Private Lessons

Ainslie.Kerrville.RHandWEBPrivate lessons in acoustic guitar, slide guitar, old-time banjo and fiddle, or voice can be arranged either in person, or via Skype.

When I am not on the road, I teach out of my studio in Brattleboro, Vermont.

When on tour, I also am happy to teach private lessons, when the schedule allows it.

Use the form below to contact me to talk over your musical goals and to arrange an appropriate lesson.

–Scott Ainslie

Skype Lessons

Seeing and being seen is critical to the efficient transfer of the handed-knowledge of playing an instrument.

Private lessons facilitated by Skype are a useful, cost-effective way to move your playing forward.

Skype sessions last up to an hour.
One lesson: $65
Three lessons: $150

Pay for Skype lessons via our shopping cart and Paypal.

Contact me via the form below or phone me at 802 257-7391 to discuss the content for our sessions and to schedule a lesson.

Handed Knowledge

Making music is an extremely physical endeavor. It is handed knowledge in three ways:  it is handed down to us from other players; each hand has specialized work to do; and how you use your hands and body can make or break you.

Working with instructional DVDs, tablature, YouTube videos, and live performances are all valuable tools for pursuing a particular style or song. You watch them. But no one is looking back at you. You aren’t getting feedback from a teacher who is looking at your hands and listening to how and what you play with the express goal of making it easier and stronger.

A great deal of what’s important about the traditional styles and techniques I teach came to me when I was sitting with senior musicians, seeing how old men and women made these sounds.

Hearing a sound is critical; seeing how it’s made can open new vistas.

Teaching Music

In teaching situations, as I attend to what is being played, I also diagnose how a sound is being made – how you are addressing the instrument and the music at hand. Body, hand, and finger mechanics will either speed or impede your progress.

As a teacher, one of my strengths involves breaking new material and new techniques down into digestible pieces and relating them to what you know. We will essentially be building a bridge to get you from what you know now to what you want to know; from what you play now to what you want to play.

In general, I tend to teach technique that can be applied to more than just one song, one style, or one artist’s body of work. Learning how and why something works allows you to recycle that knowledge in other contexts.

When a student requests particular tune or song that I play – whether from Robert Johnson, David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Blake, my original arrangements and songs, or traditional pieces – I use the requested piece to extend their understanding of the music and the instrument. Recyclable knowledge is the key.

I also have found it to be very useful to teach new techniques in the context of a song you already know and play. Rather than try to introduce both a new technique and a new piece of music at the same time, it is far more efficient to teach and learn within an existing guitar arrangement that you already know.

Within your accompaniment, we’ll look for variations and musical options/techniques that will deepen and strengthen your understanding of the instrument and the music’s impact on listeners.

I developed a week long class on this model for the Swannanoa Gathering. Over the years, it’s proven to be a popular and effective strategy.

See descriptions of other guitar workshop offerings.

Use the Email Scott button below to arrange a private lesson.

Use Booking Inquiries to arrange a workshop when Scott is on tour in your area.

Email Scott

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