Low’s lessons strike an appealing chord


by Kelly Drobac

Sophomore Ben Low is offering group guitar lessons for any interested students wanting to learn how to play the acoustic or electric guitar in the basement of Barker Hall.

“I just started giving lessons because I needed a good Community Adviser program and then I just wanted to help people learn how to play the guitar,” Low said.

Low is offering his knowledge and experience playing to help get others started.

“Some people want to learn how to play the guitar but they wouldn’t do it if nobody was there to help them, and I’m here to help those learn how to play,” Low said.

Low has been playing the guitar for about a year and a half. He taught himself how to play and enjoys teaching others how to play.

The attendance for Low’s guitar lessons varies. The most he had at one time was about 12 students and it can fluctuate from there.

“It depends on what is going on around campus if a lot or not a lot of people show up for lessons,” Low said.

Most people who want lessons from Low bring their own guitars, but Low is willing to lend one of his guitars for a lesson.

There were more girls than guys at the first few lessons.

“A lot of girls showed up at the first couple of times we had the lessons,” Low said. “But now it seems to have switched to more guys showing up than girls.”

Low prints off guitar tab music, which the group works on for some of their lessons. He also helps out with basic guitar skills such as how to string the guitar, how to tune it, major cords, string patterns, finger placements and different songs.

The lessons last for about an hour but it depends if someone wants to stay later and continue working on what they learned.

The songs Low taught to the group so far include “Swing, Swing” by The All American Rejects, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison. He also teaches other songs by Hootie & The Blowfish and Green Day.

“The first song we learned how to play was ‘Slide’ by The Goo Goo Dolls,” Low said. “I try to get songs that will work for both the electric guitar and acoustic guitars. These songs are usually based off simple cords.”

Sophomore Nicole Cleveringa also helps out when many students show up for the lessons.

“She knows what she is doing and it’s good to have her help me out with the bigger groups,” Low said.

Cleveringa is also responsible for putting up the signs around campus advertising Low’s guitar lessons.

Sophomore Paul Steeve attends Low’s guitar lessons and also performs in a band with Low. He said both he and Low started playing around the same time and are now able to work off each other and teach each other new things on the guitar.

“I like to play a lot,” Steeve said. “I like how with the guitar you are able to do whatever you want and just really express yourself with it. Plus, it’s a great tensions reliever.”

Freshman Clint Bradfield just started playing his guitar with the help of Low’s lessons.

“I started taking lessons when Ben came out with them,” Bradfield said. “I wanted to learn how to play and I wanted to learn new songs, but if I taught myself I wouldn’t know if I was doing it right so it’s good to have other people show you how to do it and tell you if you are doing it right and if it sounds good.”

Low also gives free, private, guitar lessons to anyone who wants them or doesn’t feel comfortable learning how to play in a group setting.

“I give private lessons to anyone who can’t make it to the group time or just needs more one-on-one help,” Low said. “I also give private lessons to a guy who lives in town here and heard about my lessons through the word of mouth.”

Low hopes to continue to offer the lessons to students here at Simpson.

“I get to have the enjoyment of watching everyone else learn and it gives me more time to practice,” Low said.