Guitar Lessons in Mississauga
#1 Music School in Mississauga, ON
Guitar lessons taught by the best guitar teachers in town
About Our Music School & Teachers
Whether you would like to learn to play the guitar or you are looking for guitar lessons for your child, taking guitar lessons at a professional music school like the Mississauga Fine Arts Academy is the right way to go about it.
For anyone living in the Peel Region, our music school is not only the most obvious choice, but it’s the most convenient one that offers professional guitar lessons for children and adults.
We currently offer online guitar lessons for anyone interested. This means that even if you are not in our area, you can start learning to play guitar. The online classes are well structured and deliver a practical guitar learning experience.
All our teachers are college and university trained and have great personalities. They have received their education from prestigious institutions such as The University of Toronto, Humber College, York University, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Glenn Gould Professional School, McGill University Faculty of Music. Many of our instructors have gone on performance tours of Canada, the US, and Europe. They have over 30 years of professional performance and teaching experience.
In addition to their teaching credentials, our teachers have an individual approach to each student as we believe that every student is unique and has different needs. They have warm personalities, are extremely friendly, and strive to get to know each student and their parent on a personal level.
But don’t take our word for it; just take a look at what our students and their parents say about them in their own words.
Also, don’t forget to check out our Masterclass Series.
Our professional guitar lessons include teaching rock, blues, metal, country, and classical guitar lessons on electric and acoustic guitars. When taking guitar classes for beginners, you can expect to work on chords, simple songs, and melodies, sight-reading, and music theory.
We balance musicianship and fun by ensuring that each guitar lesson challenges you with a new technical or theoretical concept. However, your guitar lesson always ends with something fun, such as your favourite riff or song.
We use a variety of guitar method books to accomplish this. We always encourage you to bring your music player to your guitar lessons so that you can learn and practice your favourite tunes.
Before starting your first guitar lesson, we thought you may want to learn more about this fascinating instrument. We are confident that you will find the text below very interesting, intriguing, and inspirational. We hope it will ignite your talent within and will propel you towards a beautiful guitar learning journey.
Aside from the above information about our music school, we’ve put together a comprehensive overview of the guitar itself which we think you may find interesting and educational.
Enjoy getting to know the Guitar Instrument like never before!
What is a Guitar?
The English word “guitar” comes from the Spanish word “quitarra.” There is also some word association with the Greek kithara instrument that looked like a square framed harp. Some historians also connect the guitar to the old Persian chartar, a four-stringed instrument.
The guitar is a stringed musical instrument, a member of the chordophone family of instruments. The standard acoustic guitar has a flat body, incurved sides and a long fretted neck. It is played with fingers or with a plectrum (guitar pick). Traditionally, the guitar has been constructed from wood with nylon or steel strings.
The number of strings on a guitar varies. A standard acoustic guitar usually has six strings. Each string is named, numbered, and has a different thickness. When holding a standard guitar, the topmost string is the thickest one (number six) and then going down, the strings are numbered to string number one, which is the lowest and thinnest one. The thicker the string, the lower the pitch. The timbre of a guitar is determined by its body.
Below is a video of acoustic guitar strings sound:
The metallic parts on the neck of the guitar are called frets. The acoustic guitar has 20 frets in total (see image below). A guitar player uses his/her left-hand fingers to press the strings in the frets’ spaces. This changes the length and pitch of the strings.
For a short demonstration of this, see the video below:
The acoustic guitar has a range of nearly four octaves.
History and The Evolution of the Guitar
The guitar is an ancient instrument. Its origins can be traced back to more than 4000 years ago. The earliest string instruments came from the Sumerian, Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations, which were in the form of bowl harps and tanburs.
The bowl harps used tortoise shells and calabashes as resonators. They had a bent stick for a neck and one to two gut or silk strings.
The tanburs most likely developed from the bowl harps. They had long necks and egg or pear-shaped bodies, arched or round backs with soundboards made of wood or hyde.
There have been many archeological findings of artifacts from Persian and Mesopotamian cultures. Some of these folk instruments are still used in many cultures like the Greek bouzouki, Balkan tamburitza, Iranian setar, and Turkish saz.
The oldest preserved guitar-like instrument can be found at the Archeological Museum of the city of Cairo in Egypt. It is a 3500 years old tanbur that belonged to the Egyptian singer Har-Mose. This tanbur had three strings and a plectrum hanging from its neck.
