George Chen

George C.

Birmingham, AL
Teaching Locations:
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Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
As with any instrument or art, you have to start somewhere and put work into. There are no shortcuts. However, a good instructor can quickly recognize what you wish to learn, zone in on those areas, and most importantly allow you the desire to keep play more. This type of guidance is the “shortcut”. For myself, I have 18+ years playing electric/acoustic guitar I have also attended Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA playing with other musicians and learning from the best instructors.

Beginner level: we have to start with positioning of you fret and pick hand. You can change a bit of this up later. To start, I might hear you play something: one note, a melody, or a riff just to see where you’re at. Starting from scratch? That’s perfectly fine.

We will work on two aspects: working towards playing single note melodies and strumming/learning basic chords. I would encourage learning the latter as pretty much all contemporary songs can be accompanied by rhythm guitar. Changing chords, right hand motion, coordination, etc. we will patiently cover that. Eventually, if you haven’t already, we’ll learn some simple songs just off of playing chords. As for playing single notes and fills the job is to make each note sound clean with good positioning from both hands. With a better sense of timing you will let the melody “flow”. If you are ready, why not? Let’s learn a simple solo(s)!

There will be some basic music theory and I do want to incorporate a few things. Since we are starting to play melodies I can definitely show you a Major or minor scale but I would much rather have you get the pentatonic and it’s variations, the blues scale down and start visualizing shapes (as you have been doing with chords). Also, as a study of structure in song, a most important way of learning is getting the 12 bar blues down. These are used universally, not difficult, and great fun study on combining chords and melodies.

If you are playing electric guitar and have an amplifier, you probably know a clean sound from having distortion. We can work with both.

After playing enough you’ll discover your fret hand has strengthened and muscle memory is developing. We might try some bends, vibrato, and some other technical jargon before moving to the next level. I would like to end by combining strumming and short melodies together and learning a few songs.


Intermediate level: things start to get interesting. You’ve learn your basic chords, both hands have have a stronger grasp at their jobs, working together, you can perform a bit for your family and friends, and you might have already written some stuff of your own. Now let’s go deeper with different moods and more techniques that will start enabling you to create your own style.

Techniques galore. I will show you how to bend strings which raises a note in the same position, vibrato, hammer-ons, pull-offs, sliding to change position, trills, prebends, harmonics, economy picking, double stops...alright not everything has to be mastered but you will see them done and these are to develop your style. There’s absolutely no problem picking and choosing what you like and what works for you. If you hear a solo and do not know how it’s done, it might be explained here. By the way, the pentatonic scale (basic position) is perfect for learning these.

Rhythmic strumming, even just picking one note. I cannot emphasize the importance of staying in time. There are many, many patterns and we will work on them. This is a good time to say invest in a metronome if you haven’t already.

Scale patterns will be learned as we go along. These are not set in stone as we will be moving positions and the same scales can be played the same in many positions. I will also show you patterns to practice the chosen scales to really solidify finger dexterity as well as coordination with your picking hand. By the way, look up the “7 modes” and by the way, Metronome.

If you are playing an acoustic guitar, everything above applies (especially a metronome), however, you would be playing in a different style and several techniques are applicable but not used often. We will be working more rhythmically. Also, if your style is fingerpicking I can definitely show you basics and patterns (Travis style, etc.) but I admit this is not my strongpoint.

Now the chords. Chords have “colors” that change the mood by changing the fingering around and moving positions. There are infinite progressions in music theory. We will go over the most popular ones and definitely learn the Dominant 7 versions at least as their function in a progression is vital.

At this point I would be open to whatever you would like to learn or any guitar “tricks” you want to know (that I know). Everything above is what I would call “requirements” but this your time and anything up to this level I am open and glad to teach. Thank you for looking at my profile and I hope you choose me as your teacher!

About George C.

Hi, my name is George. I am available to teach electric or acoustic guitar and bass either at my place or yours.

I have played both electric and acoustic guitar for 18+ now and attended Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA where I played with many talented individuals and learned from some of the best teachers.

Along the way I kept my bass guitar on my side and became proficient in the instrument as well.

I love playing several styles and my favorites are classic rock, hard rock, and blues.

I have taught guitar before but I found my knack for teaching by instructing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, another one of my hobbies.

I would love to teach guitar again not just because of the new knowledge I’ve attained but I just like it and learned I know how to be in tune with what a student needs at the moment.

Reviews

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Norm W.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

George was so patient with me. I knew absolutely nothing about playing guitar and I learned exactly what I needed. He gave me the confidence I needed to learn the guitar.George is an amazing guitar player and I feel fortunate to have him as my instructor. I loved my lesson and can't wait for the next.

Posted Oct 9, 2019

Photos & Videos

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Experience

Line cook/chef/prep
Aug 2019 - Present

Nabeel’s

Wait Staff
Jan 2009 - Dec 2009

The Cafe at Bottega

I’ve had many jobs to make ends meet. This was easily my favorite job working for one of the finest restaurants in Birmingham!

Education

Guitar Performance
Mar 2010 - Mar 2012

Musicians Institute

Marketing
Jan 2006 - May 2009

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Languages

Mandarin

Fluent / Native Proficiency

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