ManpaFarmers, LLC

ManpaFarmers, LLC

5.0 (1)
2 hires on

About this pro

I've been playing guitar for over 50 years. I'm still actively playing in several bands. I live on a family farm where my grandsons are starting to learn about planting Loganberries, trapping groundhogs and what bear-scat looks like.... in addition to playing harmonica and guitar. I've had a long career as a software developer but have always been first and foremost, a teacher.

As a guitarist, I was brought thru the 60's in a succession of local blues-bands, most notably playing with the great saxophonist Scott Hamilton when he was still the area's best blues-harp player. Scott inspired me to learn Chicago blues and taught me how to play harp. I also started playing keyboards when I was 5, trumpet at 11, and vibes a bit at 12. But guitar was always my first love. Like many of my generation I started wanting to play like the pop-idols of the time. But I started listening to jazz more and more (again, because of Scott and others who were abandoning that 'pop' stuff for the 'real' music). In the late 60's I had the good fortune to study with a student/protege of the late Reverend Gary Davis, and focused on a finger-pciking style derived from him and others like Leo Kottke. in the 70's, I had found the old masters like Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, etc.. and also continued to pay attention to the rising stars of the times: Larry Coryell, Al DiMeola, Larry Carlton, etc.. And then... in 75, I found Django Reinhardt and gypsy jazz. That changed my life. Django's music has steered me ever since. I'm not a purist 'gypsy-jazz' player; I blend in many of his unique styles and phrasing in the bands I play with. To see some of my performances, check out 'MinorSwingRI' or 'Gypsy Romantique' on FaceBook and YouTube. I taught students of all ages at a local music shop (Chepachet Music, run by David Spadazzi, a superb teacher and forever mentor) for years, before my performance obligations conflicted with the teaching schedule. After that, I worked as a guitar teacher at FASRI (French American School of Rhode Island) for several years (I was the only teacher who was not fluent in French, but the kids taught me as I taught them :-)

As a teacher, I focus on ensuring several things: 1) Cultivating a deep curiosity about understanding music. Making sure that that hunger to learn always grows. 2) Listening to the student's goals. Developing a path to get there. 3) Training the student's ear to quickly recognize the character of sounds. And then relating this to several methods of understanding the theory and patterns of harmony. 4) Developing good study habits. Making sure that practice time is well-spent, and that progress is measurably achieved. One more note; I had the great fortune to partner with 2 other musicians to provide the soundtrack (and appear for about 2 seconds) in a superb indie movie "Reggies Dance". It's short, poignant... and the music is great! :-) Be sure to watch the credits at the end... Julie even thanked our 35-pound Manx cat (of course, he's named 'Django'.) Check it out:

 I love that smile that washes over my students face when they recognize their own understanding and progress. There's nothing better than helping others pursue their dreams. 

Read more about this pro


Chepachet, RI 02814
Phone verified

1 Review


  • Robert B

    Bob is outstanding.

Photos & Videos


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

Starting the 'work' out right from the start... attentively, sensitively, and efficiently is important to me.  

Different students learn differently.  I try to respect that and not to force methods that may not be appropriate.  My first priority is listening to where they've been musically, and developing a plan for where they want to go.  

Some students thrive on digital media-assisted methods, others work well with traditional book methods and coaching; many want the freedom to explore new techniques thru learning favorite songs, using them as examples.   To me, attitude is everything; my job, above all, is to cultivate the will to learn and the confidence that it can, does, and will continue to happen.  The biggest reward for me is knowing that the student will keep and evolve knowledge and technique long after I'm gone :-)

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

see my profile; I've enjoyed several formal music-school teaching jobs.   Due to my 'day-jobs' (software engineer/farmer/silversmith), I've had to get pretty good at absorbing and communicating knowledge.

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

..usually $45 for 30 minutes; $85 for 60, $110 for 90.   Depends upon travel distance.   

I do have a studio on my farm in Chepachet where I teach as well, but it is reserved for second-year students.  Once a student continues over one year, they can save $ by travelling to my location, if that works for them.

How did you get started teaching?

I was inspired to 'pass it forward' after learning from so many other teachers.   I'm never done learning, and my students always teach me.

What types of students have you worked with?

all ages, from 4 years to 84 years old.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

a) watching my youngest student's face as he realized that the rock song he was trying to play already fit into a scale pattern he already knew.

b) trading information with new friends about archtops and gypsy jazz guitars at a performance at Salve Regina for the French embassy.

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

Think about how much time they will have to practice.  15 minutes twice a day is twice as powerful as 30 minutes once a day.   Figure out what is realistic and put it on the calendar before the lessons, even if it is just that 15.  Make sure you have time for yourself.

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

where they think they are strong; where they think they are weak; their priorities.

How they measure success.  What convinces them that it's "worth the effort".