Lessons by Bill "Jag" Jagitsch
No Previous Musical Knowledge Required, No Contracts, No Cancellation Fees
I Also Do LIVE Lessons On the Internet With Skype and Apple's FaceTime Video Conferencing
I've Been Teaching Since 1980
Full hour lessons once a week
Private one-on-one lessons that proceed
at YOUR pace, not classes with many students.
Songs often taught at the first
Songs that YOU want to learn, not what I
think you should learn.
You practice at home, so you're not
paying to practice.
Learn the theory BEHIND the songs
I have never considered myself a "guitar wizard", or one of the greats, but I can help you along on your journey and as we go along together, and help you build a foundation that will last a lifetime. When you learn 3 or 4 ways to make a chord and learn to 'connect the dots", the simplest song can appear to be a masterpiece. It does not take long to finally feel like you are improvising and making your own new arrangement to songs you just started to play or have played for years. I have plenty of tricks and licks, learned from over 40 years of playing virtually every style of music, recording and experimenting that I gladly will pass on to you. You'll hear plenty of stories and songs of how my style developed over the years and I'm sure that I will learn plenty from you as well.
I teach styles from real songs from the first lesson so you won't get discouraged while learning theory. My techniques work hand in hand with professional guitar lessons online. This is an important aspect that many teachers don't realize. I'm not one of those teachers that says you HAVE to do it my way or the highway. However, I feel it IS very important to learn at least basic theory. I teach by rote and chord charts which means you watch me do it and I show you where to put your fingers, just like the masters did many years ago. I was taught this way and it is by far the easiest way to learn as well as improving your memory retention. Many of my students video record sections of my lessons on their iPad or iPhone. This is a tremendous way to archive the lessons for practice during the week to make sure you'˙re playing it right.
I teach how to play in all positions, not just plain ole open chords. This allows you to KNOW what you are playing and is invaluable when playing with other musicians. You won't be lost or feel embarrassed because you'll know what key you're in and you'll be able to play all over the neck. This also helps when you start to compose your own songs. If you only know 5 chords in the open position (you know, the traditional Johnny Cash or Hank Williams chords) you have a very limited palette from which to create. This is not to say that you can't write some great songs with just a couple of chords, but why not have more at your fingertips should you ever need it?
I'm not one of those teachers that sits there for hours as you endlessly fire off one modal scale after another. I'll teach them to you, then let you progress at your pace, using the scales as YOU prefer. From the blues scale to jazz and beyond, you'll have a good knowledge of all of the scales that you'll need. You do your practicing at home rather than pay me to watch you practice.
Practicing is critical for improvement in any new venture, and that especially applies to learning how to play guitar. Many students don't realize that playing guitar is like no other instrument. It can be physically painful, frustrating, slow to show improvement and difficult to remain committed to practice. But never fear! A little practice goes a LONG ways. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that 30 minutes a day is the minimum required time to show improvement. Some people show improvement quicker than others. Do not get discouraged! I was a slow learner and now I'm a teacher so anyone can learn how to play.
If your schedule doesn't allow at least 30 minutes of practice a day, it may be best to wait until you can commit at least that much time before starting on the guitar journey. If you don't practice, not only will improvement slow to a crawl, your fingers will never get calluses which are a necessity to play guitar. The number one reason students get frustrated and quit is because of lack of practice. Once you get past the learning curve, it will start to come together rather quickly. How quickly? It depends. I've had some students take only a few days to take off while others require several weeks before they really start to shine. The hard part is weathering the storm and getting past the initial 'tough period'.
I don't have lesson contracts, I feel that's a little too draconian for such a fun venture as learning how to play guitar. However, if you only want to take lessons for a month at a time, I prefer that you let me know before you start so that I can fill your slot with a new student when the times comes. Because I make a large portion of my income from guitar lessons, this helps me budget my expenses accordingly.
Most of my beginner students take lessons for 1 - 3 years depending on their goals and commitment to practice. That doesn't mean they won't be able to play guitar until three years in! Most are playing simple songs within the first month, however, guitar, unlike other instruments, requires practice, learning and applying your skill set DAILY for optimum results. If you want to learn how to play lead and slide guitar, I have a 12 month and 24 month lesson plan that has worked great since 1980. A large percentage of my students learn many different styles of music, the more you learn, the more you CAN learn:)
I also teach recording, engineering, mixing, live recording, overdubbing, mic placement and compression techniques as well as GarageBand (Apple Macintosh) recording and mastering tutorials.
