The Total Guitar
The Guitar Instruction Site
Brian Johns

What’s New?

During the current pandemic circumstances I am offering lessons online – mostly on “Zoom.”  Additionally, as we move forward - approaching the much anticipated return to “normal” - I plan on retaining the online option.  For many it’s just more convenient: saves time, perhaps one is feeling slightly under the weather or just don’t feel going out of the house.  Online scheduling also offers incredible flexibility.

“The Total Guitar channel has been launched on YouTube.  At this site, you’ll find links to the channel and some actual videos as well.

What’s Inside This Site?


The purpose of this site is to provide information to both the current students of guitar and to those considering taking lessons.  Here you will find information on a wide range of topics:

  • The current teaching schedule or available times.
  • Who takes lessons and practice hints.  
  • Numerous musical examples in reflection of the various objectives, age groups or skill levels of those that take lessons or are considering taking lessons – the “total” guitar. 
  • Guitar care stuff and ideas on purchasing your first guitar.

Thanks for stopping by and please enjoy your stay!


What Sort Of Lessons Are Offered?


All ages are welcome including youngsters, budding rockers or adult hobbyists.  Certainly, no previous experience is necessary but some students are well advanced.  The typical lesson is 30 minutes in length but 45 minute and 60 minute lessons are sometimes available as well.  The scope of instruction, including instruments and musical styles is briefly outlined below:


  • The Acoustic Steel String or Nylon String Guitar.
  • The Electric Guitar.
  • The Electric Bass Guitar, Fretted or Fretless including Walking Lines, Playing with a Drummer and Slap and Pop Technique.
  • Fingerstyle or Plectrum (Pick).
  • Classical, study of the Standard Repertoire.
  • Rock or Popular, Current or Classic – Vocal Accompaniment.  This is a huge portion of the professional guitarist’s activity.
  • Blues, Electric or Fingerstyle.
  • Jazz, Solo or Ensemble.
  • Reading Music including Tablature, Standard Notation and Chord Frames as suited.
  • Music Theory including Harmony, Rhythm, Scales or Modes and Improvisation in a variety of settings.
  • The Ukulele
  • Audition Preparation.
  • Technique, always - it’s the foundation; it’s the future...

In terms of style or genre, interests can and do change and so, flexibility is a core tenet within the overall plan.  Some students have eclectic tastes from the onset and wish to pursue or least seek an introduction to a variety of styles including rock, popular, country or folk.  On the other hand, some students really don’t have a particular stylistic aspiration in mind and certainly, equally as welcome.


At times, there isn’t an interest in a longer term approach.  Perhaps help in preparing for an upcoming audition or aid in the learning of a specific tune or technique is the sole desire.  So, as the schedule permits, I’ll attempt to construct a flexible plan for those individuals.


Where and When Are Lessons Given?


Lessons are scheduled by appointment.  The teaching hours are generally 2:00 or 3:00 PM until 9:00 PM or later, Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM, Saturday.  Every attempt will be undertaken to schedule a mutually convenient lesson time.  The typical lesson is 30 minutes in length but 45 minute and 60 minute lessons are occasionally available as well.

Back home to Broad Ripple, The Total Guitar at Premier Music Studios is centrally located in Indianapolis and close to shopping, restaurants and the Monon Trail.

 What’s The Approach To Lessons?


My primary objective is to aid in the instillation of an understanding of music and music making and have fun along the way.  The guitar is our vehicle in this journey.  This process begins with good or proper fundamentals.  Great technique never goes out of style and the individual and unique goals of the student are always considered as well.  Overall, it is my hope to make this both an enjoyable and satisfying experience.


What’s The Lesson Atmosphere Like?


Much effort has been given to making the lesson environment as comfortable as possible.  The studio itself is roomy.  Additionally, “play – along” musical accompaniments are generally utilized including MIDI files, “Band In The Box” and myself.


Who Am I?


Indianapolis has always been home and I have been a professional musician for forty years.  It was after studies at Butler University that I embarked upon a career of teaching and music performance.  My private teaching studio was established in 1976 and I have been a part-time faculty member of Marian College, now Marian University since 1986.  As a performer, I have enjoyed both the array and variety possible in musical craft with performances ranging from classical to popular styles.  I have also arranged and composed for the guitar in both solo and ensemble settings.  As an instructor, I have both created and utilized numerous tutorial materials in a wide variety of styles and wish to continue to have the opportunity to impart knowledge, experience and vision of the instrument coupled with the specific goals of students.  Currently, I am a co-owner of Premier Music Studios.


What’s the Lesson Policy?


Here’s the basic outline and somewhat standard:


  • Lesson Fee:   The fee schedule for a private, one to one music lesson is as follows:
    • 30 Minutes - $25.00
    • 45 Minutes - $35.00
    • 60 Minutes - $45.00


  • Cancellation:   Should the need to cancel a lesson arise, please give at least 24 hours notice. Earlier notification is by far better and preferred as other students seeking make-up lessons could use your time.  Notable exceptions would include illness and emergencies.


  • Make-Up Lesson:   When given sufficient notice, every attempt will be made to schedule a mutually convenient make-up lesson.


  • Teacher Cancellation:   If I cancel a lesson, it will be your choice of a make-up lesson or credit.  You will never be charged for my cancellations.  This is an infrequent event.

Please contact me for more information regarding specific available times or other questions:

The Total Guitar at Premier Music Studios
58th Street and Rosslyn Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220

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