Greg Howard   Chapman Stick artist   Stick Lessons
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Lessons via Video Conference
Now you can buy lessons using PayPal or Credit/Debit cards through Greg's Online store, or just use the PayPal links below. click here for more info.

I've been teaching Free Hands two-handed tapping lessons via Skype video conference and Google Video Chat since 2008. It's a very convenient way to get going with basic technique issues, and I can even help you with how to set up and adjust your instrument. Free Hands has some surface similarities with standard fretting of strings on bass or guitar, but in my experience there is a broad overall method that is completely different in its movements and necessary skill sets. My goal is to help you develop the technical skills to play the music you want to play, not to teach you how to "play like me."

Besides and active Skype account or gmail account (both are free, and there is no charge for the video conference function) you'll you need is a high-speed internet connection and a web cam, plus an amp in the room with you. Lessons may be recorded for future reference, but only the student's video and both audio streams (not my video, please)

Because the setup of a tapping instrument is so important to developing good playing skills, I only teach videoconference lessons on instruments for which I'm able to give setup advice; these include all of the instruments made by Stick Enterprises, which are easy to setup and keep in good setup because of the hardware used.

Lessons are available in half-hour ($27) or 60-minute ($50) lengths, and are paid for in advance via check or PayPal (use the button below). I do my best to accommodate student's schedules from diferent time zones (so far I've had students in nine different time zones), so if you are intersted, I'm sure we can make it work for you. I keep the ates as low as I can to encourage regular lessons, but you can take them as often or seldom as you like

If you want to sign up, just send me an email to:, and include the subject "Lesson Inquiry".

To pay by check or money order (in US$), please make it Payable to "Espresso Productions" and send it to:

P O Box 451
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Or if you want to use PayPal, you can use the button below:
Lesson Length

If you want to give a lesson as a gift, please make sure to provide the email address of the lesson recipient for scheduling purposes, and also when you want the lesson to be "active" (when the gift is being "given").


—Dan Quaroni, Massachussettes
     Greg is an talented and knowledgeable teacher, but what I found remarkable was how perceptive he is over video chat. He easily identified subtle problems with my technique as if he were sitting next to me. I highly recommend taking lessons with Greg.

—Mike Coyle, Florida
      I have been playing the Chapman Stick for under a year, and have been taking video lessons with Greg every few weeks for the last six months. Greg has written two great books on the Free Hands method, but live video lessons with Greg bring so much more to the learning experience. The key benefits that I get from my lessons with Greg can be summarized as follows:
     First off, he has helped me improve my understanding of the physical aspects of playing the Stick. Concepts such as managing right/left hand independence and using hand motion to play along the strings (as opposed to across the fretboard) were very difficult for me to grasp at first, until Greg explained and demonstrated them. Video lessons are also a great vehicle for correcting bad form in instrument positioning and arm/hand/finger movement.
     Second, I feel that my lessons with Greg are helping me mature as a musician, and not just become a guy that can mechanically play a few tunes on the Stick. His advice and commentary on phrasing, tune analysis, etc. are priceless. I've been a mediocre guitar player for many years, but I now feel that I am on the right musical path.
     Lastly, studying with Greg is an ongoing source of inspiration. Even after several months, I still walk away from every single lesson awestruck at his command of the instrument.
     When I first received my Stick, I was hesitant to start taking lessons with Greg because I didn't want to waste the time of a legendary musician as I ramped up on the basics of the Free Hands method. I had no idea how accessible and patient Greg would be as a teacher, given his mastery of the instrument and stature in the Stick community.
     I only wish that I had started taking lessons with him sooner. My wife and children strongly agree.