The soundbox was made of cedarwood and rawhide as a soundboard.
The oldest image of a guitar-like instrument was found in Turkey of a 3300 old Hittite guitar-like instrument that resembled today’s guitar.
Other guitar predecessors are the oud and the lute. The Moors brought the oud (also called ud) to Spain from North Africa in the eighth century AD. Its name is derived from Arabic “Al Ud,” meaning “the wood.” The oud is a traditional Arabic instrument even to this day.
The oud has a large pear-shaped body made of wood that is hollow and rounded at the back. It has a short fretless neck, sharply angled peghead and many strings ranging from the prehistoric three-string ouds to ten, eleven or thirteen strings, organized in doubles (also called courses), with one left as a single string. The oud is played with a plectrum.
The Europeans extended the neck and added frets to the oud and came up with the European lute, which was played throughout Europe in the Middle Ages for over 500 years.
The Europeans also had the barbat, a lute of Central Asian and Persian origin, brought to the Byzantine Empire between the sixth and the ninth centuries AD, probably even before the oud.
Many other stringed folk instruments existed in Central Asia and India (some of them used even today). Their names ended in “tar,” which is derived from the local Ancient Sanskrit word “tar” for “string.” The prefix on “tar,” translated in modern Persian, indicated the number of strings. Therefore, the two-string instrument was called dotar, the three-stringed was called setar, the four-stringed was called chartar, and the five-stringed was called panchtar.
In the Renaissance period in Europe, notable innovation included Baroque guitars in the form of four-coursed (four pairs of strings) “chitarras,” that further evolved into five-coursed “chitarra battente,” an Italian folk string instrument still used today.
The Baroque guitars were narrower than the modern guitars, had gut frets tied to the fingerboard, and had very ornate, sometimes carved designs on the soundholes.
The earliest known music written for the guitar was written for the four-coursed chitarra (quitarra) in Italy and Spain by composers like Giovanni Foscarini, Angelo Bartolotti, Francesco Corbetta and Alonso de Mudarra.
The tuning of these guitars was set at A, D, G, B, E (same as the top five strings of the modern guitar). These first guitars almost always had eight frets to the body of the guitar, which slowly evolved to ten than twelve frets.
In the seventeenth century, guitar makers in Europe included one more course of strings (one pair of strings) to the five-coursed guitars. Later on, this was changed to the six single-string guitars known today.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the guitars looked more and more like the modern guitars of today, except they had smaller narrow-waisted bodies.
Around the middle of the nineteenth century, the Spanish musician and Luthier Antonio De Torres Jurado (1817-1892) designed a guitar that kept its original design more or less until today. Torres’ guitar design included an increase in the size of the body and the waist curve, which changed the proportions of the guitar. The wooden pegs were replaced with a machine head, and he introduced the “fan” top bracing on the guitar. This improved the volume, tone, and projection of the guitar. This guitar design became the construction standard.
Below is a video of a beautiful composition titled “Home” played on Torres’ 1888 guitar by Andrew York.
Can you imagine taking guitar lessons and learning to play the guitar like Andrew after watching him perform? He is truly inspiring!
Then and Now
While Torres was designing and making his famous fan-braced guitars in Spain, European immigrants to America (German-born Christian Fredrich Martin being one of them) were also making guitars. When they left Europe, they brought steel-stringed versions of Spanish guitars to the United States.
Steel-strings became widely available at the beginning of the twentieth century. Even though they made guitars louder, they increased the pressure on the fan-braced guitars Torres designed. This, in turn, led to the X-braced innovation by the guitar designers in America. These X-braced tops on the guitars were able to withstand the extra pressure from the steel strings. This became the standard for the flat-top steel-string guitars.
The tight steel strings on the new guitars led to different guitar playing styles that made use of a pick. This led to the development of the pickguard below the soundhole on most models of flat-top guitars.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the archtop acoustic guitars were introduced and patented by Orville Gibson. Some of the design features of these guitars included arched top and back, a hollow body constructed more like a cello, oval soundholes and a movable adjustable bridge, allowing for increased volume and tone. These guitars were embraced by jazz and country musicians and later adopted by bands.
