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Holy City, CA Songwriting Lessons

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About Hristo V.

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San Jose, CA
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I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation,

About Hristo
Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitarists. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophi
sticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (blogcritics.com)
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He  paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ

“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)

“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”

“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner

In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”

“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”

“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)

“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."

"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.

Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.

Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!

*** Lesson Details ***
I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Kim L. April 26, 2014
· Guitar ·
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
Silhouette-80
AllenH April 4, 2012
· ·
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
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JeanetteY March 7, 2012
· ·
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA 95118
(9)
starting at
$65 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics and how they affect your songwriting. Break down songs that you like to learn about the elements that make you like them and make them compelling to others.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...
Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
Thumb_596ebb8e0d218_review_My%20Pic%20-%204-500px
Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Brian C.

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Portland, ME
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About Brian
I have been playing guitar for 30 years. I am a state certified K-12 music teacher with over 7 years experience teaching guitar privately and in the classroom. I teach not only children but also adults of any level - beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Students can learn acoustic or electric guitar, and fingerstyle or pick playing. Styles taught include classical, rock and pop, blues, jazz, folk and country. Sight-reading, music theory, and learning by ear are skills all students will develop.

"I like Mr. C. because he always cheers me up if I do something wrong on guitar. He helps you through step by step." -- Aaron, age 9

"I would emphasize your patience with me and your ability to simplify coursework." -- Fedja, age 37

"Excellent teacher with lots of patience. Kick-started me into the musical world and inspired me to learn gu
itar and start singing." -- Angelina, age 16

*** Lesson Details ***
Each lesson will begin with tuning the guitar and warm-ups. Then we'll move on to either our practice books or a song or piece you have chosen to learn and study not found in the books.

If you are beginner, we'll start with how you handle the guitar and any technique issues. Then we'll work on note and chord recognition, the ability to sight-read and play from memory.

*** Studio Equipment ***
2011 Apple iMac;
MXL 910 microphone;
Yamaha Nylon-String Electric-Acoustic Guitar;
Yamaha Steel String Guitar;
Gibson Les Paul Special Electric Guitar;
Esteve Spanish Classical Guitar;
Roland Cube 80 electric guitar amplifier;
Ibanez T80 acoustic guitar amplifier

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music Stands;
Foot Rests

*** Specialties ***
Song Transcriptions - Use your ear to learn and notate song melodies and the guitar parts
...
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Brian C.

Brian C.

Online
starting at
$24 / 30-min

About Ric F.

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Arlington, TX
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I have computers as well as the iPad that I use for teaching.
Included are eBooks, apps as well as DAWs and scoring programs (Finale). I also use Skype and have for several years.
I teach all areas of music composition, arranging and orchestration and it's related subjects and can cover most all styles.
These are individual lessons and I teach according to your goals.
I have also tutored for colleges such as Berklee College of Music.
I am also a music director-conductor (college & professional ensembles) and find ways of having my students music played by living musicians.

About Ric
I teach music composition, theory and all related subjects.
I have taught at several colleges and currently at Weatherford College.
BIO: Award-Winning Composer Richard (Ric) G. Flauding has composed-arranged-orchestrated hundreds of pieces of music in many styles and for various ensembles. His catalog includes music recorded-performed by the London Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony and recently with orchestras in Mexico.
Ric’s recordings are played worldwide in radio-television and have featured many well-known jazz and recording session musicians such as Eric Marienthal, Russell Ferrante and Wayne Bergeron.
Ric studied composition with Dr. Albert Harris, John Shaffer Smith and many others. He has taught at several colleges and universities and is currently teaching at Weatherford College in Texas as well as appearing as guest com
poser-clinician at other music institutions.
The past several years Ric has focused primarily on music for jazz ensembles.
For more information see:
www.ricflauding.com
Ric Flauding Wikipedia
...
Reviews
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Andrew November 24, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
I had my first lesson with Ric last week and it was great! I look forward to my future lessons with him. He is a great teacher as well as a very accomplished musician, composer and many more attributes.
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Cosima Y. March 6, 2014
· ·
An excellent teacher who loves to see his students excel

Several years ago I was privileged to have Ric contribute his talent to my CD project. He is an amazing musician and a gentleman!

