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I started taking piano lessons at the ripe age of 4, but I quickly found my calling on the guitar. At the age of 20, and with 13 years of playing experience, I graduated from the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery (guitar building), after building both an acoustic and an electric guitar and receiving repair certification from Fender.
I later completed my Bachelor’s Degree of Music in the field of classical guitar performance, at ASU in 2007.
During this time I expanded to other instruments such as the Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin, Dulcimer and Bass Guitar.
I am involved with a number of extra musical activities that are available for you. First, I am part of a weekly jam session where my students meet and jam on a rotation with other music students in the phoenix area (drummers, singers, piano players, other guitarists of all ages) From this has spawned a number of bands. It's a lot of fun! So if you have any interest in starting a band and don't know where to find other players, let me know!
Also, I arrange and conduct for an electric guitar ensemble. This class is by far, one of a kind. In this program, I take classical symphonies and arrange all the parts out for electric guitars. Recently, my students just completed Bizet's "Farandole" (check out the audio clip) which I arranged for four electric guitars and one bass guitar. The ensemble program is more detailed oriented than the jam session, so this class is by audition only.
*** Lesson Details ***
I enjoy Bach and Beethoven, but I still love a good old- fashioned heavy metal band. I have a keen sense of constructive criticism, all while still remembering what it’s like to be a beginner. I pride myself on a teaching style that is refined, yet relaxed. I love to joke around and have fun, but remember, your recital is just around the corner!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Music room w/ keyboard, guitar, bass, amps, banjos, and seating for parents. Small inventory of guitar supplies available for purchase.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide handouts and bring my own instruments. Students are required to have their own instrument
*** Specialties ***
I have always believed that improvisation is one of the best ways to learn a fret board. Improv allows the player to just dive in to playing, without having to stare at a piece of paper the whole time. Out of all the things I have been trained to do, I feel that improvisation is my strong point.
Byron has been teaching guitar for over 20 years to students of all ages.
- My experiences and education helps a student by allowing them to learn music thru guitar and at the same time being able to give them real world advice on how to approach the music business.
- Students benefit from working with me because they come to a teacher that that can give them answers to their questions in technique, theory and business from real world & real life music business experience unlike some teachers that only focus on book answers and have no practical experience.
- What sets me apart from other teachers is that I live what I'm teaching everyday and perusing music in all aspects and not just reaching only (meaning high level recordings, videos, public relations, web design, etc..) everything that you need in the modern world of the new music business.
Byron was first bitten by the musical bug at the age of 5 upon hearing The Beatles and was then turned on to the likes of Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, all of whom influenced his playing, along with Dream Theater, Rush and jazz and classical music. When he was 18 Byron formed his first band, Sacred Heart and played the Cleveland club circuit up to NYC landmarks such as CBGB and The Cat Club. Currently based in the Southwest Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona area Byron is recording and playing the West Coast.
Byron’s current project is a new song and video release entitled "A New Freedom" featuring Jeremy Colson/Drums and Philip Bynoe/Bass from the Steve Vai Band and Mark Boals/Vocals from Yngwie Malmsteen's early records. This recording further explores Byron’s talents as a lyricist, in addition to composer.
The song was produced at Steve Vai's recording studio "The Mothership" on June 10th, 11th & 12th 2013 in Los Angeles by Greg Wurth who has also engineered on all of Steve Vai's projects. The Mastering is by Maor Appelbaum who has mastered for Rob Halford, Armored Saint, Sepultura and many others. Video is produced by Scottsdale, AZ based Echo Star Cinema/Steven Esparza and has been released world wide on You Tube and iTunes.
Prior to this most recent project, February 8th, 2013, Pure Steel Records – Germany, re-released a limited vinyl Re-Master of the 1992 album Amon-ra - “In the Company of the Gods”. This was the second re-release by Pure Steel Records of Byron’s past works. Featuring Byron N./Guitars, Dan Mattingly/Vocals, Kris Dugan/Drums, Ken Dugan/Bass and Jimm Motyka/Keyboards. This release included 4 - 1993 bonus tracks. These tracks featured Byron N./Guitars, Kris Dugan/Drums, Ken Dugan/Bass, Steve Revay/Keyboards and Brian Miller/Vocals. The gateway fold artwork for this album was created by renowned German artist Timo Wuerz.
