I Can Teach You Guitar


Guitar lessons in Helsinki
with FREE introductory lesson

Are you a beginning guitar player who is not sure where to begin, or who wants to avoid the common beginner mistakes?

Or maybe someone that used to play and wants to get back into it?

Or a more experienced player who can't seem to take the next step?

Or even someone who plays really well but wants to understand what they are doing and how it all works?

Maybe you just want to strum some "campfire", songs? Play lead guitar? Play in a band? Write your own songs? Be a rock star? Just play for fun? Whatever your reasons,

I can probably help you with your playing.

My name is Neil Berrymen, I have a degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music from Leeds College of Music in England and have been teaching guitar, bass and band in the Pop/Rock program at Lärkkulla in Karjaa, for a number of years. I have played something like two thousand live shows, and continue to play professionally. I really have a ton of experience both teaching and performing.

For more information or to book a FREE introductory lesson send an Email or call or text me on 050 444 6531


A few words from some of my students.

"I had 9 years of guitar playing behind me when I decided, or realized, that I need some guiding to progress. I heard of Neil through a friend who had had Neil as a guitar teacher for 2 years or so. The first thing I realized was that Neil has a deep understanding not only of how the guitar works as an instrument, but also of how the player works as a listener to this instrument. This gives the lessons depth on a philosophical level as well as on a technical and theoretical level. It's been most helpful to me to learn from Neil's insights about how one should think about the sounds that you (surely) will learn to get out of the guitar. I highly recommend Neil as a guitar teacher for beginners as well as for experienced players. His lessons are laid back but still serious and quickly conform to ones own level of playing so that one is able to develop in an optimal manner. The fee is very fair in my opinion!"
Sebastian S.

"I started playing the electric guitar under Neil's guidance in 2008. We've played various music styles while talking about their origin and meaning in the musical continuum. Neil understands the time limitations most people have and is very patient in his teaching. He is capable of tuning the difficulty and style to match the skills and interests of the pupil. I will happily recommend Neil as a guitar tutor."
Jukka M.

"I started playing guitar at the age of 48. After about a year of self studying I thought that it would be a good idea to get lessons. I found Neil from the net. My initial idea was to learn only rhythm playing because I thought that my soloing was never going to get good enough.To my suprise Neil said that since I wanted to play rock, we would learn blues and soloing lessons would also start right away. That turned out to be the right approach because not only can I solo but I'm playing lead guitar in a band which I didn't even imagine at the time of meeting Neil. Lessons with Neil are fun and relaxed even if I haven't done my homework, theory comes bit by bit mixed with playing so there is no need for separate theory lessons. Obviously I strongly recommend Neil as a teacher."
Matti K.

"I have played an acoustic guitar all my life.However, after acquiring my first electric guitar at quite an old age I soon realised not to be able to manage it on my own to my satisfaction. Looking for a teacher I found Neil's name on the internet and having now been attending his lessons for several years I am verry happy for the professional guidance I have received. The lessons are tailored to suit my needs and skills and are a good combination of theory and practical exercise.I am presently very happy for my own development with Neil's guidance and will continue with him also in the future."
Matti N.

"It is great to learn guitar with Neil. I have very much enjoyed making progress with blues and 60's classics. Highly recommended!"
Jussi P.

"The trademark of Neil Berrymen s relaxed and hands-on guitar lessons is the teaching method combining the bits of music theory and guitar techniques with a song representing the theme of the lesson. This provides an excellent introduction to different styles and guitar techniques, keeping the lessons fresh, exciting and fun! I strongly recommend Neil to all, from beginners to full-blown guitar heroes!"
Markus W.

For more information or to book a FREE introductory lesson send an Email or call or text me on 050 444 6531

Is it possible to teach yourself?

Whatever kind of guitar player you want to be, rock, metal, pop, blues, jazz, country, acoustic, etc. in a band or solo, you want to be good guitar player. The fastest way to become good is to take 1 to 1 lessons with a good teacher.

In days gone by many musicians learned to play by painstakingly learning songs and solos from records, and from other musicians they played with. The jazz piano player Fats Waller even learned pieces from piano rolls, putting his fingers on the keys which the piano roll automatically depressed, until he could play along in tempo. Transcribing, as it is called, is still an excellent way to learn, and an essential part of musical education. It is however, very time consuming, even for the experienced player, and almost impossible for the inexperienced. To get the most from this type of activity, it is usually better to have a good basic knowlege, of the instrument, and of the style of music being transcribed, before attempting it.