Ric is an excellent teacher and musician who genuinely desires to impart his expertise to those he teaches. He is relevant and experienced. His vast musical knowledge and sphere of influence are a tremendous asset to the music community with years of experience and a sincere attitude that is infectious.

I am highly confident that all Ric's student will be treated with great care and service and I highly recommend and appreciate Ric.
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Ric F.

Ric F.

Online
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Jason L.

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South Windsor, CT
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I tell all of my students that songwriting isn't as difficult as it seems but is a lot more work than is recognized. The trick is writing a great song, something that stands out and is unique. I cover riffs, melodies, lyrics, verse, chorus, bridge, song structure, songwriting credits, song creation/construction, improvisational writing, etc.

About Jason
I provide private music lessons for guitar, bass, saxophone, music theory and songwriting. I have been teaching for over seven years. I combine my passion for teaching and music business expertise to help students achieve their goals. There are many lesson options available including at my studio in Bristol CT, online or at your location. I work with all of my students and parents to create customized teaching plans based on students learning styles, interests and goals. I am available to students outside of lesson time 7 days a week. I provide performance, writing, purchase and music recommendations and take an active interest in each of my students learning. Lesson times are exactly as stated. I allow extra time in between students so as to ensure no overlaps and everyone gets their allotted time.

I try to develop versatility and wel
l rounded musicians no matter the skill or age level. Each student attends lessons for different reasons.Students are encouraged to explore all genres of music and I believe in exposing them to a wide variety of styles and methods. I also encourage students, if interested to write original material. There are no restrictions when it comes to music and I incorporate both old school and contemporary methods into my teaching. Students will learn first hand how what they are learning applies to the real world, including song performance from their favorite artists. I strongly encourage all students to develop an individual personal sense of style when it comes to music performance.
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Bob B. December 5, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
great teacher! !
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Mason M. September 1, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Mason enjoyed Jason first visit, hoping 2nd one Mason will open up more so that Jason can play a song or two with him.
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Elisa F. October 2, 2014
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Performance anxiety has always prevented me from following through with lessons. Jason has been very patient and encouraging and I have been able to break through to a new level in just a few weeks. The pace he has set for me is perfect-challenging without being overwhelming.
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Jason L.

Jason L.

Online
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Marwan S.

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Mountain View, CA

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I like to call it music theory in reverse. Having a strong foundation in the fundamentals of music and music theory makes the songwriting process much easier.

About Marwan
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I started playing piano when I was 3, and began writing music when I was 6. I've taught music and piano for over 12 years.
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crystal December 4, 2017
· Python · In home
Marwan always has smile on his face. And I have the very first python lesson with him. He is a great teacher.
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Moya November 11, 2017
· Classical Piano · In home
We could not be happier with Marwan! Most importantly, my daughter is thriving with his instruction -- though we like him too :) Marwin brings expansive experience in piano and beyond. For piano, he's got a great balance of being exacting and precise with instructions yet just as flexible as we need him to be if my daughter hasn't been able to practice due to other demands. We like that he doesn't make her feel guilty about that -- but is patient and able to get her on track so she can fulfill her amazing musical potential. We love his in-depth knowledge in a variety of things and he's charming, warm, and humorous to be around. Highly recommended: you'll enjoy meeting and working with him.
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Jen S November 7, 2017
· Piano · In home
Wow! We are so grateful for Marwan. He comes to our home, teaches 3 hours of 5 consecutive lessons and he still has a smile on his face when he leaves late in the evening. He's knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and enjoyable. His expectations are high, but attainable. I have seen a marked improvement in my children during the last three months of lessons!
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(11)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Sarah L.

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Mission Viejo, CA

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Learn to write pop songs that convey the message you wish for your audience to hear. Lyrics and melody! Learn how to free the mind and let your imagination take over while pouring your heart into music! I have learned how to write pop songs from the great Debbie Gibson and I have won many awards for my songwriting. (ex. USA Songwriting competition, LA Music Awards, and the Bilboard World Song Contest)

About Sarah
I am a Vocal performance graduate from California State University Fullerton and my whole music academic life has really made me passionate about helping young singers and performers.
I have sung around the world, most notably; Paris, Trossingen, Rome, and St. Petersburg. I am on the grammy committee and have won many awards for my Vocal and Songwriting abilities including; the USA Songwriting Competition and the Los Angeles Music Awards. My years of Classical, Musical Theatre, and Pop technique can help me tailor my teaching style to what ever the students wish their voices to become. While at CSUF, I was in the top Chamber ensemble, The University Singers. I am currently employed with the Pacific Chorale under the baton of Maestro Carl st. Clair and Dr. Robert Istad.

