An Interview with: Guy Jones
Updated: Feb 22
Born in Australia, Guy Jones moved to rural England at 15. Spending much time since his adolescent years focusing in on his music has made him proficient and confident in his songwriting and music theory skills, however, he never intended to begin teaching. Guy has been playing bass and keys with LibraLibra since 2018 although a need for a more stable and reliable income bore a new project. Guy opened up to us about his new business ventures, his time with LibraLibra, his musical journey and how it all ties into Guy Teaches: a one-stop-shop for all your music theory and songwriting needs.
We spent some time, at first, reminiscing about his experience with music teachers, the good and the bad. “The idea of being that bad music teacher that puts someone off music? That’s my idea of hell.” He laughs, but past experiences with music teachers have heavily informed his approach to tutoring now; favouring a personalised, almost spiritual process over an academia driven method.
“There are no rules, that’s my ethos” Guy says adamantly “To me, music theory is more about understanding expectations.” He admits people often tell him that they worry learning music theory will marre the ‘magic’ of their songwriting flow. “I don’t know where this preconception comes from… on one end there’s the flow-state of songwriting, and people think theory is separate from that. To me… you absorb yourself in this information and when you’re writing you just ignore all of that. It’s not like you don’t use it. You internalise that information. I teach students the emotional language of music so they can speak it fluently… I think that’s the gap in the market everyone is missing out on.”
“When you start a conversation, you expect the conversation to go: “hi” “hi”, “how are you?” “how are you?”. It’s not a rule, but an expectation. To be a good songwriter, maybe you don’t want to follow those expectations, but you have to know what they are.”
“I actually started out doing it just to help out my friends,” he confesses. There was no announcement or five-year plan, no stressing over branding. Guy saw an opportunity and took a leap: “I thought, I’ll just start teaching, I’ll just start taking music students now. I’m not gonna design a website or anything, I’ll just put it out there and see what happens.”
As it turns out, there were quite a few musicians out there who got in contact and, for a while, we discuss his clientele. From music tutors who need a brush-up before they embarrass themselves in front of more theory-proficient students, to songwriters who feel their creative-juices running dry, Guy has found fulfilment in spreading his passion and knowledge to others who share it.
“I undervalued how capable I was to do this” He confesses to over-preparing for his first session, but has since learnt to go with the flow. ‘Homework’ is personalised to your session with Guy, the session itself is student-directed. “I essentially grill people,” Guy laughs “I wanna meet people where they are with music. What do they want out of it? You can only lead a horse to water... Now that I’ve started doing this and realised how much I love it.”
“I feel like I did everything the hard way because I did it alone.” He describes his learning process as long and aspires to “help others get where they’re going quicker”. Talking with Guy it’s clear he champions community and comradeship. In an industry so competitive, it can be difficult for musicians to reach out for help from others. Fears of appearing less talented or knowledgeable can turn off other musicians to reach out for aid. This inspired Guy to create a space free of judgement, where he and his students can share ideas and knowledge, and freely make mistakes. He concedes that even the most passionate and motivated musicians can lose their jazz when forced to learn out of necessity, instead of a desire to improve or genuine interest in the subject at hand. To this end, Guy reiterates the philosophy behind his student-driven approach “Having lessons with me isn’t about me trying to tell you how to write songs. It’s about me providing ideas and tools to write your songs better. I’m not trying to lead anyone anywhere, just trying to help them get to where they’re going.”
If a consultation with Guy Jones sounds like something you need right now, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, keep up with Guy at @guyjonesteaches and @guy_jones_offical on Instagram, follow him on Facebook @guyteaches at or hang out with LibraLibra at libralibra.co.uk and @libralibramusic.
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Written by: Enya