- Teaches students:
- and Ages 10+
- Teaching since:
- August 2005
My name is Derek, and I am a musician and music instructor based in Tempe, AZ. I have played music for nearly 25 years, during which time I've coached a diverse range of students, played hundreds of shows locally and regionally with several musical acts, and participated in dozens of recording projects as a session musician, producer, and songwriter. I strive to create a fun, relaxed learning environment, and students often commend me on my patience and positivity.
Many of my students have gone on to join signed bands, embark on national tours, jam at open mic nights, or simply master a few songs to play on the back porch with good friends and family. I believe I can teach anyone, and that there's always a way to reduce the complexity of learning. I aim to keep all lessons practical because I want to help people become musicians. Absolute beginners to advanced players welcome.
I'm flexible with musical styles, and I love how eclectic my students' musical tastes are. Whether it's rock, pop, indie, folk, country, jazz, or blues, one thing is true—a great song transcends genre. That's why I love to teach music theory and the building blocks of a song, including melody, harmony, rhythm, chord progressions, and chord structure. These skills give students the ability to learn their favorite songs in minutes, as well as write their own music.
I know how tough it can be to find the right teacher, so go ahead—check out the subjects I teach! Also, be sure to skim through the reviews that my students have left me, as I'm quite proud of them. If you have any questions, send me a message by clicking the "Ask Derek a Question" button above.
Now let's get started!
Derek is patient and friendly. His knowledge keeps each lesson interesting and he makes lessons fun but educational. We really enjoy him.
Derek was amazing! In the first lesson I learned more then I have in months with others. I felt he really took the time to understand where I was, and what would help me most. I didn't feel rushed and the way he explained concepts was amazing.
He is obviously a talented musician but has the ability to take that knowledge and make it accessible and understandable.
I would highly recommend Derek for any level of guitar player.
Derek is a fantastic instructor! He is patient, and he will teach you how to play the songs you love to hear, without shortcuts. You will learn to play guitar. All you need is determination! I began my first leaaon with Derek having never even held a guitar before, and after 3 lessons, we are starting to learn songs from my favorite band!+ Read More
Suburb teacher. Caring and truly helpful. Plus the guy is really a talented musician.
LOVE Derek. I'm comvinced this is one of best teachers you will find.... Great musician is general, he can play ANYTHING. He works at a great place and teaches you stuff you want to learn. Five star rating in my books.
Derek is a fantastic instructor! He takes his time and is very engaging in every lesson. After only taking a handful of lessons with him, I have a better understanding of my instrument, but also music in general. I highly recommend Derek as an instructor for anyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced mysician.+ Read More
My daughter like his personality and experience. Recommend!
Derek is an awesome instructor and mentor, and his studio is comfortable and clean. I agree with previous reviewers who said... BOOK HIM NOW!
Derek has a broad range of music theory knowledge and can play anything you ask for. He's also amazingly kind and supportive, adapting to the student's needs as you go along rather than adhering to a rigid schedule.
I've been taking bass guitar lessons with Derek for two months and I feel inspired. He always makes me feel like a rock star, while constantly challenging me to take my skills to the next level. I originally debated between two instructors on this site and I'm so glad I made the right choice!
Great teacher - book him
I took lessons with Derek summer 2013. Derek did a great job of answering all my guitar and music theory questions. The techniques I learned under Derek were inline with my music interests.
Derek always did a great job of communicating with email. He was very flexible with scheduling and I always felt comfortable learning in his in-home studio.
Derek can play anything and he is very easy to work with - highly recommended.
In two lessons, Derek has simplified music for me and given me the tools to play a ton of songs already. I love that his lessons encompass some music theory, understanding of the instrument, and actual playing of a song. I feel like I learn something valuable each time. He gauges your skill level pretty well and delivers instruction at just the right pace. A fantastic instructor who presents music in a way that's easy to understand. I'm so glad I chose him as a guitar/ukelele instructor!
Excellent instruction. Just some small tips can make a bid differenced in student success. Thanks Derek!
Derek is an exceptional teacher. He came to our house for guitar lesson which is a huge bonus. He was very patient and knowledgeable, my daughter learned a lot from him. I highly recommend him to anyone that needs guitar lessons.
Derek is an excellent instructor. Very patient, and in tune with your learning pace.Highly Recommended.
Great Guitar Teacher!
Derek is an excellent teacher that possesses an enormous amount of knowledge in guitar and music theory. Learning from him allowed me to pick up many of the nuances that are often missed with playing the guitar. I would highly recommend him to anyone wanting to improve their guitar skills at any level!
Derek is a great instructor. I have really enjoyed my lessons with him and I have learned a lot. He does a good job with teaching you the fundemental and basic concepts of the different courds. I highly recommend him!!
He is a really great teacher to kids.Make kids big progress!!
Derek is awesome teacher and is very knowledgeable in all aspects of music. Since I have been already been playing for 4 years, we have focus more on the theories of music, and song writing, and I can say that he has yet to fail to answer any question that I have thrown at him. From where I used to be and where I am now, I have seen a huge improvement in my ability to compose my own music. Though I can't say much for his technique for teaching the basics, I can say that he is more than qualified to teach the more advanced skills when it comes to playing music.
Derek has been great! By our 3 lessons so far its obvious that he is extremely talented, but very good at talking and teaching to students way below his skill level. He's very motivating and understands the discouragements with learning. What's real nice tho is the way he adapts his lessons based on progress and what's going to be most beneficial to the student as opposed to going by the book to teach.
Alli is enjoying lessons with Derek. He is patient, very kind and gives her wonderful praise.
An Awesome Experience!
Derek is a fantastic musician and an excellent teacher! He does a great job of catering the lessons to my specific strengths and weaknesses. I stay challenged without being overwhelmed and, most importantly, I enjoy playing my guitar more and more.
I've been taking lessons with Derek for the past two months almost and they've been very productive and extremely fun. I've not only learned to play songs but note names and chords as well, which is very helpful to me since I have really never played guitar before these lessons. Over all I am enjoying myself and look forward to more lessons!