The Biggest Mistake New Guitarists Make

Video TBA

You have all the guitar knowledge in the world at your fingertips, BUT...

That’s the blessing and the curse of the internet, right?  Piles of information, but how do you know if you’re using it correctly?  And which order should you learn things in?  And how do you catch mistakes and bad habits if you don’t know what to look for?

So you end up bouncing from video to video, learning bits and pieces along the way, and then get frustrated because you don’t know how to put it all together and just play a song!

The 3 Ingredient Formula You Need To Really Learn Guitar Fast.


Having the right skills.... There are important guitar skills that you'll use every single time you play. Other stuff only gets used for special situations.

You need to learn the 20% of skills you'll use in 80% of the songs.


There's a very specific order to learn new guitar skills in that makes learning the next technique easier. If it's done right you can easily pick up new skills while reinforcing the previous ones. Then you'll have a system for understanding how music works and how you can learn new songs and new skills quickly and easily.

Eyes and Ears

You don't know what you don't know. An experienced coach will help you catch bad habits before they start and show you hidden tricks to mastering new skills quickly. Even the world's top musicians have a producer in the studio to provide feedback and an extra pair of ears.

With The Right Guitar Training You Can...

Get 1-On-1 Lessons With Me To Become The Guitarist You Imagine

Phil Johnson

Who's Phil Johnson?

Motivation, strategy, and problem solving have been the backbone of my teaching philosophy since I started in 1994. (That’s over 45,000 lessons…)  I’ve helped hundreds of students reach their guitar goals, expand their musical world, and tap into their creativity. (Even the ones who claimed they had no creativity!)

As well as being a lifelong musician who’s played in everything from orchestras to theater pits to rock bands, I’m also a nationally touring performer with dozens of releases. Real world, in-the-thick-of-it knowledge learned over thousands of shows that you can take advantage of.

Why Study With Phil?


Learn dozens of songs at a time. I'll show you the fundamental building blocks every song contains so you can pick up new songs quickly.


You'll develop a system for thinking like a musician so you can replace "How do they do that?" with "Oh, yeah. I can do that."


Get the music you hear in your head onto your guitar!  Creativity in forging your own style is built in every step of the way.

Membership Options


  • Four 30-minute lessons per month

    Work with me 1-on-1 for ....

  • Free copy of Less Is More Guitar

    My proprietary guitar course that uses accelerated learning techniques to take you from zero to rock star.

  • Free set of guitar picks

    A selection of guitar pick gauges you can experiment with to find the right size for you.

  • Opportunities for bonus workshops

    Ear training, effects pedals, improvisation, songwriting, group jams, and more.


  • Four 60-minute lessons per month

    Get four 60-minute lesson credits per month for private guitar lessons. Online or in-person available.

  • Free copy of Less Is More Guitar

    My proprietary guitar course that uses accelerated learning techniques to take you from zero to rock star.

  • Free set of guitar picks

    A selection of guitar pick gauges you can experiment with to find the right size for you.

  • Free access to bonus workshops

    Ear training, effects pedals, improvisation, songwriting, group jams, and more.

What My Clients Say

Jack Yang
Jazz Guitar
Ash Chowdappa
Beginning Guitar
Alex Dickerson
Prog Rock Guitar

No Risk

Register for your free Strategy Session and your free Launch Lesson today and then make a decision using the information you have rather than the information you don't.

Don't Wait!

I only have a few spots open for new students.  So contact me right away for your free Strategy Session.  I'm only taking on a select few students who I feel are a good fit for the program.  


Most frequent questions and answers

Outside of your weekly lesson you’ll need to set aside 20-30 minutes per day at least 5 days per week for your practice schedule.  I will show you exactly how to practice to get the most benefit out of that short amount of time.

Either and both.  You’re welcome to come in-person to my studio in North San Jose, CA or we can work online.  And we can switch back and forth as needed to accommodate travel, a late day at work, traffic jams, or “I just don’t feel like leaving the house today.”  

I’ve done over 3000 online lessons since 2020 and most of my students have opted to stay fully online for the convenience. We use a platform custom built for music lessons. (No fuzzy Zoom audio!)

This program is built around accelerated learning principles to show you the most common and useful guitar skills you’ll use on a daily basis and leave the less common stuff for later.  But the most important factor in how fast you advance is how often you’re playing your guitar and putting these skills to work.  The more often you play, the faster you’ll reach your goals.

Consistency is the key.  Your guitar skills will improve much faster if you’re playing 20-30 minutes per day than if you crammed in 6 hours of practice once per week.

The biggest failing of purely pre-recorded online music courses is that you don’t get expert feedback tailored to your exact situation.  An extra pair of eyes to catch all the details.  A coach to keep to motivated.  With me you’ll have all that and more.

You’re never too old to learn!  Learning an instrument is great for keeping your brain and fine motor skills sharp.  I had a student named Carl who came to me at age 78, in a wheelchair, wanting to learn how to play Gypsy Jazz and he did great!

Yes!  I built these course materials to create a great foundation for any style you’d like to play.  No matter the genre, everyone uses the same 12 notes and the same 50 or so rhythmic building blocks.  

Beyond just the course materials, we’ll introduce songs along the way, specifically in your favorite genres, so you can put all your new musical tools to work.

Plus, I’ll help you expand your personal style past just the cliches of the genre by helping you cross-pollinate from other styles and eras of music.

That said, there are a few things I don’t teach.  See next question.

There are a couple things I don’t teach because they’re more specialized techniques and not a strong part of my skill set.

– Fingerpicking – Whether classical music or modern styles.  I have loads of classical music knowledge, but it’s on other instruments.  There is a bit of fingerpicking in my course materials, but it’s a basic overview.  I teach the more common plectrum-style playing in depth.

– Slide Guitar – Same reasoning. I can show you some basics, but you’ll be better off working with a specialist on a technique like this.

– Other String Instruments – Ukulele, Banjo, Bass, Violin, Mandolin, Etc – While I can hack my way around these instruments when I need to, there are much better teachers available for them.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t work together.  If you’d like to develop a solid working knowledge of the guitar before diving into specialized techniques, I can definitely take you there.

And don’t discount the idea of studying with a variety of teachers.  I’ve studied with dozens of great guitar coaches over the years.

Are you ready to get that music out of your head and onto your guitar? Are you ready to finally understand how music works so you can just PLAY?

I have a very limited number of spots open for new students. So register for your FREE Strategy Session right now and get on the fast track to learning guitar!