If you already play and/or sing, I'll help you to advance to the next level.
By fine tuning your current skills, I'll help you to become a better performer.
I've been a performing, recording and teaching guitarist and vocalist
for over 50 years.
I hold a BS in guitar education and an MA in voice.
I've played and sung on thousands of recordings
and commercials. If you're old enough to have listened
to radio or watched TV in the mid 70's,
you've probably heard me but didn't know it.
Your first lesson is free. You and I decide if we are right for each other.
I won't take you on as a student if I don't think I can
help you. I don't want you to take me on as a teacher
if you don't think I can help you.
Q: Where are you located?
A: My studio is in my home in north Phoenix. Near the
intersection of Cactus and 56th Street.
Q: What do guitar lessons cost?
A: My rates are $250 per four lessons.
That's one lesson every week for four weeks.
Each lesson is at least one hour long.
Q: Do I have to have some kind of experience?
A: Yes. My lessons are for serious, performance oriented
I rarely accept students under age 18
I ask that you have SOME previous musical experience
in guitar or some other musical instrument.
Q: Will you teach my son to play shredder metal guitar?
A: Probably not. But only because he (most teenage boys) isn't very
interested in nor have the patience for serious music lessons.
It wouldn't be any different if your teen wanted to learn classical
or any other style rather than pop/rock. It's a lot of just plain
hard work and study to become a musician.
Neither of those are typically in the working vocabulary of
most teenage boys.
I very much welcome the opportunity for YOUR teenager to disprove my observations.
We need kids to take up music as a profession. But music, the profession,
is a lot more than
hanging out in the garage with your buddies. It's like any other vocation
or avocation. It requires work and study and most time stealing of all requirements,
MUSIC REQUIRES PRACTICE. The "practice" concept is unlike any other
profession. Brain surgeons or accountants or construction workers don't
practice off the job. Musicians are the only professionals that do.
And that practice happens every day, all your life. It's not just
"Practice Till I Get It". That's not what practicing is. Practicing
is learning how to translate musical thoughts in your brain into
physical movements on your instrument (fingering, vocal interpretations etc).
Q: Will you prep me or my teenager for audition to Berklee College of Music?
A: Yes I certainly will. I'm very familiar with the entry and audition requirements for
Berklee. We can practice the actual pieces required/suggested by the
Berklee staff that you will/could use in the audition.
Two points are important with the "Music College" question -
1) Most teenage rock/metal guitar playing boys are nowhere near the
experience/skill level to enter music college - ANY music college.
If this is your kid's description, I can certainly advise you how to cram
a decade's worth of missed music education into your teen's mind. It's up to
him to decide if that's what he wants to pursue. But he'll be competing, literally.
with hundreds and thousands of other kids who have intently studied their instrument
for many many years. Be prepared for me to tell you I don't think Berklee is right for you.
2) Vocalists ALWAYS have a difficult time in music college. Unless you've
been studying classical/choral/baroque and are fluent in reading
standard notation and understand diatonic harmony, you and me (singers)
face the huge disadvantage of simply NOT being exposed to any kind of
academic or any other instructive/deductive/inductive/constructive
approach to singing.
We simply don't speak the language of music.
On the other hand - If you truly ARE dedicated to the concept of music as a
university level pursuit, I can certainly speak with experience from BOTH sides
of the "degree vs non-degree" professional musician. I've certainly been successful
as both. If you're ready to work I'll show you what it's like to get there.
But if you're faced with not being at all fluent in the language of music,
you're up againsta tremendous bunch of hurdles. Perhaps compare it to
an English-only speaking person going to a university in Japan
and Majoring in Japanese Language. You'll be entering language or music school
but don't yet even speak the basics in the language.
Have I talked you OUT of it yet?..;-)
Professional musician is a
FANTASTIC occupation. It is more physical
and mental work both to get there and to remain there, than any other profession.
If you or your kid wants to get there, I'll show you how I did it and offer you the
tools to help you figure out if YOU want to do it.
Q: Do I have to attend recitals?
A: Sort of. I'd like you to attend LIVE MUSIC EVENTS.
Concerts, clubs, open mic's, recitals are all live music events.
This musical road we're traveling is all about PERFORMING. To be
good performers, we have to get out there and watch other performers.
I REALLY WANT YOU TO PERFORM.
We're learning to be performers. We have to perform.
It's that simple. You can't learn how to swim without
going in the water.
Q: Do I have to learn music theory?
A: Yes. Music theory is the language that
musicians use to communicate. Without the theory, you couldn't
ask me to "play a G chord" or "hold that note for 3 beats".
Every vocation and avocation has its own theory and language.
Music is no exception. The business of music is all about communication.
We have to be able to communicate with other musicians and technical
experts in the music field. Those musicians and other experts
speak the language of music, music theory. To be a musician
without an understanding of music theory would be like being
a foreign language interpreter but only speaking one language.
I teach music theory as it applies to the music you are currently playing.
We don't memorize theory points just for the sake of knowledge,
but instead, we try and apply music theory to what we're playing right now.
Q: Will I have to learn stuff like "Mary Had a Little Lamb"?
A: Only if that's a song you like and want to learn.
I prefer to teach songs that you know and like for lessons.
Q: Do I have to practice?
A: Uh, Yes.
Q: Do I have to play scales and fingerboard exercises?
A: Probably, yes. The approach I like is that we play
songs that you want to perform. When we find a spot in
the song that you have trouble with, we design an
exercise that addresses that problem.
But scales, particularly the plain old Major diatonic scale,
are the fundamental basis for all western harmony and melody.
Learn the scale and you learn nearly everything there is to
know about the song you're playing.
Q: What kind of guitar do I need?
A: Learning to play the guitar (or any instrument)
is like learning to drive a car. You can learn to
drive on a broken down piece of junk, but it's difficult
and unsafe. Guitars are the same way. If you have a $100
plywood guitar with strings like bridge cables, you'll
need to upgrade before I can help you. Generally I recommend
that a serious guitar student (that's us!) consider investing at least
$300 or so on a well made, student grade guitar. I'll help you evaluate
prospective purchases, if necessary, as part of your lessons.
Q: How soon can I see improvement?
A: Six days? Six weeks? Six months? It's really an impossible
question to answer. I can do exercises with you that will show
improvement in six seconds, if we just want to prove something.
If you're pretty new to the guitar or returning after a lengthy
layoff, your fingers will hurt. You will only be able to play for
a very short period. After about six to eight weeks you will develop
calouses on your fingertips, your fingers will become more limber
and you will begin to feel comfortable with the odd posture of
holding your guitar. After that initial, uncomfortable period,
progress will be more rapid.
Q: Will you teach me to play contemporary praise, or worship music?
A: Absolutely not. I don't do religious music.
Q: How can I find out if you're the right teacher for me?
A: Schedule an initial meeting with me.
There is no cost to you for that first meeting.
During that meeting, we'll discuss your goals and
my teaching methods. I'll examine your guitar and
take some measurements. If your instrument needs any
minor repairs or adjustments (they almost always do),
I'll recommend where you can have that done.
If you and I both agree that we are right for each other,
we can then schedule a time for regular, weekly lessons. I will not
take you on as a student if I don't think I can help
you. And I don't want you to take me on as a teacher
if you don't think I can help you.
Email is the BEST way to contact me.
I can check appointment
days and times much easier in email exchanges than when I'm
on the telephone. If you phone, and reach my voice mail, it's
likely because I'm teaching or performing.
During lessons or performances
the phone is OFF.