Composer, author, lecturer, guitar teacher

Guitar and Songwriting Zoom classes

Whether you live in or near Oxford, or want to visit for a couple of one-off lessons, I offer instruction in guitar, bass, songwriting, music theory, and music appreciation. I can also teach and advise via Zoom sessions. Payment for these is via Paypal. Please contact me if you want further details.

Due to limited time, in any given period I am coaching a small number of songwriters across the world. These sessions can sometimes be shaped around my Backbeat songwriting books.

I teach most guitar styles, acoustic and electric. I mix general guitar knowledge and technique with showing how to play music you like. Beginners are welcome. If you don’t have a guitar I can advise you before purchase, and you don’t have to have your own for the first lesson.

I help songwriters, would-be songwriters and composers with nurturing their creativity. I can give you feedback on your compositions and help with creative blocks. I can help you find what you need to know to progress and not to lose touch with your creative potential.

To contact me simply post a comment from the main page and say what you’re interested in, with your email, and I can then respond. Alternatively, Professional Music Technology on the Cowley Road in Oxford can also put you directly in touch.

Advantages to having a guitar teacher rather than using web resources:

  • A youtube clip or an amateur transcription might help with a song if you already have some playing experience. But some such material can be inaccurate.
  • A good teacher can assess how you handle and hold the instrument, and getting an impression of the strengths and weaknesses of your playing.
  • A good teacher means regular encouragement, and an explanation of and way out from occasional difficulties.
  • At a deeper level, a good teacher teaches not only the instrument but a wider musicality. They can bring a variety of music to your attention and sometimes intuit a particular direction that will be fruitful for you. There is a intuitive and inspirational element to all this for which there is no substitute.

53 responses

  1. Hi Rikky, My name is Shawn Persinger. I am a guitarist, teacher and writer. I contribute regularly to Taylor’s Wood & Steel Magazine, I have a book published by Hal Leonard, “Be Bop Jazz Guitar” and I have also written for Guitar Player Magazine and Frets. I am writing a book which references one of yours. Would you please contact me so I can give you a bit more info.

    August 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

  2. Hi Rikky, we have just launched a new interactive magazine for iPad called Guitar Coach. I was wondering if you would be interested in writing a short article on song writing for the October issue of the magazine, or have some good content we could reprint?

    As this is for iPad we can include imagery as well as direct links or sites, including yours and your books in Amazon.

    If you have an iPad you can download the first issue free here:

    If this is of interest then please do get in touch.

    Many thanks

    September 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    • Thanks Jonathan. I’ve privately emailed you to discuss this further.

      September 5, 2012 at 8:06 am

  3. Hi Rikky,
    Have you seen this interesting instrument yet?
    Herre’s the link:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    See you in the summer in Oxford!

    December 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

    • Hello Ellen,

      What a picture! Sheer madness. It looks like it was designed by H C Esser. The funny thing is how simply the guitar soundtrack is, so there’s an amusing mis-match. Thanks for your Christmas wishes which I return. Next year’s Oxford Experience is recruiting very well. I have a few places left on my Beatles course if anyone is interested.


      December 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

  4. Angela

    I just want to learn how to play a few of my favourite songs. Can you help?

    May 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    • Hello Angela, yes I’m sure I can help you with this. Do get in touch. I’ve emailed you my contact details.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm

  5. Just wanted to say thanks for creating your books..I’m reading “how to write songs on guitar ” and it’s opened the world to me.. Much appreciated!!

    June 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  6. Tim Matthews

    Hi Rikky,

    I’d like some help moving forward with my song writing. I have been playing the guitar for over 20 years and singing for even longer. I play the occasional gig around Oxford, but what has been preventing me from playing more is having reached a bit of an impasse regarding my writing. I am not aiming to be signed or even paid as a musician, but I would really like help accessing my inner lyrical and compositional resources. I have begun to play with alternate tunings and fingerstyle (with some success), but lyrics remain extremely problematic, where once they flowed relatively freely…

    Can you help!?

