Matt Lloyd was never one for guitar instruction books. He’d rather teach himself or fiddle around until he got it.
He considered writing a book but found it hard to balance it with his bands.
Once the pandemic hit and teaching guitar became more of a full-time effort, he found time to finish “Guitar for Beginners: A Different Way of Learning Guitar.”
“I always just said, ‘Bring a blank notebook,’ and I’d hand write my lessons for each student,” says Lloyd, a Gilbert resident.
“Last year, I was thinking it would be so much easier to have a template, a book, so I can share the way I teach with other people if they want to learn.
Lloyd has been teaching guitar for about 15 years, on and off. He moved to Gilbert from Nashville in 2016 and his business picked up.
“I have 50 students now. It turned out to be a full-time thing here now during the day,” Lloyd says.
He wrote “Guitar for Beginners: A Different Way of Learning Guitar” with illustrator/graphic artist Josh Campbell.
“The quarantine was a weird blessing for us. Obviously, it’s not for everybody. I started using Zoom for a lot of my lessons and for Josh and me. We couldn’t meet up anyway. We just hopped on our computers and spent three to four hours at a time communicating.”
In about 60 pages, “Guitar for Beginners” goes over everything a fledgling guitarist needs to know, including diagrams of the instrument, how to read guitar tabs, major scales, and public domain songs like “Twinkle Twinkle,” “Happy Birthday” and “You Are My Sunshine.”
“The book is the way I’ve been teaching for the last several years, and I’ve put all of those thoughts into a book,” he says. “I’ve tried to fill in the gaps anyway and make each page to where if someone’s sitting down on their own and they don’t have a teacher to help them, they’ll still learn.
“It takes you right from the beginning and explains the parts of the guitar. It’s very simple and very basic, and hopefully builds you up.”
The first pressing of the book, which sells for $14.99, sold out quickly. He’s grateful for the community he’s built in the Valley.
“I taught about 200 to 250 students in three or four years,” Lloyd says. “All those students have families. It’s been cool to interact with so many families in the community. I don’t do much promotion for my teaching. I have a big enough network where I get one or two recommendations a week through text or email.”
“Guitar for Beginners: A Different Way of Learning Guitar,” mattlloydmusic.com.