Rick Cyge

Rick C.

Sedona, AZ
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:
Intermediate, Advanced
I've been teaching acoustic fingerstyle guitar for over 40 years! I especially enjoy helping developing guitarists find their own "voice" on the guitar and develop techniques to create their own arrangements of songs and pieces of music as solo fingerstyle guitar pieces. We will explore open tunings, especially "DADGAD", travis picking styles, and various other tools and techniques for creating your arrangements. For me, teaching at this level is as much about mentoring my students and guiding them on their own journey of exploration and discovery and making sure they are having a good time in that process!

About Rick C.

I've been performing and recording professionally for over 40 years! My musical influences are broad and range from The Beatles, James Taylor, Paul Simon, and other "Baby Boomer" artists, World music guitarist Pierre Bensusan and New Age Guitarists Michael Hedges and Will Ackerman. Culturally I've drawn inspiration from Celtic, African and Mediterranean influences as well as the classics like Mozart and Bach to form my unique musical identity.

I co-created the group, "Meadowlark", with my wife, flutist Lynn Trombetta and have written over 40 original compositions for acoustic guitar and flute. Meadowlark has released 9 CDs over twenty years of touring, performing and writing. Two of our recordings, "Legend of the Land" and "FreeFall" charted on the International New Age Top 100 Radio Airplay!

I have also released a guitar/vocal duo CD, "Are You Happy Now" with my partner in Seymour & C., Chris Seymour. Most recently, I released my first solo fingerstyle guitar CD, "GUITARtistry", featuring my own arrangements of "Baby Boomer Classics" for acoustic fingerstyle guitar.

I currently perform in Northern Arizona 4-5 nights per week and live in the beautiful setting of Sedona, Arizona!

Reviews

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Jay T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I began lessons with Rick in the mid 80s. I had been playing on and off (mostly off) for about 10 years, but my playing was going nowhere. Rick helped give me direction and reinforced my love of finger style guitar. He became not only a great teacher for me, but a good friend. He possesses excellent communication skills in performance as well as in his teaching methods; showing an understanding of his pupil's capabilities and interests in tailoring the lessons to play to his or her individual strengths. I've been playing with some success at venues and festivals all over the Valley for over 25 years now; and I owe what musical communication skills I possess in large part to his friendship and instruction. He really loves music and he loves to teach. I would highly recommend him to anyone who would like to broaden his or her musical interest and skills.

Posted Oct 17, 2014
Mike S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

When Rick opened his music store, Wood & Strings in Massachusetts, he chose the tagline, “Pick the Best You Can.” It turns out that this snappy slogan is also his philosophy of music making. Rick has always held high expectations for himself as a musician and a teacher. And he has an uncanny ability to help students discover their own styles. He did that for me.

But what really distinguishes Rick is his dedication to the music beyond the lesson. Stopping by his store from time to time, Rick and I would often end up playing together. It was his observations and suggestions during those sessions that have made the difference in my playing.

So if you want to pick the best teacher you can, look no further.

Posted Aug 28, 2014
Anne S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I first met Rick in the 1980s. By that point, my guitar style was rather quirky. He helped me re-work my entire right hand technique. He also taught me so much about fingerstyle guitar, including masters like Pierre Bensusan. His love of music in general, and guitar in particular, coupled with his patience and ability to communicate very effectively make him an exceptional teacher. I always looked forward to my lessons, and left energized and enlightened, eager to continue practicing what I'd learned. If you want to become the best guitarist you can be, I highly recommend taking lessons from Rick.

