- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Students interested in learning songwriting can explore many different styles and approaches. I have been writing songs for more than 8 years and have recorded 6 full length albums of original material in a variety of genres including rock, blues, country, reggae, bluegrass, Americana, and folk. My students can expect thorough instruction and study based on classic and modern songwriting techniques in the genres of interest. We will study "music first" songwriting, "words first" songwriting, and improvisational techniques, as well as "cut and paste multi-tracking". Poetry, prose, nonsensical, call and response, storytelling, and traditional are all avenues of exploration.
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
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 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.
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.Show More
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.Show More
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.Show More
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!Show More
Knowledgeable and encouraging
No nonsense lesson. Learned some intrinsic things that help a lot. Looking forward to the next lesson. Thanks Richie
Very knowledgeable with great passion. Great musician AND teacher
Richie is a thoughtful and flexible instructor
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.Show More
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.
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!
Very knowledgeable, encouraging, and let's you learn at your own pace.
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::::Show More
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.