Testimonials

“Lessons with Alistair are an absolute pleasure and regularly the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I have advanced more than I could have ever have imagined 15 months ago when I started from scratch, playing songs across many different styles using many different playing techniques.  This is primarily due to Alistair's relentless enthusiasm and encouragement in the face of even my worst song renditions and exercises.  His lessons are structured and well prepared with the focus on what you want to learn rather than what he wants to teach you.  I would not hesitate at all in recommending him to any guitar player looking for a teacher.”

Dave Osborne, Financial Analyst

“When Alistair asked me for constructive criticism the only think I could come up with is that he doesn't remember how many sugars I like in my coffee! As a guitar teacher however, he is simply excellent.  He has loads of theoretical and practical knowledge and ability that he shares at a pace that perfectly suits my progress.  Great guitarist, great teacher, great guy.  I would definitely recommend him.”

Mark Cremer, Ikmarkcremer Ltd

“I came to Alistair as a beginner and was quickly taught the basics of playing.  In a measured but progressive fashion I was instructed on open and barre chords, fingerpicking, etc.  Perhaps most importantly I was taught the importance of accompanying recorded music.  Within even a couple of lessons Alistair had me playing along to classics by Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix! Throughout all my lessons I have been impressed by his patience and sheer enjoyment of what he does.  The lessons contain just enough theory to explain principles but not so much that I felt intimidated.  Song sheets, TABs, scale exercises are readily provided during lessons and Alistair's website contains a wealth of other material for use by his students.

Alistair is an excellent teacher and never appears impatient or irritated by mistakes.  His organisation of lessons is totally reliable.  I would recommend Alistair to anyone thinking of taking their guitar playing technique to higher levels.”

Simon Horgan, Consultant Ophthalmologist

“I decided to learn to play guitar at the age of sixty six after retiring and was apprehensive about finding a sympathetic teacher.  Fortunately I found Alistair who has been very helpful and encouraging.  His lessons are enjoyable and entertaining and I highly recommend him.”

John Proudfoot, retired Taxi Driver

“I've found the lessons fantastic, I've had three lessons so far....  as an experienced musician, Alistair has quickly identified the gaps in my knowledge and skills and worked on helping me redefine what I already know and showed me what is musically correct.

Alistair has a realistic approach, he speaks in a language that demystifies the musical language...  I know how many chords are in a key...  the difference between major and minor, I know what pentatonic means, what I triad is..  all of this stuff I found confusing and left alone.  Alistair never assumes, he gets to know you and understands you as a musician.

I'm looking forward to learning more...”

Gary Blake, Social Worker

“After several decades of itinerant strumming, I finally got round to learning how to play properly, with Alistair! His patience and encouragement are remarkable, and I'm amazed by the rapid progress we've made in just a few weeks.  He simplifies music theory and makes it fascinating, and that is now translating into technique, songs, and pure pleasure! Becoming a student again at my age isn't easy, but with Alistair it's really working! Can't wait for my next lesson!”

Rick Smith, Marketing Director

“Having started learning with Alistair as a rank (and apprehensive) beginner I can honestly say that Alistair's approach to my tuition has been ideal.  Alistair has a structured yet relaxed manner of teaching guitar which is hugely supportive and the way in which simple targets are set to let me see measurable progress has been invaluable.

I look forward to each session with Alistair knowing that he will move me along at the right pace - I never feel pressured yet always feel stretched and learn something new each week which is a great motivator.  I can say with confidence that Alistair is a patient and skilful teacher, his technical skill and musical knowledge offer a blend of practical and musical tuition which works well and is the hallmark of a skilled professional musician and teacher.  Alistair has a wealth of teaching resources, there is always something on tap to be printed out, listened to, demonstrated or played along to and all tailored to the specifics of each lesson.  Oh, and best of all - it's highly enjoyable.”

Ian McKnight, Project Manager

“After trying to learn on my own I decided to book a lesson with Ali to see if he could help and in my first lesson I couldn’t even put two notes together.  That was 2 years ago and now here I am playing along to my favourite guitar players.  I’ve been coming back for so long because every lesson I learn something new as well as improving on what I already know and I’m a much better player for learning from Ali.

>Ali knows I dig the blues so my lessons are tailored to that but he also makes sure that I have a good grounding in other areas as well as guitar theory.  The most important thing about the lessons though is that they make me want to practise and be a better player and now that I'm looking to join my first band I'd say they are definitely value for money!”

Dean Payne, Draftsman

“Alistair encourages beginners and inspires those moving beyond their first tentative steps in quite a unique way.  Always open to changing lesson format or structure to pick up on some area needing further work or that song one just has to learn, even if he is not familiar with it himself.  I am happy to recommend him to guitarists at all levels that want to expand and develop their skills.”

