I studied Jazz Guitar with Peter Sprague and then went on to study the classical guitar with Celin Romero. Later on, while I attended UCSD I studied with Pepe Romero in master classes. In 1982 I became interested in classic rock and founded my band, The Mar Dels. We still play all over the world for private and public events. During my time with The Mar Dels I have learned and performed many of the classic rock hits.
*** Lesson Details ***
I am interested in giving my students a solid background in right and left hand technique for the guitar. This will include finger picking technique for the right hand as well as flat picking. I would like all my students to develop a correct left hand position. This is very important to the student if they wish to continue to play for many years without injury to the left hand. It’s also very important to young students who may wish to move into classical music later on. Most classical guitar music cannot be played well with a standard rock left hand technique but all rock music can be played very well with a good classical left hand technique.
Most of the studies I use with my students are scales and arpeggios that I have written notes on and have in my personal library, so at first it will not be necessary for my students to buy any books. I can suggest some titles if they feel they must have some additional materials to review.
My approach is to place an emphasis on the quality of sound that the student produces with the instrument. This may be slightly different than many musicians who feel that a piece of music is like a 100 yard dash. I would rather have my student play a song at a comfortable tempo and create beautiful sounds than to rush through simply to show an ability to play fast.
In the first three months I believe that the average student should be able to play some open position chords, some bar chords, some arpeggios, be able to improvise over a chord progression using four or more notes from at least one pentatonic scale. I would like my students to learn at least one guitar solo (a piece that features guitar either solo or with accompaniment) within 6 months that they could play for their friends or parents. If the student’s goal is to use the guitar to accompany their voice they could learn to sing a song and back themselves up on the guitar. To be able to sing and play at the same time is a special skill that takes time to master and is something that I have done for years. I am happy to share my ideas on how to develop this skill with my students.
Ultimately the progress of the student will depend on their talent level and their desire to acquire skills that are presented to them. I have a very broad skill set on the guitar and I like my students to develop as many techniques as possible but if they are interested in only one style of playing, I am happy to focus entirely on that.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Depending on what the student was interested in learning I would have with me a steel string or classical guitar and would prefer that the student also have an appropriate instrument. If the lesson was an introduction to a beginning student, I could bring an instrument for them to use for the lesson.
*** Specialties ***
Since 1982 I have played guitar in The Mar Dels, a popular dance and party band so I am familiar with most pop, blues & rock styles of playing.
I have always loved the classical guitar and I am especially interested in good technique and tonal quality.