About me

Hi, my name is Lesley. Classical guitar has been a part of my life for well over 30 years. Now that I’ve completed my Trinity grades and my doctorate in education, I function as a guitar teacher with a small select school of classical guitar students and work as an academic in a local university. I see the classical guitar as a friend that’s walked my journey with me, but also as a journey in and of itself. I’m able to reflect now on classical guitar education and the pedagogical assumptions that underpin the various guitar study methods – from Pujol and Carcassi’s progressive exercises to Brouwer and Sor’s studies – and I’m able to break down and unpack the mental, physical and technical challenges and opportunities that rest within them.  

I’m getting a lot of messages from people coming here because they want to learn to play guitar as part of worship. If this is you, you might want to join Aaron Anastasi’s programme. Aaron is a musician and a worship leader. He put together a step by step programme for aspiring Christian musicians. If you're interested, you can use the exercises and advice in learn-classical-guitar-today to develop your finger strength and dexterity and Aaron's lessons to work on strumming and worship music. 


I have been fortunate to have some great teachers in my years of guitar playing. Particularly my first guitar teacher, Neefa van der Schyff, who was determined to encourage the best sound that he could conjure from my then so unconfident fingers and my equally unconfident heart.

The guitar has become a way of living, a way of loving. This finding an hour or two for daily practice isn’t always easy but it is a habit forged over years of studying guitar while working a full-time job and studying part-time towards my degrees. You block off this time and everybody knows that you’re going to spend an hour or two practicing. It’s time that you reserve just for yourself. Something like what Vishen Lakhiani from Mindvalley calls your “me-time”.

Neefa, was a profound musical influence on me and on hundreds of others. Even now, as I write this blog, there are many times when I hear Neefa's voice giving advice or joking about a technical  error or a musical misjudgement. It is my hope that his voice and his dedication to teach the guitar to everyone and anyone who wanted to learn will live on in the work of this site as it does in the music of his students. 

This is where I share everything that I’ve learned about this beautiful instrument over the past 30 years.

And all that I continue to learn.

Neefa, this site is dedicated to you. Thank you for all you did in your lifetime to encourage me and hundreds of others to play, to live and to do both with great love.

And you, embarking on this journey, I hope you will find this site useful. I hope you will find it helpful. And I hope that it encourages you to pick up your guitar, pick it up again and then still one more time. Make it sing. Or weep. As your heart feels on any given day.

The Guitar (by Garcia Lorca)
The weeping of the guitar begins.
The goblets of dawn are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar begins.
Useless to silence it.
Impossible to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
Impossible to silence it.
It weeps for distant things.

You'll need to go a little deeper into music theory as you proceed. The best online resource for this is Guitar Theory Revolution. It recognises that music theory is very hard for guitarists because music theory has till now been located in the piano paradigm. The Guitar Theory Revolution overthrows the piano paradigm that is holding you back and embraces the attributes of the guitar to unpack music theory. In fact, it goes further and allows you to see that the guitar is one of the best instruments for learning theory. 

Leave me a comment, share your experience and let me know what you think

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