Paul Bond, Business Relationship Manager

“I have been taking electric guitar lessons from Alistair for over a year now.  I started with the simple desire to go beyond basic strumming on my acoustic.  As I was just following my passion for the guitar my guidance to Alistair was quite abstract, without a specific goal.  Alistair has been excellent at teasing out my interests to model his lessons very effectively.

I have come a long way in the last year having learnt fretboard theory, soloing techniques and varying styles of playing.  Its great to see your dream turning into reality (with some hard work!) to the point that I felt confident enough to splurge on a new guitar and additional gear!

Alistair's tailored guidance to meet my needs and evolve my playing across blues and rock genres has been most valuable.  I am certain I would not have managed this progress through just internet or book lessons.”

Swapneel Anaokar, Medical Director

“I look forward to Alistair’s lessons, especially the ‘gold stars’.  I have only been learning with Alistair for 2 months now and I have already progressed far and beyond where other guitar teachers have failed.  Everything is set at your pace and there’s never a dull moment.  You choose what you want to learn and play without being bound to any tedious beginner’s tuition books.  When you may have given up, Alistair believes in you.  What can I say… he’s a simply a fabulous guitar teacher.”

Salma Meah, School Teacher

“I had been struggling to learn guitar for more than a year until I started taking classes with Alistair.  He made the learning process incredibly easy for me by simply breaking it into steps and following a structured approached.  I could never imagine having such a steep learning curve for guitar.  Within 8 classes spread over four months I have learned most of the chords including bar chords and have started playing songs on the guitar – all thanks to Alistair.  As a beginner I would highly recommend him as a guitar teacher.”

Natasha Rana

“Before I met Alistair, I had been playing guitar for several years, but had never been able to break out of a three chord strum.  Now after a few short months under his guidance, a whole new world of possibilities have opened up for me, and I feel my playing has improved a lot.”

Moddy Moss, Hairdresser

“For a few years I had been scratching around with TAB books trying to teach myself guitar.  This year after little progress and lots of frustration I decided to try some professional instruction, and what a difference it has made!  Alistair is fantastic teacher who produces a relaxed atmosphere making learning both easier and fun, my skills have improved at a staggering rate.  He has a natural talent for knowing just how hard to push me without overloading me and balances the practical and theory perfectly to keep my interests high and excited about the next lesson.  I would recommend Alistair without hesitation to anyone wanting to improve their guitar skills!”

Matt Boyce, Storage & Backup Engineer

“To find someone who knows how to play guitar is one thing, but to find someone with the capability to transfer this knowledge requires different skills.  For me Alistair is one of these people.  He uses a very structured way teaching the guitar.  From basics over theory to various practical exercises to improve skills and speed.  Alistair always has an open mind, encourages and spices up the lesson by trying out new things and adapts to the individual taste or interest.  Not least he is a nice person and each lesson is a pleasure.  I have learned a lot from him and can really recommend him.”

Michael Schuler

“Alistair taught me for just over a year, and when I started I was a complete beginner.  Alistair is a talented guitarist and his lessons are very informative and professional yet very casual and comfortable.  I would 100% recommend Alistair to anyone of any skill level.”

James Evans, age 18

“I have been playing guitar for several years, and was looking for a way to develop and expand my technique or style beyond the level I'd reached through my own efforts.  Alistair came well recommended, and over the course of the last 3 months we have pushed through much of the theory and structure that I haven't had the patience or desire to tackle independently, and started to use this as a solid grounding for developing how I play.  I am very happy with Alistair's approach, and feel like he quickly tuned into what I was after and offered the right balance of structure, encouragement and pressure which has I feel has resulted in great progress in a relatively short period of time.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Alistair to anyone if they feel like they know the ropes and was looking for a teacher to help them move to the next level.”

David Sparke, Managing Director, OLAP Systems Ltd

“Before I came in contact with Alistair Pope of 121GuitarLessons.co.uk, I was a frustrated guitar student. I was getting nowhere with my lessons from past tutors.

Alistair is a good teacher and after a few lessons I was already comfortable with writing songs using the chords I had learnt. I would recommend him to anyone who has no prior knowledge of guitar as he breaks down the classes in an easy to learn format.”

Lanre Fajumo

“I have been attending Guitar Classes with Alistair at the Westminster Adult Education Service in London and I want to say how helpful they were to encourage me to continue enjoying and understanding playing guitar.  Things that were difficult for me to understand, he made it easy and simple.  I decide to continue receiving classes with him on a private basis as a result.”

Javier Lozano, GP

“I started having lessons with Alistair around 18 months ago and I am delighted with my progress to date.  Alistair’s method of teaching is very relaxed and the lessons seem to just fly by.  When you have some difficulty with something he always seems to have another way to help you progress, and to me this is a sign of a good teacher.  Apart from being a really nice person his skill as a guitarist and musician is without question but like all good teachers he lets you take centre stage.  I would certainly recommend Alistair to anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar properly, in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.”

