Guitar Lessons in Greenville, SC

by Palmetto Music Institute

1628 E. North St., 29607 easy access to I-385, Church, Wade Hampton, and N. Pleasantburg. 444-8379 M-F 10-7, leave msg for return call. $35/mo. & up group, $100/mo. & up private, see Programs for details.

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Learn the right things, in the right way, in the right order for maximum results in the shortest possible time ...

1. Get help with developing a plan that worksImagine setting out to Myrtle Beach with this plan: just start driving, and select turns based on hunches, tips from your passengers, and directions from equally lost drivers, until you arrive at Myrtle Beach. Most likely ... you will give up before getting there. On the other hand, the aid of a map drawn by an expert cartographer will direct you to the most efficient route. Follow the map and you will definitely reach your goal. Learning music is similar in that you will not get far without a good plan, consisting of measurable “landmarks” that are known to lead to your final destination – being empowered to make the music that you feel inside.

2. Get expert assistance with setting up an effective practice routine - If there is any “secret” to progress with guitar, it is this: practice. And yet, some kinds of practice can yield very minimal results. Why? Because of practicing the wrong things, the wrong way, in the wrong order, without any overall goal or context. For instance … practicing an endless loop of the bits and pieces of a dozen or two songs that you have been able to pick up with the least amount of effort, never bothering to learn the whole song. This will not yield the mastery of various techniques and knowledge that is necessary to play complete songs and solos with fluency, and it will not lead to true self expression. An effective practice routine involves a goal oriented approach to efficiently covering multiple areas relevant your musical goals.

3. Learn proper physical technique for maximum control and efficiency - Physical technique refers to all aspects of the way our body interacts with the guitar, from holding the guitar to the finer details of finger control. Aspiring guitarists tend to repeat the same handful of technique errors, such as gripping the guitar neck like a baseball bat and picking with a scooping motion. Improper physical technique can be forced with enough effort to get the job done up to a point. However, it will make the job much harder than it has to be, and will ultimately impose a needless barrier on peak performance. Proper physical technique will enable you to control your fingers with maximum efficiency and minimal effort, such that your fingers will become a powerful musical tool rather than a frustrating barrier to self-expression.

4. The Human Element – If you want to get the most out of your musical endeavors, it is critical to include a social aspect to your experience. The built in accountability of a regular program of lessons will help keep you in the game, when you might have otherwise allowed yourself an extended break to the great detriment of your hard-won collection of skills.

5. Avoid the common, predictable pitfalls of trying to teach yourself – A well performed piece of music will look and sound like an effortless outpouring of emotion, similar to the way we express emotion through speech. However, music is in fact NOT an effortless means of communication that grows naturally out of our inherent human characteristics. Contrarily, communication through music requires highly developed mental and physical skills. It is not something that we easily just “pick up” by experimentation, the way we learned speech as toddlers. Few people would set out to teach themselves engineering or medicine. Yet many tend to feel that learning music is instinctive and will thus try to “teach” themselves. I will admit with regrets to the fact that I tried this approach. When I met my first really good teacher years later, I deeply regretted not having the critical information early in my musical pursuits that my teacher revealed to me in a short time.

6. Accountability for following the instructions – Many students of guitar attempt to pick out the easiest or most satisfying parts of a given learning resource and concentrate on those things to the neglect of others. Six months later they have improved in those few things but can not move forward because they are still at introductory level on the other things. A regular meeting with a teacher will inherently encourage you to build up a comprehensive set of skills.

7. Avoid confusing temporary barriers with “lack of talent” – Most musicians by far achieve their goals through persistent effort. Some students of music feel that if it gets difficult, frustrating, or tedious that these things betray a lack of natural ability. This is simply wrong. All of us, even the very gifted ones, go through struggles with various aspects of building up skills. We all reach plateaus where we seem to hang out for a while and can’t make any progress despite our best efforts. This is a normal part of the process. The key is not “natural talent”. The key is persistent effort, and a teacher will provide the encouragement to get you through the more challenging times.

8. Motivation – If you want to be good with the guitar you are going to have to make regular practice high on the priority list of things to get done throughout the week, for as long as it takes to achieve the desired results. Your odds of getting your practicing done are much higher when you know you will be sharing your results with your teacher each week.