So you wanna be a rock n roll star? Whether its metal, blues, folk or country, you'll learn the classics. From the bone crunching barre chords of the Ramones to the gentle country influenced fingerings of Neil Young, you'll be prepared to play them all at the campfire and 'amaze your friends.' You tell me what style you want to learn and I'll find songs that fit and teach them to you. I don't want to pick the music because if you don't like the songs I choose, you will have less incentive to practice : ) If you have no idea what style you want to learn, write down a few of your favorite songs or bands before coming in for your first lesson. then I can create a curriculum to help you learn those songs. Please bring a list of songs and artists that you would like to play, this will make for a more interesting and fun experience as I like to get to the songs immediately if possible.
The Small Print
$30 per week (1 hour lesson) prepaid monthly.
NOTE: You still pay the full amount if you cannot make one or more lesson per month. I simply have too many people on my waiting list and weekly lessons are essential to learning guitar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q How often will I come for a lesson?
Once a week for 1 hour. I do not teach 30 minute lessons because over the years I've realized that 30 minutes just isn't enough time to learn anything. You really get your money's worth with hour lessons. NOTE: You still pay the full amount if you cannot make one or more lesson per month. I simply have too many people on my waiting list and weekly lessons are essential to learning guitar.
Please remember that you are obligated to come to your weekly lesson no matter how little you were able to practice the prior week. Like any instrument, dedication, daily practice and weekly lessons are an absolute must to be a happy and successful guitarist. If you feel you cannot make the weekly lesson commitment, it may be best to wait until you can.
Q What is your teaching regimen?
I start out teaching chords and try to get to simple songs in a couple of lessons. It's up to YOU to put the practice time in so that you can play full songs as quickly as possible.
After you learn a few simple strumming songs, I move on to more advanced rhythm playing as well as lead playing if you're so inclined. I outline the theory as I teach so you know the 'why's and wherefore's of what you're doing. I give you weekly lessons to practice at home as part of your daily practice regimen. The more you practice, the faster you'll progress and the more fun you'll have!
Q What days/hours do you teach?
I can most likely fit you in if there's not a waiting list. Just give me a call to see what times are available.
Q What styles of music can you teach?
Rock, blues, jazz, country, metal, improv, acoustic finger style blues, slide guitar, open tuned blues guitar.
Q Where do the lessons take place?
My house in the Argenta Historical District of North Little Rock.
Q How much do lessons cost?
$30 per week, one hour lesson once a week prepaid monthly regardless of how many lessons you cancel.
Q Is there a registration or enrollment fee?
Q Will I need a book?
Not unless you wish to buy one. I usually provide all teaching materials.
Q How do I set up a lesson time?
Q What is your cancellation policy?
It is VERY IMPORTANT that each student understands the cancellation policy. All professional music teachers must enforce their lesson policies in order to earn a living. It's simple: you pay for four lessons per month regardless of how many lessons you are able to attend. Your lesson time slot is reserved for you and ONLY you.
Please recognize that when you miss a lesson, the teacher precludes the possibility of earning income (from another student) during your lesson time because it was specifically reserved for you. Unlike a hair salon, music teachers do not get "walk-ins".
Occasionally, it may be necessary for the teacher to cancel a lesson in order to travel to a playing engagement. Lessons that the teacher cancels however, may be credited to subsequent months.
Q What Will Happen During Each Guitar Lesson?
The primary areas of study in guitar include: developing appropriate guitar playing technique (the physical mechanics of playing the guitar), scales, chords and improvisation, and learning about music analysis theory (how the music is put together). Many guitar teachers will have other topics that they wish to discuss, but the topics described above are the most fundamental. Usually each guitar lesson will consist of some time spent in most of those areas. If a student is preparing for a public concert, then more time might be spent on learning a specific piece of guitar music. I use my own materials and give them to you free of charge.
Q How Do I Practice For my Lessons?
What should you do in between your guitar lessons? Most people know that if you take any sort of music lessons, you must practice. The same is true for guitar lessons. The amount of time that should be devoted to practicing for guitar lessons, can vary depending upon the age of the student, the difficulty of the guitar music being studied, the goals the student wants to achieve through taking guitar lessons, and the requirements the guitar teacher places on each guitar lesson. Most guitar teachers expect beginning guitar students to practice AT LEAST 30 minutes (preferably one hour) each day (5-7 days a week).
