Why Learn Guitar From Me?

When I was a teenager I often felt awkward and disconnected from others. I was shy and spent a lot of time in my head. I begin listening to music.

First I started listening to the radio. Then I began buying my own records. Eventually I started attending concerts. Music helped me to feel happy. Somehow it took me out of my head and helped me feel more connected with myself and to others. And I noticed I wasn't the only one.

When I went camping with friends we would sit around the campfire in the evening and someone would pull out a guitar and start making music. Eventually everyone would start singing and having a great time. I wanted to become that person who could make this joy and sense of community happen through music.

I decided to learn to play guitar.

At first I started out going about it in ways that I now know couldn't possibly have worked. I think I didn't really believe I could do it. If I really went after it and failed I would feel even worse about myself.

I tried watching friends and practicing what I saw them play. Inevitably I picked songs that I liked but we're way too advanced for me to actually play properly.

I bought some books. I quickly found I couldn't tell if I was doing it right. I wasn't disciplined enough to keep trying over and over until I got it.

I eventually realized I needed to get some instructions if I wanted to even have a chance. I found a few teachers.

Looking back I realize I didn't really consider if they were good teachers or not. They could play but they weren't real “teachers”. They would teach me some part of a song I liked one week. Then the next week we’d go on to something different. After several experiences with teachers like this I realized I was wasting my money.

Then something changed in an unexpected way.

I had enrolled in the University and wanted to major in music. I was married and my wife was dead set against the “music major” part. She wanted me to get a “real” job. We compromised and I enrolled as a music minor. This allowed me to have private lessons with the classical guitar instructor at the University.

At my first lesson with Jim he had me play what I was working on. Then he told me I was “butchering” the music and that we would have to go back quite a ways and get a better foundation.

This might seem discouraging to some. But to me this was the first teacher that told me the truth instead of keeping me strung along to keep me paying for lessons. I took it as a sign that he believed I could do this. Imagine that!

This was the beginning of my adventure of discovering the value of learning slow and methodically. Of working on foundation skills step by step without skipping over anything. I uncovered all the ways I was shooting myself in the foot. Over time this gave me more confidence.

Fast forward years later… I recorded 6 CDs of my own original guitar music, performed many concerts and have read moving reviews of how my music has touched others. Nothing in my beginnings could have prepared me for the incredible satisfaction I feel when someone tells me that my music has touched them deep in their heart.

Now I spend most of my time teaching others like you to create joy and that sense of community through music. I believe that the world would be a better place if more people spent their time learning and playing music.

For that reason I want to help you to gain the confidence that you can learn and express yourself through music. I want to teach you the skills to create the music that speaks to you. I want you to be able to pass this on to your children so they can pass it on to their children. So we can all keep creating and experiencing the joy that comes from making music.

This is not just a business for me... It's my life's work.

Music brings people together. It helps people to be better people, happier, have more confidence, and higher self-esteem. This spreads to our friends, family, and our community. Ultimately the world is a better place when more people learn and play music.

I Believe:

  • Continuous learning and growing is a vital part of what leads to a happy fulfilled life.

  • Expressing ourselves through music is our right as human beings. Playing guitar is not reserved for an elite group of gifted individuals. It's the right of anyone who is willing to take up the challenge. Everyone has the ability. It's simply a matter of desire, patience, practice and a proper learning method.

  • Grown-ups can and should continue learning new skills. The key is using the right system and principles that work best for adults. Grown-ups are people of any age that are willing to set aside the “quick-fix” mentality and take on the challenge of real lasting holistic learning. 

  • Slow deep learning is best because it makes a much bigger impact and lasts. 

  • Instead of learning individual songs we teach students to understand and learn how to play the guitar,  then to apply these skills to learning the music they want to play. By teaching universal guitar skills and how to recognize the patterns in music, students will have the same advantages that allow professional guitarists to improvise, play with others, and learn hundreds of songs easily.

  • Learning guitar is fun. But the biggest opportunity comes from the adventure of uncovering our true potential and dispelling beliefs that hold us back. In the process we grow in confidence and self-esteem.

  • Making music brings people together and helps people feel connected with others. 

  • The world is a better place when more people spend their time learning and making music.