Bret Arenson Music Instruction

Bret Arenson Music Instruction

5.0
1 employee
15 years in business

About this pro

I instruct beginning and advanced students in guitar, bass and ukulele and have been teaching in my studio just off the freeway in Sausalito for over 12 years.

My approach to teaching emphasizes what it takes to play in a band or as a solo performer.

1) Having a good pulse - the foundation of all music
2) Getting a good sound - using the hands to make the instrument sound the way you want it to.
3) Repertoire - learning songs that advance skill and that can be played with others

I  teach many styles of popular music in both pick and fingerstyles - rock, blues, R&B, jazz, country, metal and bossa nova. In my studio I am set up with all of the instruments and educational materials needed to assist accompany the student, so they get the sense of performing.

I have an excellent system for learning the fretboard for advanced soloing, bluegrass and jazz. Reading is taught too if desired. Theory is pointed out as structure, but not overly emphasized. I have a degree in music education from my college years, so any questions in this area I can answer easily and clearly.

My performing specialty is solo jazz guitar fingerstyle, which is very challenging to learn but very rewarding for the adventurous student. One needs to learn a lot of chords and know the fretboard very well, so it is a great goal.

http://www.bretarenson.com/guitarlessons/

When students advance and start to really sound like musicians, I am happy. Then it is a pleasure to accompany them musically.

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Credentials

Belvedere Tiburon, CA 94920
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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

My approach to teaching emphasizes what it takes to play in a band or as a solo performer.

1) Having a good pulse - the foundation of all music
2) Getting a good sound - using the hands to make the instrument sound the way you want it to.
3) Repertoire - learning songs that advance skill and that can be played with others

Typically I find out the students level, what genre they are interested in, and then tailor and approach just for them suggesting materials to advance their skills and knowledge step by step. I am alwasy happy to learna nd atb a song for a desiring student.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a degree in music education from Laney College. I have studied jazz guitar with the renowned Warren Nunes for many years. I have performed as a solo artist and in duos and larger ensembles in jazz, rock, R&B and blues on both guitar and bass for many years. I have been teaching younger students in after school programs and band classes for quite a while now, so understand beginners' needs and musical group dynamics


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$30 1/2 hour lesson

$50 1 hour lesson


How did you get started teaching?

My friends wanted me to teach their chilren guitar skills.


What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with children and adults, beginning and advanced. I have seen many students grow from complete debutantes up to very accomplished musicians.


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Nels Cline at the Jazz Festival had a full orchestra with himself playing guitar. It was very sophisticated and still very accessible.


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Make sure you get a teacher that makes sure you learn how to play music, not just show you chords, diagrams and songs. It is the technique from where the music comes and the teacher must have a good sense of right hand technique, the one that actually makes the sound! Music is decorating time, so the teacher must absolutly emphasize good time skills, otherwise the student isn't learning to play music.


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What kind of music do I like and what kind of music do I want to play? We all already have lots of music in our heads. Although genre does dictate technique, it is good to consider if you want to play with a pick or with your fingers. Do you want to learn soloing and improvisation? Melodies? Or just stick with chords of songs? Do you want to accompany your self while singing? The music you are most familiar with you already know to a certain degree. Are you willing to spend time listening to music you want to play and are you ready to practice your instrument everyday? A teacher can show you a lot, but a student actually teaches themselves with their practice and exploration time.


Lessons offered