The first re-release by Pure Steel Records – took place on April 27th, 2012 when Sacred Heart - "The Vision" - music from the original 1989 Cassette, saw the light of day as a new CD at the mighty "Keep-It-True" Festival in Koenigshofen. Germany. The CD was Re-Mastered by studio guru Bruce Maddocks in Los Angeles in January of 2012. A video production of ‘I Am The Walrus’ – originally released in 2006 on ‘The Force Within’ album - preceded these projects in August 2011. Produced by Steven Esparza & Robert Turchick with a special guest appearance by Cathy Rankin. Shot on location in Scottsdale at 98 KUPD S – ‘Arizona’s Real Rock Station’, The Water Mark “Horse Gargoyle” Sculptures & Yip Dog Studios.
The year of 2009/2010 was a great year for Byron and his band, Byron N. Group (BNG), they released 5 songs with vocals and lyrics by Ray Richter, Joseph Hengesbaugh/Keyboards & Piano, Fletcher Little/Bass, Scott Monos/Drums, Dave Clark/Drums & Percussion (Demon’s Wing & Dreamcatcher), and Brian Glodde/7-String Bass (Demon’s Wing & Dreamcatcher); with special guest violinist – Wanda Sobieska on The Game. During this time the band opened locally in Cleveland for the likes of Ratt and Y&T.
In 2009, the Byron N. Group contributed to a White Snake Tribute album ‘Shredding Skin’, on which they performed ‘Slip of the Tongue’. Byron N./Guitars, Ray Richter/Lead Vocals; Joseph Hengesbaugh/Keyboards & Piano, Dave Clark/Drums & Percussion and Brian Glodde/7-String Bass Guitar.
Byron made a decision to move forward with his solo career after his commissioned performance as first guitar with Richard Hendrickson’s rock opera “Ozone Hour” in 1997. In 1999, he released the four song Ep Byron N. Group. Byron exercised his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist and producer with his next release '2000,' where he played all instruments and produced each track. '2000' was so well received that he was given the opportunity to play on the Japanese release of the tribute album 'Warmth in the Wilderness,' in honor of Jason Becker; N. paid homage to Becker with his rendition of “It’s Showtime."
After the success of '2000', Byron put together a new manifestation of Byron N. Group (BNG) and composed, recorded, and produced '100 Worlds.' The album was mastered by the legendary engineer Nick Webb (Duran Duran, Gary Moore, Roy Wood, etc) at Abbey Road Studios. "I got in touch with Nick thru a friend of mine that used to work for Yamaha Instruments Europe," Byron relates. "Abbey Road would be one of his clients for studio gear and he had visited Abbey Road many times. When he found out I was looking to Master my CD he immediately introduced me to Nick and the rest, as they say, is history."
Byron N. Group's Digital Nations debut, The Force Within, is their third full length effort and fourth release overall. Recorded at Byron N.'s own Pacifica Studios, the album is a tour de force of guitar acrobatics and prog rock sensibilities comparable to the masters of the genre. Also handed over to Nick Webb at Abbey Road Studios - this was one of the last projects Webb did before his retirement. It's also Byron's first album to feature cover art from world renowned artist Hugh Syme (Rush, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Dream Theater, etc) "I could not imagine when I first saw Hugh Syme's work years ago with early Rush albums that later on he would also be doing art work for me," Mr. N. says. "What a great feeling it is to be working with such a master artist that brings out the vibe of the music thru the CD cover. Art that totally represents the band."
The opus kicks off with "Satrianimal", which is, exactly as the title suggests, a tribute to Joe Satriani. "Since Satriani has been the master of guitar to many of us guitar players it felt only natural to write an original song with a twist on the song title that tributes his name and music in that flavor," Byron states. The album's title track follows and is an epic 8 minute plus run, incorporating several different genres bridging crunchy riffs with uber melodic soloing all the while focusing on the song and how it fits into the realm of progressive art rock. The Force Within closes with Mr. N's take on The Beatles classic "I Am The Walrus," which ironically, enough, was, of course, recorded at the very same studio The Force Within was mastered - Abbey Road.
