I've played guitar since I was eight years old and various other stringed instruments for several years. I love the banjo sound and played a bit on my original album Heliotropism. I'd love to help novice players get their feet wet with the instrument, strumming and plucking away at their favorite songs.
I studied music at UCF (Orlando), focusing on classical and jazz guitar, but I also have years of experience playing rock, blues, folk, hip-hop, and musical theater on both guitar and drums.
I have been teaching guitar, drums, and piano for about eight years to students of all ages. Music is what I'm passionate about and it's what I enjoy. I want to inspire that same passion into the hearts and minds of others.
*** Lesson Details *** I am a laid-back teacher, fun, and I focus on the needs, abilities, and ambitions of the student. In turn, students must realize that learning an instrument takes a lot of work and dedication. One can't expect to learn very much if s/he only practices or thinks about the instrument during the lesson. If the student is willing to put some time into practicing, then I will help them go far!
o Equipment *** I have several guitars, a drum kit, djembe, mandolin, clarinet and full-size keyboard.
*** Specialties *** Guitar: Classical, jazz, American or Irish folk, rock and pop; lead or rhythm. Drums & Percussion: All genres Piano: Classical (includes sight reading)
-5 string Bluegrass (Earl Scruggs technique) -Tenor banjo (plectrum techniques) -Plectrum banjo (plectrum techniques) -Bluegrass, Country, Blues and Folk -Gullah Geechee, North Indian classical music and other world music rhythms
Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, lap steel, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 19 years via Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Queens College and at schools, nationally.
Russo has been a sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste, Rob Morrow, John Lithgow, Russell Hall, Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Marcus Miller (a new film), Moroccan vocalist/composer, Malika Zarra, Bill Charlap, Frank Vignola, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Jim Nolet (Jazz Passengers), Jennifer Jade Ledesna, the late greats Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Joe Ascione and continues to play for T
he Hot Sardines, Andrew Nemr (tap dancer), Miles Griffith's New Ting, Terry Waldo, Dandy Wellington, New Orleans’ Aurora Nealand, Gordon Au's Grand St Stompers, Mona's Hot Four, Dr. David Pleasant, Jon Weber, John Colianni, Kim Clarke, Raphael McGregor, Anastasia Rene, Indian/pop singer, Meetu Chilana, & many others.
Nick has played extensively with Malika Zarra, including her Ebony Road CD release with Harvey Wirht, Mamadou Ba, Brahim Frigane and other great world musicians. As a pupil of Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Russo continues to study Indian music, plays harmonium, box tanpura (soon sitar and oud!) and jams with grammy nominated producer/composer/Indian percussionist, Deep Singh (tabla player with Sting) and grammy nominated producer/trumpet player/composer, Frank London on a regular basis.
Russo has also played extensively with ELEW years before, when he was jazz pianist, Eric Lewis and trombonist, Clark Gayton as sideman in various bands, including the James Brown tribute band with the late great, Black Velvet (Charles Bradley) led by Victor Jones.
Nick currently leads/MC's 3 bands: Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, Hot Jazz Jumpers and NickRusso+11
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches (with Betina Hershey) album, Get Us Out Of Fearland: #2 album, #2 artist, #5 song with 6 of our songs in top 20 on April 2018 International Folk Music DJs Radio chart!
Over the past two year, Banjo Nickaru Western Scooches has built a solid following in the Eastern U.S. with a half dozen tours while also playing such prestigious events such as NBC affiliate Kansas City TV, Falcon Ridge Fest, Kansas City Folk Fest (main stage), Folk Alliance International, NERFA, WFUV Sunday Supper, Jon Platt's On Your Radar, Blue Plate Special, WMOT Finally Friday, WNCW Studio B Sessions, WoodSongs, Isis Music Hall, the Mid-Winter Folk Fest at Club Passim and recent January 2019 APAP showcase in NYC.
“Nick Russo has worked with artists all over the jazz spectrum. His latest release brings a decidedly unorthodox approach.” DOWNBEAT ⋆⋆⋆⋆
"....the inimitable Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches"
— John Platt (WFUV)
“A heart as big as the sky…full of high energy and higher spirits.” -Elmore Magazine
“A band that has to be seen to be believed.” — John Platt (WFUV)
"They go back to basics with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition." Elmore Magazine
"Americana music at its purest and most impressive." No Depression
“Unfailingly high-spirited." LONDON TIMES
"...Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are ridiculously fun." Rambles.
-Down Beat magazine 2006 Ro review plus [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review
-Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015] 2.5 page interview
-Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue]
-Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview
"Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel
-Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste (from the Colbert show), Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Bill Charlap, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Dandy Wellington, Jon Weber, Aurora Nealand (from New Orleans), Anastasia Rene, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups.
-Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go"
-Movie Soundtrack: King George.
-Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others.
-Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre)
M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (partial scholarship)
B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters
-Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus)
-Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat"
- Current adjunct professor at Essex College
-Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College
-Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College
-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.
-Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas)
-Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001)
-Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current
-Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser
-Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht
*** Lesson Details *** With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time. As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information.
*** Studio Equipment *** Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!)
*** Specialties *** Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe.
-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar) -acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar - jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres. - tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music) -5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country]) -tenor guitar -ukulele -mandolin -resonator slide/dobro. -lap steel -baritone resonator (slide)
This was my first lesson with Nick. He is a very nice guy. He created a calm, relaxed atmosphere in his studio, and he was clear when he gave me particular instructions. His knowledge of music theory in general, and of the five-string banjo in particular, was quite impressive. I would recommend him highly to both a beginner and to anyone (like myself) who is in need of a refresher course. I am very much looking forward to my next lesson.
April 2, 2019
Nick Russo is a fantastic tutor for kids and adults who would like to learn Ukulele, guitar, banjo or other instruments. He makes ‘learning fun’ he's friendly and cheerful. I don’t have any background in music but, Nick made it easy for me to understand the notes and how it works. I always look forward to every lesson. I Highly recommended Nick to everyone.
March 22, 2019
I’ve been taking guitar lessons with Nick now for a few months and it’s been a terrific experience — cannot say enough good things. Each lesson builds on the last and Nick tailors them to my ability and musical interests mixing in enough music theory, which makes learning both productive and enjoyable. Most importantly I feel like I’m beginning to understand how music works and not just blindly memorizing patterns or scales. I considered online courses before choosing Nick, but there’s no substitution for one-to-one instruction. Nick’s feedback and instruction are invaluable.
I was a little concerned about trying to pick up guitar in my early 40s, but its been a rewarding experience so far and I’m looking forward to more lessons with Nick.
I have studied music for 26 years. Piano was my first instrument and I have taken classical lessons from an early age and studied jazz piano for 14 years. I play guitar at the same level as piano. I play jazz, classical, flamenco and rock guitar; acoustic, electric and 9-string electric. I have studied at University of North Texas, Musicians institute and have a bachelor's of music from UNM. I have a certification in early childhood education and love to teach children, as well as adults of all ages.
*** Lesson Details *** I am very patient and flexible. I work with the student to design curriculum that is exciting and engaging for their individual level. Students enjoy studying with me because they can progress quickly if they practice and because I am easy to talk to and work with.
*** Studio Equipment *** The In-Studio
lessons are taught in the music room in the home which includes an 88 key weighted keyboard, 5 guitars, 3 amps
*** Travel Equipment *** If I go to their house, I expect them to have their own instruments that they practice on during the week, a metronome, a tuner and the music books they are working on.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in jazz, rock and classical music. I usually allow the students or their parents to choose their method books based on their interests and goals.
He has taught me a lot. Lessons are not rushed. He allows me to learn based on my own interests, but also teaches a lot of basics of technique and music theory. The location is convenient to downtown Albuquerque and UNM neighborhood.
September 25, 2014
Chris is easy to learn with, and knowledgeable. Is always patient and never makes you feel rushed, yet, makes sure you are constantly improving. He directs your playing in the style and direction you want to reach while exposing you to new styles along the way. Great teacher.
Beginner banjo lessons. Basic technique, chords, strumming. So much fun playing songs! Disclaimer: I am not a traditional bluegrass player. I am finding many students nowadays that enjoy the sound of banjo, but want to play modern music with it. I have had a great deal of success with this type of student, but advise anyone looking for traditional scruggs lessons to seek that out. Thanks!
- I have a record of success with students of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and goals - I teach using a variety of methods and styles, including my own authored books - I own a music academy where I train others to be successful instructors - I have a very high student retention rate - I've been playing over 25 years - I have a BA in Music from Florida State University - I have been teaching for 17 years - I have personally taught over 15,000 private lessons - I have played in numerous bands - I have gigged professionally
*** Lesson Details *** I customize the lessons to the goals of each student. Whether it's for fun and leisure or a driven passion with serious goals, I can give you the tools to accomplish what you want! I love teaching people through the music that they love. So, whether that's Britney Spears, Metallic
a, or Bach, the concepts underlying music are basically the same. I will make sure you can play the music you love and hopefully help you explore new music as well.
*** Studio Equipment *** In my studio I have a Guild Classical, Alvarez Acoustic, and Epiphone Electric.
All the accessories needed as well. Music Stands, Foot Stools, Picks, Straps, Slides, Tuners, Books, etc.