The monthly lesson fee is payable at the first lesson of each month. If you forget to bring a payment on the due date, please mail your payment or bring it by in person later. I allow 3 business days beyond the due date to receive your payment. If your payment is not received (by mail or in person) in 3 business days, I will assume you have decided to discontinue your lessons and make your time slot available to any new incoming students.
My first band was in 1980, we played 70's and 80's rock n roll. I've also played improvisational rock (Frank Zappa), hard rock, electronic rock, Pink Floyd style rock and 80's new wave music. I'm a two time winner of the solo/duo category of the Arkansas River Blues SocietyBlues Challenge, three time participant in the International Blues Challenge,the largest blues society in the world .
My band "Bluesboy Jag and the Juke Joint Zombies play the legendary King Biscuit Blues Festival and other festivals in the south. I also play my cigar box guitar every year on the Arkansas Times Blues Bus to the King Biscuit Blues Festival and Juke Joint Festivals. I'm currently playing jump, delta and country blues exclusively.
I have studied the blues greats such as T Bone Walker, BB King, Eric Clapton, RL Burnside, Bukka White, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Mississippi Fred MacDowell, Son House and others for the past 20 years in an effort to become a traditional bluesmaster. I play all styles of blues, from the jazzy T Bone Walker styles (Stormy Monday) to the raw, funky stylings of hill country blues. I also enjoy playing finger style acoustic country blues, and blues rock. I currently play Fender acoustic and electric guitars and cigar box guitars with metal, glass and porcelain slides.
I use my fingers as the masters did, occaisonally using finger picks for those occasions when more volume is needed. Ialso play electric blues harmonica (bues harp). I use the famous Shure Green Bullet harmonica mic and a small amplifier.
See my cigar box guitar page!Hand made electric guitars made of real cigar boxes!
"I took some online lessons with JAG via Skype after seeing a couple of his instructional videos on youtube. I am a complete beginner. My interest was in learning hill country blues, which JAG knows inside and out. I found JAG's lessons very helpful and rewarding, and definitely got the most out of the time we spent. I would highly recommend JAG to anyone wanting to learn Mississippi hill country blues or related styles."
- Phillip Wharton
"Bill's teaching has given me a firm foundation and understanding of the instrument, how I apply to it, and it to me."
"In a nutshell...he's helped me to discover who I am as a musician. Thanx Bill!"
- Ted Thorsen
"Jag helped my son get started learning guitar and learning songs. He has the knowledge to teach songs in an easy, understandable way."
- Melissa Francis
"Jag teaches in a fun way, explaining what he's teaching so you can apply it to other styles."
- Duane Nelson
"I like taking lessons from Jag because he actually performs what he teaches."
- Drew Buffington
"I take away a ton of information from every lesson, Jag knows his scales!"
- Chris Liatsos
"Jag knows his stuff! I started out a total 100% beginner and within 2 weeks I was playing Tom Petty songs."
- Tom Bradley
"I had been playing on and off for years but never really understood a lot of things about playing guitar. Jag helped me whittle it down to a simple procedure."
- David Moore
"I wanted to learn acoustic blues and slide guitar and never could find a teacher that REALLY knew how to do it until I met Jag."
- David Wojcik
"Jag started out teaching me the basics then we moved on to theory and simple strumming songs, now I'm learning how to play lead guitar and blues and jazz."
- Cindy Newton
"I had been playing guitar in bands for years but really needed scale training and Jag helped me get a handle on it."
- Jon Blondell
"My son had been bugging me to find a guitar teacher and after several months of going from teacher to teacher we found Jag. He's formed a folk rock band with his friends and still taking lessons three years later."
- Nancy Greene
H A P P Y
A M M I N G ! ! Videos of Me Audio Recordings of Me Competitions/Awards
H A P P Y ..J A M M I N G ! !
Videos of Me
Audio Recordings of Me
Annual International Blues Challenge 2009, 2010 (Bluesboy Jag), 2014 (Bluesboy Jag & the Juke Joint Zombies), Memphis, Tn
Bands I've Been In
I've also written and recorded music for plays, recorded in the studio for various bands, written and recorded over 50 full length CD's