basic mandolin technique; Bluegrass, Country, world music repertoire, rhythm training
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.
Nick 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 Th
e 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, Nick 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.
Nick 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 NickR+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 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.
A wonderful instrument with much more application than one can imagine. I can help you build an excellent foundation
My love of music and musical talent was discovered when I was just five years old. An uncle gave me a plastic recorder and, without lessons or help from anyone, I was playing melodies within days. Soon after I started taking private lessons on Saxophone and Clarinet. I played my first paying job at age 14. When I was 15, my private instructor, asked me if I would be interested in teaching. He put me on the County list of private instructors and and soon I had my own thriving studio of Sax and Clarinet students. From that time on, I have almost continuously been involved in music education. Though I had listened to the rock "guitar gods" of the 60's I never became interested the guitar until, at the age of 15, I first heard Maestro Andres Segovia through his televised master classes. About the same time, I was amazed by the chord
melody genius of jazz artists like George Van Eps, Joe Pass, and Bucky Pizzarelli. It was then I realized that the guitar could be an "orchestra." In the small town where I grew up, there were no guitar teachers so I studied with outstanding Guitarist Ed McGuire. Later, I studied formally with several renowned professors of guitar, including Bruce Holzman at FSU and Randy Reed, a professor at Duke University in Durham North Carolina. I have also performed in Master Classes for Classical Guitarists Atigoni Goni and Dimitri Diatchenko. Before making North Florida my home, I toured and played throughout the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast in a variety of venues and styles from Rock to Jazz to R&B. Even after settling down I have stayed active in the music business, playing and teaching. I continue to work regularly performing solo, or in ensembles throughout Florida from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.
*** Lesson Details *** I am a laid back teacher who prefers to motivate my students by instilling my love of, and enthusiasm for, music in them rather than using any kind of "scare" tactics. I had a very few "knuckle rapper" style teachers over the years and found them to be very unmotivating. A large percentage of the progress a student makes happens between the lessons. The more they practice, the faster they improve. I also believe in building a solid foundation that my students can build upon. A good teacher teaches a student how to teach themselves. On guitar, I encourage, but don't insist on, my students learning to read music. Some styles of guitar do not require it, but I do mention the gigs I have gotten over the years because I could read. On all instruments, I am a big believer in great technique, musicianship and improvisational skills.
*** Studio Equipment *** Studio is in back of the house as an addition. It has its own separate entrance and is approx 160 sq feet. Well lit and with heat and air.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will provide a music stand if needed. Students must have their own instrument. They will need to get their own books, though I do provide much supplemental material.
I have been Randall's student for a few years. Randall is very knowledgeable about music and an excellent teacher. Additionally, Randall is courteous, professional, and punctual. I highly recommend Randall as your new music instructor.
July 14, 2017
Randall has been teaching my son clarinet for the past 2 years in his home and we couldn't be more pleased with my son's outcome. He knows how to work With students and get them to advance to their highest potential.
July 14, 2017
Randall has been teaching guitar to my 12 year-old son for about 3 years. He is very knowledgeable and patient. He knows and can teach many different styles of music on several different instruments. I highly recommend Randall for students of any age.
Learn mandolin chords, strumming, and of course songs!
- 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.
Left Hand- Scales and arpeggios our the bedrock of music. They are the foundation of everything harmonically and melodically. We will begin with learning our major, minor and pentatonic scales and corresponding arpeggios. Once we have an understanding of those we will delve into our modes and more “exotic” scales.
Right Hand- The right hand is our time machine. It gives us the ability to play in time and with groove and feel. We will work on rhythmic studies string crossings and practicing with a metronome. Remembering music is harmony, Melody and rhythm working as one. For those who are new to playing music the hardest thing for some to master is rhythm/time keeping. It is the black and white right or wrong of the music world. Often times our want to progress quickly is hampered by skipping over the basic building blocks of rhythm and time keeping. The first critical step is the concept of subdivision. Subdivision it the mind ...
Steven F offers instruction for electric or acoustic bass guitar, upright bass, mandolin and ukulele as well as music theory.
Steven F., a professional musician and teacher for over fifteen years, graduated cum laude with a performance degree in the upright bass from The Ohio State University where he studied and performed everything from classical to classic rock. Indeed, from the blues to bluegrass, from rock to classical, he has done it all. He currently plays with The Spikedrivers, Fox ‘n’ Hounds Bluegrass Ensemble, and Neil Jacobs' American Gypsy. He recently performed with guitar legends GE Smith and Jorma Kaukonen and David Grier.
In addition, Fox is a gifted instructor with over twelve years of experience. He incorporates music theory and technique in lessons so his students are able to go farther than just readin
g music. They learn to create music, to play with other musicians, and to play by ear.
Although Fox is serious about music he is able to keep lessons entertaining for students, and offers instruction in many musical genres. Many of Fox’s students have gone on to study music in college and have started successful careers in the field.
