Monday-Thursday at Clocktower Music at 676 Laurel Street, San Carlos, Ca.
Ages 10 and up
$40 per 1/2 hour
I've been playing the guitar for 30 years and teaching full time for 15 years. While in my early teens I studied with George Hanepen, a local guitar player whose teaching emphasized reading, theory, and improvisation. After high school I attended the College of San Mateo where I studied music with "Gus" Gustavson and Fred Berry. In 1988 I began working for From The Heart Music, an after school music program based in San Mateo, California. During this time I was working with as many as 60 students a week, often in group settings with students of varying levels of musical experience. Since 2001 I've been teaching privately out of Clocktower Music in San Carlos. The types of music I love the most are American roots music, jazz, blues, folk, rock, and country.
The Beginning Student:
For my youngest students (ages 10-12) I help establish a strong foundation of the basics by having them work out of the Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book. Emphasis is on proper technique, basic reading, with the frequent non-book fun song. Single note reading as well as chords are introduced.
For teenagers on up I focus on strum centered acoustic based music. I introduce reading tablature, chord diagrams, reading rhythm, strum patterns, chords, and songs. The emphasis here is on proper technique, how to get chords to sound great, how to cultivate good rhythm, and how to decipher simple guitar notation while building up a repertoire of songs.
The Intermediate Student:
Once a student can read basic music notation, play basic chords, and play many simple songs, they are ready to chart their own course. The student can continue working with strum centered songs but work towards "dressing them up" with single note ideas, bass lines, etc. Or they may wish to focus on solo pieces, or learning scales and how to "jam" with others. We spend more time getting into the details of whatever style the student gravitates towards.
The Advanced Student:
With the advanced student I introduce chord/scale relationships and how they apply to the guitar. The emphasis is on demystifying the guitar and learning how to freely respond in musical situations, whether it's playing by ear or by playing on various written chord changes. I present detailed handouts of the major scale, all of its modes, triads, and diatonic 7th chord shapes. Various other scales and their applications are presented. Along with this new material we analyze songs, including solos.