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(and my approach to teaching guitar)

My Product is Your Fast Improvement!

Hi, my name is Paul Swanson.  Based in Leamington Spa, in the middle of the UK, I've been playing since 1985, gigging since 1988 and teaching guitar to students across Warwickshire since 1997.  Since beginning teaching, I've developed my own unique tuition methods, systematically leading students forward step by step.

I'm the guy who helps those with folders-full of things they can't actually play,  finally make sense of it all.

I can also take you from scratch or get you moving forward again at any level once you've stagnated.

Interviewed in local magazine

A few snippets of me over the years


I took very few lessons over the years, because I realised quickly that the "guitar teachers" I tried out were just showing

me what to play and were not capable of showing me how to get to be able to do it!  

And so, when beginning teaching, I soon knew I wanted to  learn how to actually make students improve!  At the outset, I hadn't much (if any) more to offer than the teachers I had met, and I remember lessons often seemed to drag as we jumped around from one topic to another looking for things to keep up interest.

These days, with a whole bunch of tricks in my bag I'd never even considered back then, it's common for a student to comment how fast the time went.  To me, that's always a great sign that the lesson was well paced and structured.

"Focus on one subject per lesson, but teach it well!" is a quote I remember reading in my early months as a guitar teacher.  I'll tend to focus on a single main topic per lesson, but often that will bring into play a number of other sub-topics (related songs/licks/

techniques) to support the headline subject.  I'll usually start by asking the student what they'd like to look at, and see where things go as we progress.

My free guitar lesson blog

Sometimes this can take us on a magical mystery tour to somewhere quite unexpected.  I often recall a previous student who was only interested in Metallica when I first met him, but was sidetracked one day by an Oasis song I suggested might have benefit for his lead guitar aspirations.  This opened up some new interests, and some years later he surprised me by posting a video in which he performed a Simon and Garfunkel track in public!

After 25+ years of developing as a teacher, it's a very long time since I've had to hope for improvement from a student.

Nowadays I guarantee it ... every lesson!

Why Choose Lessons With Me?

Yes, there's  a ton of free stuff on the internet showing you how to play guitar.  And lots of it is fantastic, but for most people, there's usually a point where they get stuck ... dead!  For some of you, it may even be at the first hurdle with a couple of so called "easy" chords.


I specialise  in what the internet doesn't teach so well .. how to ensure that you get better every time you pick up the guitar!  If I'd known what I know now back when I started out teaching myself in 1985, I estimate that I'd have saved myself over 15,000 hours of wasted "practice", and that's a lot of time!

A favourite of mine recorded in 2011

In every lesson with me, whether learning your first chords, or digging into a rock or jazz standard, you'll be learning how to practise effectively.   With effective practice (click for description), there is no "stuck" any more, only problem-solving and progress.  What's more, practice sessions should never feel like a dutiful slog, they should feel enjoyable, each one the next leg in a steadily progressing journey towards your chosen destination!

Most guitarists you know are not improving, and haven't been for a while.  They may be learning new songs, but they're only learning them to the same level they've been at for some time, maybe for as long as 50 years!  *Real* improvement is the Holy Grail, and it's available to anyone who understands how to practise well.


Once you're competent with the basics, you have strong foundations in place to build in the musical direction you choose. I don't mind what music you want to learn, I will lead (or push) you towards it in a systematic, step by step fashion.

Email Me ...

Get in touch to ask me anything.

Send me your email and a bit of info, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

To: Old Swanner (Paul Swanson)

Thanks! Message sent.

... or Telephone Leamington

(01926) 426814.

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