Zac Selissen

Composer | Guitarist

My mission is to provide students with the tools needed to progress steadily toward their goals while enjoying the process of making music. I tailor the lessons toward the individual goals, skill level, and learning style of each student while developing the fundamentals of technique, musicianship, and effective practice.

  1. Music
    From the first lesson, we will be working on real music appropriate for your level of experience. Over time, you will develop a solid repertoire to entertain yourself, friends and family. We can work on music that you already know and love as well as music I will introduce to you.

  2. Fundamentals
    In addition to learning complete songs, you will learn the basics necessary for all musicians to express themselves and achieve their ultimate goals – from technique to theory and music reading to improvisation. My approach is to present them in context with the music you are working on as well as with exercises. Here is a sampling of things we will cover in the lessons

    • Fundamentals of technique, grounded in classical pedagogy and applicable to all styles

    • Counting, playing with solid rhythm and time feel

    • Music reading, both standard notation and guitar tablature

    • Basic music theory and harmony

    • Fingerboard knowledge

    • Chords, both the standard "open" chords and "up-the-neck" voicings

    • Scales and arpeggios, grounded in the CAGED system, both for general fingerboard knowledge and...

    • Improvisation!

    • Songwriting and composition

  3. Styles
    Being a well-rounded musician requires the ability to draw from a variety of musical styles and the skill sets required to play them. In the early stages of your learning I will encourage you to learn 3 or 4 songs from different musical traditions and explore them thoroughly. One example of a typical slate for a beginning student might be:

    • Ho Hey – The Lumineers (folk)

    • Iron Man – Black Sabbath (rock)

    • Spanish Romance – Anonymous (Spanish/classical)

    • Wildwood Flower - Traditional (flatpicking)

    Although this approach to a diverse palate is not required, I am convinced that you will find it as worthwhile and enjoyable as I have in my musical growth.

Getting Started

What Should I Bring to the First Lesson

  1. Your guitar.

  2. Picks

  3. A notebook dedicated to guitar lessons.

  4. A recording device is optional but highly recommended as an audio complement to your notebook.

  5. Recordings and/or sheet music of any songs you're interested in learning, and any other materials you may have.

  6. An open mind, and an eagerness to learn. I recommend listening to your favorite tunes before a lesson to pump you up. If you ever find yourself short on motivation, this is often the the best remedy.

How to Pay

I ask that payment be made on a monthly basis (though you are welcome to pay for each lesson individually the first month.) I find the simplest method is for you to pay for the number of lessons we’re planning on having in any given month; this is generally 4-5 if you take weekly lessons. Payment for each month is due the week prior to the new month. For example, payment for December lessons is due the last week of November.

If You Need to Cancel...

If you need to cancel a lesson, you must notify me a minimum of 48 hours prior to lesson time. If at least 48 hours’ notice is given, we can schedule a makeup lesson at the earliest possible date. If less than 48 hours’ notice is given, you will be charged for the scheduled lesson, and no makeup will be given. Please be advised that this policy also applies to your final lesson.

How Much Do I Need To Practice

I believe the better you are at playing music the more fun it becomes. And the harder you work at it the better you will become. It is the time in between the lessons that will contribute most to your progress, and learning how to practice effectively is an art that we will work on developing as much as any other skill in music. Consistency and quality is more important than quantity. I ask that you make time in your schedule for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. If you can accomplish that and stick to it, you’ll hear yourself improving in leaps and bounds. Many of my students that carved out 30 minutes a day found themselves looking at the clock to find that an hour had gone by before they knew it. Every student is different in their goals and time limitations, but the satisfaction from making steady progress in playing music with real skill is worth the time you put into it.