Roots Guitar Lessons

Roots Guitar Lessons

1 employee
6 years in business

About this pro

I teach the roots of American music. I specialize in "travis" picking, a form of finger-picking, delta slide, piedmont blues, "jump" blues, some ragtime and basic jazz music theory. Students will also have the opportunity to develop an ear for deciphering the musical passages they hear. I also teach students how to read jazz charts.

I enjoy learning more and more about music everyday and in particular I enjoy the process of learning to understand the guitar. I've been playing the guitar since age 10, and after 18 years of playing and 6 years of performing all around the country, I finally feel like Im starting to get the hang of it. My first student was my father, whom I would teach upon returning from private lessons as a kid. Over the years I've taught friends but have recently began teaching professionally in order to deepen my understanding of the guitar and network with others who have a passion for music. I have taken college courses on the subject and continue to study everyday through the Jazzmaster Cookbook.

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New Orleans, LA 70125
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First I try to find what musical interests the student has. I see where they are in their playing, what strenghts they have and what weaknesses they have in their playing, and If I feel that I can help them progress in their goals then we begin to study music through songs. The 3 stages of learning music are ideas, ears and chops. Theoretical understanding of chords, scales and tonal relationships is very important. As is training the ear how to hear those theoretical concepts. Applying those concepts to the guitar develops chops. And we go through those stages in a fun way by studying songs the student wants to learn. The 3 T's: We study Tunes while paying attention to our Tone and our Timing.

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

I have some college education in basic music theory and I have mentored under some amazing musicians such as Berklee Alumni Mike Keeney, Eric "The Blue Ridge Boy" Freeman and William Reeder, among others. I also have 3 years of private study as a youngster through Werlin's music (Metairie, LA) and 6 years of experience performing with many different bands in Texas, Louisiana, Washington, and California.

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

My pricing is typically $50 for a 1 hour lesson, and I strongly recommend taking 1 lesson per week because continuity of practice is the secret to success. I bill monthly prior to the start of the lesson. However, I am willing to negotiate with low-income households because I believe playing music is a beautiful experience and those truly wishing to learn deserve the help and encouragement. Also, those wishing to learn quickly may book multiple leasons per week or longer lessons, pricing  to be negotiated as needed. However, a single 1-hour lesson per week combined with 1 hour of practice a day will quickly show improvement.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching as a motivator and enabler to spend more time on the craft and challenge myself to have a deeper understanding of the guitar. If you have a question I can't answer then I will spend the whole week strenghtening that weakness and growing so that I can help others grow.

What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked primarily with young adults, and have had a few adolescent students. I was part of a program that offered lessons to foster children and had the chance to develop my ability to teach with younger kids. I myself began lessons at the age of 10, so I have some personal experience of what it is like to be a kid taking music lessons.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

My fondest memory is performing at my brother's wedding.

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

Try to find a teacher who is attentive, knowledgeable and performs well. Remember that a great performer may not be a great teacher, but a great teacher should always be a solid player. Also remember that learning music is a never ending process, so don't expect any teacher to know everything. Understand that tricky and advanced techniques will not turn you into a great musician. It is the development of basic performance-related musical skills that makes one a great musician. 

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

Think about what your short-term and long-term goals are and what you enjoy listening to. Ask a teacher how he or she will help you reach those goals. Also ask yourself why you want to learn how to play.