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Learn to Play the Guitar with Susan Palmer and "The Guitar Lesson Companion"


Learn to Play the Guitar with Susan Palmer and "The Guitar Lesson Companion"

"The Guitar Lesson Companion" method book series was designed for students who are taking lessons, but not everyone can find a good teacher. Work your way though the books with help from the author.
Need structure? Get it.

Location: Seattle
Members: 64
Latest Activity: Jan 2, 2014

Music Education for Today's Guitarists



It's simple: You need a clear and flexible method with plenty of exercises to make learning the tough stuff on guitar easier!


Build a solid foundation of practical skills with Volumes One and Two of “The Guitar Lesson Companion.” These are best guitar method books for serious guitarists to get started and reach their highest playing potential. Written by a University guitar instructor with over 15 years of experience teaching kids, college music students and adults.


Order here and also receive: free picks, free lesson guides, and free online support!



• The Book for Students Taking Lessons
• Jazz, Blues, Rock and Folk Music
• Electric or Acoustic Pick-Style
• Beginning to Advanced Levels


Note from Susan Palmer: I wrote these books to help students get more out of their guitar lessons and to help teachers save time and be more effective in their studios. I have been frustrated with most method books because they do not follow a clear and progressive structure, they omit important concepts, and there never seem to be enough exercises for students to really learn the material.

While no book works well with every type of student, I attempted to create a method series that would be more flexible than any other books on the market. I also decided that in order for a method book series to truly be successful, it should be used with a guitar instructor; that's why these books are designed so differently than other books you have seen.

These books provide teachers with a basic framework for teaching, but they do not attempt to replace the teacher with pages of explanations, that most students won't read anyway. There are many ways to progress through these books, and it is up to the teacher to discover the ways that work best for each type of student.


Check out some of the video lessons to see if this might be right for you!








Guitar Lessons with Susan Palmer in Seattle or via Webcam

The Rock Project at Cornish College of the Arts

YouTube Guitar Lesson and Jam Track Library

Susan Palmer's Guitar Studio on Facebook

Get More Out of Your Guitar Lessons Blog

Susan Palmer's LinkedIn Profile




Susan Palmer is the author of The Guitar Lesson Companion guitar method book series and currently teaches guitar at Seattle University as well as The Rock Project at Cornish College of the Arts. She has led jazz, blues, and rock groups throughout her career, and has spent the past 15 years teaching adults and kids how to play the guitar. Many of her students are now actively performing throughout the Pacific Northwest.
In 2006, Palmer published her unique guitar instruction method in The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One, and in accompanying online video lessons, jam tracks and performances. Subsequently, her book has been adopted by teachers and students in over 10 countries, including faculty at Berklee College of Music.
After a 2009 meeting with the Music Department Chair at Cornish College of the Arts, she was inspired by a shared enthusiasm for innovative education, and Palmer committed to creating a new curriculum for youth that goes beyond the musical offerings available in schools. This curriculum focused on creating and performing the music many young people love, on instruments they love. Out of this, she developed and pitched what became The Rock Project, a week-long summer workshop for youth people interested in expanding their skills in rock by studying key elements of jazz and blues music.
This sold-out program of Palmer’s conception and design, proved that there is interest in the Seattle area for a music program that challenges students to be creative and smart musicians, while having a lot of fun. In fact, one student came as far as Australia to participate in last summer’s workshop.
In 2010, Palmer became a faculty fellow for Seattle University's Academic Service-Learning Program where she learned how to introduce academic service-learning into her courses. Her goal was to incorporate academic service-learning into her curriculum for guitar lessons by requiring her students to commit to regular performances and/or lessons with people in our community who were not otherwise able to hear live music or receive private music instruction. She then measured and evaluated her results for an Action Research Project. Also in 2010, Palmer received a grant to begin studying piano and drums more seriously, an enterprise that continues to enrich and broaden her music teaching in guitar and small groups.
Palmer's second book, The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two was published in 2011 and helps meet the need that college music teachers have expressed for a clear and flexible intermediate-advanced level method book. This advanced method book allows her to connect and discuss innovative teaching ideas with instructors around the world who share her passion for teaching young musicians the fundamentals of music in ways that promote creativity and mastery.
Currently, Susan Palmer is developing an after school music education project that focus on the influence of jazz and blues music on rock and electronic pop music. Along with her teaching gigs at Seattle University and Cornish College of the Arts, Susan Palmer teaches privately in Seattle and worldwide via Skype. For more information, contact her at:
Order here and also receive: free picks, free lesson guides, and free online support!

Discussion Forum

Post Questions Here for "The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two" and 30 YouTube Lessons

When you order your copy of "The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two" book & CD package from the website HERE, you will also receive a Suggested Weekly Lesson Planner which provides a clear…Continue

Started by Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press Dec 9, 2013.

General Discussion Questions and Topics 12 Replies

It's important to learn all the concepts and develop good skills, but you must remember that it's all about playing music. As soon as you can, dig into some real tunes. You can learn songs for on the internet with sites like YouTube, and I encourage…Continue

Tags: general, topics, questions, music, real

Started by Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press. Last reply by Jay Peek Apr 16, 2011.

Post Questions Here for "The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One" and 19 YouTube Lesson Videos 11 Replies

When you order your copy of "The Guitar Lesson Companion" book & CD package from the website HERE, you will also receive a Suggested Weekly Lesson Planner which provides a clear structure to…Continue

Tags: Questions

Started by Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press. Last reply by Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press Apr 6, 2010.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Learn to Play the Guitar with Susan Palmer and "The Guitar Lesson Companion" to add comments!

Comment by Donna Zitzelberger on May 18, 2009 at 10:13am
Deidre - I did the first set of free lessons with my beginner group - seven children ages 9-12. They loved it. The book's font is really big and it's organized well. There are 67 backing tracks ranging from blues to rock to jazz. I had them learn the first half which they did. Then I had them sight read the second half. They did it. It was hysterical how they rocked out when the backing track went on. Some of them were holding their little 3/4 nylon string guitars below their waist like an electric and pretending to be punk rockers. :)

Comment by Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press on May 5, 2009 at 1:31pm
Don't forget about the tunes folks! Here are a few books I like to use with my students at various levels of their playing:

1) Easy Pop Melodies

2) Blues Guitar

3) Classical Studies for Pick Style Guitar

4) Jazz

5) Jazz (cheaper)

Ask your local music store to order them for you.

Susan Palmer
Comment by Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press on April 24, 2009 at 7:35pm
I do use the same process and I do have the same expectations. The kids go a little slower in some places, but they surprise me with how quickly they learn this stuff. I'm a tough teacher with all my students, but the younger ones get to see my goofy side more often.
Comment by Deidre McCalla on April 24, 2009 at 7:23pm
A user guide sounds great! Susan, you teach at a college; if you have younger students do you use the same process and have the same expectations?

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