I also use an iMac in lessons. I like incorporating technology when appropriate, to look up tunes, or do a recording session, it's a necessary tool to learn nowadays.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will bring everything we need to conduct a proper lesson remotely. I do recommend you have your own guitar though.
*** Specialties *** For all the advanced knowledge I have and years of teaching students of all kinds, my favorite is teaching beginners. I love seeing someone come in with no knowledge of music, and taking them from milestone to milestone. I love watching new musicians blossom.
I play, teach, and perform most frequently in classical, rock, blues, and pop genres.
Daniel is very knowledgeable and kind. He understands student's strength and weakness and also the areas to focus on. I am a beginner and have self learned on and off for a few years. Daniel teaches progressiveIy and I throughly enjoyed my first session with him!
June 19, 2019
Great first lesson
May 18, 2019
Daniel is a fun and easygoing instructor who tailors to your needs, adapting to your musical interests as well as your preferred lesson style. And it is clear that he has years of teaching experience under his belt. He has also helped me improve my music theory understanding, which has become rusty over the years. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor.
Banjo is very different from most other instruments, and requires a special technique. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must project the melody, and everything else comes from that.
I have been playing music on the violin since the age of 7, composing since I was 14, and playing and performing on the guitar since I was 18. I've written a lot of music, and this past spring had works performed in Virginia and two in Manhattan.
I have taught music for over 15 years, in colleges, music schools and privately. One thing that I have noticed is that, with more experience, I have a lot more fun--and so do my students.
Stephen is amazing and talented. He is very understanding of the initial frustration of learning a new instrument and makes it interesting and fun.
October 14, 2015
Mr. D is a very good teacher at violin. I give him 5 stars because he is nice and a good teacher.
September 29, 2015
Stephen has been teaching my son Classical Guitar lessons for over four years now, and he is one of the best music instructors we've had. Stephen is a very motivated and inspiring teacher, my son absolutely loves his music classes. We are happy to have a truly dedicated teacher, who loves working with kids and is able to pass his genuine passion for music to others. Thank you, Stephen!
I've been teaching banjo for 4 years helping students develop a love for the instrument and learn more about music along the way. My specialty is Scruggs style picking, but I'm also comfortable teaching clawhammer, reno, or melodic styles and enjoy working on hybrid and progressive styles, too. Within the first few lessons you'll have a solid base of picking and chord changes and even a few simple songs under your belt. Moving on from there I will craft lessons to move you toward a "goal song," making sure to cater your progress to your needs while keeping a focus on good technique. I enjoy working with students of all ages and experiences and I can't wait to meet you!
Ryan is a musician from Jefferson Park who plays a plethora of different instruments. He specializes in guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele, but also dabbles in accordion, piano, drums, harmonica and several others. Learning to play instruments is one of the true pleasures in his life and he hopes he can make it one of yours, too.
As a teacher Ryan's goals are fairly simple. First and foremost he wants to make his lessons comfortable, interesting and fun. A close second is to build a strong foundation on the basics, so as we learn more advanced techniques we have a solid base of technique to build upon. And third, an understanding of the theory and history behind the music is a great way to engage in the music beyond just the rote learning of technique.
After a brief foray in physics, Ryan settle into a degree in music at the Univer
sity of Illinois, specializing in Ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures). This education gave him a strong background in music theory and history in the Western tradition, but also opened him up to a vast experience of a diverse cross section of music from around the world. His insatiable love for learning new instruments started here, where he studied music from West Africa to Bali.
Currently Ryan is a co-lead singer, songwriter and stringed instrument player for the local band Distant Brothers, a folk rock band based out of Chicago. They play venues throughout the Midwest, with some of the notable venues being House of Blues, Metro and Cubby Bear in Chicago. Another highlight of his time with the band has been a collaboration with Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra, where he not only was able to play in collaboration with the orchestra, but joined in the arranging and conceptualization of some of the pieces played.
I am a 8 year banjo player and teacher and studied at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music. I can teach bluegrass, folk, or country banjo.
Caleb E. has been teaching music since 2005 and is available to teach at your home or his studio. Caleb has helped students from age 8 to 65 and believes that there is no age limit on learning and trying something new or even getting better. Caleb is a two year student of the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music with a degree as a professional recording artist. Helping students achieve goals regarding musical technique, personal creativity, and self confidence is a personal mission for Caleb and loves to teach in a personal, hands on approach.
Caleb has a wide music aptitude. He teaches several instruments. He is very patient working with novices like myself.
