Music is my life. Since the age of 16, I have studied the guitar extensively. During my high-school years I was involved in band, marching band, choir, and independent music theory. I started my first band when I was 19 in the U.S. Army, and my life has never been the same since. I played music professionally in local bands while attending UMSL and have been teaching guitar and musical performance to many students privately for the last 7 years while developing and exploring my own musical goals. Recently I have written, produced, and performed on 5 original music albums, toured from St Louis to Texas and Colorado, and have learned many things about humanity and our culture's relationship to music. Those who share a passion for music form an extraordinary community. Come take the first step toward your potential...
*** Lesson Details ***
My students can expect professional, expert advise from a working performance artist. One of my main philosophies is a focus on fun. If music is fun, then students will practice more - which leads to accelerating returns. My students can expect lessons tailored to their specific goals. First I will discuss with the student musical influences and genre preferences, then I will assess the student's current abilities and we will begin designing a weekly regimen of practice and study. As a product of the Internet generation, I recommend using all the tools available to my students including the Internet to further their goals. My students will also learn to perform with other musicians, so we will typically have a segment of each lesson dedicated to jam time. Whether my students aspire to be professional performance artists, impress their love interests, or just rock out in their bedrooms, I work with my students so that they can do exactly that.
*** Studio Equipment ***
one bedroom apt...hardwood floor...central room for studio...music stands, room parents to sit, chairs...
*** Travel Equipment ***
I bring a music stand, an acoustic guitar, my handout literature, and any other equipment (mic, stand, vocal amp, electric guitar, guitar amp) based on what my students want to learn. I expect my students to own whatever instruments they want to learn.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching acoustic and electric guitar and stage performance. I teach using handouts that I customize for students and have lessons made up around different concepts such as - learning to identify what key a song is in - how to use 3 chord combinations - learning scales and when to use them - these type of things. I usually teach based on how I learned, which includes - using the Internet to learn songs - how to figure out how a particular song is played - getting into good practice habits - etc. My genres of specialty are Blues, Rock/Classic Rock/Southern Rock, and Acoustic Singer/Songwriter. What I like to do is ask a student what kind of music or songs they would like to learn, then build them up to the level they need to be to play those songs or that style of interest.
I am currently performing as a singer/guitarist in the band Westward Sons. We are a folk rock acoustic string band that has been performing in the St Louis area for more than 8 years and has toured extensively in the midwest and recorded 4 full-length studio albums.
· Guitar · In studio My first lesson with Richard was great! He explained how to set everything up and a few fundamentals in a way that we were able to get through them fairly quick and we got right to the fun part. I found myself playing a few cords and jamming with Richard halfway through my first 45 minute class. This is exactly why I wanted to have an instructor, so I can reap the benefits almost immediately, which makes me want to come back for more.
· Guitar · In studio Combined a great balance of practice, instruction, theory, and suggestions for "homework." Didn't feel inadequate, like I did with another instructor from school of rock.
· Guitar · In studio This was my first lesson ever! Richard was very professional, knowledgeable yet patient and kind!! He made this a great experience for me. I felt as if I were part of something...not just a first time student. Can't wait til the next lesson!
· Guitar · In home Very knowledgeable, encouraging, and let's you learn at your own pace.
· Guitar · In studio My 16 year old son has been taking guitar lesson with Richard D. for a few months now. First I must say Richard is a extremely nice person. My son think he is a cool guy and looks up to him. My son never played the guitar prior to lesson with Richard, now I can actually hear a song when my son play his guitar. Thank you Richard::::
· Guitar · Perfect fit for my daughter
My 17 year old daughter recently began taking lessons with Richard D., and we couldn't be happier. He is patient and encouraging, and he makes learning fun. She really appreciates the fact that he encourages her to work on music that she likes rather than telling her what songs to learn. He obviously knows his instrument, and clearly enjoys passing on his knowledge. A+ for this teacher!
· · Teaching Musicianship
Richie and I have been playing, performing, arranging, and writing together for 3 years. Richie is a highly skilled musician with wide ranging tastes and talents. He is well versed in many styles of music; rock, classic rock, country, blues, classical, and jazz. He knows well how to break down a piece of music and explain and teach it. I have been a professional musician for years, and Richie has taught me much. He can teach you too.
· · Lessons
Very good at what he teaches, know a lot about the guitar.
· · Very informed guidance
Richard is a very capable and willing teacher, his real life music experience is invaluable in the his process of honing your guitar technique.
· · I've performed with Richard
Living in Arkansas, I got a challenge from Richard. He calls me up after meeting one time through his cousin who lives here. Anyway, Richard calls me up and says "book us a gig!! I'll come down and we'll play it. So, I got my self (drums) along with a bass player and a lead guitarist and picked out some songs (30 of them). We practiced here... And Richard practiced in Missouri. The show was scheduled for a month after what I refer to as "the call". Richard showed up at my house here in Arkansas the day before the show. The four of us got a little rehearsal in... Got some sleep, then managed to pull this off! He just came in town... Played the gig... Everyone (including all of us) were blown away that we actually pulled it off! Richard is a great musician!!! I'd recommend him to anyone! I welcome him to come play a gig with me at any time... Any day... Any style!!!! Great voice too!!