I can’t believe how much material was covered in a 60 minute lesson! Steven was engaging and encouraging. My 16 year old son learned a lot and had a great time doing it. We are looking forward to future lessons!
November 12, 2018
Steven is an excellent teacher. He had a lot of helpful information and made a great effort to assess my needs. I’m looking forward to more lessons!
October 29, 2018
Steven is an excellent instructor. He is patient and kind. He breaks things down to make it easier to learn and play. I see improvement in my lessons every week.
Explains everything in detail , moves in a progress in which I retain the knowledge very Easy.
I highly recommend Mel.
Very calm , collect and patient.
June 11, 2019
February 7, 2019
Mel is a great teacher and his many past experiences in the music field have given him tons of knowledge. he has a simple and effective way of teaching music and theory. he listens to the way you learn and adapts his methods to best suit you.
In addition to being a percussionist, I am also a mandolin player with experience playing Celtic, Bluegrass and Old Time music. With an emphasis on rhythm and technique I can help take your mandolining to the next level!
Benjamin Engel is a percussionist and mandolin player from North Carolina. Coming out of a folk music tradition he has expanded his interest into the world of electronic music, free improvisation and world music. He most recently visited Dublin to work with composer Cal Folger Day on a historical Operetta. He has performed in long standing Brooklyn Based bands like Free Advice, Eamon Fogerty band and the Wyndham Baird band. His newest projects include collaborations with violinist/vocalist Concetta Abbate and sound artist Ted Robinson, in addition to his original music under the moniker Chemical Bags.
I have a degree in music performance and education plus 15 years of private lesson teaching and 5 years of teaching music in the public schools. I've taught myself to play various instruments and I can do the same for you! I've performed mandolin in a lot of different settings with many different kinds of groups. My lessons will help you go from beginner to being able to play with others!
Music is my first love and I've been playing multiple instruments for 30 years! I play 7 instruments -percussion, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, violin, piano and voice. My passion is helping students reach their musical goals, no matter what they are! I have a lot of experience teaching students various instruments from ages 5-65. I can help you learn the songs or instruments you've always wanted to play, quickly and easily!
Lessons integrate traditional styles and techniques with basic music theory.
Barry Chern has been one of Central Ohio's premiere proponents of Roots Music since before any one else was calling it that. His first public shows at the age of 15 already featured a unique mix of early folk, blues and originals. He has ever since been absorbing and transmuting the diverse streams of American Song, with a deepening focus on early blues and string-band music. This mixes with a compositional drive to explore and invent within modern harmonic structures. His performances feature heartfelt vocals with bare-finger guitar picking, mandolin and harmonica, and sometimes piano, clarinet, autoharp and other items from his arsenal. Chern has represented Columbus at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and in 2012 was the "Honored Artist" at Columbus' Comfest, making his 40th appearance at the Fest's 40th anniversary. He i
"She is very patient, very laid back, and so nice. Can't wait for more lessons"
"Daniel really knows his stuff. I learned a lot today!"
"It was a great first lesson - she assessed where I was, fixed some technique problems I was having and gave me things to work on for next time. She's ver
y friendly and approachable, which is great for new-student anxiety ;-)."
"Kelvin is a talented, caring and effective teacher, able to spot technical, as well as musical, errors online. It has been a pleasure to take lessons from
him - and I have progressed well beyond my expectations thanks to his expertise. I highly recommend him."
"I absolutely LOVE taking lessons with David! It is the best part of my week! Being a somewhat shy individual and an adult student, I was really nervous
to begin music lessons with a stranger.. David put me at ease from day one. Each thirty minute session is packed with just enough material to keep me occupied during practice through the week and eager for more by the time our next lesson comes around. His instrument knowledge is phenomenal, and it makes the experience so much more fun to have David accompany my mandolin playing with banjo or guitar. He is also great for giving advice on buying a new instrument. Best-Instructor-Ever! I can't recommend David enough"
"Great instructor, very professional, patient, and prepared for every lesson. He incorporates technical exercises to improve strength/accuracy/precision, i
mprovisational exercises, music theory, and repertoire building into his lessons. My playing has improved drastically in the few months I've been working with him; I would recommend him to any player at any level."
"Extremely knowledgable, nice and overall great teacher. I'm extremely happy with my first mandolin lesson and can't wait to practice what Ryan taught me a
nd return for my next lesson."
"Great start. Tara was patient and easy going. I look forward to continuing to work with her in the future."
"This was only my first session with Grant but he made me feel very comfortable and was concerned about issues i was having in regards to techniques and mu
sicianship. I felt really good after our lesson and looking forward to our next session."
So you want to learn how to play the mandolin. For beginners to playing an instrument, the mandolin is a great option for starting your musical journey. Many people ask, "Is the mandolin easy to play?" or "Is it hard to play the mandolin?"
Fortunately, the mandolin is not a difficult instrument to learn. It’s lightweight and compact so you can practice anywhere. It also has less strings than many other instruments, like the guitar, which makes reading tablature much easier.
The mand …