GUITAR LESSONS LONDON
You have probably arrived on this website because you are looking for a guitar teacher. My name is Jonatan, I am a professional guitarist and theorbist, and I offer lessons in London and online. Here, I have gathered some practical details about the way I teach which I hope you will find useful.
If you have any questions, please get in touch using the contact form.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A LESSON?
I usually focus on three things:
We do learn an instrument in order to play pieces, therefore a large part of the lesson will be spent working on repertoire. The pieces you play depends on your level of playing and your goals. For a beginner, or a young learner, I will find pieces at a suitable level and which will help you improve your playing. The more advanced you get, the more pieces you will be able to choose yourself. If you really like a particular piece or repertoire that you would like to learn, we will make a plan and work towards it.
In simple terms, technique is practically how we play and it is there for the benefit of the music. In the beginning, we will acquire most of what we need from playing repertoire. As you advance, we can work on more specific techniques. For an advanced player, I have exercises which go into depth, that we will work on every lesson. If something is technically difficult, we isolate the techniques required and work on them separately. The most important technique is learning how to practice effectively. We will go through different practice techniques and build up a toolbox of ways to practice so that you always can choose the most effective one to use.
Music theory is an important tool to understand musical language. I believe we best learn theory when we can apply it to what we are doing in practice. When we understand scales, harmony and history we not only understand what we are playing but why.
What will I need to start guitar lessons?
You need a guitar of course: If you don’t have one already, I will be able to guide you in the right direction depending on your budget and “size of the learner”. You can get very inexpensive guitars online or in music shops, however be aware that a really cheap instruments sometimes cause students to quit as they struggle to progress on an unresponsive instrument. For a young learner, I can recommend a couple of guitars ranging between £100-150, which if taken good care of, could be sold to another student if you decide to upgrade later on.
Classical guitarists use footstools to raise one of the legs. I have tried using some fancy, wooden designs (to the right) but I recommend something more sturdy and practical, like the “TGI 3424”. There are also other types of support to raise the guitar. These come with both pros and cons. I am always happy to discuss this.
You will need a music stand when practicing at home. There are a number of good ones out there, from sturdy ones to more portable ones. They are very similar in quality, so go for the one you like the best.
You will need to buy your own music and books, especially if you are looking into entering the ABRSM exams. This will soon build into your own music library. For younger learners, I use “The Guitarist Way” series which is very good and inexpensive. For an adult beginner, I normally provide the music and exercises in the beginning and there is no need to buy any books to start learning.
(If you can't read the music in the picture, don't worry! It is tablature music for lute, not something wrong with your eyes.)
There is no need to bring music stand or footstool to lessons as I will have them available when you arrive for each lesson. Please always bring your music, a pencil and your guitar.
WHERE DO YOU TEACH?
I teach from my home just over 5 minutes walk from East Acton tube station and 15-20 minutes from Acton Central.
I also teach online using Zoom or Google Meet. During the COVID-19 pandemic and when I have been away longer periods for performances, this has proven a very good way of having lessons. In fact, many of my students have preferred to continue having online lessons on a regular basis. All you need is a good enough internet connection and we can have lessons from literrally anywhere in the world. Isn't that amazing!?
HOW MUCH DOES A LESSON COST?
I charge £40/hour, £32,50/45 minutes and £25/half an hour.
These prices are in guidelines with the recommended Musicians Union minimum rate and in the mid-range of the average London rate according to the Incorporate Society of Musicians survey 2019.
There is an increase about every two years. I will inform you before this happens so you know well in advance.
HOW LONG ARE THE LESSONS?
For most students, an hour is a good length, but it varies depending on age and level of the student. For very young children, 30 minutes is a good start and usually we increase this to 45 minutes fairly quickly.
I ask every student (or parent if a student under 18) to sign a contract before we start lessons. I use the Incorporate Society of Musicians Contracts which you can download here:
"It is important to have goals, otherwise we don’t know what to expect from the lessons. These goals could be anything from “I just want to learn guitar for fun” to “I am trying to get into a conservatoire and have music as a profession”. These two goals come with very different responsibilities. In the first case, just picking up the guitar to play through the pieces every day is usually enough, anything above that is great, but not a necessity to reach the goal. The second case requires the student to practice several hours a day. Whatever your goal might be, we try to establish them early on so that we can target our focus on what is needed from you in your own practice time and from me as a teacher when we meet for our lesson."
I started playing recorder when I was 7 and guitar when I turned 9. I studied in the local music school in Stockholm until I started a Specially Designed Music Profile at Södra Latins Upper Secondary School having lessons for Bo Hansson. In 2013, I moved to London and started studying at the Royal College of Music for Gary Ryan, Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell.
At the RCM, my interest for early music grew. Having picked up the lute instrument theorbo studying for Jakob Lindberg during my Bachelor, I started a Master in Performance specialising in Historical Performance. I was lucky to be supported by a Lambert Scholarship and taken in as a Yeoman by The Worshipful Company of Musicians.
I spend a lot of time performing in very varied range of settings, from the more known stage settings playing solo recitals and chamber music concerts, to concerts in period costumes, workshops and performances in schools and large baroque orchestras.
I have taught guitar in London privately, through the music schools Active in Music and The Music House for Children and conducted several music workshops in primary schools around London and Brighton. My students have ranged in both ages and abilities; young children, children with learning disabilities, adult learners (it is never too late!), and more advanced levels.
Outside of music, I enjoy running, a good cup of coffee with friends and family and making furniture and other useful (sometimes not so useful) things out of recycled pallets.
For more info about me as a performer, you are welcome to visit www.jonatanbougt.com
I hold a Master of Performance (Historical Performance) with Distinction and a First Class Bachelor of Music (Honours), both from the Royal College of Music in London.
I am DBS checked and hold Public Liability Insurance.
I am a member of the Incorporate Society of Musicians (ISM).
"Jonatan has been teaching me for 2 years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. He is a very experienced teacher and puts in a countless amount of effort to bring out the best in me. He is one of the most patient teachers I have met, and his kind nature reflects in his teaching. His dedicated nature keeps me motivated to learn and enjoy playing the guitar. Jonatan's clear goal is to make sure his students play the guitar to the best of their ability."
“This was a great aspirational session. The children were exposed to subject-specific vocabulary. An excellent balance between adult and child-led learning.”
London Primary School
"Our son started the guitar at a young age (around 6) with Jonatan who as been an excellent teacher. Jonatan is passionate about music and playing guitar and has been very good into transmitting his love of music to our son. He is very patient and at the same time demanding just enough to make our son learn fast and well.
We would definitely recommend him as a teacher!"