Maxwell Abarbanel
San Francisco, CA
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Maxwell Abarbanel

Maxwell A.

San Francisco, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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
Whether you're interested in writing and recording your own music or if you just wanna shred, I can help achieve your musical goals. You can play your favorite songs on guitar, you can learn to improvise, you can write your own songs/lyrics, you can learn about recording and mixing in any genre, you can learn about composition and music theory, and you can mix and match all of those things together depending on your needs and interests. I offer a practical, creativity-oriented approach to overall musicianship grounded in theory and years of experience that is primarily driven by your personal artistic interests. I graduated from Berklee College of Music as a guitar student with a degree in writing and production and a focus in jazz composition and I want to share some approaches and techniques from the front lines of music education.

About Maxwell A.

Hi! My name is Max and I'm an independent writer/guitarist/composer/producer working in the San Francisco area. I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in writing and production.

I've worked with singer/songwriters, folk musicians, jazzers, funk bands, EDM producers, rappers, rockers, metalheads, classical orchestras, and large pop ensembles. Whether you fall into any of these genres or you think "genre" is a dead, my goal is to develop your sound and abilities in a way that suits your interests. Every artist's goals are distinct from each other and no single curriculum will fit everyone so I will use my years of experience to craft unique lesson plans that will have you impressing even yourself with your growth.

My approach to theory is very different than you might be used to. I won't make you memorize the names of all the different inversions and cadences or yell at you when you use parallel fifths. I can teach you that sort of thing if you're interested, but I find a more fun, practical approach to theory is one that is tailored to the real needs and interests of the student. Analyzing tens of Bach inventions may be informative and insightful, but if the goal is to learn to write songs like Ed Sheeran or to shred your favorite Megadeth solo, it might not be the best approach. The good news is, there are more contemporary ways of learning about theory and the process of composition that can account for pretty much every style in modern music.

Miles Davis says in his autobiography, “Wayne [Shorter] brought in a kind of curiosity about working with musical rules. If they didn’t work, then he broke them, but with musical sense; he understood that freedom in music was the ability to know the rules in order to bend them to your own satisfaction and taste.”
I want to help all my students develop this "musical sense." To me, musicianship can almost be considered a sixth sense made up of many overlapping factors including, but not limited to, technique, harmony, ear training, rhythmic sensibility, creativity, a hunger to learn, and an idea of one's place in a musical tradition. Developing one's sense of musicianship is not some immense, unconquerable task. It just takes consistency, hard work, and some help on the journey. I hope I can assist you however I can and I'm looking forward to hearing what you create along the way.

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