Tuition: guitar & global music


Searching for fresh inspiration? Wondering how to ‘break through’ to higher levels of expression, technique, and creative purpose? Intensify your six-string imagination by exploring global musical ideas – I teach online & in London


 

 

As a lifelong musical searcher, teaching has always been a natural passion. I love helping others find joy in the same instrument that has given me so much – and firmly believe that ‘talent’ mostly equates to ‘enjoying the feeling of improvement’. If learning energises you, nothing is a struggle.

 

Above all I aim to ‘teach you to teach yourself’, always tailoring methods to suit. I draw from my Guitar World lesson series on global musical learning, as well as my own varied experiences, spanning schoolteaching and session work to jazz journalism and raga musicology research.

  • Hit me up for Zoom lessons! Fully tech-optimised, mic’d setup for maximum clarity, plus your own personal webpage with tabs, video demos, explanations, etc. See below & get in touch here

I play electric, acoustic, slide, & fretless bass, sing, and perform on the Hindustani sitar, tabla, and santoor, having studied under master sitarist Pandit Shivnath Mishra in Varanasi. My own teaching draws inspiration from the direct, ear-led methods of the Indian gurukul – read more below:

 

 Online lessons: Zoom etc

Online Lessons


Online learning is a radically better experience than even just a few years ago. Modern audio, internet, and software tech make it clearer, more reliable, and more human than ever before. Try it out!

I’m experienced with all aspects of online tuition – with a tech-optimised setup for Zoom, Skype, & FaceTime (HQ mic & camera, external sound card, fast internet, + setup instructions for your end).

And why not use the web’s full multimedia advantages? You get your own private webpage on this site, with lesson tabs, video demos, explanations, listening links, etc (see image).

  • Try out my 6-lesson ‘Global Music Sampler’ taster series…or, tell me what you’d like to improve on – I’ll work with you to plan a course that gives you what you need. 

I teach all abilities and styles, from young beginners to advanced improvisers. Generally flexible with days, timezones, how often you want lessons, etc – and you can WhatsApp me with questions anytime.

 

It’s odd trying to put an hourly rate on something I enjoy…so prices are based on individual circumstance, and also what other projects I have on. Gotta pay the rent, but don’t want to price keen learners out either…ask me for standard rates, but don’t hesitate to say if you’re super-keen but currently broke (I’ve been there…).

  • Example student page:

 


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 My teaching philosophy

How I teach


At the core, music is about human expression – . I believe learning the guitar should be:

  • Empowering: Attitude far outweighs talent – I aim to ‘teach you to teach yourself’ in a collaborative, fun environment
  • Personalised: We’ll learn the music you love, and cover new sounds too – helping you take charge of your broader musical path
  • Efficient: Every guitarist can feel exhilarated by the sheer pace of learning – we will unlock the methods that work best

I draw from

  • My own gurus
  • Victor Wooten, Hal Galper, Mister Rogers

my mission is to seek out the very best musical learning methods, wherever they may be found.

 

For many years, I’ve sought to take a global view of music and sound. My approach is informed by my own experiences studying improvised music in England and India, and through my extended article series for Guitar World Beyond the Repertiore exploring diverse musical learning techniques from around the globe.

  • (Global music is the 99%)
  • Topics e.g.

 


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 London: lessons & workshops

London: in person

  • I offer…

I also give workshops, short courses, etc, tailored to fit the specific audience. Past subjects include:

  • Ear improv 101: starting out, removing psychological blocks, using ‘games’ to foster a playful approach. Doesn’t have to have anything to do with jazz, but I can teach the basics of jazz harmony, melody, rhythm, and ear skills too. Suitable for any instrument.
  • Global music: I studied Hindustani classical raga and rhythm in India under master sitarist Pandit Shivnath Mishra, and teach global ideas for Guitar World, including Carnatic konnakol, Malian kora music, West African polyrhythm, and microtonality.

Session work: You can hire me to play guitar, tabla drums, or santoor (100-stringed Himalayan dulcimer) for your album/event/whatever – recent gigs have included a jazz club, a Hindu Temple, and a wedding proposal. Or come collaborate! Listen to some of my sounds here.


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 Musical CV / experience

Musical Experience

For many years I’ve actively sought out the most varied learning experiences I can, absorbing many different musical methods as both a student and an instructor. My recent educational work has included:

  • 10+ yrs private teaching: one-on-one, schools, workshops, etc
  • Online Guitar World instructor: see Fresh Repertoire series
  • Mixed-age classroom groups: from 4-11, in South London
  • Special Educational Needs: teaching electronic music classes
  • Zoom guitar lessons: inc. the children of a music professor friend
  • A Kichwa shaman: seeking guitaristic connection with his heritage
  • Hindustani school demos: demystifying sitar, santoor, & tabla
  • Indian classical musicology: see Living Traditions collection
  • ‘World of Tuning’ research: my project on global guitar tuning

I’ve taught all ages over the years (4 to 70+) – valid Enhanced DBS, extensive safeguarding training and experience, references available on request. See my full musical CV here, and don’t hesitate to get in touch!


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BlackLineNARROWER

 

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George Howlett is a London-based musician and writer. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and global improvisation. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them.


Recently I’ve worked long-term for Darbar, Guitar World, and Ragatip, and published research into tuning and John Coltrane’s raga notes. I’ve written for Jazzwise, JazzFM, and The Wire, and also record, perform, and teach in local schools. Site menu above, follow below, & get in touch here!

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