October 4, 2017

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Is Time Really on My Side?

I used to think I had so much time with a new guitar student. Four years of guitar study seems like a really long time. Early in my teaching career I realized this was not completely true. I actually had very little time with my guitar students over four years of study. A one-hour lesson […]

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July 1, 2015

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Fingernail Care Tip

For a guitarist, fingernails can be an Achilles heel. Nails are important in shaping the guitarist’s sound. Most guitarists that I know say they have been blessed with “good, strong nails” or “nails that are like paper”. Each of us has a unique approach to nail care and shape. The portion of the nail that […]

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July 26, 2013

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Guitar for Music Educators Course

Today I have launched my first course on Udemy, Guitar for Music Educators. Over the past 5-6yrs I have researched and worked with music educators about guitar programs in secondary education. What I have discovered is music educators that desire to start a program lack the fundamental skills and knowledge to do so. This is […]

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May 9, 2013

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What I Learned from John Pizzarelli

My wife and I attended a John Pizzarelli concert a few weeks ago. Pizzarelli puts on a fantastic show and I’m a big fan. I have seen him in concert before and knew what to expect: great performances from the American Songbook, burning solos, and great story telling. This night, I was assuming, would be […]

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April 23, 2013

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Feedback Through Soundcloud

Consistent feedback is one of the markers of great teaching. Most private music instructors have a limited amount of time with a student each week. A half-hour or hour lesson with a student, once a week, does not provide multiple checkpoints in a week a student could use to deepen their understanding of a piece […]

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March 14, 2013

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Practicing While the World is On Fire

“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.” – Jean de la Bruyere More often than not I feel like I am running around with my hair on fire. My day is packed with a thousand different things that demand my focused attention. I am also […]

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February 22, 2013

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Using Major and Minor Shells

Here is a short video I made about using major and minor shell voicings in acoustic guitar playing.

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February 16, 2013

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Preparing for Music Studies

I’m frequently asked by students what they should do to prepare for their first semester of music studies. It seems most people understand how demanding it can be to earn a degree in music. Prospective students want to make sure they have the proper foundation in music in order to be successful. So, if you […]

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December 11, 2012

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How to Play in Any Style: Listening

Making a living playing guitar is difficult. To be successful as a guitarist you must be able to play in multiple styles, all at a high level. Playing in multiple styles goes beyond playing the correct groove or notes but also includes sound. A guitarist must be able to replicate the vast timbres present in […]

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November 5, 2012

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Guitar Strumming from Start to Finish

One of the greatest mysteries in playing the guitar is strumming patterns. I have had student after student ask me how to strum the guitar like ___ (insert your favorite acoustic guitar player here). The problem I have in answering that question has to do with rhythmic complexity. It would be more confusing for me […]

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