Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interview - Shred Teacher Greg X

Greg X is a London based guitarist, composer and guitar instructor influenced by the old school hard rock and heavy metal of 70's and 80's as well as guitar heroes: Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker and Joe Stump. He is currently involved in a few international music project and will be releasing his solo album later this year.

How long have you been teaching guitar?

I have been teaching guitar for two years now.

Why do you teach guitar?

I do it because I enjoy helping people who love this cool instrument. It's great to meeting like-minded people who go through the same struggles in their playing. I make sure that they don't have to learn things the hard way as I did. On the top of that teaching helps not only my pupils but me as well- I constantly have to improve to keep up with some great players that come for the lessons. Plus even beginner student can inspire you to create something that you would never come up with.

Where is your teaching practice based?

I’m based in Wimbledon, South West part of London, UK and at present I teach from my home studio.

As far as teaching goes, what is your specialty?

I specialize in rock and metal (mainly shred and improvisation). I teach students of all ages and levels so if you want to shred do it regardless your age and current skill level. I also accept blues and folk guys and girls. Actually there is a lot of girls who wants to shred here.

What level of player do you prefer to teach?

I enjoy teaching anyone who wants to learn, possibly teaching intermediate and advanced players it's easier as they usually know what they want, on the other hand beginner students don't have any bad habits which makes a big difference. Sometimes I envy my students that they were so clever to sign up for some lessons as learning from someone else is always easier than doing things on your own....

What makes a player a virtuoso?

To me a virtuoso is someone who has not only a great command of the instrument but also the ability to communicate well his or her emotions. Someone who will make me cry when they play. I think it is someone who has really great standards on the ground of performance and composition.So I don't really associate this term with technical side of things anymore.

How fast is too fast, if such a concept exists?

I believe that music is for people and as long as there is an audience for some crazy fast players there will be always a demand for that type of stuff. Whatever fits into the context of the composition it is not too fast. If something doesn't work because it's too fast then it is time to slow that down. The speed can be as powerful as vibrato or bends once it's done in the right place and at the right time....

From a Teacher’s point of view, what is the number one roadblock to becoming a better

The lack of clear goals is probably number one in my opinion and that certainly leads to the lack of good strategies to achieve these goals Also students need to believe in themselves no matter what people from their circle say. Sometimes our friends and relatives are not too supportive. That is why they need to search for like-minded people as it happens here on Shred Academy. Obviously students don't usually know how to reach their goals faster so they struggle, but then there are guys like me to help.

What makes a good student? Describe the student who progresses really quickly.

A good student is someone who has a clear vision of himself or herself doing all these things they dream about. Someone who is willing to give their trust to a teacher. Obviously it's good to check if your teacher really cares about your first. I can see right away which student is really on fire and will do really well. It's all about the mindset.. And for that type of people I am always willing to give my 200%

Do you find that older or younger students progress faster/learn quicker?

The vast majority of my students are adults who get really good results so I would say that it's not true that you have to be really young to become a great player. Adults maybe don't have as much time to practice as children but they usually have life experience that can be transferable to the guitar. There is also an issue of concentration that is better once you are older.

What is your teaching format?

At present I teach private lessons at my home studio but I will be starting group sessions as the demand for the guitar lessons in the local area is very high.

Is there one piece of advice that you can give the readers to improve their playing right now?

If you want to improve your lead guitar skills start singing your solos-that is the way to test whether they are good or not. Start composing and recording your music as soon as possible no matter what level you are currently at. Find like-minded people to enjoy the music with.

How can prospective students contact you for lessons?

They can contact me through my artist page which is or my local teaching website which is or email:


malcolmY said...

wow! i want that man to teach me!

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