Posted Aug 22, 2014
Timothy D.
Profile-location-online Online

Learning first from a masterful musician isn't something many people get the opportunity to do everyday...but now they do!
Having taken lessons from Rick off and on through the years has advanced my playing much faster and further than I'd ever dreamed of.
When I first picked up a guitar at around age 27, needless to say, but I was a late bloomer. This could easily be intimidating to someone at such an age when many guitarists at that age have been playing for 10+ years. Right away, Rick had me finger picking patterns and playing notes I didn't even know were possible for my hands to play. Now at the age of 36, I'm out gigging and making a living at something I've always dreamed of doing. I have Rick to thank for that.
-Tim Doyle

Posted Aug 19, 2014
Rosemary S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I studied acoustic finger style guitar with Rick for a couple of years a number of years ago. He is a wonderful guitarist and teacher. He has great patience. I was impressed with his willingness to teach to my strengths instead of merely presenting a "method." He would teach me complex pieces by showing me how to play them phrase by phrase, which was easier for me than reading written music. We'd discuss how to get certain sounds from the guitar and best fingerings. I really enjoyed the lessons. At the end he'd record a slow version of what we'd worked on, something I could take home and listen to or practice with, thereby also training my ear. I learned a lot from Rick, about playing the guitar and about my own musicality.

Posted Aug 19, 2014
Boots G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I met Rick in the early 1980s. I was home, on disability, recovering from an accident that caused devastating, irreparable damage to my right hand and arm. I had a local TV-talk show on in the background for company. Suddenly, one of the guests caught my attention. I listened as a soft-spoken man talked about his love of guitar and his love of teaching. He said he especially liked to teach “older” students. He loved watching them learn to do something they thought was too late for them to learn. I watched and listened as Rick played with command; yet with an incredibly relaxed and delicate touch. I waited anxiously for him to announce how to contact him and if I didn't actually call his music center before his segment was off the air, it was soon afterwards.
I had never played guitar before I met Rick, (and I wondered at the time if I could play, because of my injuries.) though I dreamed about it all through my teenage years right up to when I called Rick, in my 30s. When we met, we talked about what I loved about the instrument and what kinds of music I loved. Rick was patient, encouraging and enthusiastic. I’m pretty sure that in our first lesson I played actual music! Rick’s guidance, from simple tunes to more complex arrangements, was always challenging, but never beyond me.
Rick’s skill as a teacher, his own love for the instrument, his uncanny ability to inspire the student with his enthusiasm, makes him one of the best teacher’s anywhere. He changed my life. No, seriously.

Posted Aug 19, 2014

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos

Experience

Professional Guitarist
Jun 1969 - Present

Rick C.

I've been performing professionally for about as long as I've been teaching. I've performed in various settings, from solo guitarist, to my Meadowlark duo & ensemble, to rock and roll bands. Currently, I perform regularly as a member of Meadowlark and most frequently as a soloist sharing what I call "GUITARtistry", my unique fingerstyle arrangements of 'Baby Boomer Classics' & more!

Guitar teacher/instructor
Jun 1969 - Present

Rick C.

I've been teaching professionally since 1969 through private instruction, workshops and clinics. I owned a music school/store for 8 years and was the head instructor there as well (see below).

Program Director
Aug 2010 - Jan 2012

Sedona Performers Guild's "Studio Live"

I produced and managed an ongoing concert series for a 100 seat venue in Sedona, AZ. The series featured both local and regional artists as well as touring and nationally renowned performers. We also occasionally hosted workshops and master classes with some of the performers and hosted song circles and guitar circles for the community.

owner/manager
Mar 1980 - Oct 1988

Wood & Strings Music Center in Arlington, MA

I created and ran a music center in the 80s in the Boston area. It was a music center featuring private instruction with twenty teachers on staff, workshops and clinics, a retail shop featuring folk and acoustic instruments and recordings, and a concert venue for acoustic performers from around the New England area. When I sold W&S in 1988 to move to Arizona, we had about 200 students per week enrolled. I was one of the fingerstyle guitar teachers as well.

Education

Certification in Music Education
Sep 1979 - Jun 1980

New England Conservatory of Music and Emmanuel College

Courses in Music Theory
Jul 1974 - Jun 1975

Rhode Island School of Music

B. A.
Sep 1969 - Jun 1973

University of Rhode Island

Certifications

Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card
Feb 2009

State of Arizona

I have a fingerprint card on file with the State of Arizona for teaching in schools and workshops. Copy available upon request.
Certified Music Teacher in Massachusetts
Jun 1980

New England Conservatory of Music

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