G4 Guitar’s David Hart – My story
My name is David Hart and I founded G4 Guitar in 2005 but prior to G4 Guitar I had spent 20 years teaching guitar so here is my story.
My Dad’s influence
It all started with my father. He has always been a big fan of rock and especially guitar bands. My earliest memories back in the 70’s were of admiring the covers of my Dad’s record collection. I would spend hours listening to his records and picking out my favourites. Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Eagles, David Bowie, Queen and so on. By my teens when most of my friends were just starting to become familiar with the legends of rock I was already well versed.
My friend’s influence
At age 14 years I met Jaro who played guitar. It was just before AC/DC released Back in black. They were big in Australia but not in the US. Jaro had a Washburn electric with Peavey Amp and it sounded amazing. He encouraged me to take up drums so we could form a band. I signed up for lessons despite the fact that I had no drum kit and got to work. I would hang out with Jaro after school and he picked up some basic chords and riffs. I continued to self teach for the next few years.
My teacher’s influence
My drum teacher Merv Dick was excellent and I will be forever grateful. He gave me the grounding in rhythm I needed which helped me enormously with guitar as well. Guitar was very much a self teaching project but a failing one at that. At age 17 years after some frustration I decided to have guitar lessons. I was fortunate in finding Mark Bergman who is still one of the most amazing guitarists and teachers I ever had the privilege of learning with. Mark was able to transform me from a hacker to a professional within months. Mark covered everything from how to play to what to listen to putting me into a band and getting me on stage. Mark put me into a group situation which accelerated my learning. It was called Rockschool and I was teamed up with another guitarist, bass player and drummer. The growth was amazing and I went from a shy teen to a confident stage performer. I continued on playing with the drummer for many years.
Let the teaching begin
I originally began teaching guitar after about 6 months of lessons because my school music teacher felt I was ready and could help the younger students so my guitar teaching career began. The year was 1984. Later that same year I began teaching professionally and never looked back.
Moving out of home and research
I taught privately from home up until about 1988 and then moved in a commercial studio in southern Sydney. My students were growing quickly so I hired a second and then a third teacher. I sold my first business in my early 20’s and took a year off to travel to the USA. I wanted to visit the guitar and music schools GIT Hollywood and Berklee Boston. The idea was to do some traveling but also to learn what makes a great music school. On my return at age 27 I began a new guitar school with a partner in Sydney.
A Masters in Teaching Guitar & Business
The guitar school soon turned into a music school originally called BMP Music in Caringbah Sydney and then I later renamed it Learn2Play Music. We relocated 3 times due to growth and at its peak we had approximately 450 students coming each week. I spent 10 years building and developing the business and testing all kinds of different teaching and business programs. I call this time my Masters in teaching music and business. There were a lot if hard but valuable lessons learned. There were many great times and for the most part I earned a good income. I sold Learn2Play Music to my brother Steve who continued to expand and grow and the school is now the largest suburban music school in Sydney.
The G4 Guitar Project
In the 2003 I sold the business and again took time out. This time I wanted to design a guitar only school opposed to a music school. By specialising I would be able to focus all my energy on being good at one thing. The G4 Guitar Method was born and I spent 2 years designing both the method and the business model. I launched the business in 2005 2 years later had open 5 schools and had enrolled over 3000 students. The results even surprised me.
To learn more about how G4 Guitar went from zero to 5 schools in 2 years please read the following blog;