GCH Guitar Academy was established in 1992, however the founder Gareth Hargreaves had been teaching, and playing in bands and as a studio artist since the 1980's. The course was developed to teach individuals, school classes and groups how to play the guitar. The course was developed because the commercially available material was, and is so poor. Private one to one lessons are available in Colwyn Bay, North Wales

Combining the GCH Guitar Academy guitar course material with new multimedia technology, has produced a multimedia guitar method that cannot be beaten. We originally intended to pass the multimedia course on to a publisher to take over the sales and distribution. However we have remained the sole distributors of the course giving us the ability to provide far more personal customer support and maintain a very low price.

The multimedia course is now well established, having sold tens of thousands of copies worldwide and having been featured in a number of high profile magazines, and the course continues to grow and improve.

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More about Gareth Hargreaves

BBC article about GCH Guitar Academy

Local lessons in Old Colwyn, Conwy

A brief history of the Multimedia course

Hi my name is Gareth Hargreaves, the author of this course. I started teaching guitar professionally in 1990. The courses that were available at the time were poor to say the least. Either they taught theory with no, or few tunes, or they taught tunes with no or little theory. The worst courses of all would teach just one style of music or were just a forum for guitarists to show off their skill.

It soon became apparent to me that in order to provide the quality of teaching I wanted I would have to write my own course.

So that’s what I did, and week by week I would write the course to stay one-step ahead of my fastest student. This is how the course started. As I taught more students of varying ages and capabilities, I adapted and improved the course to suit the different capabilities. This way the course evolved and matured into the course it is today.


some of the students who have darkened my doorway
some of the students music



the paper based course

Currently the paper based course consists of eight books, and is still growing.

The choice of music used in the course is and has been selected by its suitability to the lessons rather than personal taste, this way the course has something for everyone, but more importantly the lessons are backed up with practical exercises that will improve the way you play the guitar.

The first version of the course was completely paper based, with midi files to provide backing for students to play along to. This version was obviously designed for the classroom situation, where I could explain the lessons clearly to the students. The success of the course at this stage was clear by the number of students coming for lessons and the results being produced in each student.

The first multimedia course was produced on a very tight budget. The course content was the same from the beginning as it is now, but the overall look of the course lacked the visual impact it has now developed. Recent versions have introduced ‘click to hear buttons’ and photography of guitars and important hand positions.

The most recent additions and variations of the course have been the ‘Left Handed version’ and coming soon will be the Mac version, the children's course and the bass course.

When I first created the multimedia version of the course, my first intention was to allow a publisher to manage production and sales. However when I found that the multimedia publishers already had guitar courses in their portfolio I had no choice but to start producing and selling the course myself.

This WEB site and GCH Guitar Academy is now dedicated to creating and selling the GCH guitar course in multimedia format, making it affordable by virtually anybody and available throughout the world.

the original Guitar Academy Unit 1 CD-rom case

CD-roms and DVD-roms filed ready for distribution

A history of Unit one Revisions

Version 1.00
Version 1.01 code structure improvement,
Version 1.02 lessons submenu added, launch metronome, tunes, backings and video
Version 1.03 32 bit icons bug fixed, mouse behavior changes
Version 1.04 launch PDF‘s, CD launcher introduced, fix half barres.
Version 1.04a Backings player play list, bugs fixed.
Version 1.05 Video button glitch removed, index.pdf added, addition of ’Riff Click‘.
Version 2.00 GUI redesign, add plectrum lesson and photographic material, correct some minor spelling mistakes.
Version 2.40 New lesson design, ‘hear this’ button and ‘e-book’ button.
Version 2.50 Metronome, Tuner and Backing player launcher changed to stay in the foreground. Main application flash screen whilst launch.
Version 3.00 Better explanation of chord/scale maps added plus more guitar information. flash screen added to secondary applications.
Version 3.50 Added; 2 games, 3 presentations, 'stop sound' buttons, lessons loading screens. Improved; PDF colours, existing games.

The Mac OS9.x and OSX version was released early in January 2006.

'First Steps Guitar' released early July 2006.
Version 2.50 Vista icons, prevent screen resize on metronome, tuner and backing player. Improve quality of PDF's.

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