There are an enormous variety of books available, for learning guitar. They are, however, of variable quality. It is often difficult to assess, how good a particular book is, how well it suits your needs, and how much real information it contains, before you buy it.

I was given a book called "Joe Pass Guitar Style", many years ago. It is quite a slim book, 60 pages, and it is cheap, but it contains a wealth of knowlege and ideas worth 100 times it's price. When I first got the book though, it was completely useless to me. It wasn't until I had learned to read music, and studied jazz harmony that I could understand what it meant.

Sometimes a short, cheap book is great and a big expensive one with a CD is rubbish, sometimes not. Whether a book is good or not can depend on whether it is suitable for your particular level. It is difficult to tell if a book is suitable or not, especially for beginners and inexperienced players until you have used it, and paid for it. Some books are great, some a total ripoff. You can't get your cash back if you don't like it!

Many books are of the, 'licks', variety. These can be very useful when getting to grips with a particular style or player, but, they rarely explain adequately how to use the licks you have learnt in a real musical situation. Which means the cost of the book, and your time and effort, can be wasted.

The internet is full of guitar sites, do a search for 'guitar lessons', and see what you get. There are an enormous number of different sites, but most of them contain the very same information. Once you have the information, you would be better off practicing than spending time searching the internet. Some sites are good, clear and informative, while others are full of rubbish, written by people who haven't got a clue themselves, which at best can waste your time, at worst can be detrimental to your progress. I've had students bring me pages of tab downloaded from the internet which were wildly incorrect, even the chords showed only a passing resemblance to the tune they were supposed to represent, let alone the actual tab. They appeared to have been written by young people who obviously believed it to be correct , and were generous enough to share their findings. While I applaud the sentiment, the pages were of no use whatsoever and my students had wasted hours trying to figure it out before bringing it to me.

A good teacher can put things into context, can explain what things mean, many times, until you understand. A teacher is truly interactive, can spot problems early and deal with them immediately. A book, web page or CD ROM, cannot see technical problems. It won't know, for instance, that your bends are out of tune because your left hand position is incorrect.

There is nothing wrong with using these other resourses, but a teacher can help you get the most from them. A teacher can't do your practice for you however!!!!!!!Sorry.

Is it possible to teach yourself? Yes it is. It usually takes a long time. I taught myself for many years. I know all about the difficulties, the pitfalls, the meaningless books, the wasted practice time, the frustration of never seeming to get any better. I eventually did take lessons, and everything I'd learned myself finally made sense.

I've always looked for the easy way. After 30 years or so looking for it, I can tell you, there is no easy way, and there is no substitute for practice. I can tell you the easiest way though.


For more information or to book a FREE introductory lesson send an Email or call or text me on 050 444 6531


Unlike a piano, the guitar fretboard is not laid out in an obvious and easily recognisable way. A middle 'C' for instance can be played in many places on a guitar, whereas on a piano it is always in the same place. Just finding your way around the fretboard is probably the greatest obstacle to be overcome when learning to play lead guitar.

I remember from my early playing years, being impressed by guitarists who played all over the neck, and I wondered how on earth they knew where to put their fingers. Everything above the 5th fret was completely unknown territory for me. It was years before I discovered what the secret was.

It isn't really a secret at all, but if nobody tells you, it might as well be. So I'll tell you.

There are 5 (that's right, only 5) static (your left hand stays in the same place on the neck) scale fingerings/positions for any scale on the guitar. What's more, they are closely related to the 'open' chord shapes you probably already know. If you don't know them, learn them first.

The roots (key notes- i.e. 'C' is the root of all C scales, major , minor etc), of these fingerings are always located on the 6th or 5th strings (roots will also occur in other places when you reach the octave), and the scale is played on one side of the root. The root is played by the 3rd or 4th finger when the scale is fingered on the 'nut' side of the root, and by the 1st or 2nd finger when the scale is fingered on the 'bridge' side of the root.

You use 1 finger per fret, most fingerings only cover 4 frets, which is why they are called static or 'in position' fingerings. So if the scale were played on the first 4 frets, your 1st finger would play all the scale notes that occur at the 1st fret, your 2nd finger would play all the scale notes that occur at the 2nd fret etc.

By learning the 5 fingering patterns and relating them to chord shapes you can develop a basic roadmap of the guitar neck. That's not the end of the story, not at all, but it's a giant leap in the right direction.

For more information or to book a FREE introductory lesson send an Email or call or text me on 050 444 6531