Are you struggling to get traction with your guitar playing?
Do you feel unsatisfied trying to teach yourself on YouTube or elsewhere?
Is there a lack of structure to your practice?
Have you got musical aspirations about playing the songs you’ve listened to over the years?
Have you put off learning guitar properly for many years and wonder if you can still do it?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above then you’re in the right place. I’ve helped many students overcome these issues and I’m confident I can help you as well.
Having the right guide and mentor is the biggest decision you can make in any learning endeavor. A common misconception is that guitar teachers are the same from one to the other. Choosing the right teacher could mean the difference between you achieving your goals and not.
Elimanating roadblocks and helping students overcome frustrations while avoiding common pitfalls is what I am best known for.
The learning systems I use here are proven and can take students from the beginner level, all the way to the professional level.
With a structured and customized practice plan you see how to approach practice sessions so that you can get the most value out of your time. This teaches you how to think about practice.
Progress is tracked so that you can see, feel, and measure your successs as you improve so that you stay motivated and inspired to keep growing into the guitar player you wish to be.
My sweet spot of teaching according to my students is my ability to break down and communicate the component parts of each element of guitar playing. I first started playing guitar in 1997 and first started teaching it in 2008. I created my homebased guitar teaching business while finishing my Bachelor of Music Honors degree at Carleton University in Ottawa. During this time I have helped many students develop their skills on guitar.
A guide or mentor of any kind should simply be someone who has walked the path before you. The systems I am using for you here are the same ones I used for myself to improve on guitar. I had teachers in the past who would get frustrated with me because I could not keep time well enough to record, yet they could not tell me a single exercise to do to improve this. Instead, I came away feeling badly about myself and felt like I had something wrong with me.
One of the big revealers of my bad timing was an embarrassing moment in the recording studio once. A band had been brought in to work on my original songs. After everyone figured out their parts and the arrangement, it was time to run through it. "Count us in Mickey", the drummer said. I immediately felt scared because I literally had no idea what it really meant. "1, 2, 3, 4", I said out loud for them all to hear. Then I started playing my guitar.... at a rather different tempo than what I just counted. Everyone burst into laughter, accept me. I felt so embarrassed like something was wrong with me...
I could not understand how I could be playing guitar for around 13 years at that point, how was I so bad at timing? I had travelled around the world playing solo in venues and making a living at this. What was wrong? I ended up learning about the most overlooked aspect by guitarists in general, rhythm and timing. I learned how to be a student. After teaching myself for a few years and jumping around different teachers who I wasn't satisfied with, I decided in my adult life that I would set out in pursuit of a music degree, having not been to school in 14 years.
Getting this degree did so much for my musicality. Unlike magic tricks, the more you know about how music works, it won't spoil the punchline. On the contrary, it only enhances your experience deeper. No matter how far you go, the experience becomes more and more enjoyable on deeper and deeper levels.
However, you don't need a degree to get the guitar to an advanced level of playing, but a solid understanding of the foundations will save you the underwhelming feeling of most amateurs and give you something solid to build upon when it comes to learning basic songs on the guitar.
If you master the basics here I'm teaching you will be set for life with the foundations and have the intelligence to tell the difference between the good and the bad guitar learning related resources that are abundant on the internet.
"Not only is Mickey an exceptional guitar teacher, but he is the best instructor of any kind I have ever worked with. He sets a high bar and pushes you to the limit while still making it fun. From my atonal and arrhythmic beginnings, he has me noodling all of the fretboard, jamming to 12 Bar Blues, fine tuning rhythm patterns and zipping between barre chords. I’m a long way from B.B. King, but getting better every day and loving it!"
"Mickey has improved my rhythm, timing, and strumming in the short time I have been with him. I look forward every week to my lesson and enjoy leaning something new from Mickey. This is my very first time with a guitar teacher and I would highly recommend Mickey."
"I have a better understanding of playing in time and changing to the beat. My chord changes have become more fluid and smoother. I have also learned new strumming techniques. Because the lessons are so enjoyable, I am also more dedicated to practicing what I have learned at home."
"When Mickey put on additional drum tracks and played along, it felt like playing in a real band and making real music. The instructor \"Mickey\" is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and the lessons are definitely worth it."
If you are looking to actually progress and learn to play the guitar well, look no further. Mickey is an exceptional teacher. He obviously loves to teach and that truth comes through every moment of every class. Every lesson, you will benefit from individual attention that challenges you. Mickey promised to push my limits, and he does that. Always just far enough, so I'm always stretching, never bored, but always getting a sense of accomplishment.
