Al Payson

Al P.

Sneads Ferry, NC

Lesson Details



Al delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
April 1996

Born in Portland ME, Al's parents moved around a lot and finally settled in New York. When Al was 10, he took his first lessons in piano, then later trumpet, guitar, drums and at 13 yrs old decided to stick with bass guitar. At 16, Al joined his first band and was hooked. Since then Al has improved his craft studying with numerous instructors and gained real world experience through playing and touring worldwide with many bands and ensembles, most notably as bassist for Jose Feliciano from 2008 through 2015. Today Al is an independent recording artist concentrating on writing, recording and teaching music.

*** Lesson Details ***
Every student is different. I've found that students have vastly different, ages, tastes, goals, and want to learn for different reasons. They also learn and develop in different ways and at different paces. That said, I use the first lesson to determine goals and a general plan for each student.

I consider myself a "groove" player and in my musical world, my focus is on rhythm section work. To get there you must first learn several skills. Technique, Timing, Ear Training, and Theory are what I consider the 4 main "food groups" in the "diet" of any good musician. My job is to steer each individual student down the path that gets them there at their pace AND to make it fun. After all people don't choose to learn because they have too, they choose to learn because they want to. Why? Because it's cool and it's fun!

I like to dedicate a portion of the lesson to having fun with the instrument. A student may be interested in a certain band or bass player and wants to learn their song. I will ask them to bring me the song (I may already know it) and we'll learn it together. I like to play musical, or instrument related games to help the student learn in an non-stressful, happy and fun way. I think it makes a difference.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music Studio on first floor: 16 channel mixing console, computer music workstation loaded with Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Reason, and other music software, music stands, guitars, electronic drum set, keyboard, bass and guitar amps, seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I would expect the student to have, or to buy a bass guitar, a practice amp with a 1/4" cable, a metronome, a manuscript book, and a pencil.

I can provide a practice amp, metronome and music stand for lessons only. I also can provide on site repairs of their instrument.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Rock, Blues, Jazz and Funk styles of Music

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Audio Recording Engineer
Oct 2013 - Present
Oddyssey Records

Freelance Audio Recording Engineer for Oddysey Records, Rock Tavern, NY

Audio Recording Engineer
Jan 2012 - Present
Lenox Recording and Sound

Freelance Audio Recording Engineer for Lenox Recording and Sound, Stamford CT.

Audio Recording Engineer
May 1997 - Jun 2016
Jose Feliciano

Audio Recording Engineer and Programmer for Jose Feliciano

Nov 2008 - Dec 2015
Jose Feliciano

Touring bassist for Jose Feliciano

Audio Recording Engineer
Jan 1994 - Jan 2010
Don Elliott Productions

Audio Engineer at Don Elliott's Recording Studio Weston, CT

Bass Instructor
Jan 1998 - Jan 2008
Norwalk Music

Bass Teacher at the Norwalk Music Store in Norwalk CT

Jan 1993 - Jan 2008
The Burr Johnson Band

Bassist for the Burr Johnson Band

Aug 1997 - Aug 1997
Wishbone Ash

Bassist for Wishbone Ash on a tour of Germany

Jan 1994 - Jan 1997
Blue Law

Touring Bassist for Blue Law

Bass Instructor
Jan 1989 - Jan 1994
Alto Music

Bass Teacher at anyone of 3 Alto Music Locations

Musical Instrument Sales
Jan 1989 - Jan 1994
Alto Music

Retail Musical instrument sales

Back Line Tech - Roadie
Jan 1987 - Jan 1989
Studio Instrument Rentals

Provided Back Line and "Roadie" type services as an employee of S.I.R. out of the 25th Street New York, NY facility


Associates Degree
Sep 2004 - Jun 2008
Norwalk Community College
HS Dilploma
Sep 1978 - Jun 1981
Spring Vally Sr High School


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Web Development
Jun 2008
Norwalk Community College

Honorable Discharge
Jun 1987
US Army

After serving 6 years in the United States Army Reserves, I was given an Honorable Discharge.


Grammy Recognition
Jan 2009
51st Grammy Awards

Photos & Videos

Once and a while during the show, Jose let's the guys in the band "stretch out".
Photo by Al P.

Back in the 90's I wore my hair a tad longer.
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2 Reviews

Write a Review
Lenny Sieredzinski Jun 30, 2015
Bass Guitar · In home

As a beginner with the bass guitar I could not be any happier with what Al was able to provide me with on our first lesson! I'm Having trouble putting the guitar down and can't wait for our next lesson!

Dylan D. Mar 11, 2014
Bass Guitar ·

Bass lesson With Al

Had a really nice first lesson with Al. He is a good guy and a we had fun jamming out on a couple jazz standards and talking about scales. He has good knowledge of the instrument and i was happy to see that he played a 6string like myself. I enjoyed the lesson.

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