Hello aspiring guitar player!
I have vast experience (over thirty years) teaching beginners to highly advanced guitar players and I enjoy helping anyone who has a desire to learn how to play guitar and improve upon whatever they might already know about playing music for the guitar.
My specialty is the classical guitar style, but I also take students who are interested in learning about or improving upon aspects of general guitar playing used for other styles of music as well.
Topics included in my guitar instruction for you include:
Development in left and right-hand finger techniques, improvement or learning about reading music notation for guitar music, chord theory, diatonic scales, finger gymnastics, and committing solo guitar pieces or contemporary songs for all skill levels to memory.
I teach beginning and intermediate guitar classes at the college level and I also give private instruction to music majors with guitar as their principal musical instrument at five colleges and universities in the San Diego area.
I also am a performing concert artist and recording artist. One of my CDs was chosen officially by NASA to fly aboard the final flight of the United States Space Shuttle, the ENDEAVOR, and the CD flew 6.5 million miles in orbit and to the International Space Station before returning to earth in 2011!
My YouTube channel which you may visit is: Robert Wetzel
There on my YouTube channel, Robert Wetzel, you may see and hear me in live concert performance situations.
My mentors and master teachers in my early development as a guitarist were Celedonio Romero, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Celin Romero, Christopher Parkening, Oscar Ghiglia, Robert Guthrie, Ako Ito and Henri Dorigny.
I took lessions for a time to get back to playing my guitar after 25 years. Very patient and easy to follow. I am back to playing again with Roberts help!
"... Six-string virtuosity..."
His tone is deep and robust... technically strong, musically attractive performances.. mrysterious depths.. The interpretations are tasteful and restrained.. historical interest.."
My typical process of working with a brand new student is first to ask the following:
Why did she or he seek me out as their teacher? What is it that they wish to learn from me or have me show them how to play? What goals do they have musically with the guitar in their firslt six months of study with me?
If students already have some experience playing some things on the guitar, I ask them to play some examples that demonstrate everything that they do well. After seeing and hearing what they do, I would suggest where to go next and what we could do and agree upon to further progress to reach the next higher levels of proficiency in the areas that I feel they could improve upon.
I earned a Master of Music Degree in Musical Performance from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Musical Performance from the University of Texas at Dallas.
I have been a professional performing artist since 1979.
I have been a professor of music at the college and university level since 1987.
I have taught private guitar students professionally for over thirty-five years. I began teaching guitar when I was a teenager!
I charge by the half-hour or one hour lesson.
The frequency of lessons I let the student decide. Depending on the circumstances of individual students, I have found that most students choose to have a lesson once a week, a few choose a lesson once every two weeks, and once in a while a student will come for a lesson once a month for an hour or more for that once a month lesson.
After hearing me perform a solo guitar concert in my early years as a teenager, I was approached by a business owner of a music store and asked if I would like to teach private lessons to guitar students at his high end classical guitar music shop and teaching studio.
I have worked with complete beginners, to highly advanced students who auditioned and gained entrance successfully to music conservatories and university music degree programs.
A recent event that I am fond of is a musical performance that I was involved with earlier in February of 2016.
I was invited as a guest artist to share the stage and perform some songs with the world famous Led Zeppelin tribute band, known as 'Led Zepagain', at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater in Temecula, California!
It was an all acoustic evening and the sold-out show was entitled, 'Symphony To Heaven'. I performed with all the members of the band onstage, playing on my amplified classical guitar three great Led Zeppelin songs, 'Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You', 'All My Love' and 'Stairway To Heaven'. I especially enjoyed sharing the stage that night with the fantastic electric and acoustic guitarist, Mr. Jimmy Sakurai, whom I admire very much! He plays and sounds exactly like the legendary Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin! Jimmy Page himself went to a club in Tokyo, Japan to see Jimmy Sakurai play and Jimmy Page gave his approval wholeheartedly!
You can view videos of those three songs performed from that very show on my YouTube channel: Robert Wetzel.
The advice that I would give a student looking to hire a teacher in my area of expertise would be to make sure that the teacher can play the guitar in an expert manner. One sure proof would be to see videos of the teacher in concert performance situations, or better yet, see the teacher play the guitar live in a concert performance situation.
Also, make sure that the teacher has a lot of experience teaching students and talk to students of a particular teacher to get feedback about their experiences of learning from a particular teacher.
Some questions that students should think through before talking to teachers about their needs would be:
What areas of guitar technique do you cover with your students? How much importantance do you give to teaching your students all of the necessary guitar playing techniques that are basic for establishing a firm foundation for good guitar playing ability? Why is knowledge of and the ability to perform the various universal guitar playing techniques so important for a student?