    With thanks,


    November 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    • Hello Tim, Thanks for your enquiry. I’m sure I can help. Having problems with lyrics is a common thing. What we could do is have a look at some of your songs and words and start from there. You may find my book Lyrics helpful in this regard – I have some spare copies if you want to buy one at a reduced price. Do you have recordings / demos of some of the songs you could burn to a CD and bring that along. Best wishes,

      November 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  7. James Eagle

    Hi Rikky,
    i am looking to take Guitar lessons for the first time in 8 years, i still play around on my guitars, but threw a busy college course and full time catering job havent had the time to keep a consistant level, i would like to get to writing my own music, but firstly want to start from the begining and focus on reading music/tabs again, i can still to an extent but do not feel i have the confidence to be happy in what im doing.
    if you are free to start lessons with me please let me know.
    kind regards

    November 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

  8. Anna Rose

    Hi Rikky,

    I’ve been learning acoustic guitar around a year off youtube lessons but thought it’s about time to get some hands-on tuition.
    Been learning on a nylon and have a 12-string steel (which I couldn’t resist buying because it sounds beautiful), but think I’m ready to progress to a steel string.
    Enjoy learning 60’s finger-picking songs, particularly Bob Dylan, would like to learn a bit about the scales and more complicated chords (like jazz and blues chords) and generally improve! I try to practice a few times a week.

    Would be great to hear from you,

    November 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  9. Miles Wernick

    Love your books! I bought the kindle version of How to Write Songs on Keyboards, not realizing that I’d miss out on the CD. Is the CD content available as mp3’s or must I re-buy the physical book?

    November 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    • Hello Miles, sorry about the delay in replying to your question. I suggest you contact customer service at Hal Lenoard’s website and see if you can get the music files. I have no input on this; they published the ebook of HTWSOK without telling me. Best wishes, Rikky Rooksby

      December 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      • Hello Mr. Rooksby,

        I am a big fan of your books and I was hoping you would be able to help me with a musical issue. I would be more than willing to pay a consultation fee, since I believe you may be one of the few folks who could adequately address my musical question.
        Whenever I write a song, it seems that no matter how hard I try, there is always ONE (sometimes two) aspects of the song that just don’t want to “gel” and don’t sound right to my ears. Be it an issue of symmetry, or phrasing, or melodic variation – what have you – there’s always SOMETHING that feels “off” and, to be honest, it can be quite frustrating to be that “close” to having a good song and still feel like something’s not working.
        Quite often other people don’t pick up on the things I’m concerned about, but sometimes they do. The problem is that almost EVERY song I pen seems to have this issue, expect for the ones that are so sing-songy straight forward that they would never have a shot at commercial success in 2014.
        Last month I wrote a tune and I think it’s quite good – quite possibly even bordering on great – but, AGAIN, something just isn’t right and I can’t figure out what it is. I was hoping that maybe I could let you hear the piece and see if you can determine what it is I’m reacting to and maybe even suggest SOME way out of the musical connundrum I’m finding myself in.
        I’m guessing It could be a question of symmetry, but I can’t seem to figure an efficient way OUT of the problem. I don’t really understand why the song won’t “come together” when nothing seems ostensibly “WRONG” on the surface of things, and the beginning motifs/premises all seem to be logical and musically sound.
        The bottom line is, I REALLY want to make somehting of this song but I just don’t know how to proceed with it or if it’s even worth it. Will people hear the problems I hear? Is there a simple way I can maybe “fix” or “tweak” the musical problem? Is it not a problem at all?
        Your feedback would be beyond appreciated and, like I said, I would be more than willing to pay a consultation fee for your services. I am THAT serious about this tune. I hope you can help me and I look forward to your response, either way.

        Glenn P

        March 2, 2014 at 5:52 am

      • Hello Glenn, I replied to your email address. Best wishes, Rikky

        March 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

  10. Laura Church

    Hi Ricky,

    I am a professional vocalist and hoping to improve my guitar skills to enable me to accompany myself on a few more difficult songs.

    Please could you get in touch with you rates.

