Al Tobon-Stevens

Al T.

Friendswood, TX
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
My curriculum is flexible for all ages, but is designed specifically and intentionally to cover a broad array of skills that will help you find and hone your voice as a musician. I do hold my students to a high standard, and I expect they practice regularly. In return, I will work my hardest to make assignments fun, rewarding, and useful. I am extremely open to feedback; for example, song choice. If I say we're playing Bob Dylan and you're not a huge fan of that style, that A-OK. Just recommend an alternative for my approval and we will go-with-the-flow. Like Bruce Lee said, I'll be "Like Water."

There are no pre-requisites for this course; if you do not know how to read lead sheets, I will teach you. We will learn tab and musical notation, but we will primarily work from charts.

A few of many things you can look forward to:

Beginner:
1. Cowboy chords and power chords
2. Guitar maintenance; changing strings, tuning, cleaning, and more.
3. Right-hand technique and strumming
4. 12-bar blues
5. Intro to lead; pentatonic and blues scales.

Intermediate:
1. Arpeggiation
2. Continued lead - string bending; hammer-ons and pull-offs; phrasing
3. Barre Chords and CAGED
4. Functional harmony and Nashville Numbering
5. Chord vocabulary: Suspended chords, triads, inversions and extensions.

Advanced:
1. Finger-picking: Alternate thumb technique, travis-picking, and bluegrass boom-chuckin'.
2. Diatonic modes and fret-board visualization - solving the mysterious puzzle that is a guitar fret-board.
3. Chord embellishments and expanded vocabulary; major/minor/dominant 7; diminished/augmented.
4. Transposition and charting tunes.
5. Improvisation and fret-board freedom. Never feel lost playing with a group or on your own at the drop of a hat.
6. Ongoing coaching and exercises.

The best time to plant a tree was yesterday. The second best time to plant a tree is today. Let's get started.

Questions? Please ask.

I teach acoustic, electric, and bass guitar.

About Al T.

Hey there,

I'm Al. Born and raised Houstonian. I love my wife, my dog, and my guitar. In my spare time I enjoy playing videos games (my favorite being Super Smash Bros.), learning new skills (I'm currently taking an online computer science course through Rice), and creating and producing original music by myself and with friends. I have an album out on Spotify and all streaming platforms called Oceanside of Someday, and a second album and collaboration in the works. I am a core member of the Friendswood Friends Church worship band for which I play guitar and bass.

I am musically inspired by prog-folk titans such as Justin Vernon and Sufjan Stevens; country folk legends such as Townes Van Zandt and Johnny Cash; song-writing heroes like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Cat Stevens (Or Yusuf). I enjoy contemporary artists like Julien Baker, Khruangbin, Kurt Elling, and Polypha. I also Like Childish Gambino, Kid Cudi, and Kanye West. My old favorites are Coheed and Cambria, Dream Theater, and Manchester Orchestra. Like a lot of folks born in the 90s, I grew up listening to post-punk bands like Green Day, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, The Used, and My Chemical Romance. And there were the NuMetal groups such as KoRn, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Mudvayne, and Disturbed. My guilty pleasures include Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.

I've been teaching guitar for years now, and I've been playing since I was 12. It has been a constant source of joy throughout my life. The guitar is an instrument that will challenge your discipline, mind, and strength; students that are persistent will be rewarded with a life-long skill and friend in the instrument. I am humbled by the positive feedback I have received as a teacher; I am very proud to say I was a Student Favorite on TakeLessons for 2 years running before I went on hiatus. Now that I'm back, I'm eager to earn that title once again.
I have students of all ages from all walks of life, from toddlers to CEOs, and I can teach you too. No matter your level of expertise with the guitar, I work very hard so my students might come away from each lesson having learned something. Around 60% of my students have been beginners, 20% having prior experience, and 10% having many years of experience.

I firmly believe that anybody can play the guitar if they set their mind to it. Heard the name Django Reindhart? The man was a legend. He had 3 fingers on his left hand and is remembered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. It comes down to practice, the will to learn and improve, and consistency, and above all the love of music. My curriculum is designed to reinforce these values.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always happy to help.

If you're looking for a challenge, developing a skill with lifelong payoff, and are ready to begin your musical journey, pick up where you left off, or need some coaching in the right direction, then let's begin. You book the time, and I'll take it from there.

I'm looking forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

Al

Reviews

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5.0
15 Reviews
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Pavan F.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

best teacher ever

Posted Sep 7, 2019
Lisa H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Can’t wait for the next one!

Posted May 15, 2018
George
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Al rocks!

Posted Mar 28, 2018
Alex
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great first day of lessons! Very excited to continue.

Posted Nov 15, 2017
Wael and Majd F.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Excellent teacher who is so fun and experienced. My kids really enjoyed their first lesson.

Posted Sep 23, 2017
Jack
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Excellent teacher!! Very easy going and works well with my 11 year old son.

Posted Sep 10, 2017
Xavier K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son absolutly loves his weekly lessons Al is great with him. He is ALWAYS on time, and makes the lessons fun and interesting for my 11 yr old.

