Slash. Eric Clapton. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Jimmy Page. Jimi Hendrix.
We’ve all got our guitar heros. And we can intimately recall their screaming solos, or the rich textures they could so effortlessly lay down as they led their bands through set after set of pure energy.
And we’d all love to be able to do it ourselves. To get onto a stage, plug in a Stratocaster, and shred.
Learning guitar, however, comes with some nasty reality checks. For one, no one tells you that learning the instrument will work and stretch muscles you didn’t even know you had. Your fingers will be tender. And you’ve got to practice shifting grips and chords for hundreds of hours before you can feel completely comfortable just chording through a basic pop tune.
And there’s only one person who’s going to make the difference between you sticking with it or just giving up after 2-3 weeks: your teacher.
A successful guitar teacher understands and still feels that excitement when they play through an amazing rock or pop tune, and knows how to transfer that excitement to their students.
An effective guitar teacher remembers the physical challenges of the instrument, and has strategies to help students stay motivated even when things are feeling hard.
And a great guitar teacher isn’t afraid to share the tricks and strategies that they’ve worked out themselves, if it means that a student leaves inspired again.
At Merriam School of Music, we’re lucky to count some of Toronto’s finest guitarists amongst our teachers, like Rob Tardik, Lee Wallace, or Nathan Hiltz. Check them, and a few more out below!