Karl Garrett, Guitarist and Teacher

Over 40 years of musical excellence

Karl Garrett, Guitarist and Teacher

Over 40 years of musical excellence

Karl Garrett, Guitarist and Teacher

Over 40 years of musical excellence

Karl Garrett, Guitarist and Teacher

Over 40 years of musical excellence

Two young women enjoying playing a guitar.
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Do You Really Need a Teacher?

No. There are now many books, DVDs, and online resources for learning about guitar playing. Some of these are excellent for gaining insight into differing techniques and approaches. I am developing a resource page listing many of these. The problem for the student is that he/she must wade through these materials, spending much time trying to figure out which approach will work best. A good teacher will have done this work for them, and can confidently lead the student through the learning maze.

Everyone is different in body-size and shape, hand-dexterity, size and strength, not to mention natural quickness, interests, and dare I say, that almost indefinable word, talent. A good teacher will recognize these differences and adjust the course accordingly. I pride myself in being such a teacher.

Are You a Beginner?

You can be confident that you will be learning the most up-to-date yet proven techniques:
  • We will work together to ensure that you play with a beautiful tone.
  • You will learn how to read music. This is essential to being a complete guitarist, even if your goals are limited. It is about the only way that someone, without an "ear for music" can still learn to play.
  • You will start playing interesting music right away.
  • We'll work together to strengthen both hands to minimize mistakes from the beginning.
  • You will learn to play a carefully selected and graded (just for you) sequence of music designed to get you playing well as quickly as possible.
  • As you progress, you will be able to play in many styles so you can learn songs and other music you enjoy listening to.

Are You More Advanced?

I can help you:
  • eliminate those annoying squeaks and buzzes.
  • develop the ability and endurance to handle long barring passages.
  • solve problems of nails that aren't perfect.
  • get help with awkward fingerings.
  • with interpretation and the development of your own personal style.
  • work on preparing for performance.

I don't have a guitar.

You can rent a guitar to take home with you at minimal cost. If you decide you would like to continue with your lessons, you may apply the rent paid to the purchase of a new instrument. .

How to Select a Teacher.

If you live too far from me to commute for lessons, please read the page on how to select a teacher.

A little about me.

I have played the guitar professionally for over 50 years and have been teaching classical and jazz guitar for more than 40 years. I had the privilege of studying with the master teacher/guitarist/author, William Leavitt, while earning a degree in music composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee I also studied with Jack Peterson. Both of these gentlemen were heads of the Berklee guitar department, and Mr. Leavitt's three-volume book, A Modern Method for Guitar, is still acknowledged to be one of the finest jazz guitar methods ever written and is used, even after all these years, at many of our finest learning institutions.

For several years, I also studied with the renowned, virtuoso classical guitarist, Vincenzo Macaluso. In my younger days I participated in many master classes including one with Andres Segovia. Even with the knowledge gained from these great teachers, I've learned most by working through the years with so many students (over 2000 in all) as together we achieved their musical goals.

I have played professionally a wide range of music, from country in the 50s, the hardest rock in the 60s, and jazz and classical since then. I am past president of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society and am an active member of the American String Teacher's Association. I spend most of my time teaching. I've worked with as many as 70 private students per week, and students stay with me an average of four years, which is unheard of in the world of guitar lessons.

I use the most up-to-date and intuitive approaches, geared individually for each student. I’m proud of the many students that I have helped develop into fine musicians, and I look forward to talking with you about your aspirations and goals.