I help guitar players become guitarists.
This guitar site is different, because instead of programming you like a robot, I teach you how to build real, practical skills that stick. I’ll help you become a super effective learner, train your inner ear, and create music you’re actually proud of.
Here’s how it works:
After 19 years of playing guitar in different bands & projects, and 6 years of teaching guitar to beginners and intermediates, I’ve found that these 3 principles are at the core of what separates the solid players from those who are struggling & uninspired:
Build Good Habits to Become an Effective Learner
How often do you play guitar? What do you do when you practice? How do you avoid bad habits? How do you react to mistakes?
The answers to these questions will be the difference between getting good, and quitting.
I believe in learning one skill at a time, and learning one day at a time. Bad habits develop when you try to do too much, too fast.
You can’t pick YouTube videos at random, switch from one thing to another, and hope to make progress. You need a plan and a process.
Many beginning guitar players think they need talent to get good at guitar – they think they’ll either “have it” or not. I believe there’s a guitarist in everyone – but it takes hard work, and a smart approach to practice. Talent is earned.
I won’t claim that this is the “easy way to learn guitar”. You might not find it easy to learn guitar, despite what the mainstream sites and teachers will tell you. You will come across difficulties, and plateaus. It’s how you deal with them that matters most. When you can deal with mistakes in a level-headed & systematic way, learning something difficult becomes fun.
Get my Beginner Guitar Course
Understand How Music Works - Without Getting Too Theoretical
Once you’re playing songs from start to finish, and you have a knack for breaking skills down, it’s time to start learning the basics of theory.
The problem with most theory lessons out there, is that they’re too theoretical. Just because it’s theory, doesn’t mean it can’t be practical.
I’ve done written music theory exams, using standard music notation, and let me tell you that 90% of it is was of no use to me as a guitarist. It’s no good knowing the Circle of Fifths, if you can’t use it for anything.
My lessons go one step further, by applying the theory to real playing & writing situations. Instead of learning facts, you’re learning guitar.
To explain this, let me give you an example:
Instead of just learning that the Minor chord has a lowered 3rd (don’t worry if you’re lost already) It’s useful to see where the 3rd note is on the guitar. It’s also useful to hear how that sounds compared to a Major chord. You’d hear how the minor sounds dark, and the Major sounds bright. Then you’d start playing Minor chords on the guitar, on different strings or in different positions, and finding the 3rd in each one. Then we can turn Minor chords into Major chords, and vice versa.
Even if this went over your head, hopefully you can see that this is way different than learning from academic theory books or whiteboard lectures.
I promise you, when you get into it, theory is fun! With the right approach, learning theory will spark ideas. When you know the rules, you’ll want to know what it sounds like to break them.
Play It By Ear
When you start learning music by ear, here’s what starts to happen:
- You can stop relying on inaccurate TABs or lengthy song tutorials, and start being self-sufficient.
- Since you’re not glued to the page anymore, your performances will instantly improve.
- In the long run, you’ll be much faster at learning songs. Need to learn a song on the fly in the rehearsal room? No problem.
- When a creative idea comes to you, you’ll be able to turn it into music – instead of it getting lost in translation.
- You’ll hear things in music you never heard before, and gain a new appreciation for the art.
- You’ll save money on private lessons & music books (and you’re no longer limited by a teacher or book selection).
- You can start to practice guitar, without your guitar. Mental rehearsal has been proven in studies to reduce the number of mistakes as effectively as real practice. It also stimulates the same parts of the brain that physical practice does.
Playing by ear isn’t just a case of putting on some music and instantly being able to play along. This is a skill in itself, which takes time to develop. But it’s well worth it, and there are things you can do to speed the process up. Not sure where to start? How about my free Ear Training for Guitar online course?
Hi, I’m Chris Morton. I help guitarists find their musical motivation. I live in Leeds, UK, where I’ve taught over 3,000 guitar lessons so far.
As a fairly un-cool kid, the guitar gave me a chance to create a new version of myself, start a band, and make a load of noise.
As a teacher, I can help you understand the science behind motivation, help you rediscover the ‘play’ in practice, and show you how to re-wire your brain to steer around bad habits, intrusive thoughts, and performance anxiety.
That’s just half of it… the internal stuff that most teachers won’t tell you about. Of course, my teaching is also very practical, and although theory has its place, an emphasis is placed on the “doing” part. Like, you know, playing songs, or writing music.
I spent 10 years playing guitar before graduating in 2011 with a degree in Popular Music Studies. This finally allowed me to get a job… making pizza. Then selling computers. Then selling phones, while taking on guitar students part time. Those first lessons were horrible. I didn’t know anything about teaching, and I quickly realised I had a lot to learn.
In 2014, I made the jump to go full-time as a guitar tutor. I’m super grateful to my students. Without them, I’d be back in the pizza kitchen. I work hard for my students, and look forward to every lesson.
My students range from absolute beginners, to players at university. Many of my students have gone on to write & record their own music, perform on stage, or form their own bands. Seeing my students make real progress is what keeps me going.
My love of the guitar has taken me from a small town in South Yorkshire, to countless stages and studios across the UK. My guitar playing has been heard on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, Radio X, an ITV series, and a Netflix series. Past projects include writing, recording & touring with Team Picture, a genre-touring group in Leeds, to ambient tape loop experiments.
I’ve had many guitar teachers over the years, and I still take the occasional lesson myself. In 2020, I’ve been training in Performance Psychology for Educators.
I don’t consider myself an expert and I don’t have all the answers. But I’m happy to share what I’ve learned through 19 years of playing guitar, and 6 years of teaching.