Matt O began guitar lessons with Ken after seeing him perform at a local venue. He took lessons at Littleton Guitar School for over four years and is now playing rhythm and lead guitar with the band “The Duvets”.
Matt started off like every other new musician – lacking confidence, wondering if he would ever “get good”, and afraid to play in front of people. With Ken’s help, Matt has conquered all of these feelings and enjoys his status as a “musician in a band”, and loves playing the guitar! Here is an interview with Matt and his experiences at Littleton Guitar School.
LGS: How did you view guitar lessons before you started taking lessons with Littleton Guitar School?
MO: My only prior experience with guitar lessons was music class in junior high school. We followed the Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1 page for page. Our teacher was elderly and not particularly into it. He’d halfheartedly lead the class on his nylon string guitar and yell at students when they got bored and started to talk. I think we made it about ¾ through the book before we ran out of time that year. It felt like the “wrong” kind of instruction. It taught us how to follow the exercises in a book as a group, but it left me feeling like I didn’t know anything about actually playing guitar.
LGS: How has that perception about guitar lessons changed?
MO: My experience in junior high wasn’t very inspiring. I quit playing guitar for many years. Once I got older and decided to have another go at it, I chose to find a teacher who was actually a player, unlike my teacher in 7th grade. Being taught by someone who has ability and passion has made a huge difference. It gave me the ability to see the long view – where I was going and what I wanted as a player. I’ve always wanted to play and sing in a band.
LGS: Name 3 things you understand or can do now, that you didn’t understand or couldn’t do before you began guitar lessons with Littleton Guitar School:
- I know the neck well. I can quickly find the major and pentatonic scales in multiple places on the neck when I need them. I can quickly find multiple chord inversions up and down the neck. I can always find a way to play our songs with different chord variations or different rhythmic elements than our other guitarist, which adds a touch of dynamics to our playing.
- I have gotten to be pretty good at figuring things out by ear and my understanding of keys.
- I can finally play and sing in front of other people.
LGS: What is your favorite thing about the guitar lessons?
MO: Being inspired. Seeing how the tools we’re taught can be put into use. Learning new things.
LGS: If you were to recommend me to a friend who wanted to learn to play the guitar, what would you tell them?
MO: I’ve done that several times. Early on when a friend asked me about lessons I sent a YouTube clip of you playing a complicated piece and said “That’s my teacher”. He wrote back, “That’s who I want teaching me guitar” and he signed up. I would also tell them they should have a certain level of commitment because they will get pushed and they need to be prepared to put in a good amount of effort. There’s no coasting in Littleton Guitar School.
LGS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MO: When I started lessons I knew I wanted it, but I was really unsure of myself and had a hard time playing in front of anyone but the cat. I’ve now played in 3 bands since taking lessons. My current band is an absolute blast. I look forward to our weekly practices and gigs. We recently played The Soiled Dove and had a great reception. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by talented and experienced musicians. I like to think they see that I have something to offer and that I want to learn. Those are all skills that came out of guitar lessons. Having something to contribute musically has finally helped me look at myself as a musician – although I’ll always be a student!