Guitar Practice
Becoming a guitar ace takes daily practice. Source: Visualhunt: Stevie-B

Guitar popularity and Darwin

When you think of music, playing a guitar probably comes to mind, and rightly so. Along with piano, guitar has been the mainstay of contemporary music for years and years, with the latter however only really starting to feature in songs in the couple of hundred. Music theory tended to centre around typically classical instruments during this period that the guitar appeared when people started to learn it in 16th century Spain. Guitar instruction therefore only really came into view in the late 1800s on a wide scale in the west, around the time it made its way to Australia, and Darwin shortly thereafter. Today, thanks to its prevalence in popular music and social element, guitar students and teachers are proliferating more than ever before, meaning you'll be able to find lessons easily.

On that note, learning guitar or getting brush-up lessons is surprisingly easy in Darwin; there is a studio or school of music in almost every part of town, north or south, as a Google search will yield. Darwin may also surprise people with how musical it is, boasting a plethora of music events for a city its size, many of which you can check out on Off The Leash. This said, you'd be pretty well placed as a musician in a city with such a blend of cultures, so to help you take advantage of this, we're going to talk you through what sort of guitar lessons you want. We'll also touch on whether you want to learn acoustic, bass, or electric, as well as what sort of tuition to consider and how to maintain your musical education and take advantage of the social side of classical, jazz, and rock guitar playing.

Consider Taking Guitar Lessons in Darwin

You'll quickly learn in your search that classifieds (both online and in person) are still a good place to view ads, as well as good old fashioned supermarket cork boards if you're wanting local guitar classes. Just shoot these prospective teachers an email to find out if they'll come to your home or invite you to their studio. Needless to say, finding a guitar teacher in Darwin isn't the most complicated task for students thanks to the internet. A quick Google search of 'music/guitar lessons Darwin' will yield lessons all over town, and email contact with teachers for private tuition or with a school is an easy way to get an idea of what you'll get from your teacher and lesson. This latter option might be a good choice as you'll receive tuition from professionals with years of experience, and is a highly recommended option if you are wanting to pair it with piano skills or take up classical guitar and theory.

In that vein, as Australia is a country that prides itself on choice, considering what you want to get from your learning and what style of guitar and music you want to focus on in you lessons is key, and to consider the level of theory you have versus your years of experience with guitar. If you're wanting to get some help finding your style of music and whether you want acoustic, bass, or electric, all whils refining techique, Darwin Music School is a good school to consider. It caters to all levels, including equipment hire, and you can get the attention you need as a beginner with one-on-one lessons, or partake in a short course to brush up your skills. They also offer ukulele courses for those taking a view to branching out.

So all things considered, it's important to think about the specific style you want to refine, what kind of guitar you're interested in, and how you want to structure your lessons. Let's break this down a little further to ease the decision making process.

Sibe Kokke on
Choosing the style of guitar you want to learn will help choose what kind you learn on. Source: Visualhunt: Sibe Kokke

Main Types of Guitar

Try and think of some songs that don't have guitar in it. They exist, but it might take a while. You probably have known what guitar sounds like from an early age, and the main types of guitar you'll hear people play in rock, jazz, or pop music are:

  • Acoustic
  • Bass
  • Electric

If you fancy yourself good at classical music, or enjoy the idea of singing solo in your free time, an acoustic guitar would make you feel right at home. This being said, it also lends itself well to the rock experience. This is typically best for a solo artist and singer as it isn't as over-powering as an electric counterpat, so you can feel free to combine with vocal work during your songs. Typically made of wood, an acoustic will come in various sizes, have a hollow interior, and have 6 nylon or steel strings (E, B, G, D, A, E), the former of which work better for flamenco, jazz, or classical, and the latter for folk, country, and rock. Your teacher will be able to advise you on the type and size of guitar to consider to achieve your goals.

The bass guitarist is often considered the one with the most mystique in a band. This is probably because they assist the drummer in keeping rhythm and give that depth to the music that will make you want to dance and move. As its name suggests, bass guitars are usually very deep in tone, and aren't generally front and centre in a band, and it's quite rare for a person to sing solo with one. Whilst they are still part of the same family, they only have 4 typically strings (E, A, D, G) in steel, nickel, or an alloy of both, although more can be added to increase the range of the guitar depending on its importance in the musical arrangement. The strings are typically made of this blend to give it that subdued, thumping sound that gives that great depth to a piece of music.

Lastly, the most prodigious rock star will always opt for an electric guitar lesson, with a tutor teaching how to play, shred and steal the show. An electric student would likely not just want to master the guitar, but already have an idea of how they want to use it in a band or create catchy music. Learning on electric won't actually add years to your tuition, but its appeal is definitely more for those who want to stand out specifically as the guitarist. This is because playing this style focuses the sound of the strings (E, B, G, D, A, E, same as acoustic, but generally all steel) which bear much greater strength and can amplify sound to a great extent compared to nylon on wood.

Types of lessons and their benefits

There are a variety of lesson styles across Darwin that are each great for just what assistance you need in your playing.

Private one-to-one Guitar Classes

A platform like Superprof is the home of that personal tutor you've been looking for; it's the place you have access to hundreds of qualified and vetted teachers with years and years of experience across them, and specialising in different styles. This is recommended as the best class style if you're a complete beginner as you can get the attention you need for the complicated finger work that guitar involves.

Small group classes

If you feel more confident and don't need the teacher to spend as much time with you individually, this is a good option as you get the group spirit and can benefit from the social aspect of guitar and music, something you will find increases greatly once your friends find out you're an ace guitarist! And who knows, this might even be the place that you meet your future, world famous band mates!

Generally, private classes will be offered either in your own or the teacher's home, or alternatively at a studio or school in a secluded space. Small group classes are most likely to be held in a public place such as a church hall with muted walls so you can play, or at the music school itself.

Online Guitar Lessons

As has understandably become a trend this year, getting in touch with a tutor for Skype lessons is also a plausible option. You will still end up playing together, and they will explain the theory, and you'll easily be able to view materials via email. The online alternative might also be the most financially viable one as there are plenty of free instrument tutorials on Youtube that can help you self teach to complement what your instructor will teach you in classes.

The beauty of the guitar is its portability. Source: Unsplash: Te Nguyen

A Final Note on Practice

Regular practice is obviously key to their and your success, but can sometimes be hard to stay motivated for. To keep yourself engaged and make the most of guitar being a social instrument, consider checking out some of the social guitar groups across the Northern Territory where you can jam, get into the community spirit for swing and big band, or even guitar en masse for battles of the bands. Darwin is also a city with surprisingly big festivals, like Bass in the Grass, so there's a change you might even get noticed for your musical skills!

So what's the hold up? You might just be the next Jimi Hendrix, so get thinking about the style you want to master and what sort of classes suit you, and get those fingers picking and strumming!

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