9. Learn critical skills in the right order – With some hobbyists from about age mid teens and up there is a tendency to want advanced playing skills in a hurry. Accordingly they will often wish to bypass the basic and intermediate level skills and go straight to working on advanced songs or techniques. The results of this approach are predictable: frustration, poor skills across the board, and a guitar gathering dust in a corner. If you want to play at an advanced level then get help from a teacher with mastering the basics.

10. Overcome aversion to music theory – Knowledge is Power. Knowledge of music theory grants one the power to know how to achieve a desired effect before striking a note on the fretboard. Music theory is not nearly as complicated and boring as some make it out to be (if you know the name of a single chord, you already know some music theory). Contrarily, a good teacher will make it interesting by presenting it in relevant pieces as part of a comprehensive approach to learning guitar.

Is your satisfaction with your guitar music hindered by weaknesses in one of more of these critical areas, or maybe you are just not sure what is limiting your results? I know how you feel ... the same way I did until I finally found a great teacher to provide the critical puzzle pieces I was missing. Do you want to avoid time-wasting pitfalls, or get out of your current frustrating rut sooner rather than later or never? Then read on ...

Just ask my clients!

"I received a guitar from my wife for Christmas in 2014. I had wanted to play the guitar for years, but always found an excuse not to give it a try. That Christmas gift gave me the push I needed, so at age 54, I began searching the Upstate for a guitar instructor. Out of the masses, one instructor stood out, Mr. Chad Crawford. The fact that he offered a free lesson was just icing on the cake so I contacted Chad. During our subsequent conversation, I became firmly convinced that Chad was the instructor who could best teach me to play and I enrolled in his course.That was a year ago and I'm telling you that Chad is as advertised, if not more. He will create a lesson plan, tailored to your progress, that will help you avoid the many pitfalls that lie in wait for the self-taught or online student. Please be clear on one point - Chad's course of study requires commitment and practice. Chad is passionate about guitar instruction and he expects a high level of commitment from his students. Guitar lessons are not inexpensive and should be considered an investment in oneself. I would recommend Chad Crawford without hesitation to anyone who is serious about learning to play the guitar. He is an accomplished musician and has an in depth understanding of music, in both theory and practical applications. My review is unsolicited, and there's nothing in it for me other than the hope that some aspiring guitar player will take note and enroll at the Palmetto Music Institute. If you're serious about playing guitar, regardless of your skill level, Chad Crawford is the man to see. " - Jamie Welsh, Simpsonville

"I started taking guitar lessons as a 12 year old. I lost interest when results were disappointing. I tried to teach myself through trial and error with no real success. Then I took lessons again as an adult for three years. I learned some popular songs but no actual musical knowledge and understanding. I started taking lessons from Chad Crawford at Palmetto music Institute about 1 year ago. I've already learned way more than I had learned previously. Chad has a structured curriculum to systematically teach how to play guitar and learn to create music. He also teaches how to learn and play your favorite songs. Not only has Chad taught me musical knowlege, and how to create original music, but he is also correcting bad technique habits I have gained over the years. I really appreciate all that Chad has taught me and recommend him highly." - Jeff W. Brown D.C., Greenville

"Having retired several years ago, I pursued my desire to learn my first musical instrument - bass guitar. Armed with my Craig’s list bass and amp I sought out local instructors that would accept the “mature” student. After 5-6 months and multiple instructors I found little satisfaction in that the focus of their instruction was how to read tabs and learn a “song of the week”, with little or no understanding of what I was doing. Discouraged by lack of progress and ongoing expense, the instrument soon found its way to the back of my closet. Encouraged by my brother last Oct to again pursue my goal, I researched area instructors again. During this search I came across PMI. Intrigued by the Free Introductory Lesson, I completed the online referral and made an appointment to meet with Chad. From the opening discussion, to process, to clear expectations for the student and instructor it was obvious to me that Chad Crawford demonstrated the traits of a highly trained musician and instructor. Over the last several months I have not just learned how to thump strings but learned beginning techniques, scales, timing, rhythm and music theory that will allow me to continue to grow into a player and hopefully someday a musician. Chad’s supportive teaching, motivation and clear explanations make every lesson a true learning experience. Chad’s Application Group Lessons allow each student to participate and apply what they have learned and grow in their mastery of their instrument no matter what level they are at. Having experienced what I would call the “Dark Side of Music Teachers”, I find it difficult to express my satisfaction and gratitude to Chad for being the “Bright Light” at the end of the tunnel. If you truly desire to learn to play a musical instrument then Chad Crawford will help you meet your goals. With my respect and gratitude ..." - Paul Bateman, Greenville

