The Blog

Winter Recital Details

Our Kids Recital is this Sunday and the Teens and Adults Recital is the following Sunday! We are very excited to hear you all perform! Read on for all of the details on both recitals and feel free to reach out with any questions…

KIDS RECITAL – Sunday, December 10th

TEENS AND ADULTS RECITAL – Sunday, December 17th

Photo Release: We will have a photographer at both recitals, if you would prefer that you or your child not be photographed please let us know.
Attire: casual, only dress up if you want to 🙂
Poster: Pick up your free poster at the Shed if you haven’t already.

Let us know if you have any questions and…..stay tuned!

December 4, 2017 Comments Off on Winter Recital Details

iGen + Music = Happiness

After listening to a segment on NPR about generation “iGen” I couldn’t help but think about the role music plays in mental health. iGen refers to children born in the mid 1990’s or later and is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. Most of our young students at Guitar Shed fall into this age range and are doing great things to not succumb to the pitfalls of their generation. They are playing music!

You know what is great about music lessons? During a lesson we are playing music, and if we do use our phones (which is very rare) it is for a tuner or a metronome…not Snapchat or Instagram. Students and teachers are developing a relationship in the real world without distractions.

Music lessons also get people out of the house! There is a reason we don’t do in-home lessons or online lessons at Guitar Shed. Community. We see all of our students and families every week and watch them grow with each performance. We know about their struggles and victories, encouraging them every step of the way.

Studies show that teenagers in iGen are much physically safer, but on the brink of a mental health crisis. Some of the negative impacts that have been linked to too much screen time are loneliness, depression, isolation, sleep deprivation, increased suicide attempts, lack of focus… the list goes on.

An article about iGen in the Atlantic gives the following advice…. “Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen.” Although iGen is the target of this discussion, we adults are not immune either. There are countless benefits to playing and learning an instrument, but now we all need music more than ever.

August 31, 2017 Comments Off on iGen + Music = Happiness

Guitar Ensemble is Back! September 13 – December 13

We are excited to announce the return of Guitar Ensemble in the fall of 2017! Students ages 9-14 are encouraged to enroll. During the classes we will focus on ensemble playing, rhythm, dynamics, good tone, and creativity. This is a great way to augment private lessons and give your children the opportunity to make music with their peers. The classes will culminate in a final performance at our recital on December 17.

All sheet music will be provided. There will be no make-up classes, but we are happy to adjust invoices prior to payment if you will be absent. In order to perform in the summer recital, students must attend at least 10 of the 14 classes. The Guitar Ensemble is directed by Alex Gordon and limited to 8 students.

September 13 – December 13 (No class October 18)

Wednesdays from 7:00-7:50 pm

Tuition is $25 per class. To register, either signup in our online portal or send us an email. Tuition will be pro-rated and added to your monthly invoice.

August 23, 2017 Comments Off on Guitar Ensemble is Back! September 13 – December 13

Fall Calendar 2017 – Important Dates

  • December 17
August 3, 2017 Comments Off on Fall Calendar 2017 – Important Dates

Practicing Tools – Recommended Software

Many of my students know that I like to utilize a few different software programs in our lessons. Here are the main three that I use on a daily basis.


Metronomics 

Price: $4.99 mobile app $7.99 desktop

This is my favorite metronome to use because it is easy to use and there are several features for the advanced musician as well. Many kids complain about metronomes because the sound of the “click” is annoying. This app is great because you can choose from several different percussion instruments (i.e. bongos, snare drum, wood blocks, etc.). You can also build your own drum grooves to make a drum loop that sounds very realistic. Within each instrument you can control the volume, probability, and subdivision length. All of that at a very friendly price!


Transcribe

Price: $39 desktop only

I tell all of my students “this is what got me through college.” As a music major I had many assignments to transcribe complex pieces. The most important feature of this software is the ability to SLOW things down without altering the pitch. There are several other programs out there, but I have been using this for 10 years and they are continually updating it with improvements. In the “old days” musicians would slow down the speed of a record player to try and learn songs by ear. This is the 21st century version of that same concept, time to get on board and use your ears folks!


iReal

Price: $12.99 mobile app $19.99 desktop

This app is a game changer. A “Real Book” is a collection of charts that has been used in Jazz for decades. This software takes that concept to a whole new level. There are robust play-a-long features, the ability to create your own charts and vast forums online to download songs from. All of the charts in the forums are free and as you can see from the screenshot, my collection includes bluegrass, blues, jazz and more. If you are looking for software and jam tracks to play-a-long too, look no further.

July 12, 2017 Comments Off on Practicing Tools – Recommended Software

Now Offering Drum Lessons!

We are very excited to announce that drum lessons are starting at the Shed! Zack Albetta will be teaching drums to students ages 8 and up. Lessons are available in 30 or 60 min time slots on Tuesdays starting June 6th.

