Chris has been playing the guitar for over 18 years both professionally and recreationally. He’s taught specialized rock masterclasses as far as Dublin, Ireland; played at Guitar Conferences in Chicago; and even taken over bars in places like Hong Kong on a whim with crowd-pleasing instrumental interpretations of popular music (ask him about his instrumental version of Eye of the Tiger)!
Let’s face it. He’s also a complete goofball, ultra nerd, and a master of the terribly timed pun. You’ve been warned.
Okay so that sounds cool and all, but what does it mean?
To make a very long rant/story as short as possible, most people that take guitar lessons (or any instrument for that matter) are typically taught in a way that they become dependent on a piece of paper (or their memory). For classical musicians, it’s sheet music; for worship teams and/or cover bands, it’s chord sheets; and for guitar players, it’s tabs. Seriously, look at the comments of some of the amazing covers on YouTube and you’ll see things like “Do you have the tabs for that” and “Can anyone tell me where the sheet music is” all over the place!
While we will start with the “paper” approach to music, and it’s important to know your part in a band/performance situation, at the end of the day you aren’t really being a musician yourself in this kind of situation. You’re stuck performing whatever some other musician’s vision was, not showcasing your own. We will try to teach you in a way that allows you to grow out of this dependence as much as possible towards developing your own style and musicianship.
I don’t write this to belittle anyone that learns their favorite songs, plays in cover bands, etc. It’s definitely possible to have a great time and put your own twist on things in this way!
I believe the real fun begins when you have the ability to understand music as a language, because at the end of the day that’s what it is: a way to communicate our thoughts and feelings through a universal medium. When you understand the language of music, you can reinterpret songs at will, improvise killer solos, and have more fun overall instead of relying solely on a piece of paper or your memory.
Basically, it’s the difference between being able to recite a poem into another language and being able to have a conversation in that language. I hope that makes sense to you, and we will definitely go over this in more detail in person!
While we will definitely go to the whiteboard and take the time to explain practical music theory, fretboard visualization techniques, and more when necessary, for the most part we take a very "let's do the thing first, then talk about it" approach instead of the classic "hey look, man, here's this music idea thingo for you to think about, okay? *spends 15-25 minutes talking* Oh, would you look at that, we're almost out of time. So, yeah anyways, make sure to practice that thing, see you later!"
There is of course, a lot more to the way that we teach here, but long story short, we are believers in doing things, not just talking about them.