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Guitar for Music Educators Course

July 26, 2013

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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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What I Learned from John Pizzarelli

May 9, 2013

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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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Feedback Through Soundcloud

April 23, 2013

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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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Practicing While the World is On Fire

March 14, 2013

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“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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Using Major and Minor Shells

February 22, 2013

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

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Preparing for Music Studies

February 16, 2013

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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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How to Play in Any Style: Listening

December 11, 2012

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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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Guitar Strumming from Start to Finish

November 5, 2012

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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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Spice Up Simple Chord Progressions

October 23, 2012

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Let’s face it. Some pop tunes have very simple chord progressions. You can really get bored rolling through three chords for an entire tune. It is also not as interesting to listen to three root position chord, played in first position, over and over. Chord inversions are a simple way to spice up a simple […]

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Adding a Moving Line to a Chord

October 15, 2012

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One of the things that can be boring about playing acoustic guitar is having to “hang” on one chord for a long period of time. You can create interest in a static chord by playing with a creative strumming pattern. Not a bad idea. Another way of creating interest is to add a moving line. […]

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