Lesson Overview

I’m a specialist in Acoustic Music: Bluegrass, Jazz, Folk and Blues. I teach everything from beginners with no previous musical training to the advanced. My student’s ages range from eight to seventy-three years old. I will give you the skills to play songs with others in the shortest amount of time possible. You’ll be playing a song on your instrument within the first couple of lessons. Learn from a professional to acquire the right habits from the beginning. Learn how to:

  • Play in a relaxed and efficient manner from the start, it will help you reach your musical potential.
  • Practice efficiently.
  • Write your own songs and solos.
  • Learn fundamental music theory.
  • Play music with others: including proper techniques for backup, rhythm and lead.
  • Train you ears to pick it up on your own…

And most of all, have fun while doing it!

Private Lessons

Lessons are 30 minute or 60 minutes sessions and tuned to your skill level, ability and personal pace. Your playing will improve immediately . Learn to play along with others faster with practical application of playing backup as well as lead.

Lesson Locations

I teach at Ponier Music in Marietta on Mondays http://www.poniermusic.com

I teach in Canton on Thursdays and the Roswell/Sandy Springs area on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Online Lessons

I teach online Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Lessons via webcam using the Skype or Google Hangout programs.  These lessons are ideal for those living in remote areas, those with no access to an instructor.  Skype works great with no delay issues and I have a number of online students I’ve been teaching for many years.   I do recommend recording the lessons, there are many Skype recorders on the market.  Contact Jody for more info.

Skype lessons are $30.00 per thirty minute lesson.

In Home Lessons

I also teach in-home lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Jody via email for Rates and Times available.  Locations available include Woodstock/Canton/Alpharetta/Roswell/Marietta/Sandy Springs.  I do not travel inside the perimeter to Atlanta for lessons, for students in Atlanta you can take online lessons or travel to one of my lesson locations.


Lesson Policies 

1)A Week cancellation notice is required for all lessons.  If a cancellation is not given a week before the lesson then the student is responsible for payment of that lesson.   If a student repeatedly cancels lessons regardless of the reasons I reserve the right to discontinue the lessons due to lack of dedication.  The student is paying for the time slot, that time slot is being reserved whether the student shows up or not.  At the same time, if you cannot make your lesson let me know ASAP and I WILL do my very best to reschedule you to a different time the same week if my schedule permits.  If it is not possible to reschedule the lesson the same week as the scheduled/reserved time slot due to the students schedule or my own then once again the student is still responsible for payment.

2)It is the student’s responsibility to take notes, record or otherwise archive lesson material for future reference.  I unfortunately do not have time to make recordings/videos for each student each week outside of our lesson time.  This is because it takes time to record the material then more time to upload the material to Youtube or send via email which does add up when you have over twenty students.  However, I am more than glad to play slowly any material we went over while you record during the lesson time.  You can use your phone to record via audio or video.

3)I do not give lessons on an inconsistent basis.  A bare minimum of two lessons per month is required for ALL students.  Without biweekly lessons at the minimum beginner students will not see the proper progress and it makes it difficult to build momentum for not only the student but the instructor as well.  The only instance I offer one-time lessons is if a student is traveling to Georgia from out of town or during my traveling performing schedule.

4)Payment is due at the beginning of the month before the lesson begins.  Payment should be made for two lessons at a time.  For in-person students this is done via cash or check made out to “Jody Hughes.” The fees for online lessons are in US DOLLARS so if the exchange rate is off it is up to the student to pay the extra fee to equal the proper amount, this is done via Paypal.

5)I do not hand out unnecessary tabs except as needed.  Once again, take notes and refer to recordings.  The more you use your ear in the beginning the better off you will be.  At the same time, if you have ANY trouble figuring something out or need help do not hesitate to ask.  I will gladly clarify via verbal instruction and sometimes visual/audio instruction if needed.

6)Try to do your best to be tuned to standard pitch before lesson.  Tuning takes time away from your lesson.  There are a number of great electronic tuners on the market for less than thirty dollars.

7)Be mindful of the educational materials you seek out on the internet. When I write out something for students it has the students current level in mind; in addition, I build from the ground up with the melody and you are only doing yourself a disservice by starting with something beyond your level.  Feel free to supplement your lessons with me with other materials not related to what we are doing in the lessons, simply make sure they are good materials.


“The lessons that I had with Jody were truly a huge help in learning how to play the banjo. The time that I invested with Jody was well worth it. I progressed so much more in the lessons with Jody compared to me just learning on my own ”

Thanks Jody!

William J. Ballew

“Jody Hughes is one of those rare musicians who has both expertise on  multiple instruments (banjo, guitar, mandolin) and also the ability to effectively teach students.  I had struggled for a year to try to teach myself banjo without lessons and was not making much progress.  After the first few lessons I was making rapid progress.  Jody knows how to adjust his methods to match your current abilities and then rapidly improve your skills from there. I strongly urge anyone looking for a music teacher to choose Jody Hughes.”

Ron Cline

“Before I found Jody I began to think I was too old, maybe too tired to learn music.  Jody changed all of those thoughts.  He is teaching me to learn how to play the banjo and to play it correctly.  Thanks to Jody I’m enjoying every lesson and making progress.  I believe him to be the best music teacher that I could have ever found.  Thank you so kindly”


I have tried several of those self learning banjo books and DVD’s and You tube downloads and I just got confused and would jump from one method to the next trying to find one that worked for me. I was just about to give up on the banjo when I decided that I need a good teacher and I started a thread “Looking for a teacher”. Jody Hughes came to my rescue.
In the first 20 minutes of our first lesson on Skype he had me play a song I’d been learning and pointed out 3 things I was doing wrong that no self learning method could ever teach me.
Now I really enjoy my new hobby, the 5 string banjo.”