Welcome to my teaching page. If you’re looking for bass or guitar lessons please read on and see if we’re a match. I've been teaching students on bass and guitar since 1982. Anyone can learn. Let's do this! 

 

Memorize! Memorize! Memorize!

Memorize! Memorize! Memorize!

Memorize! Memorize! Memorize!

Memorize! Memorize! Memorize!

Philosophy  

I don’t have one curriculum so I don’t teach every student the same way. I gave my first lesson in 1982. Since then I’ve had over a thousand students. The one thing that remains a constant is no-one learns the same. People learn at different speeds, people learn for different reasons and if you let those things happen naturally, you’ll get better results. That’s the main reason I don’t like set curriculums. That being said there is a level of expectation I have for my students, which I spell out at the end of every lesson.  

Location and Rates 

I come to you. I offer 30 minute lessons or 60 minutes lessons. I’ve taught in music stores and privately since 1982. I’ve found that I have much more success (and yes I do make more money) when I teach privately in the students home or even their place of business. It may be a little more money but is much more convenient for you and my gas expenses are much less than the rent I would pay to a music store.  

30 minutes - $20 

60 minutes - $35  

 

What instruments do you play and teach?  

I specialize at bass guitar (electric, acoustic) and can teach at any level of 4,5,6 string fretted or fretless and upright bass. I’ve also successfully taught many beginner and intermediate guitar students, beginner piano, banjo, harmonica, autoharp, ukulele, mandolin, and hopefully coming soon Sitar. I also teach ear training, music reading and composition, music appreciation and the basics of studio engineering and production.  

As far as instruments played, I play all the aforementioned and dabble in flute, ocarina, percussion, didgeridoo, dulcimer, Chinese dulcimer also called a Q and lap steel guitar.  

 

 

Why is my way of teaching the best way? 

I know many great teachers who teach different ways and are successful. I’ve learned more from the teachers I’ve taught with than anyone else. We all do the same thing and I’ve been lucky to be around other teachers who are truly about teaching the student and set their egos aside. Sharing tips, styles, philosophies and things that didn’t work, all helped shape the way I approach lessons. A student should feel comfortable with their teacher and I feel I excel at that. I’m extremely patient and I try to create a calm ,fun and informative atmosphere.  

 

 

Some other advantages to my private lessons:  

- I leave myself plenty of time to get from one lesson to another. You will get your full lesson whether it be 30 minutes or an hour. 

- It’s not business with me but personal. I truly am about teaching my students to their best abilities. How well they do is a reflection on me and I take it very seriously. 

- You don’t have to drive anywhere for lessons. The parents of my students love this and if the student is a parent, their time may be limited so I’m perfect for folks who just don’t have a lot of time to get to a music store. 

- You learn at your speed and all the learning is designed to meet your goals as a student and player. 

 

 

What instruments do you play and teach? 

I specialize at bass guitar (electric, acoustic) and can teach at any level of 4,5,6 string fretted or fretless and upright bass. I’ve also successfully taught many guitar students, beginner piano, banjo, harmonica, autoharp, ukulele, mandolin, and hopefully coming soon Sitar. I also teach ear training, music reading and composition, music appreciation and the basics of studio engineering and production. 

As far as instruments played, I play all the aforementioned and dabble in flute, ocarina, percussion, didgeridoo, dulcimer, Chinese dulcimer also called a Q and lap steel guitar.  

 

 

How long will it take me to learn to play? 

I think this is the most asked question a teacher receives from a new learner. The truth is there is no way of knowing. You can teach a student for a few lessons and kind of gauge their learning speed but its inaccurate. What is your definition of learning to play? That question can help a little but you really need to study a students natural ability verses learning speed and practice habits.  

- A majority of my beginner students are future guitar players because lets face it, everyone wants to learn guitar. My first lesson will include teaching you about your instrument and how to take care of it. How to tune your instrument. A set of chords that will be with you for life and a few scales to get your hands working in that way. 

Once you learn those chords and string them together, you’re playing guitar. How far you want to take it is now up to you. 

- Bass students will have similar experience. I don’t generally don’t go over chords on a bass players first lesson but they will appear eventually.  

Everyone learns at different speeds. That statement comes up a lot and is important. I as a teacher can inspire and instruct but in the end it comes down to practice at home. The more you practice the more you advance. 

