About Ryan S.
Bio as Musician:
Ryan was born on Chicago’s South Side and started playing guitar at the age of fourteen. Born with a deep passion for a broad variety of musical styles, Ryan studied with Grammy award winner and jazz giant Frank J. Rumoro at the Chicago Acadamy of Jazz Guitar. Since that time he has made a name for himself as a teacher, performer, session guitarist, and true stylistic chameleon. With hundreds of live performances under his belt, he has been actively touring the East Coast with several nationally recognized artists since 2014.
As a session guitarist, Ryan’s skill and endless pursuit of unique sound, tone, and technique have established him as a fixture in the Philadelphia recording scene. As a solo experimental guitarist his work pushes the sonic envelope of modern-day technology in pursuit of new and original musical ideas. A dedicated collaborator, Ryan bring his personality and passion for experimentation to each project, while always working to serve the vision of each employing artist.
“Music study was a way for me to find structure, discipline, self worth and expression. Through that I have grown as a person and a musician. My sole reason for teaching is to help others find that passion and those qualities within themselves to live a beautiful and fulfilling life through his/her instrument.”
Lead Guitarist for:
-Soul Rock Duo - "Nalani & Sarina"
-"The Voice" Country Star, Audra McLaughlin
-Indie rockers - "The Electives" and "The Captain, Pilot Driver"
-R&B singer "Ces Picerno"
-Rock band, The RAKNOSS
-Hip-Hop recording artist, Drew Smith
-Italian pop singer, Giada J.
**endorsed by Wampler Effects Pedals**
**Hundreds of live gigs played**
Guest Lecturer at University of Akron, OH "Pentatonic Scales the Western Integration"
Philadelphia Session Guitarist 2013-Present
Featured online instructor via Ibanez Guitars USA
Author and teacher of online lesson videos. "S. Shred Tips"
15 years of Guitar repair and modification experience
Extensive knowledge of guitar effects and applications
2009-2013 Harmony and Theory at Rumoro Academy of Jazz Guitar in Chicago, IL
2004-2008 Experimental Sound/Production The School of the Art Institute Chicago
*** Lesson Details ***
Students should expect a relaxing learning environment that is cultivated to bring the fundamentals of guitar playing to the student and promote individuality in the player through a meditation of self-awareness while using the vehicle of Guitar. Lesson are taught out of my home studio space located in the East Falls/Manayunk Philadelphia!
Lessons are structured around: Finger exercises, Chord building, Strumming patterns, Scales, Arpeggios, Harmony studies and Improvisational chop building.
Some lesson materials referenced are:
The Real Book 6th Edition Jazz Standards
30 hour Guitar workout Steve Vai
The Music Lesson Victor Wooten
after just 3-6 short months, students will see an increase in comfortability with the notes on the fret board, basic chord progressions and single note soloing!
*** Studio Equipment ***
iMac i7 Mavericks
*** Travel Equipment ***
student only needs guitar and Binder for materials given in class
I have amps
*** Specialties ***
Rock, Blues, Country and Jazz approaches to guitar as well as home recording practices
Teaches students 10 and up
Teaching since 2011
BFA in fine art from The School of the Art Institute Chicago
Ryan's method and personality really clicked with my son. We definitely picked the right teacher!
Ryan is professional and easy going at the same time. So far so good. I'm excited to keep going.
Ryan takes his time and tailors my lessons specifically to my level and to the type of music I’d like to play. He covers everything from the basics – like the proper way to hold the pick – to more advanced teachings like music theory. Ryan is flexible, patient, easy going, and he consistently teaches at a pace that I’m comfortable with. He provides take-home practice after every lesson and always has helpful suggestions any time I have questions. What I find incredibly helpful is that at the end of the lesson Ryan will run through the take-home practice on his guitar and let me record it on my phone so it’s easier for me to remember. When I’m ready to practice the next day I just pull up his notes and the video and I’m ready to go!
It’s obvious that Ryan has a passion for music, and it shows in his lessons. I would easily give him my highest recommendation.
I have taken my first few lessons with Ryan and so far they have all been awesome!! Ryan is an extremely knowledgeable and talented guitarist, but he meets you right where you are. I feel my confidence growing more and more with every lesson. I look forward to many more!!Show More
Ryan's a great teacher. I'd recommend him to anyone who wants to learn to play. He's helped me fine tune the chords on my first song. Plus he can melt faces with his guitar solos.
Ryan is a great teacher! He understands his instrument as well as music. He never finds fault with a student and looks for ways to help you enjoy his lessons. He always looking for ways to make you better, without exceeding your abilities. I would tell anyone looking to learn guitar in the Philly area to definitely check Ryan out. He's a good person and I enjoyed my time working with him.Show More
Ryan is ready to teach as soon as our time starts. He is patient and slows things down when needed. The lessons so far have exceeded my expectations!
Really good for first lesson. Made me feel at ease and was very thorough with explanations.
Awesome experience so far ! Looking forward to many more .
