MUSIC LESSONS

Juno Award winning producer/engineer and Berklee College of Music trained musician is accepting a limited amount of serious music students (all levels) for private instruction. Minimum age 16, $50 an hour, 90 minutes and 2 hour lessons available.

MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

I do tings differently than most teachers. I’ve always believed in the old saying, “Give a man a fish, he can eat today, but teach him how to fish and he can eat forever”. My goal from the start is to teach you to teach yourself. As stated, the minimum lesson time I offer is 1 hour because I found that to introduce a concept, explain it, make sure the student understands it and can practically apply to their instrument and practice routine requires that much time. I teach by appointment only – not an every week lesson routine because when I was teaching a lot more in the 80/s, (the typical half hour every week lesson) that half the time people had no time to practice so sometimes the lesson would be a repeat of the last one which is kind of a waste of money and time.

So you call and make and appointment for a lesson then after you have digested the material, call and arrange for the next lesson when ever that is - next week, 2 weeks or a month from now, whenever you are ready.

I’ve always been able to explain the building blocks of music so that people easily understood, and being an effective music teacher has always been one of the most important parts of being a professional music producer –just ask any of my clients! I enjoy teaching now much more than I did in the 80’s and since entering the infancy of middle age, I’m soooo much more patient than I used to be. It is actually fun watching some one who loves music get better at it, and they do, every lesson.

Like my recording clients, the first thing I will ask you is what your goals are and then I will design custom lessons for you to accomplish your goals.

BASS LESSONS

I’ve been a professional bass player for 27 years and have given lessons – on and off – for 24 years. In that time, I’ve had extensive professional level performing and recording experience in the following styles of music: Country (traditional and modern) Most kinds of Rock, Metal ,Blues, traditional and modern Jazz, various kinds of folk, Experimental, etc and some professional experience in Funk, Reggae, Gospel, Christian, Theatre pit bands and Acadian and Bluegrass.

So, I will teach you music theory, directly related to whatever style of music you are into so that you can apply it. Half of the aforementioned experience was with fretless basses.

GUITAR LESSONS

I am first and foremost a bass player. I first started to play the guitar when I was the guitar tech at Tony’s on and off between 82-90 and then a lot more when I started to produce music full time. Then I had to play the guitar a lot more. You see, you’d be amazed how many guys can play a dozen or so licks a million miles an hour, but couldn’t play in time and really groove with other musicians, to save their lives. I jokingly refer to theses guys as “music store stunt guitar players”, and many of them teach – licks mainly, and that’s fine if you want that, but very few of these types of teachers understand the basic blocks of music or a lot of different styles of music.

I believe it is much more beneficial to teach you how to teach yourself how to identify what rhythmic feel a song is in, what key you’re in, what chords are in this key, etc. so that you can apply it to anything, how to learn songs from recordings yourself, develop your ears as you develop your fingers and realize that listening is at least as important as playing. I presently have a rank beginner guitar student who after two lessons can play a 2 octave chromatic scale, a major scale, name all the notes up to the fifth fret on all 6 strings and, by the end of the next lesson, she will be able to play a song. She’s having fun getting better, very surprised at her progress, and two months ago, never thought she would be able to play the guitar.

When I teach, I always have instant access to a bass, a guitar and a piano, which has been very helpful to explain music from different angles. Many years ago, when I was teaching a lot more, a number of very developed guitar players sought me out for music theory lessons. They all said that the way I explained it was simpler and more though than guitar instructors they had before. Some past students had been playing for over 20 years and just wanted someone to musically connect the dots for them. They took 3 or 4 lessons and got what they wanted. Most adults who want to learn to play the guitar want to be able to get to the camp fire or kitchen jam level, not to become the next Stevie Ray Vaughan. I can help you do that. If you wish to study with an advanced guitar stylist then one of my best friends is also giving lessons and for now I’ll just call him Stumique.

GENERAL MUSIC – ANY INSTRUMENT

Because of my experience as a musician and a producer, a number of people have sought me out and asked for lessons even though I don’t play their instrument. They wanted general music theory or to play together and have me critique them like I would if I was doing pre-production with a group. In the past, I have turned these proposals down because of not being able to offer, say a trumpet play, technical instruction – just musical input. Upon further consideration I will now offer this kind of consultation because I can now see how much I have taught most of my recording clients in the role of producer, and people in ensembles where I served as musical director.

GUITAR AND BASS SET-UP AND MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTION

In one hour, I can show you how to perform truss rod, action and intonation adjustments to your guitar or bass. In a region like Atlantic Canada, we go through radical humidity and temperature changes which the wood in your instrument reacts to. I have some instruments that require tweaking multiple times a week while others have never needed to be touched. The exact amount of relief in a neck has a huge impact on playability, tone and intonation and I can’t tell you how many recording sessions have been saved by making a minor adjustment to an instrument. I can teach you how to maintain your own guitar or bass. P. S. Most tuning issues are from improper string installation. I’ve shown Juno-award winners how to string their guitars properly.

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