July 26, 2018
August 13, 2017
Caleb has taught me so much in only five lessons! I now can play 4 songs that I love, and I'm getting a great refresher course on music theory. He's super patient and sets very realistic expectations. I really like that he cared to ask me what songs I liked and would like to learn instead of starting with generic songs like 'twinkle twinkle' because it gave me more motivation to practice and learn. I can't wait to learn more!
I teach a 3 finger style of Banjo playing and how to read, hear, and play music. I teach you how to play the chords, read the tablature and play by ear.
Lisa Abrams has a Vocal Music Education Degree from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.
She graduated in 1997 and has been teaching professionally, both in schools and privately, since that time. She has taught General Music grades K-8 in the Parochial School System. She has been the Music Director and Worship Leader for several Churches where she has directed Adult Choir, Praise Team, Bell Choir, Chime Tone Choir, Orchestra and Children's Choir. She has accompanied all these ensembles on Piano, Guitar, and Organ.
Lisa Abrams teaches all areas of music: Theory, Technic, Reading, Counting, Ear Training, Composition, etc. When you take lessons from Lisa, her goal is more than teaching you how to play or sing a song. She gives you the tools necessary to be able to play ANY song. She teaches what few others teach; how to BE a music
ian. She wants you to be able to pursue any avenue of Music that appeals to you, professionally or personally.
"This produst was a great way to find a banjo teacher, when we had no idea where to even start looking.
Mrs. Fegan is a great instructor, who can explain
things on all levels to make sure your child is truly learning. She has a fun disposition and you can tell she really enjoys teaching. My son loves her, learns more than just the banjo at lessons. She is very patient, yet expects my son to do his part too. We have been with her for a year, and now my son has added Baritone lessons as well, because of the encouragement and support, and respect she gives my son. Best teacher we have ever had! I truly believe Mrs. Fegan could teach my son anything, because she teaches the way a person seems to learn at their own ability."
"What a great experience! I like Ray's approach and his willingness to share no nonsense remarks about his expectations. Yes, practice is key to becoming
a good banjo player. Imagine that! I appreciate the fact that Ray was so open in sharing the fact that many of his students underestimate the importance of regular practice. I whole-heartedly agree. Since we share the same philosophy and approach, this is the start of a great relationship. (Can't give it 5 stars though, solely because of the traffic. The lessons are worth the trip!)"
"If I could give Brian 10 stars, I would. He is enthusiastic, present, supportive and highly knowledgeable. Learning instruments has always been a challen
ge for me , but Brian makes being a banjo beginner an absolute joy. I look forward to practicing every day, and can really hear my progress - which amazes me because it's only been just over a month. I can see myself working with Brian for the long haul. He puts me at ease, and always gives great responsive tips that improve my playing immediately. I feel SO lucky to have stumbled across his profile."
"Recently took banjo lessons from Adam.I am older student in my 70's with no musical experience until around 65.Found Adam to be capable and smart.Good abi
lity to recognize what I can and can't do at a moment in time.This is important,as many people who start late get discouraged.Like the fact that he uses instructional book if desired.Good for a slow,visual learner like me.Very impressed with him.Pete"
"Mark has been a great teacher for this adult beginner! I take lessons in clawhammer banjo and ukulele with him, and his easy-going nature and skill in ide
ntifying ways to improve make it a joyful experience! Highly recommend."
"Four lessons with Sam have been amazing. I had previous banjo lessons and plodded from one song to the next. Sam has expanded the entire scope of music
for me. I continue with the lesions and enjoy music much more"
"I took 10 banjo lessons from Adam, starting iwth zero prior experience. After 1 lesson I could play and sing Clementine, after 2 Oh Susannah. Now I am wo
rking on Country Roads. Adam is great: good teacher, super smart, amazingly talented and knowledgeable, friendly. I would continue with Adam except I am moving out of town. But he got me a good enough start that I am sure I will continue with this instrument."
"I am a 60+ guy that had gotten a banjo for Christmas. I had one many, many years ago and I wanted to start again with lessons. With Take a Lesson I met u
p with Ryan. Here is a Kool layed back kinda guy that is a musician and a real good instructor. He has taken me from zero to cords and rolls. He listens well and is flexible enough that you learn at your own speed. Get in line for this Guy. Thanks Ryan!"
Loud, jangly, and twangy, the banjo is an instrument with a distinctive voice that immediately evokes the spirit of the American South. Long a mainstay of bluegrass music, banjos have recently been incorporated into pop music as well by bands like Mumford and Sons.
And, if YouTube trends are any indication, it looks like the banjo is making another genre shift!
A pack of viral videos featuring banjo covers of hard rock classics are making the rounds and proving that banjos can shred just a …