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Guitar and Music Theory

Rick Butterfield Mmus Bmus

I teach all guitar related styles - anything contemporary; Rock, Jazz, Metal, Pop, Funk etc. I also teach all levels of classical guitar. Most of my students take exams, which I help them through. I am familiar with Rock School, Trinity and ABRSM (performance and theory) syllabuses.

I have a bachelor degree in music performance (First class hons) and am a Master of music in performance (with Merit). I studdied at the London College of Music and fully graduated autumn 2010.


My students have a 100% pass rate for all musical exams, while 80% have achieved a Merit or Distinction. My specialty in Jazz acts as a foundation to teach pupils all styles of music, since the high technical, aural and theoretical background makes all styles of music easier to grasp and understand. I also combine a subtle use of coaching to focus on exact pupil needs, as well as creating a relaxed atmosphere.


Specific areas covered in detail are:

  • Technique - Covering all aspects of left/right hand playing

  • Sound - Amplification/effects and use of 'tone'

  • Performance - Nerves and coping techniques

  • Theory - Chord and scale knowledge

  • Improvisation - Ways to unlock this useful skill

  • Structured Practice

  • Positive thought processes (inspiration / composing)

  • Tips of the profession

  • Phrasing 

  • Concentration

I have had numerous teachers throughout the years, some good, some bad. This has given me great insight to 'how not to teach' - understanding the dynamic, respect and balance needed in a student/pupil relationship. This is considered very carefully for each student I have. 

I usually travel to my students for their comfort and ease, if this is something you require please let me know. 


Finally, I work under contractual agreement, to protect both sides and to protect my profession. It is a standard Musicians Union contract with a few additions.

For teaching rates please see 'Teaching Rates'.

Some examples of feedback from First

From Hazel (5/5): Rick is an excellent teacher: thoughtful, encouraging, motivating. At the end of each lesson so far I feel a sense of real achievement, that I have actually learned something new and made progress. He clearly knows his subject and has a genuine passion for what he does.'

From Julia (5/5): My son has had 3 lessons with Rick and we are very happy. He is a kind and informative teacher who knows a lot about the subject ( music theory).

From Jean (5/5): Guitar for GCSE music . If I could give a rating of 6/5 or 7 or 8 or more I would. It just wasn't working for our daughter learning guitar at school. Rick you have been so affirming, encouraging and flexible in your approach that her enjoyment and confidence playing guitar are both well and truly restored. She had begun to feel she was just rubbish at reading music but you found specific strategies to help and she's regained her confidence. She came bouncing into the room after yesterdays lesson full of delight because you managed to find a way of explaining 'circle of fifths' to her by trying different ways of explaining until you found the one which made the penny drop for her. Thank you for all your help.

From Kevin (5/5): Rick is an excellent guitar tutor. He has a love for music and is really good at teaching others what he already knows so well. He balances theory and playing so that one reinforces the other. He is very patient and really good at gauging the needs of the student so that they can make the best progress. He's very reliable and pleasant to learn with. I would highly recommend Rick.

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