Introduction: - For information about the audio demos please visit my website/Soundcloud page and click on the individual tracks.
STUDY ONLINE WITH AN EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL GUITARIST!!
Experience, talent, passion, musical diversity, knowledge, technique, a desire to pass on knowledge, technological prowess, a sense of stewardship towards music, curiosity and education. These are attributes of a complete musician and these are what I offer as a guitar instructor.
I have over 30 years' experience as a first-call professional guitarist, teacher, composer and producer. I have performed, recorded and composed in an extremely wide variety of genres and styles – giving me a high degree of versatility. As a composer/producer my music has been used in over 1000 tv shows and feature films worldwide. I am extremely well versed in: Jazz, Latin Jazz, Rock, Fusion, Funk, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Alternative and Pop and proficient in Country, Finger-style Acoustic, Classical and other styles. I play 6- and 12-string acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, lap steel, keyboards, harmonica and other instruments.
I have taught private lessons, classes, workshops, clinics and masterclasses with students ranging in age from 5 to 70, from absolute beginners to college music majors and professional musicians. I enjoy teaching students of any age and level of ability and customizing the lessons to the needs of each individual student. Every student learns differently and at their own pace, and every student has their own musical tastes and goals.
I feel it is necessary for music students to have a firm grasp of core concepts. But teaching these concepts does not need to be dry or boring. My teaching style (which varies a bit from student to student) can best be described as "repertoire based." I like my students to learn songs that they know and like, which may include arranging an easy-play version of the song. I then use the song to demonstrate and explain the underlying musical concepts and theory. Depending on the student's goals I also teach sight reading, improvisation/soloing, rhythm playing/comping, learning songs by ear, songwriting and various playing techniques.
Please let me tell you a little bit about my method. We all learn differently. Some sources cite 8 different learning styles but the main 4 are visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. I've made a form that I use with all my new students to help inform their lesson plan by figuring out how each student learns best. Everyone gets a unique lesson plan and I like to set and revisit both short and long term goals. I see my role as a guide - I can help you get where you want to be but I can't do the work - that's up to you. Regular practice is key - it's how our brains work. There's a process called myelination that happens when we learn ANYTHING - it's basically the brain shielding a neural pathway that's used regularly. Besides teaching music and the guitar I also teach the art of practicing. There are so many aspects of practicing that can be focused upon to help make your time as efficient as possible. Not saying sitting around and noodling on the instrument is at all bad, that's kinda part of the end game :) Insofar as lesson production, I use Zoom, 2 cameras, 3 microphones and a bunch of other audio equipment including a Helix and different music apps to make things as real-world as possible. I also have a whole stable of different kinds of guitars - I like to teach each student with a guitar that's extremely similar to theirs. So, if you play a Les Paul through a Marshall and love to rock, I'll teach with that. If it's fingerstyle on a steel string acoustic, got that too. We live in a time of information overload, like YouTube instructional videos. I've found some great stuff on there but it's not an in-person experience. If something's not working for you YouTube can't tell you WHY. Side note - a lot of YouTube vids are just plain wrong as well. Not to blow my own horn but I've got decades of experience that's enabled me to get past all the noise and help you get to the heart of any issue you're encountering. I'm also EXTREMELY versatile, I know a LOT of different genres very well. Kinda part and parcel of my studio work. I've got music in over 15,000 tv episodes and a bunch of feature films and all if it's different stuff. I do take teaching very seriously but I like to have fun with it. I've had enough dry instruction for the both of us :)
Teaching online gives me certain advantages that are not usually present in most teaching environments. Online technology and software allows for very high quality audio monitoring, recording of lessons, pitch and time manipulation of audio files (Transcribe!), notation (Finale), creation of guitar fingerboard diagrams (Neck Diagrams), printing of materials and much more. I assign every student their own personal Dropbox folder for easy sharing of files.
• Instrument Selection - I can help you find and purchase the right instrument to fit your hands, body, musical style and budget. Having the right instrument can make all the difference and eliminate a lot of frustration.
• Instrument Setup - I have been setting up my own instruments for decades and have the insights, expertise and tools to teach you to set up your instrument to play well for YOU. Different instruments, musical styles and body/hand sizes require different setups (i.e., action, string gauges, string types, neck relief, etc.). The right setup will help your instrument play more in tune and make your instrument easier to play for YOU.
• Instrument Maintenance - I can teach you how to properly maintain your instrument, making it easy for you to keep it sounding and playing its best. I can help take the apprehension out of a lot of the regular maintenance adjustments that guitar shops charge money for. You wouldn't take a lamp to the store to change a light bulb, would you? From changing strings to truss rod adjustments and intonation (and more) I'll help you keep your instrument in top shape and save you trips to the guitar shop and down time away from your instrument.
There has always been something very magical about music for me. I remember my early days of musical exploration – how every new discovery was so special. I still get that feeling when I discover something new!
In 30+ years of professional musical experience I have amassed a wealth of technical and practical knowledge. It is genuinely satisfying to pass that knowledge on to others – to see their reactions when introduced to something new, to help them reach a milestone or understand a concept and, ultimately, to help them achieve their goals. Teaching helps others improve their art and craft, but it also reminds me of what a truly magical gift music is in our lives.