As a long time guitar player coming from an entirely self-taught background, Ryan has done a great job getting me on track to formalize my existing skills and give me new tools to approach my instrument and art. Very refreshing learning experience!
great teacher, method of teaching very well formulated and individualized.
Though I have only taken lessons with Ryan for a few weeks, I am thoroughly impressed. Not only is Ryan very knowledgeable and talented, he is also a very patient and clear teacher. His lessons are organized, he gives lots of material to practice and I fully expect my skill level to grow exponentially under his tutelage.Show More
He is excellent
Just wrapped up 5 lessons with Ryan S. He is very easy going and patient with any questions you have. Definitely feels like he takes you the long way around so that you end up with a more thorough understanding of the guitar and how to use it as efficiently as possible. I've been strumming this guitar for about 8 years and am learning a lot of things that I never even knew existed. Great teacher. Highly recommended.Show More
Ryan gears lessons to my ability to learn. His encouragement and enthusiasm for teaching, is about music and not limited the guitar. I have learned more in 6 lessons than I have in the last 6 months.
Patient, Responsible, Awesome!
As a fellow musician and teacher, I've had the pleasure to work with Ryan over the past year in several different capacities. I can personally attest to his wonderful musicianship, his professional demeanor, and fun loving personality. I would not hesitate to take lessons with Ryan - he's a great resource!Show More
Ryan is the third guitar teacher I have tried and in my opinion the best. While the others I tried were either too unstructured or too technical, Ryan does an excellent job of teaching you the all the basics while tying in the more technical theory aspects in a manner that is both efficient and logical. The way he is able to break things down has helped me progress much faster compared to my other guitar teachers. He is also well versed in adapting yours lessons to the style of music you want to learn how to play and can teach you all the different nuances that will help your playing stand out. I highly recommend giving Ryan a shot to help your reach your guitar playing goals.Show More
I took about 8 lessons with Ryan so far and it has been a very good experience. You can tell he is very passionate about the guitar and really creates a fun and interesting learning environment. I am a beginner and Ryan is very patient and helps me work through things I am struggling with. Before I was trying to teach myself but I feel after taking lessons for 2 months I already have learned 10 times as much as before.Show More
As an administrator for Intercultural Family Services Music & Mentoring Program we have been fortunate to have a teacher of his caliber. Ryan in punctual, personable, and exciting. His classes are so well rounded so even if you are a novice, he has a way encouraging your progress to become an expert. The parents absolutely enjoy him as we all do. Having Ryan as an instructor is will not only teach you musically, but you will enjoy learning in an energetic and creative environment. Great Instructor!!!Show More
Ryan teaches me a lot of good fundamentals and taught me chords I didn't even know existed. He is very nice and does not judge me even if I ask a stupid question.
He also teaches me how to play cool rifts and licks on my guitar and teaches rock songs that a lot of people from the 90's might know. He is great and I totally recommend him for anyone who is looking for a great guitar teacher!
~ Student of Ryan S.
If you are new to online lessons- they are amazing! Ryan shows up every week on time via Skype right into my living room from across the country! I don't have to get in the car and drive to lessons or wait. I usually get the dinner dishes done while my sons takes lessons- a major time saver for our busy family! RYAN is awesome! He is a great communicator with my son and with me as well. I receive weekly e-mails with material for lessons. Ryan is kind, encouraging and has really helped foster my son's love for guitar. I highly recommend him!
~ Parent of a Student of Ryan S.
I have been taking lessons with Ryan for the past three months and it has been a wonderful experience. Although Ryan has an incredible knowledge of music and how to play the guitar, he has easily and graciously adapted his teaching to fit me as a beginner. He is very patient and encouraging and always seems to be able to find things I have made progress in (when I tent to be more focused on things with which I am having difficulty). I like his big picture approach and the way he explains how the chords and scales and different positions relate to one another; I am learning music theory right alongside with learning how to play the guitar. He is always open to answering my questions and giving me further explanations and "tips" to help me with trouble spots. Ryan's easy going nature has taken the stress and temptation to "perform well" out of my lessons and has enabled me to relax and enjoy learning to play the guitar (which is the way it should be!).Show More
Ryan has definitely opened up my perspective with regard to learning my instrument and "hearing" tonal options for music I like to play. I'm a working Dad with very limited time for lessons and practice, so an online learning platform has worked best for me. Ryan has been very accommodating and flexible. More than that, he's been extremely patient with my learning style. In addition to opening up my instrument for me, he's fostered a passion for learning guitar and a taste for new music that I may not have listened to/learned otherwise. I love music and because of Ryan, I've found a very heartfelt, almost tangible, passion for playing it. Ryan...thank you!!Show More
