Back in 1996, I set up a partnership with my parents to create an online guitar school. My mother Joni had been a very successful guitar teacher for many years, but had moved to a small costal town and my father, Mike, had retired after a successful career in the computer business. Joni created lessons, Mike was the sound engineer and tranferred the lessons onto simple web pages. My sister Debbie was our model and can be seen in the photos. I created the web site, built the capability to receive credit card payments, and did all the technical work.
We created a beginner's course, gave the first lesson out for free and sold the rest of the lessons. Initially we priced at $10 per lesson and later dropped that to $30 for first module of five lessons.
At the time we went into business, amazon.com had just turned one year old, and it would be another two years before google was founded. We were pioneers and expected to make millions. I remember meeting with the Standard Bank Card Division to sign up as a merchant and telling them what huge potential there was. We processed card payments by sending encrypted credit card transactions to the bank via email.
It was a disaster. Paypal only launched over a year after us and people were very reluctant to give credit card details over the Internet. Over a period of a few years we were losing money, even with very low operating costs and eventually we closed down the site.
I have decided to resurect the site and the lessons as a free service in the hope that the lessons may prove useful to some beginner guitarists. The music and the presentation of the lessons is dated, but there is no charge to use these lessons. Joni is now in her 70's and would love to hear from you if you find the lessons useful. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can afford it and find the lessons useful and particularly if you would like any feedback from Joni, there is now a Paypal payment function.
Other than a few tweaks, the site is as it was when we closed down in 1998. I hope you find it useful.
Joni's Guitar School offers personal guitar tuition over the Internet. Our lessons differ from other courses in that we listen to your playing and provide individual feedback to you. You learn to play the guitar at your own pace and benefit from a guitar teacher with many years of experience, a proven distance learning process and proven guitar lessons. We currently offer a beginner's guitar course that has been carefully constructed to ensure that you learn to play the guitar in the shortest possible time. This course covers the basic chords, picks and strums for popular and folk music.
We are also in the process of developing additional courses for guitar. In the future we may also offer courses for other instruments so please visit our site regularly.
You may either download the lessons from our web site or we will send them to you by Email. Each lesson contains the following:
These lessons are in html format (so that they can be viewed and printed out from your web browser (Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mosaic, etc.) and contain everything that you need to know to master the lesson.
The great advantage of Internet tuition over other forms of distance learning is the ability to give personal feedback. Included in the price of each lesson is detailed feedback on your progress.
Once you have practiced the lesson, you create a sound file and E-mail it to us together with any comments or queries that you have. Joni will then listen to your playing and send you feedback on your progress and make recommendations for correcting any problems or difficulties you may have.
Lesson One: Introduction, basic chords and strum
Lesson Two: Pick strum, more chords and capo
Lesson Three: Tuning the guitar, alternating base strings and more chords
Lesson Four: New strum and chord chart
Lesson Five: 3/4 strums and new chords
This is the original information that was on the site when we launched. It is included here for interest rather than to provide current information.
Frequently Asked Questions about Joni's Guitar School