Experience and Approach
As a Musician:
Styles in which I play and specialize on guitar: jazz, rock, pop, jazz fusion, blues, R&B, P&W/Gospel, funk.
Other skills include: arranging, orchestration, music production, music for media, composing and co-production of experiential theater shows.
Although I play guitar as my main instrument, I also play drums, bass, keys, write for all contemporary instruments, full orchestra, vocal ensembles, percussion ensembles etc.
As an Instructor as it applies to level and age:
I have been teaching privately since 1992.
I teach all levels, all ages, beginning to advanced; experience with special needs students (my son is Autistic and has Down and I’m familiar with, and not at all apprehensive with, students who have similar challenges; I have had several students with varying special abilities).
I develop relationships with parents and inspire them to be motivational and supportive to their kids in a way that is not overbearing. BEGINNING AND YOUNG
Practice schedules (daily, weekly, monthly) are given with accountability to time spent. Incentives given for tasks completed. Depending on the age, a parent initials. BEGINNING
Energize and inspire students’ love of music, many styles, with respect for what they already know and enjoy. ALL LEVELS
Remind them that this is supposed to be fun. Practice is something to which they can look forward, not dread. No fear of reprisal if they don’t get something right away. ALL
Instruct on a personal level with students: developing a plan unique to each student and their own personal goals, dreams, etc…not simply drive them through “Method Book Series 1-6”, so to speak. I create my own lessons from my own vast library of resources. Many materials are in electronic file format and can be easily shared via email, or Dropbox folders. ALL
I give clear expectations from week to week, goals to be met. When certain goals are met, they earn the reward of being able to choose something (a song they like, etc) to learn. It incentivizes them to work on the tools they will need to learn those songs. ALL
I remind them that time spent is more about quality and consistency, not merely minutes or hours in one sitting. Practicing daily, for a minimum time is better than 6 hours one day and skipping the others. ALL
I teach proper physical maintenance: stretching, rest, breathing, sleep, diet, listening to their body if it is tired or fatigued. ALL
I teach a similar foundation of basics:
The notes names and locations on instrument, tuning, chords, scales, functional harmony via understanding of number system and chord scale relationships; development of their inner ear via ear training so that they can, on their own (eventually) learn songs by ear with full awareness and understanding of what they are hearing. Develop a desire for them to write their own music via that same understanding and experimentation with chords through harmonic function exercises. ALL
In the context of, and throughout the duration of lessons, I teach:
theory, harmony, improv, songwriting, composition, active listening, music technology, orchestration and arranging of (everything from rock bands, jazz ensembles, to full orchestral music), music history, music production and public release, live performance (song preparation, equipment, etiquette, overcoming stage fright). ALL
MUSIC APPRECIATION: I introduce them to many different (age appropriate) styles of music beyond which they have been exposed in listening sessions or via recommended lists. ALL
I provide 400+ backing tracks via Dropbox over which students can try out improvisational concepts, rhythm and harmonic concepts. ALL
I bring the experience of having been a full time musician since 1990 (having played guitar since 1980, drums since 1974). I’ve played with dozens of bands, been the full time staff arranger, music director, guitarist at a mega church for 18 years, writing and performing on a deadline for performance before 2,000+ people per week. I’ve transcribed, composed and arranged somewhere between 5,000-10,000 pieces of music in every style, performing close to 6,000 shows in various contexts since 1990.
C.D. Released in 2003 made the Grammy Finalists list for nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album;
In 2005, I was in the top 4 in the top 10 finalists for Guitar Player Magazine‘s contest, flown out to perform live at the Rock and a Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland before judges Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather and the editors of Guitar Player Magazine (3,000 audio submissions from all over the world were my initial competition).
My recent contemporary jazz release “Remember” in March 2015
Cirque du Soleil drummer, Andre Boyd, will be performing several of my contemporary jazz compositions in his drum clinics all over the world this year, beginning in Asia and Australia.
My orchestral media cues have been licensed exclusively with Audiosparx since 2011.
I’ve been commissioned to write pieces for churches, orchestral arrangements for songwriter/artists, guest guitar solos on major releases (Deane Ogden, Chris Crain, Jon Gillespie, Basil Fearrington, Wendell Holmes, Ryo Ishido).
I bring the experience of every note I’ve written, on a deadline; every moment on stage, under pressure, (during performance as a leader or a sideman) to each student I teach. I make every effort to instill a passionate, strong work ethic; as well as proper attitude and character towards their fellow musicians.
CONTACT ME IF YOU THINK I CAN HELP YOU IN YOUR MUSICAL JOURNEY