Introducing Strathmore’s New Guitar School


Have you heard the news? Strathmore now has a new home for Guitar Lessons.

Let us Introduce Melbourne Guitar Academy, Strathmore’s newest business and premier School of Guitar. Located in the Woodland Street Shops Melbourne Guitar Academy was originally named ‘The Guitar Suite’ but was re-branded in 2014 after owner and head teacher Michael Gumley completed his Bachelor Degree in Music Performance and decided to commit to being a full time guitar teacher and musician.

Michael grew up in the neighboring suburb of Oak Park and cut his teeth teaching at local schools and music shops whilst studying. He has taught hundreds of students during his 9 years as a music teacher and is very excited by the prospect of opening his first school. “My goal is to bring my passion for music and love for guitar to each and every one of my students” says Michael. “I‘m all about getting to know my students and what they want to be able to do on guitar, then creating a lesson program that will will take them to that place in the shortest amount of time possible, basically we set goals together and we achieve them” A process that works to great effect.

Michael’s unique approach to learning seems like common sense but in the world of music education you would be surprised by how little most teacher’s know about teaching music. Many musicians are great players but fall into teaching for a bit of money on the side, they never invest in how to teach or have had any formal training. This is of course terrible to students learning under them as they are just guinea pigs for aspiring teacher’s or just numbers on a role for teachers who have no emotional investment in their students.

I’d hate to think how many Mozart’s, Jimi Hendrixes’ and Angus Young’s the world has missed out on because students have been put off lessons by a teacher who has no idea what they are doing or failed to inspire or engage with their student” says Michael in a frustrated tone. Considering over 90% of people who take music lessons as a child have given up on learning an instrument by the age of 13* it appears there is a problem with the traditional learning system.

Fortunately Melbourne Guitar Academy offers a different approach guitar lessons, one that matches students to the right program for them based on their learning style, personality and the goals they want to achieve. Where most teachers and music schools apply a one-sized fits all approach to guitar lessons MGA focuses on each individual students own needs and goals and creating a program that will set them up for success from the beginning.

If you’ve always wanted to learn guitar, have been put off lessons in the past by a bad teacher or are tired of trying to teach yourself and just not getting it, consider visiting Melbourne Guitar Academy for a Free Introductory Lesson.

Call by the shop at 74 Woodlands St, Strathmore or Call Michael on 0405018708 to book now.


An Easy Way To Sound Like A Pro When Improvising

Are you new to improvising and want to sound like a pro straight away? Are you tired of your improvisation sounding like a bunch of disconnected licks thrown together? Do you ever listen to your favorite players solo and wonder how they make everything sound so fluent and cohesive? If so then this article has a solution for you.
A common problem that many guitarists face when they first learn how to improvise is having a large repertoire of licks and ideas and no way to tie them together into a cohesive sounding solo. The road to becoming a great improviser can be a long and hard journey filled with lots of frustration, or it can be a quick and easy process if we learn some simple concepts and know how to apply them. Too often guitar players invest hours upon hours learning their favorite licks and building up technique but just can’t get it to sound like music. If this sounds like you, chances are you’re coming at improvisation from the wrong angle and just by changing the way you think, can get you massive results almost instantaneously.
So what is this top secret easy trick that all the experts are using and don’t want you to know? The answer… Motifs. We don’t want to think about how to connect multiple licks together on the fly, we want to focus on how use one idea (our motif) to create multiple licks that are cohesive and flow into each other one after the other.
By definition a motif is a short simple musical idea that is often repeated to form a pattern. Motifs can be melodic, intervalic, rhythmic or feature a specific technique or articulation. In this lesson we will be focusing on Rhythmic motifs by taking a short rhythm and applying the notes of our pentatonic scale to this rhythm to get some simple yet very effective licks.
I’ve created a simple blues riff for you in the key of A and all you need to do is substitute notes from the minor pentatonic scale over the open string notes. Doing this will create a sense of familiarity with the listener as their ear can hear a common theme (the rhythm) repeated in each idea. This will not only draw in the listener by sparking their interest but will make each of your ideas cohesive within the solo and make your licks sound very musical regardless of their simplicity.
To begin this lesson you need to learn the blues riff in exercise #1. You will also need to know your A Minor Pentatonic Scale ( Ex 2). Once you can play the riff fluently you can start to add the pentatonic scale to the riff 4 notes at a time. With each repetition of the riff you can focus on different notes of the pentatonic scale as indicated in Ex 3.
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Once you can play up and down the minor pentatonic scale without breaking rhythm its times to get creative and start changing up the order of the notes as seen in Ex 4. A great idea is to stick to only two strings and see how many different ways you can combine and articulate the notes. Once you have used up all of your ideas, you can move to a new group of strings or even a new shape of the minor pentatonic scale.



Where to from here?

When it comes to improvisation on the guitar it isn’t so much about what your fingers are capable of playing as much as to what ideas your imagination can come up with. Using rhythmic motifs is a very simple way for you to connect a number of different licks or ideas together with a repeated rhythm. As you develop this skill and build a repertoire of motifs you will able to create new licks and connect ideas that will impress listeners and make your solos just as good if not better than the pros.

In Part 2 we will be expanding on the ideas presented here as well as learning a new motif.

michaelgumleyguitarlessonsinmelbourneAbout the Author

Michael Gumley is a professional guitar teacher and owner of Melbourne Guitar Academy. He plays regularly in his band Hybrid Nightmares and is an endorser of Ormsby Guitars, Ernie Ball Strings, Blackstar Amps and Line 6 FX. If you want to take your guitar playing to the next level Michael is the teacher for you. Sign up for the best guitar lessons in Melbourne and improve your playing right away!

If you have any questions or would like tab and audio files email Michael at

Melbourne Guitar Academy Opens

Have you always wanted to learn the guitar but have lacked the motivation to do so?
Have you dabbled in free lessons from YouTube with little or no results?
Are you a parent looking for a fun and rewarding hobby for your child?
Are you an experienced player who is struggling to get the results that you want?
Are you looking to a refreshing change to mundane lessons and interested in a short course to master a particular technique?
Are you a singer looking to learn an instrument to accompany yourself on?

If any of these sound familair then I would like to welcome you to the Melbourne Guitar Academy – A place dedicated to getting the results you want for your guitar playing and making you not only a great guitar player, but the guitarist you have always dreamed of being.

Dream It – Believe It – Achieve It

The Melbourne Guitar Academy offers both Individual & Group lessons in

Rock, Acoustic, Blues, Funk, Metal, Pop/Top 40, Songwriting, Music Theory, Composition, Beginner Guitar, Children Guitar. Aural Training, Beginner Keyboard Lessons & Beginner Drum Lessons

The Melbourne Guitar Academy offers Short Courses & Programs in

Funk Guitar
Blues Guitar
Rock & Metal Lead Guitar
Rock & Metal Rhythm Guitar
Music Theory
Beginner Guitar
Children’s “Learn About Music’ – hands on introduction to music.
Aural/Ear Training

For a free ‘Introduction to Guitar and Evaluation’ session, email or call Michael on 0405018708 to book now.

The Melbourne Guitar Academy is located in Melbourne’s Northern Suburb of Pascoe Vale. It is a convenient 5 minute walk from Pasco Vale Station and a short drive from Essendon Glenroy Broadmeadows Craigiburn Airport West Coburg Hadifield Ascot Vale Strathmore Moonee Ponds Glenbervie

Is distance a problem? Apply for skype or Online Correspondence Lessons