What Should I Expect from LAGA Online Classical Guitar Lessons?
Los Angeles Guitar Academy’s online classical guitar lessons are for the serious student of the guitar. As there are no shortcuts to great technique and musicianship, we do not cater to those merely seeking “tricks and tips”. We take a classical conservatory approach blended with modern pedagogical tools. Our program gives our students a solid foundation through customized faculty feedback that lays the groundwork to effortlessly progress to advanced levels.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Regardless of your level, within your first week, you will be able to perform fun pieces in their entirety and even perform them as a duo with your instructor with our play-along videos. The technical and musical level of the pieces will gradually increase as you advance through the program, improving your sight-reading skills, ear training, rhythm, and coordination. Moving forward, your progress will depend on many factors, including your musical and technical background (grasp of rhythm, ear training, hand/eye/ear coordination, etc.), your current sight-reading level, time you have to devote to practice, and level of focus during such practice time. As for practice time, most beginner level students who seek fast progress devote 2+ hours of practice per day.
Each of the above factors vary greatly from student to student. The best way to address any specific issues would be through LAGA Faculty Feedback (see below).
Advancing Through the Program and LAGA Faculty Feedback
Our students are guided throughout the program via LAGA Faculty Feedback – free personalized coaching by our own accomplished instructors. This unique, value-added feature allows you to submit videos of your performance of a particular piece/drill directly to our faculty. With your submission, you will be provided with a comprehensive technical commentary via email once per month.
We encourage you to take advantage of this feature, though, it is optional for those in the Beginner/Upper-Intermediate Levels (1 through 4 of 7), more than half of the program. When you begin your subscription, Levels 1 through 4 are immediately accessible.
Upon your completion of Level 4, to ensure that you demonstrate adequate proficiency to play the challenging repertoire in upcoming levels, we require that you record three pieces from the curriculum to showcase your technical ability. A basic video recording done in the comfort of your own home will suffice. Our faculty feedback is crucial to your success as you move to Level 5 – the starting point of advanced-level guitar technique.
In fact, recording your performances is not only a great way to receive individualized coaching, but also an invaluable tool for self-assessment. Each video recording will prepare you for various aspects of performance such as phrasing, continuity and musicality. Moreover, it is a great way to capture your progression and to archive your repertoire for future reference.
How long does it take to complete the program?
There are 7 levels in our online classical guitar program, LAGA Classical. Spending a few months in each level, it will take you approximately 20 to 28 months to complete the entire course, depending on your current proficiency, the time you dedicate towards your practice, and your goals.
Goals can be defined with prior experience in mind. Students can typically classify themselves in one of three categories below:
Beginner: You have little or no prior background in music. You do not know how to read sheet music.
At the onset, take your time internalizing the basics: Proper right and left hand technique, hand coordination, synchronization and sight-reading basics. To ensure that you are on the right track, we highly recommend that you take advantage of the faculty feedback.
Level 1 will get you started with the basics as you play folk tunes from around the world. We will start covering multiple texture (2+ melodic lines) in Level 2. If you are new to sight-reading, learning multiple line pieces while mastering the basic techniques can be challenging. We recommend that you pay particular attention to the spot practice clips, which will identify potential trouble spots in each piece/drill. Make sure that you have mastered difficult sections at a slower tempo before increasing the tempo. Follow the written instructions for each clip very closely, and observe your instructor carefully as he plays through each passage. Pause and rewind the video as often as needed to get a good grasp of each concept and technique.
Suggested time per level for beginners:
Level 1: 2-3 months
Level 2: 3-4 months
Level 3: 3-4 months
Level 4: 3-4 months
Level 5: 6-7 months
Level 6: 8-9 months
Level 7: 10+ months
Intermediate or Lower Advanced Guitarist: You can sight-read relatively well and can perform a repertoire of intermediate-level pieces.
Review the technical basics in the beginning levels. Identify the areas in which you need most help and focus on improving those skills. If you feel that your sight-reading needs improvement, try reading the score for each piece away from the guitar before you begin to play it. Do not forget to submit video clips for faculty feedback, so your instructors can provide valuable insights to help you progress to upper levels.
Suggested time per level for intermediate level guitarists:
Levels 1-4: 4 months
Level 5: 5-6 months
Level 6: 7-8 months
Level 7: 8+ months
Advanced Guitarist: You can sight-read on all positions at a high level and can perform an extensive repertoire of advanced-level pieces.
With your strong background in the classical guitar, you will not need to spend much time in the beginning levels. We strongly advise, however, even advanced guitarists make sure that they have internalized basic techniques. Reviewing the basics from time to time is a practice even the world’s greatest concert guitarists employ. Use this period to seek out any areas in which your technique is less than masterful. Do not forget to submit video clips of yourself playing Level 4 pieces, so you can receive constructive feedback from our guitar instructors to help you progress to Levels 5-7. Make sure that these pieces showcase your current skill set while highlighting the techniques on which you need to improve.
As an advanced guitarist, you may prefer to purchase the sheet music of the piece(s) from LAGA Publishing in which you are interested, rather than going through the curriculum, or as a supplement to your membership.
Suggested time per level for advanced guitarists:
Levels 1-4: 2-3 months
Level 5: 4-5 months
Level 6: 6-7 months
Level 7: 8+ months
Sheet Music À La Carte?
LAGA Classical comes with sheet music (PDF format) that is designed to supplement your video lessons.
For those who are interested in sheet music for specific pieces, it is available for instant download upon purchase on our classical guitar sheet music page.
Please check our FAQ for more information about our publications.
Can’t Get Enough?
If you wish to continue your studies after completing the entire course or would like to supplement your practice at your current level, consider signing up for LAGA Live, our private webcam lessons with one of our classical or Flamenco guitar faculty members.