Teaching has been a big part of my musical activities for the last 17 years and I've been privileged to work with a rich variety of private students, schools and workshop groups.

Enabling students to get to grips with new skills, techniques and ideas has its own specific demands and rewards and I've found that a patient, friendly, accommodating manner and a keen sensitivity to each individual's musical and learning preferences have helped me to help others achieve their dreams and ambitions!


I provide lessons in the following areas:

Acoustic, Electric, Classical and Bass Guitar.

Improvisation, Theory, Songwriting and Composition.

Stagecraft, Instrument Maintenance and Music Production.

Some FAQs:

What qualifications, experience and professional affiliations do you have?
I graduated from Dartington College of Arts with a BA Hons degree in Music in 1998 and have been teaching both privately and in schools ranging from one-to-one or shared lessons to larger groups and workshops ever since. From 2008, until relocating to Carmarthenshire in the summer of 2013, I also worked for Wiltshire Music Service teaching guitar in up to 16 schools per week.


As a performer I have vast experience playing in pop/rock/blues/soul/funk bands, classical ensembles, small and large-scale jazz ensembles, solo acoustic guitar, accompanying singers, folk acts, theatre productions...and more! Having such a diverse performance background is a hugely valuable resource when teaching and I can help aspiring performers with everything from the basics of stagecraft to choosing good instrument and equipment sounds and working with other musicians.


I'm a member of both the Musicians Union and the Registry of Guitar Tutors.


Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Yes, recently updated in November 2013. I have also completed the Foundation Level Child Protection Training course (last updated July 2012).


What styles do you teach?
Classical, rock, pop and metal in their various forms, blues, jazz, funk, country, folk and world music.
If there's a specialist style you'd like to learn that isn't listed just get in touch and I'll be happy to discuss your needs.

What ages and ability levels do you teach?
I teach both children and adults from complete beginners through to advanced students and aspiring professionals.
While there is no upper age limit, I've found that children below the age of around 6 or 7 can find the guitar a really tough challenge! However, I have had success with pupils as young as 5, especially when incorporating other musical activities such as percussion, singing and keyboards. Parents of younger children are more than welcome to get in touch to discuss the various options for their child's musical development.


What do lessons cover?
Lessons can include technique, rhythm, lead-playing, songs, reading (notation, tablature, chord charts etc), improvisation, composition/songwriting, theory, exam preparation, backing tracks, recording or anything else you'd like help with.

Will there be a lot of theory?
The amount of theory and how it's approached in lessons can be tailored to your own learning style and I've had many years of experience and success helping students get to grips with just enough to suit their needs and, most importantly, apply it to their playing straight away.


Can I take exams?
Yes you can! I have an excellent track record in preparing students for taking grade exams with almost all achieving passes with Merit or Distinction.

Taking grade exams is entirely optional
but interested students can choose to prepare for grades one to eight or a diploma in classical, acoustic, electric or bass guitar disciplines from those offered by RGT, Trinity, LCM, Rockshool or ABRSM.

The variety of syllabuses available now opens up pathways to formal qualifications and structured progress to students with all manner of learning and musical preferences like never before. As well as traditional exams involving scales and sightreading there are now options for taking Performance-only qualifications or even joining forces with players of other instruments and taking a Band Performance exam.


Where do you teach?
For one-to-one lessons and small groups I teach at my home in a lovely rural location just outside Bancyfelin near Carmarthen with good access to the A40. The studio is well-equipped with learning resources, digital recording facilities, wifi and plenty of space for parking.

Larger group lessons and workshops can take place in hired spaces such as village halls or theatres. I'm always on the lookout for suitable venues so if you know of one in your area get in touch!

When do you teach?
I work full-time as a musician and tutor so I'm available to teach most of the time. Most students book lessons during mornings, afternoons and evenings on weekdays. Weekends may already be booked for workshops or group lessons but I'm always happy to receive enquiries.

How much do you charge?
Tuition fees are based on an hourly rate of 24 and lesson-lengths can be booked in multiples of 15 or 20 minutes: 15mins = 6, 20mins = 8, 30mins = 12, 45mins = 18 and so on.
Hour-long and 30-minute lessons are the most popular but parents of younger children might prefer them to have 15 or 20 minutes whereas older, advanced students working towards career qualifications or performances can opt for 2 or more hours.


What about shared lessons?
There's no extra fee for shared lessons up to a maximum of three students.
Four or more students can share lessons based on a fee of 28 per hour and courses or workshops for larger groups are priced to include costs such as travel, venue-hire and materials.


Do you offer any discounts?
Yes, I offer two promotions as listed below:
Discount for pre-paid block bookings of five or more hours: 10% (for example, ten 30-minute lessons would be discounted to 108 instead of the full price of 120).
Referral Scheme: Get an hour of free tuition if you refer a friend for lessons and they book five hours worth of tuition (either pre-paid or pay-as-they-go).


How often should I have lessons?
As little or often as you like, although I do make the following recommendations:
Beginner and intermediate students (or advanced players tackling new skills) will make the best progress with ongoing weekly lessons (even if you haven't practised!) as momentum in learning is more important than just the amount of time spent practising
.
Advanced students with well-established practice habits, or active performers, might find weekly lessons unnecessary and opt for fortnightly, monthly or just one-off lessons.
Exam candidates or extra-keen learners are welcome to book more than one lesson in a given week although I'd recommend allowing a reasonable amount of practice time in between.

What's your policy on cancelling lessons?
Please give at least 24-hours notice if you need to cancel a lesson, so I can rearrange my work schedule to cover the loss, or expect to pay for the lesson. However, I'd much rather avoid charging people for lessons they don't have so, if you do need to cancel at short notice, I'll always offer any other available slots that week at no extra cost.

Alex Keay
                Tuition, Performance, Composition, Recording