- Teaches students:
- Ages 5 to 75
- Teaching since:
- November 1988
I began playing the guitar at the age of 6 when I received one from my parents for my birthday. It was a Fender Jaguar copy purchased along with a Harmony tuck and roll type solid state amp in blue (that picked up radio stations almost as well as it amplified guitar) from Columbia Music and Electronics on 7th and Market St. After receiving my guitar, my parents enrolled me at Tony Conti’s school of music on the corner of 27th and Geary St. I had an hour lesson every Tuesday at 7. Tony was primarily an accordionist and mandolin player but he also taught beginning guitar. He had a small studio with 2 rooms and a waiting area. This was the winter of 1974 and I began playing in earnest in conjunction with Mel Bay Modern Method For Guitar Book 1. I took lessons (working through the Mel Bay books) with Tony for a couple of years until he closed his studio. From there, I went through a succession of music schools and teachers (Larry Paul, Yamaha Music school, Joe Deloro amongst others). When I began high school, I began playing in the big band, and tried to form my own garage bands doing classic rock. At this time, my tastes in music and musicians were really starting to develop. At this time, I was heavily influenced by Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, Alex Lifeson, George Harrison, Hendrix, various classical guitarists and Tommy Tedesco’s column in Guitar Player. But I was also starting to dig jazz music and wanted to start exploring the genre. Upon my graduation from high school, I began taking private lessons from noted jazz guitarist and educator Jeff Massanari at Blue Bear School of Music. Jeff was instrumental in exposing me to all the great players, repertoire and what information I would need in order to become proficient on the instrument regardless of style. We not only played standards, we also played TV themes, bluegrass, country, rock, classical or whatever was hip. I studied with Jeff for almost 8 years. During this time, I also was attending various master classes with many top players such as Allan Holdsworth, Jerry Donahue, Carl Verheyen, Bruce Forman and Pat Martino. After ending my private studies I began teaching guitar privately at my downtown San Francisco studio, playing gigs and recording in my home studio. I got into film scoring and did my first score (of mainly traditional/bluegrass music) for producer Justin Bookey, a documentary on the Geoduck Clam called “Three Feet Under: Digging Deep for the Geoduck Clam.” The film was shown at various film festivals and was shown on public television. At this time, I also formed a funk/jazz band called the Urban Quintet which played all around the greater Bay Area performing at clubs and festivals. High points for the band included playing MOMA and the North Beach Jazz Festival for four years in a row. As word of my ability to cross genres, I also began getting more work as a sideman. I played in a variety of cover bands, jazz ensembles and country/ bluegrass types of groups throughout the Bay Area. Currently, I am the guitarist for Foreverland (tribute to Michael Jackson) and I am also still doing music for the internet and film. I operate a small Pro Tools based studio out of my home. One of my recent projects was to provide music for nationally syndicated film critic Cole Smithey’s weekly web blog (www.colesmithey.com). I am active as a sideman in the various Jazz clubs around the greater Bay Area, and also do session work for a variety of independent producers. I plan to finally finish my solo CD which will showcase the various styles that I routinely play.
As I mentioned above, I opened my first guitar studio in downtown San Francisco almost 25 years ago. Teaching students of all ages, levels and walks of life.
I also graduated from the College of Recording Arts in 1986 with a certificate in Audio Engineering.
*** Lesson Details ***
I consider my self to be an enthusiastic teacher when it comes to music and all things guitar. I also consider myself to be a laid back person. I do my very best to help my students improve and have fun while doing it.
For beginners, I try to get them up and playing as soon as possible. I try to achieve this by trying to get the student into playing basic chords and melodies through various beginners methods that I have utilized throughout my years of teaching. For intermediate and advanced students I strive to focus on the particular style or styles they are interested in and try attain the student's goals and through theory, technique, repertoire as well as various teaching materials that I have found to be useful in this area.
In addition, I record every lesson straight to CD for every student to take home for review, as I have found this to be an extremely helpful tool.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room: copier, recording device, computer, mini studio, stands, practice amps, and guitars.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Use a Suerscope PSD 340 to record all lessons straight to cd for the student to keep. At my location I have various guitars and amps. I own a copier to copy materials.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in rock (various styles), jazz, funk, R&B, light classical, and country. I have experience in all styles as a teacher and player.