April 2023 Newsletter

Stay Tuned! 😎 Studio Updates & Group Guitar Class Schedule

Hello, Fellow Guitar Players!

Hold onto your hats, because this newsletter might blow them away!

This month began with a free workshop I put together for my current private students with Adam Levy. (If you've listened to music in your life, you've likely heard Adam Levy's guitar playing and his songs.) About a year ago, Adam wrote a wonderful recommendation for my book, and when I reached out to him about working with some of my students, he happily agreed. I summerized our session in Episode 38 of my Studio Update YouTube series.



Speaking of amazing guitarists and musicains who dig The Guitar Lesson Companion, I received news that the legend Mark Goldenberg has been using my books with his students and he shared his thoughts with me:

Your book has been so helpful for my students! It’s so well put together and has become an invaluable aid for getting my students to learn to read notes, decipher written rhythms, and to learn the entire fretboard. Your backing tracks are especially great and give the material a cool contemporary feel. I’m so grateful I found this book!

And just the other day, the producer and engineer Greg Droman sent me his thoughts:

While I’ve been playing guitar for many years, I’ve struggled to find a clear path to expand my musical understanding and vocabulary.  Like many others, I felt trapped in my comfortable “boxes” - some of which I developed as a teen.  That all changed when my current teacher guided me to Susan Palmer’s book, “The Guitar Lesson Companion”.  The exercises in the book, along with the audio tracks, got me reading music in a very short amount of time - and having fun doing it!  Susan’s presentation is clear and logical; I don’t feel overwhelmed like I have with some other approaches.  I can now envision a day, coming shortly I believe, where I can pick up a new piece of music, know the language of the notes and timing, and play it anywhere on the neck.  I now have the path forward that’s eluded me for so long.  Great, great book - thank you Susan!



In other big news, I'll be in Seattle at the end of September! It's always been my plan to be able to travel between Maine and Seattle, and I cannot wait any longer. I will continue to teach lessons and classes online, and I'll be able to work with a few students outdoors in person, weather permitting. I'll share more details as we get closer to Fall, but I will be in town for a few months so I will be able to see everyone!



These 4 week classes are limited to 4 students and offer you structure with clear assignments during the course, along with direction for how to practice (and what to practice) after the class ends. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to email videos each week of their assignments so I can offer personalized attention; I have found this to be super helpful for students!

The way I categorize students is purely based on a student’s understanding and application of fundamental guitar skills, and students are asked to complete a self-assessment questionnaire so I can place them in the class that best matches their experience, interests, and goals. These questionnaires also help me develop the curriculum for each class, which is why the descriptions here are general.


Registration Deadline: Thursday, March 30th  
Email to Register: LeadCatPress@gmail.com


Saturdays: April 8, 15, 22, 29 12:00pm - 12:45pm (Pacific Time) 
$200, includes textbook (a $40 value)

Since I group students according to their shared experience level, sometimes this class is full of absolute beginners, and sometimes it's just guitarists who have been playing for a few years but never learned the fundamentals as well as they'd like to know them. Our specific lesson plan will be determined after I receive student questionnaires from enrolled students, but will generally include concepts in years one and two from my online course.

Saturdays: April 8, 15, 22, 29  1:00pm - 1:45pm (Pacific Time) 
$200, includes textbook (a $40 value)

Students will be taken through a course of study to help fill in gaps and provide a clear path leading to the next level of playing. Our specific lesson plan will be determined after I receive student questionnaires from enrolled students, but will generally include concepts in years 3-5 from my online course.

Saturdays: April 8, 15, 22, 29  2:00pm - 2:45pm (Pacific Time) 
$200, includes textbook (a $40 value)

Students who have mastery of the skills presented in all 5 years of my online course can suggest topics they would like to study.

Saturday, April 1st,  12:00pm - 12:45pm  (Pacific Time)

In this month's free class, we'll unpack the CAGED System. You'd be a good fit for this session if you've been playing guitar for a while (you know some songs) and you are familiar with your open and barre chords, as well as a couple major scale and minor pentatonic scale patterns. 



I started uploading This Week in My Guitar Studio videos on YouTube about a year ago, and lately I've been posting these "7 Course Meals” because this format allows me to share more concepts for my students to refer to in between our lessons, and it gives new students a glimpse into my teaching style. If you are not on YouTube much but you would like to know when these videos are released, find me on FaceBook, Instagram or Post.





When you use this link to make purchases on Amazon, up to 8% of your total order is added to my scholarship fund. When you practice with videos on my YouTube channel, you are funding more free classes and book giveaways. When you buy Adam Levy's TrueFire courses, you are learning some killer concepts that I can help you apply to your own music in your lessons, and, you are letting me know that you also believe we can make music education more accessible.


I hope practice is going well, and this feels like the right time to level up your guitar playing, please reach out about private lessons or these small group classes. I look forward to hearing from you!


Susan Palmer of LeadCatPress.com