I would also be available to teach music theory as well.
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Sarah L.

Sarah L.

Online
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Hilary K.

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Austin, TX

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I am a professional Singer Songwriter and my specialty is in teaching singers how to write their own lyrics and melody.

About Hilary
I am a professional singer in Austin Texas. I play live shows, I have gone on tour and have released an album. I love teaching people what I know. After singing behind closed doors for a portion of my life and secretly dreaming of being a singer, one day, I decided to take the plunge and start living my dream. I began writing music, playing live shows and training to teach voice. Shortly after, I started accepting students and helped them conquer their fears.

After I conquered my own fears of singing, the world of opportunity opened up for me. I filled the role of choir director for a local church and my music now plays on Pandora, Spotify and I-tunes! I love to share my knowledge as a singer and aspire to teach fellow singers everything I know as a vocalist.
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Kay S. July 27, 2017
· Singing · In studio
She is a supportive, knowledgeable singing teacher
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Anna L. June 11, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I have been taking lessons with Hilary for a while, longer than a year. I dont have a natural gift, and got interested in singing later in life, but she has helped me gain confidence and comfort with my voice. She is very bubbly and friendly. For me, it helps to have a teacher that puts me at ease since I am shy. She has helped me with pitch and voices. She is helping me work on vocal runs. I have progressed enough to start writing my own songs. BTW, her singing is amazing and I am happy for the opportunity to work with her!
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Jana P. August 14, 2016
· Singing · In home
Hilary was very helpful.
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Hilary K.

Hilary K.

Online
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Russell S.

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Los Angeles, CA
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If you are ready to take your music skills SERIOUSLY then stop wasting time and money on teachers who don't fully understand what they are teaching. My name is Russell Steedle and I have been playing guitar professionally for 19 years and engineering and producing records for over 10. I have worked with artists such as Sean Kingston, Lifehouse, Disney's Caityln Taylor Love and have composed music to 100s of your favorite TV shows! Want to learn to record? produce? write? dive into theory?

About Russell
Russell is an incredibly gifted music producer born in Las Vegas, NV. With his first #1 Billboard record (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rookie_(EP) ) under his belt and endorsements and support of major music companies such as Fender and Dean Markley strings, Russell has toured the US opening for National Artists playing for audiences as large as 30,000.

In 2012, Russ inked a deal with Mach 1 Music and learned the rough ropes of the music industry as a part of a team selling over 19 million records worldwide. Soon after, Russ joined TV/Filmsound powerhouse “Signature Tracks” (signature-tracks.com) through which he has produced over 550 songs for networks such as Disney, MTV, VH1, BET, ABC, NBC, CBS, and many many more

Currently Russ performs with and produces talent from all over the world including Grammy Award winning artists a
nd songwriters The Jackie Boyz, Chart Topping Artist Sean Kingston, Disney's Caitlyn Taylor Love and many more!
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Edward J. October 5, 2016
· Arrangement and Composition · Online
Russ is a truly exceptional individual and very knowledgeable in all aspects of music theory, production and the industry. Not only is he an great at what he does, but he can also relate and impart that knowledge onto others - a skill that is surprisingly rare among high-caliber performers. The price per lesson seems higher than average at first glance, but I feel that the speed and amount of knowledge you acquire per dollar is actually lower than that of other instructors. Really.

He is also active in the industry, so the skills he teaches are current.

I take lessons with Russ online through Skype for EDM production in FL Studio. He is always punctual and promptly communicates if anything comes up. His teaching style carefully balances the need to provide guidance, while allowing freedom for individual artistic development. Every week, I start a composition or track analysis project that applies what I've learned in previous lessons, and I will submit it to Russ to discuss things that went well and things to work on in the future. In this way, you are not just being lectured, but you are actually learning to collaborate with an exceptional musician. I've personally experienced how constant application and feedback facilitates rapid learning.

He certainly is a serious musician, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a fun personality. He is engaging and inspirational.

