What ages do you accept for lessons?

Ages 14 and up. I specialize in adults and teens.

If your child is too young to work with me, I recommend working with one of the other music schools in the area that specializes in younger students. Leffler Academy, just a few blocks from my studio does great work with kids.

If your child is younger than 8 you might consider piano lessons for a year or two. The piano is less physically demanding than guitar and will still give them the fundamentals of music (which will apply to any instrument they might play later) and keep them interested in playing music until they’re a little older.

If you have a child under age 5, you might consider a KinderMusik-type program. Those programs use a variety of instruments and techniques to give your child a strong music-learning base that they can expand on with their chosen instrument when they’re older. In my experience, starting earlier on a specific instrument doesn’t lead to faster or more thorough learning. A child starting piano at age 3 and playing 3 years, and a child starting at 5 and playing 1 year will both end up at about the same level.

Do you offer online lessons?

​You betcha, Sparky! If you’re too far away or traffic is just a little too crummy to get to my studio, we can do your lessons online from anywhere in the world.  It’s also sometimes a good way to get a lesson in while I’m on tour.

​Am I too old to learn music? Can I become good at playing music if I’m starting late in life?

Absolutely you can!  If one of my former students, a 70 year old man in a wheel chair learning how to play gypsy jazz guitar, is any example, it’s never too late to learn music.

The only thing that can hold you back from becoming the musician you want to be is if you can’t (or choose not to) commit to focused and consistent practice time.  You don’t need to put in 8 hours a day like some child prodigy to become really good.  But you do need to consistently practice and put in the work to accomplish your musical goals.

Worrying about your age is just an imaginary mental barrier.  All you need to do is find out what you need to practice to reach your specific goals as a guitarist (that’s where I can help you) and then actually go practice those things. It’s a fail-proof plan for musical success. 

How much time do I need to spend practicing?

A good starting point is 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week.  The #1, super duper, mega gigante important thing that will help you become a good musician is consistency.  Your time with me during your lesson once per week will be for me to teach you new skills and concepts to work on and to check up on how your doing with whatever I’ve given you to practice.  The real work happens in your daily practice sessions at home.

Unfortunately there’s no good way to “cram” for music.  Learn to play an instrument is all about developing muscle memories in your hands.  And the only way to do that is through consistent daily practice.  (Like sports, but tinier, and with less sweat.) You’ll find that you advance much quicker towards your goals practicing 30 minutes per day than you would cramming in 4 hours once a week.

In your lessons, I’ll show you exactly how to structure your practice sessions in a way that is super efficient and still keeps things fun.  Learning HOW to practice is just as important as WHAT to practice.  And I’ll show you every trick I’ve learned in my decades as a player, performer, and teacher to learn this stuff quickly.

Can I do drop-in lessons instead of a regular weekly schedule?

If you are a beginner, regular weekly lessons are going to ensure that you’re staying consistent with your practicing and let me introduce new concepts to you regularly to keep you engaged and excited about playing music.

But if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, not improving further, find yourself playing the same songs over and over, and don’t really understand how the music all fits together, then you need me to set you on a course for breaking up old ruts and habits and getting you back on track to becoming a better musician.  And that happens by visiting me weekly.

That said, Drop-Ins are welcome during Group Lab Sessions wherever there’s room.

​How long will it take me to get good at my instrument?

Somewhere between the ads claiming “Learn guitar in 30 days!” and Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours to mastery lies the answer to this question. The problem is, that answer if different for everyone.  The good news is that YOU are in total control of the answer!

For that reason, no good music teacher will give you an answer to that question without having sat down with you to devise a plan that leads you to your musical goals.

What’s your idea of good? – Do you want to just be able to strum songs with your friends or kids?  Or do you want to be a monster shred demon that takes on pieces by Steve Vai, Rachmaninoff, or John Coltrane?  Different goals take different amounts of time to attain.

How much time are you going to commit? – 30 minutes per day is a minimum amount of practice time.  The more time you put in, using efficient practice techniques (that I’ll show you), the more you’re going to be able to accomplish.  

Keep in mind, music is not a race.  You don’t have to be in a hurry, even though I’ll move you towards your musical goals as quickly as I can.  But you’re the one in control of how much and how quickly you improve on your instrument.

​Will I be running scales and arpeggios for hours on end?

​Early in the process, no!  They’re tedious and not much use early on.  Eventually there will be a time to learn that stuff, but I’ll show you how to make them musical and immediately useful so you’re not left wondering what the point of it all is.

My girlfriend and I were out on a walk the other day and heard piano scales coming from someone’s house.  She immediately started telling me stories of how she hated her music lessons as a kid because of those scales.  I want to create great memories for you instead!

​Will there be recitals?

​Most of my students are playing for their own enjoyment and the idea of a recital isn’t appealing.  However if you are interested in performing, joining a band, etc, I can show you the ropes on how to do that.  I’ve performed thousands of shows and I’m happy to share my road warrior knowledge.

​Do you teach towards testing and certifications?

​No. There are certifications and “levels” and competitions and such out there in the music world.  But to me that’s never been the point of playing music.  It’s called “playing” music for a reason.  It’s fun!  You can learn all the same skills and become just as good a musician without ever being judged on it.

​How can I earn free lessons?

​You can earn free lessons through my referral program.  When you refer someone to me for lessons, after they pay for their first month, you’ll receive a free lesson.

Got more questions?  Hit that contact button and be happy to answer them.