Richard Darling
Saint Louis, MO
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Richard Darling

Richard D.

Saint Louis, MO
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-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Music theory is a fancy term for "how to think about music". If you wish to learn how and why certain music sounds like it does or makes you feel the way it does, we can explore these theories and concepts to develop different strategies to help you reach the next level of artistic expression.

About Richard D.

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 advice 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 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.


Write a Review
25 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Richie is a great instructor who strikes a good balance between keeping things new and fun while also creating a healthy challenge. I'm only halfway through my lessons with him, and I've enjoyed each one of them so far!

Posted Jul 28, 2020
Richard W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

This was my first lesson with Richard, he was awesome. Richard is very knowledgeable, good listener and explained in detail what we were covering for the lesson this evening. Richard is very patient and explained he enjoys working with beginners, highly recommend Richard if you’re looking to learn to play the guitar. Looking forward to learning more from Richard.

Posted Jul 14, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Richie is very knowledgeable and presented the information in an easy to understand way. I would highly recommended him as an instructor!

Posted Feb 11, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Richard was amazing! Always a joy to have him in the house. He was always on time and well prepared for our daughter's lessons. He also kept the lessons entertaining for her. Our daughter learned a lot and definitely improved quite a bit during the time he worked with her. We would highly recommend Richard to any parent with a child interested in learning and playing guitar.

Posted Oct 20, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Richie is an incredible instructor. Every lesson I have with him is fun, and he pushes me to try new skills in order to develop my abilities. Always prepared with a valuable lesson, but also ready to work through the songs I bring. Overall awesome experience!

Posted Jul 30, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Knowledgeable and encouraging

Posted Jul 28, 2019
En Suan L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

super great!!!

Posted Jul 8, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

No nonsense lesson. Learned some intrinsic things that help a lot. Looking forward to the next lesson. Thanks Richie

Posted Apr 11, 2019
Terri C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very knowledgeable with great passion. Great musician AND teacher

Posted May 24, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Richie is a thoughtful and flexible instructor

Posted Oct 3, 2017
Kit E.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Oct 21, 2016
Dave W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted May 12, 2016
Susan W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Feb 7, 2016
Tracy B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very knowledgeable, encouraging, and let's you learn at your own pace.

Posted Feb 2, 2016
Noresheca M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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::::

Posted Oct 5, 2014
Lynne Z.

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!

Posted Mar 7, 2014

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.

Posted Mar 6, 2014


Very good at what he teaches, know a lot about the guitar.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

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.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

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!!

Posted Mar 6, 2014
Michael D.

Excellent Teacher

Richard is an outstanding teacher. Extremely knowledgeable and a great ability to teach others. Lessons are a lot of fun and you will make real progress. Great attitude and very encouraging.

Posted Jan 5, 2014
Tom T.

Richie D, teaching a lefty how to play guitar in a right handed world

I started taking guitar lessons with Richie having no previous experience with playing an instrument or reading music. Being left handed I was having difficulty making sense of the beginner guitar books and thought I'd give personal lessons a try.

Richie quickly taught me the basics of guitar and how to read music. Over the last 2-1/2 years he has helped me overcome my lack of rhythm, has taught me music theory, how to structure songs and techniques of soloing in various scales.

I've enjoyed getting out in my spare time and watching Richie perform in his acoustic and blues bands and have developed a new appreciation of music.

I now practice/play daily for enjoyment and only wish that my job wasn't taking me away from this area. Otherwise, I would be continuing my lessons with Richie for years to come.

Posted Dec 1, 2013
Kevin Q.

Where was Richie when I first started playing music?

I have had several music teachers in my life and while I learned something from each I wish Richie had been around or at least someone with his patience, technique and passion for music. He has a great knowledge base but still considers himself a student of music. The combination of his humble demeanor and skill level would make anyone feel like they were just sitting down and playing with a friend for and hour.

The best thing about his style of teaching is how he employs practical guitar/music theory to propel you forward much more quickly to a level that you might never have thought possible to reach in such a short amount of time.

Posted Nov 21, 2013
Thomas S.

Bettre than I expected

Richard knows guitars inside and out and he teaches you effectively and efficiently. He focuses on your weak areas and gives you encouragement during those tough moments when you are struggling a little. He tells you his early years at learning guitar and tells you his mistakes and makes sure you don't do the early novice mistakes. He can accelerate your learning curve. You as a student, have to put the time an effort....but he focuses your lessons to get the most out of it. Think of Richard as your personal trainer for your guitar, slick guitar rifts in 90 days.

Posted Nov 4, 2013
Julie S.

Could not have asked for a better teacher

Richard has been a wonderful teacher for our 13-year-old son. He is patient, informative, and interesting; he makes his lessons engaging, yet appropriate for our son's proficiency level. He is also extremely professional, well-mannered and considerate.

Richard is the real deal. You can tell that he loves music and that he loves to perform, but he's also great at instruction, which is an unusual combination. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos


Sep 2018 - Present

Jeni-B & The Bee-Sides

I am currently playing the mid-west regional festival circuit supporting folk singer Jeni Bratcher, aka "Jeni-B". I play Irish low-whistles, harmonicas, and guitar, as well as sing in this acoustic folk ensemble.

Studio Manager/Audio Engineer/Music Producer
Jul 2017 - Present

Sigonheart Studio

I co-own and operate a recording studio located in a commercial district in South St Louis. My duties include managing a complex studio schedule, setting up recording equipment, operating multi-track computer recording software, sales, recording as a studio musician and singer, and managing accounts.

Jun 2011 - Present

Richie Darling & The Diamond Cut Blues Band

As the lead guitarist and singer for The Diamond Cut Blues Band, I pick set lists, run rehearsal, write and arrange original blues music, study blues, and run live sound. These challenges have all been possible to overcome with the help of my band-mates and colleagues. We have recorded and released 2 live albums and performed several hundred shows in the last few years. We continue to perform and record music regularly in St. Louis.

Lead Singer/Guitarist/Partner
Feb 2008 - Sep 2015

Westward Sons LLC

I am widely known performing as a singer/guitarist in the band Westward Sons. We were a folk rock acoustic string band that performed in the St Louis area for more than 8 years and toured extensively in the midwest and recorded 4 full-length studio albums.


Bachelor's of Science in Business Management (Marketing Emphasis)
Aug 2005 - May 2008

University of Missouri St Louis



Fluent / Native Proficiency

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