Doug Poulter, Company Director

“With me, Alistair has succeeded where many books, websites and teaching aids have previously failed.  I was an enthusiastic 3-chord strummer when I first met him with scant knowledge of musical theory and even less ability to name the notes I was attempting to play.  After a couple of lessons I was armed with exercises, routines and even some nice chord sequences to give me some confidence that with patience I could improve.  The key to Alistair's success is simple: no pressure, lots of encouragement and simple-but-effective methods.  All delivered with friendly banter so you can laugh and learn at the same time.  Who said learning music and learning to play the guitar have to be taken seriously?

Now some months on, I've progressed to a point where my musical theory is a help and not a hindrance.  For example, I can (mostly) locate and name notes on all 6 strings on request, play Major and Minor chords starting from a root note on the E and A strings, and even have a go at discerning the key of a song and guessing what other chords might work with it (in theory at least!).  All this at a pace that has suited me.  It's also worth a mention that Alistair's been quite accommodating to the odd diary clash too.  Sometimes that's really helpful if you have a busy schedule...

He has a relaxed style of teaching and a flexible repertoire that puts you at ease right from the start.  Fed up with scales and chromatic exercises?  No problem, just switch to some familiar riffs and licks to spice things up a bit.  Need some help to learn that TAB you've always wanted to play?  Can do.  Want to hear that exercise again at home?  Sure, just download the .MP3 from his collection and play it as often as you want.  Need advice on the right guitar TAB app to download on to your IPhone?  Er, actually, I'm not sure about that one...(I'm using Ultimate-Guitar.com, it rocks!)

Above all, Alistair helps you to help yourself.  His lessons are collaborative and open, not lectures or sermons which is the common mistake some music teachers tend to make.  Some students need targets to work towards whilst others are happier to amble along and learn repetitively.  He can spot your nature and go with whatever you feel more comfortable with.

If you're trying to break through to that next level of picking he might just have the piece of advice to adjust your technique if he spots something you've missed in your playstyle.  Or, he might know a handy way to tackle that particular musical phrase in a song you're having trouble with.  Or, he might suggest a way to practice a specific aspect of playing that you might want to focus on that with a bit of effort will assist you in the long run based on his own personal experience which he can back up with demonstrations.

Alistair adjusts his lessons to suit you.  He's always keen to hear how you're getting on and asks whether you're inspired to try something new.  And if that isn't the right recipe for a good learning experience, I don't know what is.  Give him a try!”

Mike Gambier-Taylor, Company Director

“Alistair tailors every lesson to my individual needs, allowing me to progress at a speed I never thought I would achieve. Having never touched a guitar three months ago, I now have a well-rounded understanding of the basics and Alistair has delivered this in a hugely enjoyable, informative and supportive atmosphere. I cannot recommend him highly enough.”

Chris Hacking, TV Producer

“I have been taking guitar lessons regularly with Alistair over the past 4 months and I am very happy with the level I have achieved and the path that I’m on. Alistair is a talented guitarist and put together with a cheerful and enthusiastic personality, it all makes for a very pleasurable and productive guitar lesson. I would recommend Alistair Pope’s guitar lessons very highly.”

Faz Kashani, Photographer

“The guitar class with Alistair is simply the best, the funniest and the most exciting hour of my week!! Great as a person, excellent as a teacher and absolutely marvellous guitarist!!!”

Nikoletta Kappa, Human Resources Administrator

“Alistair knows what he is doing. The other day I was turning up to my lesson and met a young man with a guitar coming out of the door. I asked, “Did you have a good lesson?” and the boy said, “Yeah, he's good isn't he?” I said “Yes he is.” I have been playing for a number of years, including rhythm guitar in a 5-piece band, and have found Alistair’s combination of music theory and playing ability to be rare in teachers I have had before. He also has a relaxed but structured approach to teaching that is unusual. If you are looking for a recommendation please call me on 07971 520 698.”

Nick Brown, Company Director

“As a beginner I was a bit apprehensive as to the speed of the lessons and what would be expected of me but Alistair is quick to gage what level you are at and will go at a pace that is comfortable for you. Alistair is an easy-going teacher and has been blessed with the patience to listen to dreadful noise for an hour while maintaining a pleasant smile on his face. Alistair has a number of useful exercises and always seems to have one to help you through areas you’re finding hard. I have learnt so much from Alistair in such a short space of time.”

Dave McPartling, IT Consultant

“Alistair has a relaxed teaching style that is very easy to follow and his lessons are both enjoyable and inspiring. I recommend anyone, no matter what age, who wants to learn guitar to give him a try.”

Mike Szatkowski, Promo Producer