- Teaches students:
- Ages 13+
- Teaching since:
- May 1973
I started playing guitar after I realized that the trumpet (my first instrument), besides only being able to play one note at a time, was just not as sexy & cool as the “six stringed siren of the 60's & 70's”.
After 2 years of playing I started teaching guitar in a local Toledo OH area music store on the day of my 16th birthday, and soon expanded to students spread over two stores and and my home.
My first "road gig" at the end of my senior year in high school was playing with old time 50′s rockers “Johnny & The Hurricanes” (who the Beatles actually opened for a couple of times), and then I left to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music for two years at 19.
After Berklee and a few years of playing all over Canada in show bands, theatre, etc. while based out of Toronto, I moved to Los Angeles to finish up my guitar studies at Musician’s Institute. While a student, I was voted the first Outstanding Guitarist of the year by the teaching staff, and then hired as staff instructor; which included writing both curriculum as well as ensemble arrangements for the then fledgling school. During my stay at MI I had the good fortune to play and teach with amazing guitarists like Joe Diorio, Don Mock, Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, Robben Ford, and many more. Co-instructor Steve Trovato arranged for me to write and record for the Hot Licks series with Steve Freeman and Norman Brown, which is still distributed by Hal Leonard Publications.
Besides live work in Los Angeles, I have focused on composing and producing music for film & TV in recent years, and I have about 500 tracks that are heard daily around the world on everything from shows like Sponge Bob Squarepants to Justified, as well as many feature films. Although I'm a “well rounded player” in most every style, I specializes in modern rock, jazz and blues, as well as solo acoustic guitar playing.
BTW, the picture of me with the tall skinny guy in the white shirt is the actor who played "Uncle Ricco" in the movie "Napoleon Dynamite" when he came over to buy some gear I was selling on Craig's list.
*** Lesson Details ***
Probably the most unique thing that I would offer people is that I have actually studied the science of how people learn things, and show students the most effective ways of practicing that get the most results. This is especially important for adult students that have limited time to practice and I can show you how to get great results from small amounts of time that you might think was not enough to do anything in.
Most teachers just have one way to teach their subjects, usually because they don't really know them thoroughly. There is not one way to present material to a student, it is about finding THEIR way that they get that "light bulb lighting up" experience - that is my method. I know the subject of music and the guitar thoroughly, so if you don't understand something the first way I explain it to you let me know and I will try it another way.
I understand the physical challenges of playing the instrument and specialize on identifying the solutions for problem areas students have that produce dramatic improvements, and many people who have been playing for years come to me for this.
My ears are such that I can learn most anything quickly from a recording, I've written, recorded and played almost every kind of music you can name all over the world, and there isn't much that would stump me, but I am always into hearing and learning new things as they show up in the music world, so I look forward to what ever it is that you might bring in.
I read and write both regular music notation and tablature well. I don't require people learn standard notation, but I do encourage it and have lots of insights on how to learn it on the guitar, an instrument that is classically difficult to sight read on because of how many locations there are to play the same note.
I specialize in teaching harmony and have done so in front of classes of 100 or more when I taught at Musician's Institute in Hollywood. Harmony is the key to improvisation regardless of the style of music you play, and there are lots of easy and fun things I do to make this subject fun and a VERY MUSICAL thing to learn.
The door to your left as you face the house is my studio, please knock on that when it's your lesson time. Since I work as a composer for music that goes into film, TV and advertising, I have a sound proof studio with keyboards, many guitars, and a computer with internet access to always make your lesson an interesting and productive experience.
*** Studio Equipment ***
About 23 guitars, mandolins, ukes, 12 strings, baritone guitars, electric basses, etc, maybe 6 amps, MOTU Digital Performer recording system, Kurzweil keyboard controller, and more.
*** Specialties ***
All kinds of Rock, Blues, Jazz, Latin, and solo acoustic guitar styes etc.