"I purchased my guitar at Christmas in 2014. Even with no background in music, I still thought I could teach myself using various on-line resources. After trying this approach for six months and realizing it wasn't working, I turned to Palmetto Music Institute for professional instruction. Chad is guiding me in proper guitar technique and helping me to build a foundation in music, literally from scratch. I am very pleased with his precept-upon-precept approach, his correction where technique is wrong, and his on-going encouragement as I endeavor to learn this instrument." - Rusty Allen, Mauldin

"I would like to express my gratitude to Chad Crawford of Palmetto Music Institute for teaching guitar to my 13 year old son, Trent. Chad has been instrumental in cultivating Trent's musical abilities. The rapport of the instructor and the student is amazing. Trent was learning songs within weeks along with the 'solos' of the songs. With Chad's teaching ability and detailed program, Trent has excelled to the point that he has earned a tremendous opportunity to pre-enroll for the Fine Arts Center - a year and a half early. I am extremely proud of Trent's accomplishments, and I highly recommend Chad." - Brandy Long, Travelers Rest

I focus initially with my clients on the Blues style. Blues is the style of widely acclaimed performers such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and similar. Why learn Blues? Blues is the foundational style of our popular music in Western culture. It is a relatively simple style and will thus deliver you satisfying playing skills more quickly than a more generalized approach. Blues encompasses the same basic level skills as other pick styles, while bringing you to the point of making enjoyable music relatively quickly. From there it is a short jump to making music in other popular styles you enjoy as well. The most appealing aspect of playing the Blues is this - it is just plain fun!

With a personally tailored version of a proven program, we will incorporate your current skill set (from complete beginner and beyond) into a customized version of this program that is targeted toward your playing goals. Working together you and I will achieve results that you and your friends can see, hear, and feel!

Learning to play the guitar is a process consisting of many small steps. It is similar to building a wall - you lay one brick at a time. Every day that goes by that you do not take action toward your goal, you have lost an opportunity to "lay a brick", and you can't get it back. Don't sabotage yourself (or your child) by letting day after day, week after week slip away without doing something toward reaching your goal! I'll provide the "bricks" and walk you through every detail of assembling the "wall". But I do need for you to do your part ...

Your journey to guitar mastery starts with a FREE consultation at my studio (by appointment). During this no-cost meeting I will evalaute your current skill set, provide pointers and a song that you can play immediately, and tell you all about how my program works and how I can help you achieve your musical goals. Click the link to reserve your FREE, NO-OBLIGATION INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATION.

Not sure yet? Then click the appropriate button for your situation ...

Parent ...of an aspiring guitarist?

New to Guitar ...and not sure how to get started?

Experienced ...guitar player in the proverbial rut?

Accomplished ...guitarist with a growing interest in the blues style?

Additional helpful resources...

Check out the Free Resources page for helpful video lessons.

Take a look at the FAQ page for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

For general inquiries, click here.

Client Feedback...

"As a parent, I couldn’t be happier with the progress that Abby’s made with Chad. He isn’t too easy, has high expectations and continues to push in a positive away. I feel like guitar has given Abby an identity and boosted her self confidence. Coincidence or not, her grades have improved greatly since she started playing. I definitely feel like guitar is a gift that will last her a lifetime." - John Poore, Simpsonville

"For years I had wished that I could play the guitar. Unfortunately that was as far as I ever went with the idea. I really believed that, since I had no natural musical talent, there was no way I could play the guitar well. Since meeting Chad Crawford, I have learned that most musicians, including many well-known professionals, didn't just pick up a guitar and start playing at an advanced level. Their "natural talent" actually was the result of receiving instruction in proper playing techniques along with a willingness to practice to improve those skills. I was thrilled to discover that playing guitar wasn't just one of those things I always wanted, but knew could never happen. I am optimistic that with a proven teaching method and the guidance of a qualified instructor, learning to play the guitar well is within my reach. I have found both the method and the instructor at Palmetto Music Institute. I know now that the realization of my goal is possible if I am willing to listen, learn, and practice. I am looking forward to making some great music!" - Marshall Black, Greenville