Mickey makes a ton of resources available to his students, and is very timely in providing new content as he perceives it being required - without ever being asked. I'm fairly confident that anyone with an interest will get maximum benefit for their personal commitment of time and effort.
Many guitar teachers will teach you to play songs...Mickey will teach you to play the guitar, which opens the door to you playing all of the songs. And it's a delightful learning experience, every lesson. Can't recommend highly enough.
"I have always dreamt of playing the guitar but lacked confidence and perseverance to learn this instrument throughout my youth and adulthood. Upon retirement being now in my mid 50’s, I decided to take up the journey to seriously learn how to play the guitar. I reached out to Mickey at the Ottawa Guitar Studio, meeting with him at an introductory session. I am not musically inclined, never learned to read music, and couldn’t even play a simple chord or string notes together. Kind of a blank slate if you will.
To say that I was bit concerned was an understatement. Mickey quickly put me at ease during our introductory session outlining how he would teach me to play the guitar. When I left the session I felt motivated and positive to take on this challenge and signed up for sessions at his studio.Now 10 months on my knowledge and skill set playing the guitar through Mickey’s guidance and instruction have increased significantly! I am now capable of playing a multitude of chords, chord progressions, several songs competently, in proper time using correct strumming patterns. Mickey’s teaching techniques are very thorough and methodical in his approach to guitar fundamentals. His patient, encouraging, positive feedback instruction style ensures you grasp what is being taught and challenges you to leave your comfort zone to expand your skill set. Mickey is an upbeat, flexible, easygoing and motivational teacher whose class environment is structured, relaxed, and extremely fun! I would highly recommend Guitar Onset to anyone wishing to learn how to play the guitar.
I've been taking lessons with Mickey for just over a year now. I came in with ZERO experience and now I'm playing full songs.Mickey is an excellent teacher. He does a good job of breaking things down. And he is able to give you exactly what you need to get to that next plateau and to keep you progressingHe brings a great charisma and positive energy to every class.If you are looking to add more music to your life it is never too late and I highly recommend Mickey as a teacher.
"I am a total newbie, with only a few months in to learning about the guitar, and in turn, how to create music with it. There is a lot to learn! That said, Mickey presents the fundamentals in a systematic and fun way, with loads of tools for independent practice. He is consistently available to answer questions & provide reassurance. I started with learning about the strings & chords, and now to rhythm & song. Mickey is passionate about his teaching role and your musical development. What more could anyone ask for?"
"Mickey is the best guitar teacher I have ever had. He takes the time to watch exactly where your roadblocks are with every practice exercise. He notices the small details like your pick changing positions during rhythm strumming sessions, and helps you correct your bad habits through a documented practice schedule. Classes are organized based on fundamentals, and each week a new challenge is added. Really helps you progress."
"Really good stuff. I've been a student of Mickey for about 10 months now. Really great instructor and would highly recommend him to anyone looking to learn guitar. Makes lessons simple, loads of online content, really motivated to see his students excel. The group sessions are also great for seeing how other people process the lessons and for getting a band feel."
"I am 57 years old and have been with Mickey for less than a year now, I only started learning guitar within this one year period - while I was practicing the other night, my wife can down to where I practice and said, that sounded really beautiful – that is a direct reflection on Mickey – want to play guitar with correct rhythm, timing, tempo and sound while having fun learning, OGS Mickey is who you need to go too, as you can teach an old dog new tricks."
"As a slow learner I needed a prof who would be patient with me. Mickey Magennis has taught me that I am not a slow learner but I needed to learn how to learn the guitar. Needless to say I am delighted and will probably be his student for as long as I am in Ottawa. Excellent instructor with the bonus that he inspires with his ability to improvise in any genre of guitar style. in a word "Fabulous"
"Mickey is an excellent instructor. I have taken a few lessons over the years from other places and had found that sometimes I was simply running through the tab of any song I'd suggest with an instructor for 1/2 an hour. This can be fun, but these days I find I can do that myself much more easily at home with just with a computer. Without a plan in place, I wasn't getting any better this way. With Mickey's classes there is always a lesson plan in place to work on techniques or theory to really understand the guitar and take it to the next level. You can tell he's interested not just in guitar but also in teaching. I find that I'm actually improving again after having been stuck in the same place for so long. I'm enthusiastic about learning again and always looking forward to whats coming next!" - Andy L.