Lesson Information

Guitar Lessons

 

         When approached by a new student my first objective is to learn what the student's objectives are. Some already have some knowledge of the guitar and possess some playing ability. In some cases it's quite extensive. In such cases the individual has a pretty good idea of what areas they wish to expand upon. Some want to focus on lead playing; others on acoustic blues; still others wish to improve their music reading abilities in order to play in certain church or school groups. Once the goals are established, a plan can be devised and implemented.

 

        But equally welcome are those just starting off with the guitar!  Beginners are great  because I get to share in their excitement of each new development in the playing process. Above all else, playing the guitar should be fun. And in these early stages that is especially important.

The lessons can generally be divided in to the following categories:

 

  • Basics - guitar parts, neck notes, hand positions, sitting positions, etc.

  • Finger Exercises -- for building the dexterity needed to play.

  • Chords -- the building blocks for songs

  • Learning Songs -- chosen by you, not me.

  • Scales -- the key to unlocking the mysteries of the fret board.

  • Music theory -- understanding the 'language' of music. 

  • Song writing -- the ultimate goal for many players.

  • Standard Notation Reading -- still needed for many situations.

  • Transcribing -- how to 'play by ear'.

  • Lead playing -- arguably the most fun aspect of the guitar.

  • Self directed studies -- for the advanced student.

        

        One of the most important concepts any student of music should embrace is the idea that we are all always students. Music is too vast a subject for anyone to master every aspect, and with that attitude I feel I share a kinship with each of my students. There is always more to learn. When we stop learning we stop growing.

 

Bass Lessons

 

        I have played and taught Bass as long as I have guitar. While there are many similarities in the two instruments, there are some very big differences as well. With its four strings tuned to E, A, D, and G the bass is in a sense a lower pitched version of the guitar.  But the function of the two instruments with in a group are completely different. The bass is as much a note based, or melodic instrument, as it is a rhythm or percussive instrument. That is, it is as closely related to the drums as it is the guitar. The popular slap and pop style of playing is another difference. Funk players and even some rock players make use of this style of music that is almost exclusively played on bass.   There is a common perception that bass is easier than guitar. Its not uncommon for a some one to take up bass guitar and within a month be playing in a group. But don't be fooled. The bass can be as complex or as simple as the individual desires to make it. There are techniques on the bass can take years to master.

 

Bass Lessons cover the following areas:

 

  • Basics - bass parts, neck notes, hand positions, sitting positions, etc.

  • Finger Exercises -- playing with fingers, pick and slap pop style

  • Scales -- the foundation for a bass line.

  • Learning Songs -- chosen by the student, not me.

  • Chords -- Not as commonly seen on bass as guitar, but not uncommon either.

  • Music theory -- understanding the 'language' of music. 

  • Song writing -- the ultimate goal for many players.

  • Standard Notation Reading -- still needed for many situations.

  • Transcribing -- how to 'play by ear'.

  • Self directed studies -- for the advanced student.   

Drum Lessons

 

        I've offered drum lessons since 2000. My students have gone on to become percussion majors in college, play for church and school bands, and compete in national drum competitions. In addition to teaching basic to advanced drumming techniques, I offer coaching in the areas of drumming beyond the norm of traditional drum lessons for students that reach higher levels.  As a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist I am able to work with my students in the areas of:  the drums role in songwriting; singing and playing drums at the same time; and jamming with a guitarist or bass player.  

 

Drum lessons cover the following areas:

 

  • Technique -- Beginner to advanced

  • Rudiments --  the original 26 and beyond

  • Fill creation

  • Playing with a Metronome

  • Hundreds of beat patterns used in styles of music including rock, country, metal, blues, r&b

  • Learning Songs -- chosen by the student, not me.

  • Standard notation reading -- percussionist

  • Drum notation reading

  • Role of the drums in a group

  • Stage presence

Voice Lessons

 

        There seems to be popular misconception that the ability to sing is something we are either born with or we are not.  It's not true. Learning to sing well is just like learning to play any other instrument. There are certain things we can do and learn in order to get the most out of the voice we were given.  The Billboard Charts are full of people that were not born singing the way we hear them now. 

        I began the process of training my own voice in 1996. Since that time I've done countless performances -- from coffee house acoustic shows to the Riverbend Festival.  I now get paid to sing.  It's pretty neat.  I've been teaching voice lessons since 2004 when I began sharing the best of the methods and techniques from the training I received myself.  It helped me tremendously, and I know it will you too.

 

Singing lessons cover the following areas:

 

  • Breath control -- One of the single most important aspects of singing and often the most misunderstood.

  • Posture --  from how to stand to tongue placement

  • Using Registers -- head, chest, blends

  • Exercises -- to develop your instrument and gain control over it

  • Vibrato -- how to do it and do it tastefully

  • Increasing Range -- Learning to sing both higher and lower

  • Music theory -- understanding the 'language' of music 

  • Standard Notation Reading -- still needed for many situations

  • Power -- how to develop it with out hurting yourself

  • Learning Songs -- chosen by the student, not me

  • Scales -- the foundation for any vocal line

  • Style -characteristics found in different types of music from country to rock to pop to r&b

  • Self directed studies -- for the advanced student

 

 

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