The quest for adding more volume to the guitar lead to the invention of the Electric guitar. This was made possible in the early 1930s by Adolph Rickenbacker, an electrical engineer, and George Beauchamp, a musician who played the Hawaiian-style lap steel guitar. They pioneered the electromagnetic device that converts the vibration of the guitar strings into a clear resonant sound. They came up with the first so-called “Frying pan” amplified electric guitar.
In 1936 Gibson came up with his first electric guitar, the so-called ES-150. This guitar was made famous by the great guitarist Charlie Christian who brought the guitar back to the forefront as a solo instrument and not as a background rhythmical instrument. Furthermore, Gibson and the famous guitarist, luthier and inventor Les Paul, released famous solid-body electric guitars in the 1950s.
Other electric guitar makers include Fender (the maker of the famous Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars), Ibanez, Epiphone, ESP guitars, Yamaha, Charvel and Kramer Guitars, just to name a few.
By the middle of the twentieth century, the electric guitar, the cranked amplifiers, and power cords and effect pedals would become the cornerstone for musical genres like Jazz, Rock and Pop.
Today there are many different types, subtypes and categories of guitars, including:
- Acoustic guitars
- Electric guitars
- Electro-acoustic guitars
- Twelve-string guitars
- Archtop guitars
- Flamenco guitars
- Steel guitars
- Resonator guitars
- Bass guitars
- Double-neck guitars
By taking guitar lessons, you can learn to play different types of guitars. You will learn to play the guitar in many genres and styles. You will discover the guitar to be a very versatile instrument.
Famous Guitar Players and Composers
Classical guitar music composers started writing music for the guitar as early as the sixteenth century. Later on, as the guitar evolved, many composers wrote music for the electric guitar for many different genres.
Here are the names of a few guitar music composers:
- Julian Arcas (1832-1882) – Spanish classical guitar music composer and guitarist
- Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909) – Spanish classical guitar music composer and guitarist
- Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982) – Spanish classical guitar composer
- John W. Duarte (1919-2004) – English composer and guitarist
- Leo Brouwer (born 1939) – Cuban composer, classical guitarist and conductor
- Andrew Paul MacDonald (born 1958) – Canadian classical and electric guitar composer and conductor
The guitar is the second most played instrument in the world. Many guitarists have shaped the world of music.
Some of the most influential and accomplished guitarists include:
- Andres Segovia (1893-1987) – Spanish classical guitar virtuoso and composer
- Charlie Christian (1916-1942) – American swing and jazz guitarist
- B.B. King (1925-2015) – American blues guitar player
- Chet Atkins (1924-2001) – American country, folk and country-rock guitarist
- Chuck Berry (1926-2017) – American rock and roll guitarist
- Eric Clapton (born 1945) – English rock and blues guitarist
- Jimmy Page (born 1944) – English rock/hard rock guitarist
- Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) – American rock guitarist
- John Williams (born 1941) – Australian classical guitarist
- Tommy Emmanuel (born 1955) – Australian acoustic guitar player in many genres including jass, bluegrass, blues, folk and rock
- Liona Boyd (born 1949) – English-Canadian classical guitarist
- Phil X (born 1966) – Candian rock guitarist, a member of the group Jon Bon Jovi, who grew up in our hometown of Mississauga (read a fun fact below)
Fun Fact about Phil's Guitar Lessons
Phil X used to offer guitar lessons through Skype. For “Those About To Rock” or YouTube sensation wannabes, he has one message: “Don’t believe in shortcuts. Practise, Practise, Practise.” [source: The Record]
Here is a video of Tommy Emmanuel playing “Fuel” (a song written and produced by Tommy himself) on an acoustic guitar:
As you can see from this text, the guitar can be a magical instrument, and learning it a journey full of joy and accomplishments.
Whether you would like to start taking guitar lessons for beginners or you have some guitar knowledge and are looking to improve your guitar playing skills, our teachers at our music school will tailor your guitar classes according to what you want and need to learn. We are sure that you will fall in love with this beautiful instrument and that the guitar will bring joy not only to you but to anyone listening to you play.
If you re wondering about the cost of guitar lessons rest assured that we have very affordable rates and that we will work hard to see you succeed.
Our current rate is $33.00 per 30-minute private guitar lesson held once a week. There is a one-time registration fee of $25.00
We curently offer online guitar lessons to better help you decide if this is the right musical path for you.
Don’t delay your discovery of the bright and exciting guitar world!