I provide excellent lessons on the guitar or bass guitar through my personal experience as a performing musician and guitarist of over 15 years. I have taught over 40 students and continue to grow through self-directed study and indepth study in higher learning. Music is my passion, and yet I recognize that everyone has unique and individual needs as a student. Each of my lessons is designed to give exactly what the student is asking for, along with insider information in the areas of technique, theory and improvisation. For more information, visit my personal webpage at dylanswintlessons.com
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Lessons with a new student start with an introduction followed by a few questions about musical interests, experience and goals. After this brief chat, we will jump right in to learning a chosen song by the student, or a song of my choice if the student does not have a preference. We will listen to the song, break it down step by step and get practicing right away. I will map out my process for learning the material, write the song out in tab or musical notation, whichever is preferred, and get right along with details and a game plan to continue for further lessons.
I have taught guitar for over three years, two of those years at Boutique Guitar Exchange in North Highlands, Atlanta under the guidance of Harvard Conservatory alumnus Matthew Chenoweth. I have taken piano classes at Georgia State University and intend on attending the Atlanta Institute of Music for guitar in the summer. Along side lessons at Boutique Guitar Exchange, I currently teach privately and also write and perform original music with my band Help Computer. We are an advanced, 5 piece band of purely instrumental, progressive music.
I have also worked in art camps as an assistant art teacher in Baltimore and Atlanta.
Practicing is a crucial step for any musician, however each musician will have different needs. I like to go through a song with a student at a slow tempo and look for the most challenging spots. Maybe it's changing between two chords, or playing a melody that is confusing. Whatever the most challenging spot is, I will break it down into manageable steps, usually a two or three step exercise which will train the exact muscle memory in order to make playing that particular technique like second nature.
Everything is fitted to the pace of the student, and the goal is to not only learn music but enjoy it. Practicing can be daunting when one is new to an instrument or learning a difficult piece, but by breaking things down into manageable, educational steps, I firmly believe that anyone can master any piece of music.
I started by teaching a friend of mine in my neighborhood many years ago who wanted to learn. From that experience I felt the satisfaction of sharing my passion and my skills, so I sought professional experience in the field by working at Boutique Guitar Exchange.
I have taught people from the age of 4 to 72, ranging from complete beginners to professionals seeking detailed, higher knowledge. I have taught in the styles of Jazz, Rock, Classical and Pop.
I was at a local karate gym taking my second martial arts lesson there when my teacher, someone much younger than myself, was having me stand with bent knees and a straight back, a very strenuous pose. I had already been holding that pose with my arms outsrtetched for what felt like an hour when he asked me "how long do you think you can hold this pose? 30 minutes?" I weekly whispered "no". He continued "15 minutes? 10 minutes?" he paused, and stealthily said "how about 5 seconds?". To that, I greedily nodded, "yes!" 5 seconds more? no problem, or so I thought. I was sweating bullets and my legs were shaking when he started the count. Here I was, a complete beginner, no prior training, in this crazy dojo being trained like a real martial artist by someone almost ten years younger than me. I felt out of place, but something about the dojo felt like home: it said "you can do it if you try". So I held my pose while my teacher started to count.
"Fiiiive" he said, counting excruciatingly slowly. "Foooooooour", came another drawn out number. "I forgot how to count, they didn't teach me that in school". By this time I felt like my legs were on fire and I was about to explode, but I held my pose. He noticed the look on my face and said "nice spirit". That encouragement was all it took to turn my legs to steel. I was staying put. He finished the count and I collapsed onto the floor. My teacher and the other teachers came by and were all smiling, happy that I held out for his count.
It was a moment of pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do, because I had a good group supporting me. It reminded me that so long as you believe that you can do something, you will find a way.
Look for a teacher who listens as well as they talk, and learns as much as they teach, because one of the most important aspects of a teacher is to understand the needs of their students. As well as this, a listener has empathy and genuinely cares about their students; this is also a crucial element for a professional teacher.
Why did you start playing an instrument? Was there a specific moment that sparekd your interest in becoming a musician? Do you have any musical heroes who you look up to and would like to learn about?