    Many thanks,

    February 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    • Hello Laura, I replied to your email address. Best wishes, Rikky

      March 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm

  11. Sarah

    Hi there,

    Complete beginner to guitar and looking for a fun and patient teacher to help me learn some acoustic just for fun/hobby. Could you let me know if you might be interested in helping me 🙂 your location in Oxford, and what you charge? hope to hear from you soon! Sarah

    March 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    • Hello Sarah, I replied to your email address. Best wishes, Rikky

      March 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  12. Juliette

    Hi PMT recommended you to my son. He’s
    self taught so far mainly electric guitar and
    we’re now looking for tuition to take him further.
    Please let me know if you have any tuition spaces
    at the moment.
    Best wishes

    March 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm

  13. Jonny Smith

    Hi Rikky,

    I’m a music student who plays keyboard and writes. Very interested in meeting you for songwriting advice. I live in Brighton but I’m happy to come to Oxford 🙂


    March 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    • Hello Jonny, thanks for your enquiry. I’m perfectly happy to arrange something if you can make the trip. I’ll send you an email. Best wishes, Rikky

      March 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  14. Hi Rikky! I am a late blooming songwriter but I have been writing now for almost two years and I LOVE IT so much! I own all of your books and they have helped me a,lot and they continue to help (re-reading The Songwriting Sourcebook right now!)

    So, thank you very much for helping me discover and refine my songwriting skills!

    Best regards,
    John from Chicago

    March 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    • Hello John, thanks very much for your feedback. I’m very pleased to hear the books have helped you. You may also be interested to know that I can work with songwriters at a distance, providing a critique of demos and lyrics, and helping people imporve their songs. Let me know if this is something you would like to do. Best wishes, Rikky

      March 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm

  15. Hi Rikky, hope you are well 🙂

    I have a first edition copy of your book ‘How to write songs on Guitar’ which I have finally made my way through. It has been a godsend in my quest to become a better player & writer and I just wish I had finished it years ago.

    I’ve recently noticed a newer revised edition for sale and I was wondering what the expanded sections cover and whether it was worth me picking up? I am primarily interested in learning chords & shapes etc…

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    May 26, 2014 at 1:30 am

  16. Mark Vingoe

    Hi Rikky
    I’m looking for someone to teach an international student I have staying in oxford this summer. She already plays the guitar but would like lessons while over here. She will be based just outside Oxford in Begbroke. I’m thinking 2 x1.5 hour lessons per week? Not got exact date yet but just wondered if it was something you would be able to do and also what the cost would be. Thanks Mark

    April 9, 2015 at 10:18 am

  17. Hi Rikky. I love the books, especially Riffs and the Springsteen book. I am a high school English teacher in Arizona. I often play guitar in class with the students and I believe it adds quite a bit to our class. I am interested in a little distance guitar instruction. My email is Thank you.

    April 28, 2015 at 6:19 am

  18. Peter James

    Hello Ricky,

    I would like to contact you by email for permission to quote from one of you’re your most excellent articles. Full details to follow in my email, if you would care to provide a contact address.

    Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards,

    May 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm

  19. Chris Williams

    Hi Ricky,

    I’m interested in getting some pointers on technique, my picking is pretty sloppy. (Also could I ask what you charge for lessons?)


    June 7, 2015 at 10:24 pm

  20. Hi Ricky,
    I am wondering if you could email me your contact details when you can – I have a query for you about your work on Fleetwood Mac.
    Many thanks!

    September 29, 2015 at 6:41 pm

  21. Hi Rikky, I have a book written by your good self- Fast Forward Lead Guitar Solos- but have managed to crack the cd before I got past the first few pages. Is there any way I could get a download of the audio content without buying the book again? I’d be happy to show proof of purchase.
    Many thanks

    March 29, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    • Hello L.Ayden, My advice would be to write to the publishers and ask for a replacement. I hope they will be forthcoming. Let me know if you get one.
      Best wishes, Rikky

      April 4, 2016 at 7:31 am

  22. Keli Risch

    Hi, I’m Keli, I’m a student
    I would like to take guitar lessons

    September 22, 2016 at 4:04 pm

  23. Josh Brewin

    Hi Rikky,

    Interested in your guitar lessons. I have played for 13 years and obtained LCM electric guitar grade 7 a few years ago. Since then have played in several originals and function bands. Now I’m at the stage I’d like to start having structured lessons again – do get in contact.

    Many thanks,


    October 4, 2016 at 7:56 am

  24. Megan Gallagher

    Hi Rikky
    I’m looking for a guitar teacher as I have recently purchased a new electric guitar. I am self taught so far, but I would like to start lessons now. I am 15 and I’m taking gcse music so I think lessons would help me with this. I am also very keen to write my own songs. Please could you contact me if you have availability?


    November 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

  25. Michael Bonett

    Hi Id like to visit you in Oxford for a guitar lesson. I’m in Wokingham. or attend a course about pop music or beatles.

