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By Erik A. - Miami Guitar Teacher
Although Miami is not the first city that one might think about as a haven for rock guitar or guitar based music, I have found that it does create a unique environment for a guitarist to practice their craft. People ask me why I have moved to a city much more known for party and dance culture than any kind of rock or folk music. Truthfully, I cannot give a good answer. All I can say is that it just feels right to be here. Something about this beach just clicks with me, and as any surrounding would, it has affected my approach to music and to teaching guitar lessons in Miami.
I have also found opportunities and met people here who click with me. Finding the opportunity to teach guitar lessons in Miami with TakeLessons has allowed me to share my passion with people with musical tastes ranging from country and folk to 80s rock to pop and modern music. The music that my students want to play doesn’t always mesh with my tastes, but it is still fun and rewarding to help them find their voice in the kind of music that they are passionate about. I am grateful that I have this opportunity. It could have happened anywhere I suppose, but it did happen here and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love having people come to my home studio to learn with the ocean and sea breeze as a backdrop.
I have also met some other creative guitarists here. Verdi Mayer and Steven Weingarth are two of them who, along with bassist Jorge Rodriguez and drummer Robert Pinion, play in the band Space Between Words. They initially got together with the idea of being a rockabilly group, but have morphed into something completely different. Although some traces of rockabilly can be found in some of their songs like “Crazy as a Fox” and “Things Children Do,” they are really just undercurrents of a style that is somewhat indefinable. The songs are hard-edged, with influences ranging from blues, classic rock, punk and experimental music. This eclecticism is in a way reflective of their surroundings.
Miami is obviously a very multicultural city and each culture brings its own background in music. Dance music, whether electronic, salsa, reggaeton or hip-hop, is the dominant force. One cannot live in this city and be oblivious to the dance scenes and rhythm-dominated music. My original home in Minneapolis is more in tune with the straight-ahead rock or singer-songwriter scene. Even the hip-hop coming out of Minnesota is more of a head-bobbing kind than a club dance kind. Although I may be more comfortable with that kind of approach, I do find it exciting to try and add more rhythm to my music. The guys from Space Between Words agree, saying that being surrounded by rhythmic music has made them more conscious of rhythm’s place in their music.
There are other high-caliber musicians, the band point out, who make them step up their own game. Both Steve and Verdi immediately name Buffalo Brown from Out of the Anonymous, and Jay and Victor from the punk band Mind You as major local influences. Other honorable mentions were Fernando Perdomo from Dreaming in Stereo and Andrew Pino from Mind Chips. Steven also lists Verdi as a major inspiration and influence to his own guitar style. A few local artists have gained national attention too. Iron & Wine started in Miami and is one of my personal favorites. His mellow grooves and voice seem to echo the coolness of the ocean.
I hope this article will encourage you to want to learn, play, write your own guitar music and ultimately take guitar lessons here in Miami. I would advise you not to be discouraged by the initial impression that this city does not welcome guitar-oriented music. Find in your surroundings something that inspires you to want to make music and if you haven’t already, check out some of the aforementioned artists. They may inspire you too!
My initial venture into music 14 years ago was on the guitar, and though I have made a transition into playing bass in the last 6 years, I still utilize my guitar playing as a means of expression and as my main songwriting tool.
I've been teaching Guitar for over 30 yrs.
Step by step guidance and exercises catered to the students ability and growing interest is key. My form of teaching helps all students through walks of life to establish a relationship with their instrument that helps them use the the time they have to better themselves at their pace.
Guitar is my main instrument (other than voice). I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and I can help you learn pretty much any style. I'll get you ready to play on your own and also help you learn how to jam with friends.
- determining specific musical goals
- simple chords - strumming
- using the pick
- playing melodies
I've been teaching Guitar for 10 years and my students have gone on to play in different venues internationally. Within the first few lessons, you'll be able to start playing songs and as time goes on you'll be able to not only play with proficiency but to compose music for Guitars. I specialize in Classical (Spanish) Guitar, Pop and Country, I typically use our own method books based on some of the teachings from the greatest composers that have played the instrument. I love working with students of all ages and experience levels and I can't wait to meet you!
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