Who I Teach
I’m happy to work with both kids and adults. I’ve taught guitar lessons full-time for 24 years total, 14 years via webcam, and have enjoyed working with folks from just about every age group.
What I Teach
I teach folk and rock music on acoustic and electric guitar. Most of my students want to learn their favorite songs, how to strum chords, how to play solos, how to jam with their friends, how to fingerpick. Other areas I’ve helped folks out with include songwriting, music theory, reading music, how to figure things out by ear, and home recording.
I love teaching music to kids. We usually start with melodies along a single string, learning the basics of fretting notes, and move into chords as we progress. We also do some singing, play rhythm games, and get up and move around. My youngest guitar students have been 7 years old, but I’m up for playing music with younger kids if they’re interested. It helps for a parent to be silently present for the first couple lessons, to keep young students focused during our Zoom guitar lesson.
Virtual Coffee Shop Jam
I host an online performance for students once or twice a year, sort of a Virtual Coffee Shop Jam. Students of all levels film themselves playing songs they’ve been working on, send the files to me, and then I host a big Zoom call for participants and their families around the world. We share our songs, applaud for each other, and I play a few songs myself. It’s an optional event, but I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from participants who found it to be an inspiring experience and a great goal to work toward.
Just like the Coffee Shop Jam, recording can be great goal to motivate your practicing. If you get super ambitious, we could even make a whole album – here’s one.
My Favorite Artists
My heroes include The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Sting, The Police, R.E.M., The Smiths, The Cure, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Pat Metheny, Thelonius Monk, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Janes Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Ani DiFranco, New Order, Depeche Mode, John Fahey, Kelly Joe Phelps, the Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Pierre Bensusan, Richard Thompson, lots of pre-WWII blues guys like Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Bukka White, Skip James, and harmonica cats like Howard Levy, Deford Bailey, and Sonny Terry. I’m listing these folks to give you a sense of where I’m coming from, but as I mentioned earlier, we’ll learn whatever you want.