    January 7, 2017 at 8:32 am

  26. Magdalena


    I was wondering if you could help me develop my classical guitar skills, maybe to pass in the future ABRSAM exams.
    Lookin forward to earing from you.

    February 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

  27. Alexandria Moore

    Hello, I just moved from Australia to Oxford to do my Masters and I want to start taking guitar lessons. I have my own guitar and looking for an hour lesson potentially once a fortnight. Please let me know if you’re still teaching.

    Thank you in advance,

    February 7, 2017 at 8:02 pm

  28. Mike kirkham

    Hello, I am interested in having guitar lessons with you, with a focus on developing my songwriting and technical understanding of guitar .. is this something you can help me with ?
    Thanks , mike 07712 834583

    February 11, 2017 at 11:28 am

  29. Dave

    Hi, years ago I bought a copy of a guitar magazine with a lesson on how to play “A Walk With One Who Knows” by Ricky Rooksby. It came with a floppy record in the magazine. I ended losing it and can’t find any information online about. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    July 29, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    • Hello Dave, the magazine in question was Guitar Techniques for March 1995 and it came with a CD. I may have a spare copy left if you are interested for £6 including the postage.

      July 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

  30. Conrad

    Hi Rikky, I am working on songwriting and have several of your books (excellent). I would be interested in working with you over Skype. Could you please contact me to discuss? Thanks!

    September 24, 2017 at 11:37 pm

  31. Matt Taylor

    Hi Rikky, I came across your books in the library and think they are fantastic.
    I have a couple enquiries for you. If you can drop me a line that wold be greatly appreciated.

    January 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

  32. Mark Hampson

    Hi Rikky I’ve written over 160 songs and using an Applemac and GarageBand to record them, could I send some to you sometime to see what you think?

    May 8, 2018 at 6:31 pm

  33. Darran Charles

    Hi Rikky.

    Hope you are well? I’m looking for help analyzing the harmony and theory behind certain chord progressions and would like to arrange a skype lesson if possible? Thanks

    May 25, 2018 at 11:31 am

  34. Joseph Versace

    Hi Rikky,

    I read a number of your books in years past and loved the way you broke down the process to really simple elements. Unfortunately a decade has passed since I picked up the Tele and would consider myself a beginner once again. I would very much be interested in some Skype classes. If you have some availability please contact me at

    July 10, 2018 at 7:28 pm

  35. Hey Rikky,
    Have “How To Write Songs on Guitar” and it’s a great book ! I appreciate your diverse breadth
    Of knowledge of and about current and contemporary artists.
    I live in the states and wondered what are your rates? I’ve hacked my way through for a long time. I create unstructured music and songs
    Leo Ward

    September 8, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    • Hello Leo, I can’t remember whether I replied to your enquiry last year so I’m sending this comment. I charge $50 an hour for the skype lessons. Best wishes, Rikky Rooksby

      April 23, 2019 at 6:34 am

  36. Hello Joe, yes I’d be very happy to help out. Could you give me an idea of what sort of time during an average week would suit you? Best wishes, Rikky

    May 12, 2019 at 6:20 am

  37. Jose Z

    Greetings from the States! (NJ) I am a beginning songwriter, and interested in taking a weekly hour long songwriting course with you via Zoom. Are you offering something like this, and if so, what are your rates? Your books are *amazing*. Thank you!

    June 9, 2020 at 3:15 am

  38. Hi Ricky

    I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12 and learnt my chops in a function band and have a fair grasp of theory, and have found your books a real help. I am now ready to write my own material but it doesn’t come naturally and I’m not quite happy with the half a dozen songs I’ve penned. I have a killer riff and would love your help to develop it on jamulus or Zoom if you can spare the time. Thanks


    March 9, 2021 at 9:29 pm

  39. Hi Rikky,
    My name is Steve Clarke and I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Marc Bolan story in Record Collector. I thought you may like to know that I actually tracked down the Les Paul he used on many of the hits. I have a lovely letter from Tony Visconti telling me which tracks it was use on, much speculation over the years has built up about the age of the guitar and particulaly how many necks the guitar actually had fitted. I managed to put my own book out giving all the details with internal photographs and pickups taken out. The book is called Famous Frets and has many artists guitars you would know.Anyway thanks again for this fab article.

    Steve Clarke.

    November 22, 2021 at 3:48 pm

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