This has been in the works for a while and now that our remodeling and soundproofing is complete, we are ready to start making some noise. Times are filling up, so register today to guarantee your spot.

Read more about Zack below…

Zack Albetta has been playing and teaching professionally for 15 years. He grew up in Santa Fe, NM, where he began playing drums at age 8. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance, a Master of Music in percussion performance, and a Master of Arts in jazz and studio performance. From 2003 to 2010, Zack lived in Kansas City, MO and was a first call drummer in that city’s rich and historic jazz scene.

In 2010, he moved to Los Angeles, where he expanded his jazz resume, played dozens of musicals for the region’s top theatre companies, and became a staff musician at Disneyland. In 2016, he and his wife relocated to Atlanta, where he has hit the ground running with top acts such as Atlanta Funk Society, The Equinox Orchestra, and Delta Moon. As an educator, Zack has taught everything from beginning private lessons to college classes with students ranging from ages 8 to 80.

May 25, 2017 Comments Off on Now Offering Drum Lessons!

Songwriting 101 – Sunday, May 21

Want to write songs but don’t know where to start? Anyone with a basic knowledge of music can write a song! Learn how to put together a chord progression, a melody, and lyrics to create a lasting piece of art to call your own. We will discuss common song forms, study some techniques of the great songwriters throughout history, and every student will leave the workshop with their own original song!

Brandon has been writing songs for 10+ years, both as a solo artist and with various bands over the years. He has approached songwriting from both a self-taught perspective and under the systems of the classical tradition. We will learn some of the basic “rules” for songwriting, and in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion, learn how to break them.

$30 for Current Students
$40 for Non Students

Sign up in our online portal at www.guitarshedatl.com or email lessons@guitarshedatl.com

March 31, 2017 Comments Off on Songwriting 101 – Sunday, May 21

Guitar Ensemble is Back!

We are excited to announce the return of Guitar Ensemble! Begins Sunday, March 5. Register in our student portal or email lessons@guitarshedatl.com

February 3, 2017 Comments Off on Guitar Ensemble is Back!

Cayamo

In a few weeks I will be embarking on my first Cayamo cruise. Cayamo is one of many music festivals at sea organized by Atlanta based production company Sixthman. Sixthman has been creating music festivals at sea since 2001 and I first attended one of their cruises playing guitar for Eric Dodd in 2010 on Zac Brown’s Sailing Southern Ground Cruise.

Since first hearing about Sixthman, I have always had my eye on Cayamo. Each one of their cruises has a different theme and Cayamo has been dubbed the “singer-songwriter” cruise. This year’s lineup includes Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Shawn Mullins, Jim Lauderdale, North Mississippi Allstars and more. Previous lineups have included Lyle Lovett, John Prine, John Hiatt, Jason Isbell, Bruce Hornsby and The Wood Brothers. No shortage of talent on this boat!

I am honored to be offering three guitar workshops throughout the week….

  1. Strumming & Finger Picking Patterns (Beginner)
  2. Alternative Songwriting Techniques (Intermediate)
  3. Exploring the Fretboard – Lead Guitar and Songwriting (Intermediate/Advanced)

I will be out of town from February 19-26 but our new office manager, Rebecca will be taking good care of the Shed. Keep an eye out for some of these workshops coming to the Shed soon and stay tuned!

January 24, 2017 Comments Off on Cayamo

When did you start playing guitar?

I received my first guitar for Chanukah in December of 1996. I was 10 years old and I can vividly remember unwrapping the large box in our living room and seeing the hardshell case. At first I thought it was a trombone (not sure why) but then as I pulled the case out of the box I realized it was an acoustic guitar. I had been asking for a guitar for what seemed like eons, so the moment was surreal. My mom thought the guitar would be just like the gameboy, sega genesis, computer, baseball cards, movies, and million other material things that I needed to have and discarded along the way. Fortunately for both of us the guitar stuck.

It was a modest Mitchell acoustic guitar and it came with a book and videotape. My excitement was met with some initial frustration and confusion when I opened the book and watched the video. Like any kid, I wanted instant gratification and wanted everything to sound amazing right away. This was not my first time picking up guitar; but up until then my exposure was limited to watching adults strumming chords and friends showing me simple one string riffs on their guitars. Hearing and seeing all of this new information for the first time was overwhelming and I didn’t know where to start. Also, it did not sound amazing.

For the moment it was back to my one string riffs and turning the pegs on the end of the guitar so they all lined up (kids don’t try this at home). My curiosity and determination won over and eventually I was able to play some recognizable melodies. This was the beginning of a lifelong journey that continues to this day. I’m still looking forward to learning that next song.

If your child expresses a specific interest in an instrument, get them one! Sign them up for lessons. You’ll never know if it will stick unless you try.

September 30, 2016 Comments Off on When did you start playing guitar?