'm glad I made the decision to take lessons with him.
Maurice Richard, Nova Scotia, Canada
"When I came to Tom for online guitar lessons, I already had a decent overall level of technique and understood the basics of music theory pretty well. I had taken lessons with other teachers before, and went through several guitar method books that promised to teach me how to become a great lead guitar player. I learned all the materials in these books and courses and picked up some useful tips and knowledge along the way. Yet for some reason I still wasn't feeling like a musician. I struggled very much with writing my own songs, creating my own solos and pushing my guitar technique and speed to a higher level (especially sweep picking, alternate picking, and playing clean at high speeds).
When I started learning from Tom, the main thing that made him different from other teachers was that he was showing me how to excel in all aspects of my guitar playing by applying the skills that I already knew together with the new material that I was learning from him.
He made me aware of both strengths and weaknesses in my playing that I did not even know I had. From there he gave me the knowledge, tools and guidance to literally transform my guitar playing by enabling me to overcome things that were preventing me from becoming a truly creative and self-expressive guitar player. These were the kinds of things that none of my previous guitar teachers and books I studied were able to do for me.
After Tom made me aware of all the things I was missing in my guitar playing and provided me with the strategy and tools for solving them, I began to make very fast progress in all areas of my guitar playing.
I can now write my own music and can create lead guitar solos that I am happy and fulfilled with. I also have the technical skills to confidently and easily play anything that I want to express. I have overcome all of the lead guitar challenges that I struggled with before, and increased my guitar speed to virtuoso levels. More importantly, I have the knowledge and understanding of how to continually improve my guitar playing and musical skills to higher and higher levels to continue expressing myself with my music. Overall, I have definitely transformed in a huge way as a musician and as a person through my lessons with Tom Hess. I am grateful to him for guiding me towards becoming the guitarist I always wanted to be!"
Mike Philippov, Indiana, USA
“I started playing guitar maybe about 15 years ago. I had a really crappy teacher. Basically, based on some bad advice I went to learn classical guitar. I mean I wanted to learn electric guitar, but my friends learned classical, then acoustic, then electric. So I foolishly went to the music school and said I want to learn classical guitar, but they never asked me why, what do I want to do, so they said yeah ok, here’s a guitar, let’s go.”
So after about a year of faking trying to learn music notation, I quit. But I really loved, music, the guitar, so, I’m a pretty creative person in general, so I just you know, came up with a whole bunch of stuff on the guitar. I was self-taught for many years, until I came across Tom’s website. And then what happened was… after reading all of his articles, I used his article on how to choose a guitar teacher, and I went around my local city in Kuala Lumpur, trying to find teachers based on that criteria and of course they couldn’t even meet one criterion. And I actually went for a few lessons, and after a while it was like, well, it’s not worth it, I’m just going to go with Tom.
He has a lot of freaking awesome students. I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years, I’ve been a correspondence student for about 5 years or 6 years, everything prior to that was just a waste of time.
The forum is beyond words. I mean, I ask a question and I get 20 responses or 10 responses from very helpful people. Everybody is trying to help there. Nobody is criticizing like anybody. Everybody is just so helpful. It’s like having 20 Tom Hesses. It’s like, you know… 20 mentors, 20 people… more than that actually. So I think the forum is awesome for that. Not only because of the information available there, but just because of the people willing to help.
Vishaal Kapoor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“Tom was my first guitar teacher ever. I started online guitar lessons a couple of years ago and it’s what I’ve been looking for. Someone who can really help me get what I want.”
Tom really puts it back on me to decide what I want and do what I need to do to get that. That’s what so many people need when they need help - they need to know how to help themselves.
There’s abundant resources. You can always get more information. You can always get more help, especially from other people, other students, members on the forum... Most of all, it’s an opportunity for me to help myself. That’s the goal.
When I pick up something that I haven’t played for a long time with my new technique... wow, it feels different. There are plenty of songs (I’ve always played in a cover band, so I know tons of songs). There are songs I haven’t played for 5, 10, 15, 20 years... and if I pulled them up and played them, they would still feel the same way they did back them. But now, if I pull up and play a song I haven’t played in forever – Oh my God, wow! My hands do this now.
Rob Hiemstra, Toronto, Canada
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