Posted Apr 3, 2017
Krrish
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son, Krrish, had a fantastic lesson from Mr Al, and we have been nothing but proud of the fact that we are getting our sons to learn from Al.

Posted Jan 4, 2017
pavan
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Al is a very good techer

Posted Dec 30, 2016
Jacob
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have had the pleasure of playing and collaborating with Al for the better part of 6 years and in that time I have come to know him as a friend and mentor. Al's ability to simplify a concept into easily understandable principles has proved invaluable to me in my own growth as a musician. Although already experienced with guitar, with Al's help I was able to understand music in a new way and reinvigorate my methods. Al's expertise reaches far beyond bass and into many other aspects of music that provide a breadth to anything he teaches. He has always been very kind and understanding while still holding me to high standards and I really appreciate his way of teaching through application. I would definitely recommend Al's lessons to anyone new to bass or music in general.

Posted Nov 21, 2016
Audra
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Andrew is a super nice guy and really easy to work with. He really knows what he is talking about when it comes to music. He plays almost every instrument that I know the name of and plays it super well. Over the past few years I have seen him acquire new instruments and learn them really fast. His ability to teach himself will make it easier for him to teach you. I have never had him as a teacher but I can say with 100% certainty that he is very talented and very patient and will be a great teacher. I hope you will take a chance with him. You really can't beat his prices! Also if you want to be his favorite, bring him coffee, then he'll love you forever! :)

Posted Nov 20, 2016
Koby
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Andrew really does love music and you can see that passion when he teaches. A teacher with a considerate amount of passion coupled with the right amount of ability to inspire is a very hard thing to find with music teachers. My experience with Andrew was through teaching and he really brought out the fun side of just playing an instrument and having fun with a friend even if I was still a beginner.

Posted Nov 18, 2016
Dei
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Andrew is a talented musician and a skilled teacher. He can pick up pretty much any kind of stringed instrument and just start playing it! His passion for music makes lessons a lot of fun. I was surprised how quickly I could start playing! His style is a healthy combination of drills and actual playing, so you get the technique but don't get bored or frustrated because you're still learning how to play little melodies. He's very good at explaining things in several different terms depending on your technical background. His explanations of technique and theory have helped me understand music in new ways. You will love working with Andrew and improve your skill level no matter what your musical background.

Posted Nov 18, 2016
Tyler
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I can not recommend Andrew highly enough. He is a fantastic mentor and teacher. I have learned from Andrew for several years. Much more than technique and skill, Andrew's lessons teach dedication and bring out passion. Always encouraging and truly passionate about music and teaching others.

Posted Nov 17, 2016
Philip
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I've had my fair share of times of jamming with people, but I've never had more fun jamming than when I am jamming with Al. His ability to improv is incredible and he has spent a long while backing up his musical talent with musical theory. I would strongly recommend anyone looking for bass guitar lessons to take lessons with him.

Posted Nov 17, 2016

Photos & Videos

2 Photos & Videos

Experience

Music Producer
Oct 2015 - Present

Al Tobon Tunes

Wrote, performed, and recorded my debut album. Instruments incluided: -Bass guitar -Electric/acoustic guitar -Vocals -Synthesizer and Piano -Percussion

Core Musician
Mar 2008 - Present

Friendswood Friends Church

Plays bass and acoustic guitar for worship band; participates in coordinating arrangements and sound design each week.

Associate Implementation Consultant
Oct 2018 - May 2019

SK Global Software

Another gig for "The Man". Underwent a rigorous Associate Training program for a top Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV) specializing in treasury automation for Microsoft Dynamics.

Internal Auditor
Jan 2014 - Oct 2015

Quanta Services, Inc.

A gig for "The Man". Objectively evaluated internal controls pertaining to Information Systems across 40+ Operating Units (domestic and international) to ensure they aligned with in-house standards and Sarbanes-Oxley. The job placed an emphasis on personal integrity, discipline, and interpersonal communication.

Bassist
Sep 2009 - Apr 2011

Pile of Rocks

Played bass and composed for the local band Pile of Rocks. Performed at Battle of the Bands and placed second. Was asked the following year to return and perform as a guest act.

Lacrosse Coach
Sep 2009 - Mar 2010

Friendswood Youth Lacrosse

Coached Lacrosse for grades 4-6. Tought children technique and discipline and went on to go undefeated.

Bassist
Sep 2008 - Apr 2009

Aye Aye, Jupiter

Played bass and composed for the local band Aye, Aye Jupiter. Performed at Battle of the Bands and placed second.

Education

Guitar and Bass
Mar 2002 - Present

Various mentors, resources, and self teaching

Accounting
Aug 2010 - Dec 2013

Louisiana State University

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Memes

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

CPR Certified
Oct 2015

Red Cross

Awards

Dean's List
Mar 2013

Louisiana State University

Battle of the Bands Finalist
Apr 2010

Friendswood Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands Finalist
Apr 2009

Friendswood Battle of the Bands

Affiliations

Golden Key International Honor Society
Aug 2007
Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity

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