I have been teaching music full time for over 25 years.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, and Acoustic Guitar; Improvisation, Songwriting, Backup Vocals, Fretboard Harmony, Music Theory, Performance, and Recording.
I teach all styles of guitar, as I have been in many different types of music situations: Soloist (Classical) Ensemble (Classical and Jazz) Lead and Rhythm (Various Rock and Roll bands) Songwriting and Recording. I am a people person that learned the guitar from many different sources. Most of my learning came from watching others and communicating with others. I like to learn about the people I am teaching so that I can better understand their needs as a musician. My education came as a practical necessity in order to get better as a teacher and performer, as well as make a living doing it. But, by no means do I preach the need to be "educated" but only to be a working, practical musician. I will surely go over the need to read music once the need becomes evident, enlighten you as to why it may be important to understand certain aspects of music as opposed to just "picking and grinning", IE learning only "By Ear." I do specialize in music theory, and have many students taking lessons simply for this excellent foundation for songwriting also.
I am a classically trained guitarist that performs both as a soloist and for ensemble in a wide variety of styles. I graduated in 1996 from Schoolcraft College with an Associates degree in Music performance, and then, studying under the tutelage of Brian Roberts went on to receive my Bachelor's degree in Guitar Performance with a secondary in Jazz from Wayne State University in 2004. While at Wayne State and along the way I've performed and participated in several masterclasses with renowned artists: William Kanengiser, John Holmquest, Philip Candelaria, Jason Vieaux, Scott Tennant, and Antigoni Goni. I have also completed the teacher requirements for books 1-a and 1-b for the Suzuki Guitar Institute.
Many of my classical guitar and electric guitar students have went on to study further at the collegiate level, some achieving scholarships. My most recent students are current Berklee school of music graduates now in a band called "Flight of Fire", recently opened for Bonjovi this past summer and are getting air time on local radio stations... well on their way to living the dream! â¦the bulk of my students become full time professional musicians.
*** Lesson Details ***
I am an extremely patient person who has been teaching for over 20 years. I am laid back so there will be no pressure. With my electric and steel string guitar students, I host a special "Jam Session" 2 - 3 times a year to which will be one of your goals to participate in. This includes playing with a drummer, bassist, singer and another guitar player (usually me) and having it recorded. This should serve as your motivation to practice. This really eliminates the need for me to pull out a "yardstick" and "smack" your hands over the knuckles when not practicing your scales as many old traditional teachers may have done!
At your first lesson I will talk with you and give you examples of music that is played with a Flat-Pick, or music that uses the Finger-Style technique. This will be an important process as it will dictate which direction you will go in as a musician and especially during our lessons.
For the most part, playing with a Flat-Pick is generally used with the electric guitar and with most mainstream styles of music like "Rock and Roll", "Blues", "Rock-a-Billy" "Funk", and playing with the Finger-Style technique is used in styles like "Classical" and "Folk." After a while, I will introduce you to the other style of playing as well, as most great guitar players use both techniques in their playing...musicians (guitarists) such as: âJimmy Pageâ, âBrian Setzerâ, âStevie Ray Vaughanâ, âJoe Satrianiâ, âLindsey Buckinghamâ, âPaul McCartneyâ, âJohn Mayerâ, and many, many more.
To make learning the guitar Fun, I make sure to incorporate your main interest(s) first. Whether it be learning your new favorite song(s), learning how to write a song, or just learning some basics that you can use for when sitting around the campfire. This will be intertwined with which style you choose to start with: Flat-Pick or Finger-Style.
Pending on the level that you are starting at, (beginner, intermediate, advanced) I will include tidbits of music theory that will be used in a consistent manner. These will usually be progressive, pending on your level. For example, the songs you learn will be written out in an easy to understand chart that will have the fundamental aspects of theory (IE, chords, key, and rhythm pattern) that all musicians should understand.
With Children learning with a Flat-Pick, I encourage the use of a basic guitar instruction book.
Level One (beginners) :
"Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book One" by Will Schmid.
I will also use as a substitute for Level One:
"Alfred's Basic Guitar Method" by Alfred's Publishing Co.
More advanced players who can read music already (and graduates from book one) I prefer;
"Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book Two"
With Adults, I will ask if learning to read music interests you. It is a vital part of a practicing musician, but sometimes your needs may require a more one dimensional approach as time may be of essence. Again, I learned by ear and educated myself later...so I understand the person who wants to hold off on reading right away.
Students who want to learn the Classical (Finger-Style) approach will be encouraged to purchase a beginners book that I use written by one of my first instructors/mentor. It is a very intuitive book that covers the technique in great detail yet is very easy to understand (along with my help.) I will provide means of acquiring this book at your first lesson.
Students who want to learn the Folk (Finger-Style) approach will usually start in the above book, unless your an adult who just wants to learn some basics.
At your first lesson I will also provide you with documentation that goes more in depth about the various styles of guitar as the above info is scaled down.
*** Studio Equipment ***
-Guitars (Electric, Acoustic, Classical, Bass)
- PA (loud speakers so you can Turn it Up! When playing along)
-Band in a Box (to play along with real prerecorded instruments seamlessly interleaved into a band type setting with almost unlimited genre choices...very impressive technology)
- Pro Tools (recording gear for all needs)
- Guitar Pro and Finale (to transpose music into sheet music)
-Skype (for out of town interactivity. Can do lessons via Skype)
-Basement with plenty of seating for parents, and or observers.
I love people and enjoy teaching them the most fascinating thing on earth...music!