Warning – Take Care of Your Hands

Our hands are important in every day life but they are even more important to us as guitar players. As a teacher I get asked questions all the time like “are my fingers too fat/big?”, “are my hands too small?”, “should I do stretching exercises?”, “should I warm up before playing?”… Let me address the […]

An Open Mind…

It’s seems in this day and age people are so polarised in their views. Be it sport, politics, religion, music, you’re either on their team or not. It’s always been the case I guess but it appears to be more prevalent now. Maybe the rise of social media magnifies it more. I had a couple […]

Continuous Growth as a Guitar Player

I have many people come to me for lessons with the goal of improving their guitar playing. They already play at some level and would like to get better. It’s a noble thought, great idea, a good thing to do but not always so easy. The problem is that it means change and that can […]

A Cautionary Tale

I recently watched a video documentary about the band ‘Badfinger'(see link at bottom of page), one of the more tragic stories in rock’n’roll’s chequered history. ‘Badfinger’ were the first band signed to Apple Records, the ‘Beatles’ own label and looked set for a long and successful career, but it wasn’t to be. A mix of appalling […]

Beware – this could damage your guitar…

This is only a short post but very important for all those who value their guitars. I have an acoustic guitar that I used for years, mainly to play around the house and for teaching. I wasn’t doing any acoustic gigs at the time so I used to leave it out on a stand. Sounds […]

The 2 most important guitar players of all time…

…and I bet they’re not who you think they are. When we think of the great guitar players the names Hendrix, Clapton, Beck and Page easily fall off the tongue. If we’re into country guitar it maybe Atkins, Reed, Burton or Lee. Thinking back it could be the Kings or T Bone, for the jazzers Django, […]

Do Something, Do…

You might not know this but then again…you just might. I am a bit of a fan of Australian Football, fan = fanatic, I guess that’s about right. One of the icons of the game, John Kennedy Snr. made a speech during the 1975 grand final that has become immortalised. The key message of the speech was ‘Do something, […]

Do you need to read music?

I’m often asked about the importance of learning to read music. Is learning to read music important? Do I need to read music to learn guitar? Will reading make me a better guitar player? Like many things in life the answer is not so simple, there are a few things that need to be taken into […]

The Search for Tone

One of the most frustrating things about being a guitar player, working with a guitar player or living with a guitar player is the constant search for the “holy grail”…TONE. It not only drives us crazy as guitar players but effects everyone else we draw into our vortex. Don’t mention the “T” word. If you […]

Why the ear is your most important tool…

Great music educators and players Leni Tristano and Charlie Banacos believe that having a good ear is the most important tool a musician can possess. In this article I’m going to dispel a few myths around tone deafness and perfect pitch and tell you what a ‘good ear’ is and why you need it. Am […]

What is the ‘CAGED’ system?

The ‘CAGED’ system is a way of visualising the guitar that gives you a point of reference for chords and scales in any position. The system  breaks the guitar down into 5 positions built on the basic (cowboy) chord shapes C, A, G, E and D. It connects the chords in that order as you […]

A bit of music…

Here are a few clips that I’ve enjoyed watching recently. The great Tommy Emmanuel with John Knowles, Tommy just loves what he does and it comes through in his playing and in his life. If you are lucky enough to know or have met Tommy his personality is infectious and he has time for everyone, […]

Another Year…

Well, as we come to the end of 2012 here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The plan had been to get some video and interviews up in 2012 and looking back at some of my notes it seems I have missed a few deadlines. Where did the time go? Promise […]

Can you help me with this

I’ve recently added a new Facebook page ‘Guitar Lessons with Ross Helmot’ and am trying to get as many likes as I can to build the profile. So if you like the lessons you have had or are having with me could you click on the like button on the home page of my web […]

So…where did rock come from?

One thing’s for sure, it didn’t just arrive with Bill Haley and the Comets ‘Rock around the Clock’. The roots of rock can be found in the Mississippi delta region of America with the birth of the blues. It’s really worth understanding how this music evolved and the key players as you work to develop […]

Just get out and play…

No matter what level you are at as a guitar player there is enormous value to be gained in sitting down and playing with others. A few of the crew I teach are not confident they know enough and would be embarrassed to play with someone else but the truth is a lot of learning […]

Re:Generation Music Project (2012)

It’s always good to keep an open mind as a musician and the Re:Generation Music Project gives an intriguing insight into the vision of 5 DJ’s each given a style of music to work with, Rock, Jazz, Classical, Country and R&B. Premier, Mark Ronson, Skrillex, Pretty Lights and The Crystal Method remix, recreate and re-imagine […]

It’s so easy…

I had a call during the week from a girl wanting me to teach her how to play a song. She didn’t want to go through all the “other stuff” as she called it and had a month to get the chords and changes together for a special event. Now as you all know, it’s […]

The most important lesson you will ever learn?

If this is not the most important lesson you need to learn in any endeavour then I’m not sure what is. In my teaching, studies and life I find every time I come undone more often than not it’s the truth that’s in this lesson that I haven’t held to. In this fast paced life […]

Back Teaching for 2012

I have started back teaching this week. If you haven’t already spoken to me and want to get started again with lessons drop me a line or give me a call. Love to hear from you. I’m sure some of you will appreciate the cartoon. Cheers, Ross