WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY
"I’d always decided against taking guitar lessons because I expected they’d be like taking music in school: dry, and focused on styles I’m not interested in. I thought that I had to go down the self-taught route in order to play Rock and Metal, so that’s what I did for a number of years.
When I started taking lessons it felt like the lights were slowly coming on after years in the dark.
AJ was able to identify gaps in my knowledge and technique and target our lessons appropriately. I’m really enjoying getting a better theoretical understanding of what’s going on when I solo and improvise – I’m starting to see why things are done a certain way, or why things work or don’t work.
I’d recommend Frets on Fire because you will make much better progress with a structured approach, and being shown the right way to do things from the beginning. I’ve made much more progress in the months of working with AJ than the years I spent attempting to teach myself. I wish I’d started learning properly when I was younger!"
“I’ve been going to Frets on Fire for guitar lessons for the best part of 4 years. Since day 1 my interests and goals have always been at the centre of each lesson. Through lessons, I’ve achieved several things.
AJ can teach the Rockschool syllabus in its entirety and guided me in achieving a Distinction for my Grade 8 exam. Easier said than done, AJ gave me materials that covered every aspect of preparation for the exam. He has also helped me both in the songwriting and recording process. I record musical ideas when I can, sometimes I may elaborate them into something further. However I would not be able to do that without AJ’s tuition. Whether it be from operating Garageband, or mapping out a song idea, AJ provides a great service. I have keen interest in technical playing and AJ has been so helpful with that aspect of guitar. He knows the mechanics of practicing and has great knowledge in several fields of music. He has often lent me books that have really helped me.
My favourite thing about the lessons is the open and relaxed environment that AJ creates. This allows you to not feel intimidated even if you have never played in front of someone. As odd as it may sound, it’s very true and my confidence has gotten better. With that in mind, Frets on Fire provides a class called the “Jam Class” which is a unique thing that I highly doubt you’ll find anywhere else. I’ve attended several of them and at every one of them I’ve felt like I’ve accomplished something. By playing in a band and communicating ideas with other players, you discover a whole new of aspect of music.
I would recommend AJ's lessons because he has his student’s interests at the centre of his lessons. You will progress further with his lessons and you will discover other areas of music that you didn’t know about. You may even get to meet the other great players that he teaches. Above all, you’ll take something positive from every lesson.”
Before taking lessons with AJ I had been self taught for 6 years and mainly used DVDs and the internet to learn. I knew I needed lessons to really progress, but I had put it off because I thought I would struggle to attend regularly due to my work and family commitments. When I first started looking for lessons I was considering just looking for the cheapest, closest teacher. What I would say now is that if you can find a teacher you get on with whose methods you like and if you feel you are improving then its worth paying for and travelling to if you have to. As with a lot of things you get what you pay for, and quality lessons are invaluable.
I like that each of the lessons has a clear aim, and that I have all the resources I need to practice the concepts myself at home. I’ve found my confidence has grown with improvising, using different scales, and I understand how to link positions on the neck better than I did before. I’m also starting to understand and be able to use Modes in my playing. I enjoyed meeting other guitar players and benefitting from the questions and discussions we had… I could easily have stayed for double the length of time for every lesson! It has helped me to to interact with players who are at different levels as it helped me see what can be accomplished if you stick at it.
I have seen my son have lessons from a family friend and although he is an accomplished player, he is not a full time teacher and this is clearly evident to me now. I will measure future teachers against AJ and I would recommend him to anyone wanting to play Rock or Metal music.
“Before I started taking lessons with AJ I knew that there were definite areas for improvement in my playing. However, I was sceptical on how much light would be shed on the things I was worried about after mixed experiences with previous music teachers.
Since starting lessons with Frets on Fire I’ve become a lot more positive about my playing and a lot of things that I previously found mystifying have become much easier. For example, before lessons, my soloing ability was severely limited by the fact that I had no idea how to move between and connect different scale shapes all over the guitar neck. Fretboard navigation was one of the main things I wanted to improve on by taking lessons, and this was picked up and addressed very early on. Not only have I learned new techniques and music theory, but we’ve spent a lot of time together looking at how to actually apply these things in my playing – something which is rarely if ever found in books. AJ has clear and progressive systems for explaining concepts that are extremely confusing to most guitarists, and gradually builds up the necessary knowledge over time rather than overwhelming me with a single terrifying dump of information!
AJ also goes the extra mile to support his students over and above the lessons themselves, providing a huge range of supporting resources and unique classes where we can learn about things that are never covered in typical music lessons. I really like that there is an open atmosphere in our lessons and I feel relaxed about asking any questions or more expansion on a particular topic. I feel like our student-teacher relationship is structured more as a mentoring type approach. It’s fantastic – supportive and constructive; definitely the way forward!”