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.

And if you really feel too shy to take a lesson (people often tell me this) 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.

Download The Montessori Guitar Book

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 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!


You’ve bought a guitar but it’s sitting there and all the tutorials feel like signing up for another gym membership, the teachers are over committed, single-minded specialists who advocate around five hours a day if you “want to take the seriously” but you really only bought a guitar because you had an inspiring moment up a mountain and decided you wanted to invest in your creative self, but at the same time you don’t want to be mediocre, but you can’t spend five hours a day on this. Anyway, what do fifteen minute a day fretboard workouts, “all the chords you ever need to know” charts or five hour a day marathons have to do with your creativity?

In short? Not very much. These things are another gym membership and even if you’re committed and courageous and disciplined and quit your job to live in a mountain cabin to practice ten hours a day (I did this) you’ve still joined a new rat race and your creativity is still going to be sitting there waiting for a lift out of town.

Because, all of these programmes have one thing in common, they’re a trade off: “do this and you’ll get that.” That’s the rat race: “doing this” in the hope that one day you’ll “do that.”

So let’s start from a different premise. Let’s start where we intend to end. Let’s start by playing guitar. This is where the process begins and this is where it ends. It doesn’t get better and it doesn’t get worse.

It’s simple and you can do it now. In other words you can play music now. You don’t practice to play later. This is the number one mistake in most creative endeavours. And this is not to say that you won’t "improve” or change: by simply doing what y9u can do ow you change, and by changing you keep interest and you develop, and this is play.

So forget practice. Forget regimens of technical exercises and five minute workouts. Don’t forget this is the inspiration of your mountaintop talking. Don’t let the rat race hijack your hitchhike.

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.