"I have been taking lessons at Palmetto Music for about a year. Chad has a very comprehensive course and customizes it to the student’s needs and desires. The one thing I’m learning, that I did not expect is music theory. When you learn how music is put together you can learn to play quicker. If you want to learn, really learn, the guitar and have fun and be challenged along the way, this is your place and Chad is your teacher." - Butch Pearson, Greenville

"Whether you are an experienced player or picking up a guitar for the first time Chad has a plan for you. Unlike other guitar teachers Chad doesn’t teach you a top 40 song a week and he doesn’t start you out learning simple melodies either. His system is well researched and thought out. It’s organized to offer his students a comprehensive program of fundamentals with which to build a musical foundation. With these tools and practice his students are able to progress at their own pace and get to where they want to be musically. Recommended for serious students committed to practice and learning." - Bob Brugnoni, Greenville

"Highly recommended! At 37, it turns out that it is not too late to learn the guitar. I started from scratch in the Fall of 2016. I had never even held a guitar before! I learned piano as a child, but I never played really well, partly because practice at home felt a bit boring at times -- so I didn't practice as much as I should have. Although I really wanted to play the guitar, I was not sure I could do it. I hadn't done music in years. Another question for me was whether or not practice would feel repetitive and boring, or whether it would enhance my curiosity for music and for the instrument -- I'll say definitely the later! The way Chad teaches will foster your curiosity and creativity, so it never feels boring. That's a big change for me, if I compare to learning the piano as a child. What I like the best about the way Chad teaches, is that you get to learn the fundamentals. What I had loved most about learning piano was hearing the tunes, and putting notes together in a harmonious way. But I was never taught how that works -- so although I could hear harmonies and would guess what note would go well with another, I didn't know there were rules. And there was never any practice at home that would foster that creativity either. It feels very different now that I am learning the guitar. What I really like, then, is that Chad will give you a variety of exercises that each target a different task. My favorites are the phrasing techniques that you practice with backing tracks. Those are really great because you practice putting melodies together, and he'll teach you several techniques for that. Once you know a few, it's really fun (and addictive!). My practice at home never feels boring, because each day I'll do a different set of exercises -- one day I'll do the phrasing and a certain set of chords, another day I'll do the song of the week and a different set of chords, etc.. Even the scales are fun, because now I understand how they are the fundamentals of phrasing and guitar solos. Once you know the fundamentals, you could use your phrasing technique for any song. I'm sure I'm only at the very beginning of my progression, but I learn something amazing every week and it's a very exciting venture. Whatever your level is, I recommend meeting with him: he will take the time to lay out everything for you, and explain exactly how and what you will learn. I can't recommend him enough. I am a teacher myself, so I can spot a good teacher when I see one!" - Pauline de Tholozany, Clemson

"I had always wanted to learn to play, but could never find the time during my younger years. I knew that at 50 years old, it would take a special instructor to help me learn to play. I searched all over Greenville trying to find the right person who was not only passionate about guitar, but also passionate about teaching guitar. I was almost ready to give up when I found the Palmetto Music Institute. Chad has a unique style of teaching in which all of the pieces fit together without becoming overwhelming. Each lesson along with the personal practice routine designed by Chad, will help each student develop an understanding of theory as well as well as practical applications for playing. I have been so impressed with Chad’s teaching abilities that I am now in my third year of lessons. I have been amazed at the progress I have been able to make. Progress doesn’t come without commitment. One must be willing to have patience, listen attentively and practice, practice, practice in order to make weekly improvements in playing the guitar." - Stan Pendergrass, Greenville

"Chad Crawford at Palmetto Music Institute is an excellent instructor as well as an outstanding guitarist. I been taking lessons for about a year, my only regret is that I didn't start sooner. I have learned so much more about guitar and music in the time I have been taking lesson than I ever could on my own. I find his instruction challenging, encouraging, and rewarding. I look forward to each session. I highly recommend the Palmetto Music Institute." - Dave Harvey, Greenville