I teach guitar the way I wish I would have been taught. When I first started my musical education, I had teachers who just gave me songs and scales without explaining why we were doing these exercises. Each week was about learning a new song and I didn’t really know why.
As the former Guitar Manager at Guitar Center (Halsted Street), I began my teaching career tutoring customers who had purchased their instruments from me. While on the sales floor, I was always questioned as to the right book or video instructional materials. My comment was always, “neither, you can’t learn this instrument from a book. A book can’t tell you if you are doing something wrong, or right for that matter. A good instructor will show you the proper technique and increase your ability exponentially versus a book or video.”
At Learn Guitar Chicago I teach you how to be a musician, not just a guitar player. You will learn how to play various styles of music including: Rock, Blues, Pop and Jazz. The songs I use are carefully chosen in order to demonstrate specific techniques necessary in the development of a complete guitarist.
I’m not a song-based instructor per se. I use songs as exercises in order to demonstrate certain musical principles and techniques rather than using songs just to learn the song. A few of the artists that I routinely use include: Clapton, Santana, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Black Crowes, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and a whole host of others.
The most important aspect of learning to play the guitar involves the development of the necessary motor skills needed to manipulate the guitar neck. For my beginning students, I incorporate exercises that stress muscle memory development via chord transitions. This allows the student to learn the “language” of the guitar: chords and the ability to switch between chords. I then apply basic rhythm patterns to the chord exercises and off we go.
- Curriculum, Topics, Techniques etc.
- Rhythm Patterns
- Scales and Modes
- Blues Patterns
- Improvisational Theory
One of my specialties involves teaching students the art and science of improvisation. In my professional opinion, improvising is the most fun and challenging aspect of playing the guitar. In my studio, I use state of the art computer software (Pro Tools ) in order to record our lessons and “jam sessions”. I then go over the session with the student to critically analyze their work in order to improve their ability as lead guitar players. This approach is fun and exceptionally informative.