I really enjoy taking lessons with Ryan and without equivocation consider him to be one of the best instructors I've had the privilege of working with. I am in my 40's and have taken many music lessons throughout the course of my life (piano, organ, guitar, sax, etc.). Being a musician our minds approach things in a very creative manner which can make learning new material challenging. Although we are all seeking the same end, different approaches need to be utilized to achieve that goal. Its clear after working with Ryan that he is very aware of these hurdles students face, most likely because he's experienced the same issues himself as a student and as a teaching professional. He clearly sets himself apart from other teachers by not forcing the same cookie-cutter approach on his students. Although we all need to understand, learn and apply fundamentals, which can be very mundane, Ryan has developed a very unique and creative approach that presents these ideas in a less cumbersome manner. An approach that at least to me seems easier to grasp and further put into practice. Ryan also understands we want to take what we learn and be able to apply it in a practical setting quickly. Let's face it...we want to play guitar and make music, not sound mechanical by playing scales. Ryan has developed a lesson plan that accomplishes all of these goals and does so in a very enjoyably, fun and rewarding way. Ryan has opened up a world to me that I never thought I would enjoy based on past lesson experiences. I am very thankful to have him as my instructor. He has totally blown away my privious conceptions of what a guitar instructor is and what they need to be to pass on that knowledge capital to their students.Show More
I really like Ryan approach. He is friendly and makes you comfortable. I'm 63 years old and I'm just trying to learn to play some Jazz & Blues and after several years of jumping all over the place with web lessons and really learning nothing; I think I've finally found a teacher who can help me learn to play guitar. I look forward to my lessons with Ryan. I hope to continue this music relationship until I can really play. Its my dream and my hobby now that I'm retired and Ryan has already given me the confidence I need to succeed.Show More
What makes Ryan a terrific instructor is more than just his extensive guitar knowledge. It's more than the personalized curriculum and patient approach he offers to each student. It's even more than his great sense of humor and the encouragement he brings to each lesson. What makes Ryan a truly great instructor becomes apparent within moments of meeting him: this dude LOVES the guitar. Simple as it sounds, the sheer enthusiasm he has for the instrument is infectious and carries over into his lessons in such a way that you can't help but take it home with you. Learning a new instrument can be a daunting and difficult journey, but you will not find an instructor more willing to guide you through it than Ryan.
Ryan is an incredible teacher! He has an undeniable passion for what he does, patience with his students, and is an excellent communicator on all levels. He's fun to be around, but still handles himself with total professionalism. Ryan's students have always enjoyed his classes and he really takes great pride in what he does.
Best Guitar Teacher Around!!!
This guy makes learning guitar not such a daunting task. I have always wanted to learn guitar- and thought I was too old to start now- But after working with Ryan- I am confident that my skills will only grow and that some day I will be as good as he is :) His lessons are geared towards your specific needs- he creates a curriculum that is attainable. I really appreciate the personal approach he takes with his students and I look forward to continuing working with him. Great Teacher!!!
Gives Outstanding Lessons; Produces Excellent Video Series
I am writing a review from a couple of different perspectives, as I've received lessons from Ryan in a number of capacities. I am an intermediate-level bass player who received his initial music theory training from Ryan, and his explanations were clear and concise.
Recently, I've become a geography professor at the University of Akron, and I teach a variety of topics, including Introductory Cultural Geography. Part of this involves looking at how different types of music spread throughout the world. Ryan created an excellent video that supplemented my lecture; he thoroughly, yet very clearly, described how the spread of the minor pentatonic scale contributed to the development of heavy rock and metal music across the globe. Without this insight, my lecture would have been less accurate, as well as less entertaining to the students!
As a stringed-instrument player and a professor who includes music geography and history in his classes, I highly recommend lessons with Ryan. His descriptions and instructional method are outstanding (please see his excellent video series, "Swing's Shred Tips" on YouTube), and he also clearly demonstrates a deeper knowledge about music. Rather than just playing fast to shred, he will teach the underlying ideas behind the music to improve your playing (as he clearly demonstrated in his custom lecture on geography/history in my class). Highest possible recommendation!
Ryan has a great knowledge of his craft. Highly educated in his field, he brings talent, history, patience and humor to his Students. It can be a tedious, learning any instrument, but like fine art practice, makes for new and Better adventures. Thank You Ryan for all you do! You're Awesome :)
SUPER FUN Trainer!
I've had the pleasure of being trained by Ryan previously and not only is he extremely talented but he's just all around fun. He makes you feel extremely comfortable at your worst and has endless patience. He's thorough and knows his stuff-- and he also has a great sense of humor and endless energy. I would recommend him in a heartbeat!!!
Let There Be Rock School of Music - Folsom, PA
instructor for students ages 11-19 focusing on classic rock, blues, indie and country in private, individualized 30-45min lessons
Ibanez Guitars USA
Share tip videos distributed through Ibanez guitars.
Inter Cultural Family Services Philadelphia
class room guitar instruction for students ages 8-17ys
U of A
"Pentatonic Scales the Western Integration" lecture.
Rumoro Academy of Jazz Guitar, Chicago, IL
The School of the Art Institute Chicago
Fluent / Native Proficiency