Byron talks about the inspiration, both musically and conceptually for The Force Within: "The inspiration came from the human element that we all have about knowing that you can do anything. It's the inner spiritual being within all of us that allows amazing things to happen. That human element is 'The Force Within.' Hugh Syme captured this concept perfectly with the artwork. The boy with the WWI gas mask represents the perils of humanity, the open fields represent the openness of potentiality, the storms represent changes in life and the rainbow represents the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that is "The Force Within" element in each of us.”
One interesting tidbit about the mastering of the album: "Nick Webb let me play the piano that John Lennon recorded ‘Lucy In The Sky’ on - amazing vibe!!!" Talk about taking your dream full circle ...”
Other earlier works that Byron participated in, include:
Electro Motive Force – producing 4 songs featuring Byron N./Guitars, Chris Barwise/Bass, Steve Revay/Keyboards and Jay Brown/Drums.
Voices – which produced 5 songs and featured Byron N./Guitars, Sal Sammartano/Bass, Steve Revay/Keyboards, Jay Brown/Drums and Troy Davis/Vocals.
Prodigy – this band also produced 4 songs and featured Byron N./Guitars, Sal Sammartano/Bass, Steve Revay/Keyboards, Jay Brown/Drums and Brian Miller/Vocals.
The band Mercury – created only one song, and featured Byron N./Lead Guitar, Mike Thorpe/Lead Guitar, Larry Richardson/Bass, Dave Davies/Drums and Jeff Little/Vocals.
Heavy Artillery was a compilation album of local Cleveland bands as a dedication to David (Holocaust) Iannicca – produced by Bill Peters and released in 1990 – Sacred Heart contributed ‘Time After Time’. The line-up on this track featured Byron N.Lead Guitar, Mark Herholtz/Lead Guitar, Ed Edwards/Bass, Brian McIntyre/Drums and Keith Van Tassell/Vocals.
*** Lesson Details ***
Professional Guitar Lessons Delivered To Your Home
As a teacher I build customized curriculum around each student so lessons and practicing become more enjoyable. This puts students on the fast-track to achieving what they want and becoming the guitarists they want to be. I instruct on any level of student from brand new beginners to someone seeking to learn advanced music theory and guitar techniques.
When students take lessons from me I have a responsibility to provide them with a professional guitar lesson. Specifically, that means that I listen carefully to the past week's guitar assignment and provide feedback on the application of the concepts and assign new material that will help them reach their long-term goals.
Students also need to contribute to the lessons in order for the lessons to be effective by asking any questions on what may not be clear and by practicing the required amount of time per week to master the assigned lesson. Students need to make sure they understand my expectations as a teacher so they have good time management in personal rehearsal to get the most out of each lesson before moving on to the next one.
At the end of each guitar lesson I ask my students to agree to practice the specific lesson assignment that works with their learning style within the time they have for that week. I remind them that the quality and quantity of their daily practice determines how well they will accomplish their goals. The hope is to inspire everyone to practice and reach their goals over time so that they become the players they dream to be.
My Style Specialties: Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Paul Gilbert, Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, KISS, The Beatles, Van Halen, Metallica, U2, Led Zeppelin, RUSH, UFO, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Blues, Flamenco, Classical, Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Composition/Songwriting and Studio Techniques.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitars are available for students along with computers, music stands, metronome and blank sheet music. Living room w/ seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
They should have a guitar, music stand & metronome ready.
*** Specialties ***
Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Paul Gilbert, Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, KISS, The Beatles, Van Halen, Metallica, U2, Led Zeppelin, RUSH, UFO, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Blues, Flamenco, Classical, Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Composition/Songwriting and Studio Techniques.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Books. Students must have their own instrument (keyboards are acceptable for taking piano lessons). I always council students on brand, quality of instrument they are purchasing before they buy it.
*** Specialties *** I have been a public school music educator for over 20 years, and have taught band, orchestra, and choir which enables me to teach many instruments and voice. I also have been a language and reading tutor for over 6 years and have worked with students with special needs for over 10 years.
I studied classical guitar with master guitarist, Christopher Parkening, at Montana State University where I graduated with a B.M.E. . I also did graduate work at MSU in composition. I teach Suzuki piano and violin. I am an accomplished composer/songwriter with many published and recorded songs and isntrumental works through ASCAP. I endeavor to make learning fun, and enjoy teaching students of all ages!
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."