I would, without reservation nor hesitation, highly recommend Russ to anyone who is interested in professional music production.
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Kirsten August 29, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Encouraged and inspired my daughter's love for music. Taught guitar lessons in a fun engaging way that also challenged her creativity. Great teacher!
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Josh August 29, 2016
· Music Recording · In studio
I really enjoy learning from Russ. He is good at relating things back to a way I can understand and improve. He is so versatile in his music knowledge that I can litterally throw anything his way that I'm curious about and he points me in the right direction. I've taken guitar, bass, vocal, and even production lessons from Russ. By far the most value I have ever got from an instructor. At first I was a little hesitant because of the higher price than others, but when you start noticing that you are learning stuff other teachers had no idea about, it makes sense to pay a little more for the quality you get out of his lessons. Thanks Russ for all the lessons over the last few years! Wouldn't be where I am today without ya!
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Russell S.

Russell S.

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(17)
starting at
$150 / 60-min

About Meghan G.

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Indianapolis, IN

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I graduated with a degree in Music and Songwriting from Liberty University in 2015. I was on the the college’s Campus Band (2012-2015) where I wrote songs with students that have go on artist’s albums, recitals, and sang in corporate worship. I wrote a version of “Be Thou My Vision” that is being sung in multiple churches, one being in Germany. I took private lessons from the Dove Award-winning and published freelance arranger, Mr. Marsh and freelance studio musician and writer, Dr. David Hahn. I also sing and write in the band, Call Me Coastal.

I believe everyone has the creativity in them to write a song. My goal is to help you bring out what’s already inside you. It’s always great to have a second ear on your personal music. In addition, I will not take writing credit on anything produced in our paid lessons and you will own all the rights.

About Meghan
Hello! My name is Meghan Garmon and I can’t wait to meet you! I’ve been teaching private lessons since 2011 and love watching my students gain confidence in singing and grow in their passion for music. I have a Bachelors degree in Music and Songwriting from Liberty University where I was on the coveted Campus Band. I’ve been a freelance musician for some of the top churches in America (North Point Church, Passion Church, Grace Midtown, Cross Pointe Church, etc.) and write and sing lead in my band “Call Me Coastal.” I’ve also been in professional, local musicals since 2004 where I was the lead role in Aida and played large roles in High School Musical, The King and I, Beauty and the Beast, and The Music Man.

I’ve been singing and songwriting since a kid and have taken private vocal lessons since 2006. I want to share my expertise in my
expansive music knowledge while giving you great songs to learn that you love. I can’t wait to meet you and help you gain confidence in your voice and creativity!
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David October 2, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Meghan is extremely inspiring because she is such a great singer and such a great person as well. My kids absolutely love taking singing lessons from Meghan. She truly inspires them so that they want to practice and become better. Meghan finds creative ways to keep their interest up. They look forward to their time with Meghan each week and I can really see improvement in their singing abilities. Great teacher and motivator!
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Chelsea October 2, 2017
· Vocal Training · In home
Meghan is amazing! I loved taking lessons from her. She is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. It was important for me to have a vocal coach that made me feel comfortable and welcome to experiment and make mistakes, and she definitely did that. She also taught me excerises that I could easily do on my own that helped strengthen my singing muscles. I honestly can't say enough good things about Meghan. I highly recommend her! If you have the chance to take lessons from her, DO IT. You won't regret it. I improved so much!
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Sean October 2, 2017
· Singing · In studio
As a vocalist, Megan excels in both experience and knowledge! From the time she was young to date, she's been trained musically in both vocals and instrumentals providing a solid base from which to instruct. As a instructor she is gentle and patient, while pointing her students to best vocal techniques and methodology.

Meghan is a fantastic choice to develop vocal skills at any level! I highly recommend her as a instructor and musician. She is overall great person to be around and work with!
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Meghan G.

Meghan G.

Online
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps

How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps

Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place … Read More

How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place
How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style
Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...  Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song. 1) What is the
Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?
Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
Are You Really Ready To Record Your Song Or Book A Vocal Session?
Think you're ready to write your own song and record it? Songwriting can be an arduous process - but seeing the final product is an amazing feeling. Read on for a helpful pre-recording checklist from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   Whether you're singing your own song or hiring a vocalist to sing on your demo or master, there are many layers of preparation needed to ensure optimum results. Some songwriters like to wing it and hope that things will magically work out because th

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