A lot is. But you often have to dig around, flit from one site to another... very time consuming, often frustrating, and sometimes resulting in more questions than answers. Youtube’s an excellent resource but there’s a mixture of the good and bad, the accurate and the inaccurate. As for learning classical guitar via youtube... that would certainly be a challenge.
The tuition I provide is highly individualised, often with a considerable amount of preparatory work.
For pupils who are interested in music theory I will go through a harmonic analysis of a piece or song e.g. use of ‘extended roman’, lettering to indicate chord inversions (better known as ‘slash chords’ to rock players).
If you’re a rock guitarist then there are a host of youtube videos showing exactly where to put fingers on the fretboard to play such and such a guitar solo, and there’s no doubt that you could learn a lot aurally and technically, memorising solo after solo by rote. But a good tutor should be able to offer far more, for example: instruct you as to how guitar solos relate to scales, arpeggios, introduce you to other styles, or other stylistic mannerisms such as flavouring your blues playing with some jazz. Learning favourite guitar solos will certainly help a player develop their own style of playing but it’s only a small part of the story.
I do have pupils who come to me with just such a request. I provide lyric sheets with the chord changes written above the words, and separate fingerboard sheets showing both the ‘correct’ chords as well as alternative versions to promote a spirit of musical adventure and help develop a visual knowledge of the fingerboard. Learning music theory’s not mandatory.
You may contact me via the contact page on this website or phone me.
Learning to read the music doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop the ability to try to fathom out by ear what you hear on a recording. In fact concentrating too much on looking at the notes on paper (reading music) is not going to help develop your aural skill. Too much reliance on TAB also results in stifling any ability to ‘play by ear’.
As for the advantages (of music reading/theory), there are several:
• Access to music courses to which, without any music reading ability and sufficient knowledge of theory, you may be denied. In the case of young rock guitarists this happens all too often.
• You’ll gain more respect, in the wider world (beyond the confines of guitar aficionados) as a serious musician.
• Playing from TAB is great but in terms of any long term development as a musician it’s a bit of blind alley.
A study of harmony (which I introduce to pupils quite early on) provides you with an overall understanding of how chords are constructed, with the result that your chord dictionary pretty much becomes obsolete because you’re now developing an understanding of where on the fretboard each note lies, and how those notes combine to form a multitude of different sounding chords. You still have the option of visual perception/chord shapes but acquiring a knowledge of theory has huge benefits for the aspiring guitarist, not least of which is that you’re no longer restricted to the narrow confines of guitar TAB and chord shapes but can now see how all the apparently random threads that mysteriously produce music actually link together, whatever the style of music you prefer, and irrespective of the instrument you play. Not only that……you’ll become a far more proficient and confident player (although you’ll still need to set aside some time for practice).
The quickest answer is that ‘harmony’ is a more academic term for chords.
I can give examples of topics, pieces, songs that I’ve covered/analysed, but lessons differ according to individual pupils. Over the last year or so songs/pieces that pupils have asked me to look at have included those by:
Django Reinhardt, Martin Taylor, Paul Weller, Jake Bugg,, Miles Davis, Bacharach & David, Cole Porter, My Chemical Romance, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Spandau Ballet, John Mayer, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mumford & Sons, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Adele, Dire Straits, Chuck Berry, The Kinks, Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins, Fratellis, The Killers, Randy Rhoads, Gary Moore, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, U2..... and many more.
On the classical guitar front composers have included:
Tarrega, Jobim, Garoto, Duke Ellington, Manuel Ponce, Piazzolla, Antonio Lauro, Ernesto Lecuona, Villa-Lobos.
In the case of classical guitar pupils who are entering performance grade exams, the lessons will be mainly focussed on material pertinent to those exams.
I also arrange pop/rock songs for classical or fingerstyle guitar - again at no extra cost. The choice of song is determined by the pupil. Most songs can be arranged for solo guitar – Sinatra (Frank and/or Nancy), Spice Girls, 70’s Genesis, Beach Boys, Byrds...
Yes. I do enter pupils for classical guitar grade exams (Trinity). My pupils always achieve a high score - usually a distinction - as I make sure they are sufficiently prepared and confident before entering them.
Studying classical guitar does require a lot of enthusiasm and of course, practice time working on the material. But if you like the sound of a classical guitar the more you play the more you'll enjoy it.