Guitarist Jonathan Heagle has played in just about every kind of band and recording project one could name, from jazz combos to honky-tonks, rock concert stages to the circus, film scores to Billboard-charting hip-hop records. Originally hailing from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Jonathan’s first forays with the guitar were inspired by rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. He soon became interested in jazz, after hearing musicians such as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, as well as guitarists Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and George Benson. Jonathan’s burgeoning interest in music led him to studies in college, first at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and then at Indiana University, where he played in the big band of David Baker, one of the leading lights of jazz education.
After graduating from IU with a Bachelor’s in Jazz Studies, Jonathan moved to Brooklyn and began gigging around New York, playing jazz with noted musicians such as Geoffrey Keezer, Greg Osby, Sam Newsome, Lonnie Plaxico, and Marvin “Smitty” Smith, among others. Jonathan has also, in recent years, acted as guitarist, composer, musical director and producer for the neo-soul/children’s-music band Shine and The Moonbeams, whose music has been featured on National Public Radio and which has performed at many notable venues, including Central Park SummerStage, the Smithsonian Museum, the Getty Museum, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. As of 2019, Jonathan can add "Billboard charting session guitarist" to his resume, having contributed a key instrumental hook to rapper Kevin Gates's song "Yukatan," from the EP "Only the Generals Gon Understand," which reached #18 on the Billboard charts.
As a teacher, Jonathan strives to instill the basics of musicianship for each student, emphasizing such fundamentals as instrumental technique, music reading, ear training, and music theory. In addition, Jonathan seeks to help students learn the music and songs of their favorite artists, in order to foster the students’ enjoyment and self-expression.
What I enjoy about music and the guitar is: pretty much everything! I love playing with great musicians and gaining inspiration from them; I love playing it in front of people and seeing their enjoyment, which is also very inspiring; and I love studying music, striving to acquire new knowledge and to get better at what I do. And, I love teaching guitar students, helping them to find their own musical voices!
Heagle is very patient and does an outstanding job explaining the fundamentals. Simple things like finger placement. He also challenges the student by always introducing new material.
Jon Heagle is a master guitar player who can make complex topics easy to understand and inspiring to work on. Jon gave me the musical tools I needed to propel me forward.
With a new student, I assess their level of ability on the instrument (beginner, intermediate, etc.) and talk with them about music they enjoy, to get a sense of what they want to learn to do with the instrument. I teach "the basics," such as instrumental technique, music reading, and music theory, along with helping the student learn songs from their favorite artists, in order to help make music fun for them.
I have studied jazz improvisation and classical music theory at the college level, and have been a gigging musician since 1989. I have performed in many of New York City's most well-known venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Central Park SummerStage, Birdland, 55 Bar, Joes Pub, the Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom and many others.
I charge $35/hr.
My first formal teaching job was at Smith-Holden Music in Bloomington, IN in 1990, which came about through the recommendation of a friend, Dave Biller, a great guitarist and teacher.
I have taught students of all ages, from as young as six years old to as old as 65, and at all levels of experience, from complete beginners to intermediate-to-advanced jazz students.
I play out regularly around New York City with my jazz groups, which gives me the opportunity to play my original music with a varied cast of wonderfully creative NYC-area jazz players. Hearing my music played so well, for hip crowds around NYC, is always a rewarding and satisfying event for me.
Seek a guitar teacher whose playing you like, and whom you find personally likeable. A teacher should be able to help you learn the particular music you want to learn, but also impart a more general knowledge of technique, music reading, and music theory.
Who are some of my favorite musical artists/guitarists? That gives the teacher a good place to start as far as what music to actually teach the student. A student who is working towards being able to play a song that they like is more likely to be motivated to practice.