Meet Ross

I get great joy from
teaching and watching
my students progress.

fun-on-the-frets_pick - fun on the frets

A bit about me…

My musical journey began as a self-taught guitar player.

From the bedroom to garage bands and playing at the local church hall…

Somewhere along the way, I realised that my self-taught style needed a bit of polish. If I wanted to make a career out of music, I needed to get an education.

My first formal music lessons were with “John Rees”, a trained classical musician but better known as the bass player with “Men at Work”. John was a natural teacher and he taught me the basics of harmony, theory and arranging. Lessons that still resonate today.

I still really needed to lift my guitar playing so I sought out the best guitar teachers I could find to help me. Legendary guitar player/teacher “Bruce Clarke” taught me how to read music and instilled a love of jazz and improvised music. Gifted classical guitarist and teacher “Nick Chalkiadakis” gave me a great technical foundation that underpins my playing style.

Apart from the study, I was playing 5 to 7 gigs a week in original rock bands. It was during this time that I also met “Tommy Emmanuel”. Tom was in the process of developing his solo playing style that has since taken him to fame as one of the all time greats of guitar. Just being able to hang with, listen to and play with Tommy was such an inspiration. He was always so gracious with his time and taught me the basics of “Travis Picking” that I still use in my teaching to this day..

Over the years, I’ve worked live and recorded with a number of different artists, people and bands like the Bop-girl “Pat Wilson”, “Whiteman Can’t Reggae”, “Misfits”,”The Bobby James Syndicate” and “Animal Farm”.

I’ve done shows from the “Hells Angels” Broadford annual event with Aussie soul legend “Jeff St John” to playing in the orchestra for the “Moscow Circus”. Shared the stage with many legendary Australian artists and performed in venues all over the country.

I have been teaching guitar lessons in Melbourne for most of my working life now. The lessons I learned from my own teachers, the many musicians I have worked with along the way and the 1000’s of students I have taught underpin the structure that I work from.

I love what I do…it’s so rewarding watching people learn to play the guitar and the joy they get from it. It’s also rewarding when the pro and semi pro players I have taught over the years tell me how something they learned from me helped them with their craft. Helped them get a gig or gigs…

Enjoy!

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My mentors

These are some of the teachers and people that have helped guide me on my journey.

  • John Rees (Men at Work)
  • Bruce Clarke (Legendary Teacher)
  • Nick Chalkiadakis (Classical Master)
  • Tommy Emmanual (Guitar Legend)
  • Ron Leigh (Inspirational Teacher)
  • John Paine (Theatre Guitar Man)

Memorable gigs

Over the years, I’ve played many thousands of gigs. These are a handful of the most memorable… all have a good story.

  • Pentridge Prison – ‘B’ Division
  • Calder Raceway – International Event
  • Broadford – Hells Angels Annual Concert
  • The Moscow Circus on Ice
  • Warren Hall’s Final Show
  • A Concert for Ross Hannaford

My approach to teaching…

The connection is key to your guitar playing success.

Firstly, let me say that I love to play and teach guitar; it’s something I’ve done my entire adult life.

It’s important that I have a connection with you. If the personal connection is not there it makes the learning process difficult if not impossible. The lessons are informative and fun, something to look forward to…they should never be a chore.

This is why my lessons are private, one on one. Group guitar lessons just don’t cut it. They don’t foster the personal connection nor give you the individual attention needed when learning an instrument like the guitar.

My studio is a boutique operation, there is no turnover of teachers that you find in larger “sausage machine” music schools…I am it, your relationship is with me. You get me with all my years of knowledge and experience.

One thing my years of experience as a teacher have taught me is the need to have a plan in place. Even though you are an individual with your own specific needs, a basic framework for the lessons is important. It’s the method for ensuring and measuring progress in a logical, well thought-out way.

The lesson plans are constantly reviewed and tweaked to ensure you have the most current information and are getting industry best practice sessions. These plans are then adapted to your own specific needs.

Understand that guiding you along the path to success as a guitar player truly only comes with time teaching and playing guitar. There are no shortcuts…

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Guitar lessons

Let me help you be the guitar player you want to be…

View our guitar lessons

Recent testimonials

Alli Harris

With Ross’ amazing guitar talent, he can teach you everything and anything you want.

Ben Wolfram

The musical road is never ending, but so long as you’ve got a teacher as great as Ross helping you drive down it, you won’t want it to end!

Bill Briggs

After poor experiences with four other teachers, I’ve found Ross to be skilled, supportive and patient, and have certainly found the right teacher for me.

Damien O’Neil

Ross Helmot loves the guitar and he loves teaching the guitar. He impresses me with his knowledge and skill.

Andrew Lin

Ross has been an exceptional teacher – amiable, patient and very passionate about what he does.