Lessons & TEACHING

What [Derek Gripper] is doing in his life with educational and other projects is inspiring, and to be honest, I think it is where the guitar should be going.
— John Williams in Classical Guitar Magazine UK

Online Guitar Lessons


“One of the very small percentage of musicians who have risen to the top of their field”

— Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director of Carnegie Hall

My aim is to teach and play with zero effort and zero unnecessary complication. Because playing basic guitar is a natural human ability. After your first lesson you will be sitting by yourself playing music. Even if you’ve never picked up a guitar before. You will be experiencing the same level of enjoyment as I do sitting on a stage playing to hundreds of people after spending my life practicing. You may be playing simpler music, but the experience will be the same. Because music doesn’t get better as you do. It just keeps getting more interesting. If you don’t believe me take a lesson. I’ll prove it to you.

I am opening a few courses you can take online, starting with one on the music of Ali Farka Touré and one on the music of Bach. There will be more on other subjects soon.

And if you really feel too shy to take a lesson (people often tell me this) and you have never played a guitar before, then download this book and open it to any page. Mess around with it like you would read a magazine or a mildly interesting newspaper. It will change your brain and make it into one that understands the guitar. Then you can learn to play the things you really want to play.

Guitarist Redmond O'Toole gives a one -day workshop outlining the basic principles and techniques of Derek Gripper's Montessori Guitar method. The method is a ground-breaking teaching approach that focuses on the fundamental elements of learning the guitar. Drawing on the philosophies of Maria Montessori, it uses tactile objects and visuals to teach beginners how to play the guitar.

My teaching style is informed by years of classical guitar study, years of studying how we learn, research into child education, physical re-education techniques like Alexander Technique and yoga, and experimentation with meditation, mindfulness, African oral traditions, Indian music theory, contemporary musical philosophy etc. I have taught four year olds and eighty year olds, virtuosos and ukulele owners.

We can play any pieces you want, but I specialise in African Guitar Music and Bach. Both of these are great foundations for everything else (don’t panic they’re not hard if approached in miniatures with a light touch).

I also have a beginning guitar book which I promise is the easiest introduction to guitar playing you will find anywhere. We can work through that together. It will introduce everything you need to play finger style guitar.

As an added bonus to all lessons you may:

  • get a grounding in the basics of the traditional classical technique

  • learn new techniques for playing African repertoire

  • experience new methods and philosophies for learning any skill

  • experience playing music by great composers like Toumani Diabate and J.S.Bach

  • and learn how to mess with your guitar’s tunings to unleash ten guitars in one.

Email derek@derekgripper.com to book or to discuss taking lessons or just to start the play. Or choose from the three payment options below and email me to schedule your lesson. Please be aware that there may be a one to two week wait time if I am on tour.

Lessons are given on Skype with a high quality microphone and materials for further learning and practice (audio and scores) are shared using the app “Trello.” You don’t need to be able to read music!

Skype Guitar Lessons


Arrangements of kora repertoire and Bach...original compositions...all here for purchase. For scores by Egberto Gismonti please get in touch. 


To teach yourself I have a few introductory resources which will help you play the catalogue of scores.  The best way to do this is to join Patreon.