Drawing from my 20 years of experience tinkering in the guitar kitchen, I teach guitar and music theory to students of all ages and abilities in the Chicagoland area. I received my Bachelor of Music degree in 2004 from Ithaca College in Upstate New York, where I studied Jazz and Classical guitar in addition to music theory, history, and recording.
Since graduating I have gone on to perform extensively in New York and Chicago, primarily in a genre pioneered by guitarist Django Reinhardt and called "Gypsy Jazz". I have also filled roles as lead guitarist in musical theatre pit bands, scored original music for films (including the Emmy Award-Winning documentary "100,000"), and taught hundreds of lessons in private, group, and workshop formats.
I teach electric as well as acoustic guitar playing in many different styles (ranging from Classic Rock, Blues, Funk, and Alternative, to Folk, Classical/Spanish, and Jazz).
*** Lesson Details ***
It is said that "music is food for the soul". It is also said that "a good cook is never lonely". If you are like me, you need music like you need food, and that is why you are searching for guidance in learning your way around the many tools and techniques available to us as guitar players. With that in mind, I believe a balanced diet of technique, music theory, repertoire, and overall knowledge and understanding of the instrument and music are necessary for becoming a well-rounded, creative guitarist.
Whatever your goal; be it playing in a rock band, learning to write and record your own songs, getting into jazz, or just strumming some chords with friends at home, I can help you get there.
My philosophy is that every student is different, and everyone has their own aspirations for the guitar. I tailor lessons accordingly and strive to never get so bogged down in theory or technique that we lose sight of why we're learning the guitar (to make music!)
Here are some things you can expect to learn in our lessons:
As a beginner you will learn to find your way around the fretboard, get comfortable playing basic chords and melodies using fundamental techniques, and begin building a repertoire of songs of your choosing.
For an intermediate student we will work on playing scales, learning advanced chords and accompaniment, playing lead, understanding basic harmony and chord progressions, and continue expanding your repertoire.
Advanced students will work on improvisation, arpeggios, advanced scales and their applications, and exploring different styles of music.
So, come into my music kitchen, and we'll have those tasty guitar chops cooking in no time!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio, music room
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide lesson/teaching materials, a music stand, and a metronome for lessons.
A student should be responsible for his/her own instrument (although I will give guidance in maintenance issues), music books, and they should have their own metronome for practice.
*** Specialties ***
My current focus is on a niche genre of music, pioneered by French guitarist Django Reinhardt, called Gypsy Jazz. Extensive use of arpeggios, downstroke picking, and special rhythm techniques are the hallmarks of this style.
I emphasize a strong foundation in technique and timing through various graduated exercises.
I also specialize in teaching fingerpicking, rhythm playing, and improvisation in a range of popular styles.