 

 

Will you teach me to read music? 

Simple answer is yes. If you have a good grasp of fractions and basic math, music is very easy to read and basic reading skills can be taught in one lesson. If you don’t have math those math skills, you will learn them after I teach you how to read.  

As you advance into harder pieces of music to play, reading will get a little more difficult. Sight reading is difficult and takes a lot of time and dedication. I find being able to read a big plus but it isn’t 100% necessary. Many of the worlds greatest guitarists and bassists don’t read a lick of music. When I have adult or teen level students I generally leave it up to them to go beyond the few lessons of reading. In my experience I find that younger students who haven’t grown into their adult bodies yet really thrive in learning to read music because the mind drinks things in faster than the fingers can learn it. I really like to take advantage of that time.  

 

 

Do I really need to learn music theory to play? 

Absolutely not! This again comes down to the individual student. My oldest student to date was 79 years old and wanted to learn to play guitar. He said from the outset he didn’t need to learn scales and their names or chords and their names. His goal was to sit around his living room and strum his guitar to make it sound good. This student came to me because he saw my philosophy of teaching everyone individually.  

He was taking lessons in an environment with a set curriculum. I did put my foot down about learning chord names because I felt it was imperative to what he had in mind in the learning of his favorite guitar songs. In the end I gave him his wish and after a couple years of lessons we parted ways. He thanked me and we both left satisfied in a job well done.  

 On the other side of that I had a younger student who was hoping to advance into post high school music learning and possibly go into teaching. Like many students she was very interested in learning her favorite songs. Because she learned and responded best to learning her favorite songs, I taught her the theory behind those songs. I took the approach of a piano teacher and not only taught her the guitar  parts but the bass parts as well. We thoroughly discussed the relationship between treble and bass clef, the relationship between scales vs. chords, between rhythm and melody and had great lessons for her 4 years in high school. Although she didn’t go into music teaching, she did go into teaching so I’ll take that as a win.  

 

 

Have you had and famous students? 

It depends on your definition of famous. I’ve had so many students and lost touch with many of them over the years so its possible. I taught a bass player and two guitar players who eventually formed a band, released two albums and played throughout the Midwest. I’ve had at least 4 students I know of who have become music teachers themselves. I’ve had too many students to count who have released albums and almost all of my students have hit the stage at some point.  

 

 

What is your biggest success as a teacher? 

This one is easy for me. I had mother of a future student call me. He was in 8thgrade and was getting into a lot of trouble in school. Hanging around the wrong crowd, no goals in life, drugs, alcohol, police trouble and a slew of other things and this was all before he started high school. She told me, “He loved music but it was heavy metal.” He had gone through 3 teachers in two locations in just one summer. She liked my philosophy and asked if I’d be willing to take on her troubled son. I agreed and jumped in with both feet. I had an immediate rapport with him before we even started playing. I did have to explain to mom that heavy metal wasn’t the culprit but the savior.  

The reason his other teachers didn’t get through is they didn’t listen to what he had to say and just taught the way they knew how. He wanted to learn metal and nothing else. The other teachers were teaching him blues progressions and things like learning to read Mary had a Little Lamb. This just wasn’t for him. I embraced his desire to learn metal. The lesson isn’t in the music as much as it is in the technique and the knowledge you gain from learning the music. The music is just the vessel for the knowledge and his vessel was metal so we ran with it. 

I snuck in the theory lessons even though he really didn’t want to do it in the beginning.  Once he understood my reasoning behind the theory we worked on he embraced it. 

I have to admit, I’ve never had a student learn as fast as this young man. Once he was put on a path he wanted, his abilities came out. Mom told me after a few months the change in him was miraculous. I taught him from the summer of eighth grade until the summer after he graduated high school, and graduation was something no one thought would ever happen. Towards the end we were working on jazz because he was getting bored with the Metal. He really came full circle and embraced the bass guitar in a very similar way to me. I can only take a little credit here though. He’s the one who put in the work on the days I wasn’t there. He had new questions for me at every lesson. He successfully learned songs on his own. He had a great ear for music and even ear training was easy. He had a natural talent and ability that was bursting to come out and when they did there was no stopping him.  Although I count him as my biggest success I couldn’t have taught him that well without his love and desire to play. All you have to do is listen to the student and they’ll give you their curriculum.