The Blog

Guitar Workshop “Exploring the Fretboard” – Saturday, March 31st

Parker is teaching a Guitar Workshop on Saturday, March 31st from 10:00-11:30 am. The workshop is titled “Exploring the Fretboard” and is great for intermediate to advanced teens and adults.

This session will focus on how to use five open chord shapes to map out the entire fretboard using the CAGED system. This chord based approach to soloing is helpful for the beginning to advanced improviser. If you are tired of playing the same licks or if you are looking to improvise for the first time, this is a great opportunity to learn among fellow Guitar Shedders.

Differences between harmonic concepts, practice techniques and ear training will be discussed. Below are the details…

  • Saturday, March 31st at Guitar Shed
  • 10:00-11:30 am
  • $30 for current students
  • $40 for new students
  • Limited to 20 students

To sign up either send an email to lessons@guitarshedatl.com, or register in the student portal.

March 14, 2018 Comments Off on Guitar Workshop “Exploring the Fretboard” – Saturday, March 31st

Want to teach at Guitar Shed?

NOW HIRING

Experienced piano, violin and voice teachers wanted at Guitar Shed. Must have previous experience teaching in a music school and ability to work with students of all ages (especially kids 5-12) and skill levels. Must pass background check and demonstrate proficiency on your instrument. Music degree is a plus but not required. Please spend a good amount of time on our website. After visiting our website, send resume and cover letter for consideration. Background in music therapy and early childhood education is a plus! Available days are Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays (and potentially Saturdays)

Send resume and cover letter to parker@guitarshedatl.com 

November 17, 2017 Comments Off on Want to teach at Guitar Shed?

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

Fall Calendar 2017 – Important Dates

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

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

Lanta Gras

Next weekend Lanta Gras will be back in Kirkwood for some Mardi Gras celebrations! Join us in supporting live music, music education and our community on Saturday, January 28 at noon. There will be a parade and post-parade festivities in downtown Kirkwood. Live bands and DJ’s from Scratch Academy will be providing the music!

Read more about Lanta Gras on their website here.
“Lanta Gras is a parade with purpose. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to build community and opportunities for children through the common bond of music. Our goal is to establish a program offering brass and percussion musical instruction to middle school and high school children within the historic Atlanta neighborhoods of Kirkwood, East Lake and Edgewood. We hope to provide the instruments, mentorship and instruction to start local Brass Bands, highlighting our children at festivals, events and parades throughout Atlanta. We would love to walk down our streets and hear the echoes of trumpets playing!”

January 19, 2017 Comments Off on Lanta Gras

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?

Have you been to the Library?

….our online Guitar Shed Library that is. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my teaching and a
student of mine suggested in a guitar lesson that I should upload some charts to the website (see we are actually learning from each other).

I have begun the process of adding new songs that students are working on every week. Not only does this show other students at Guitar Shed what songs are being learned, but it saves some valuable lesson time. Now I can just print out a chord chart and we can dig right in. Better yet, students can print out a chart at home if there is a song in the library they are interested in learning. Right now, there are only about 30 songs on the site but hopefully one day there will be hundreds.

Also, feel free to explore the rest of the page for other educational resources. Yesterday, I added a list of GUITAR SHED PRINCIPLES that is also posted in the lobby at Guitar Shed. Until next time, stay tuned and keep shedding!

February 11, 2016 Comments Off on Have you been to the Library?

What songs do you learn at Guitar Shed?

I try to give all of my students the option of learning material that they enjoy. I have heard horror stories for years of people taking lessons and quitting because they were “forced to learn” repertoire that did not interest them. But what do you do if a student has no idea what they want to learn or has trouble communicating what their favorite songs are? If students can’t think of a song or don’t know where to start, I am always happy to pick out a tune that is appropriate with their skill level and capabilities. However, I prefer to give students the option of choosing material first. Not only does this make the student more motivated to practice, but it also exposes me to music that I might not otherwise discover.

Can’t I just look up tabs and chords on the internet? Yes. I encourage students to look up songs on the internet, but (like most things on the internet) to take them with a grain of salt. Play along with the song first. If you can’t figure it out and you’ve explored all of the options, then look up the song. Tabs are a great resource but they leave out one gaping hole. RHYTHM. Granted, sometimes tabs do notate rhythm but it can be clunky and difficult to read. This is where playing along with the song is essential. You get to feel and internalize what it is like to play IN TIME with the song. Want to take it one step further? Make your own chart of the song. Want to take it even further? Throw away your chart after you memorize it. You will still be able to visualize your chart in your head and it will be much easier to remember than a tab or chord chart you found on the internet. Tabs often contain errors with wrong notes, wrong key signatures, song forms etc. So chances are if something sounds wrong to you, it probably is wrong. That’s where the teacher comes in. When a student is struggling with a piece, we are here to help you get through that musical wall.

So do you just learn songs at Guitar Shed? The short answer is no. We do learn a lot of songs, but I always tell my students that I like to “teach through songs.” What does that mean? Each song is unique and I believe they can be used as vehicles to teach important concepts in context. The more songs a student learns, the more context they have to apply musical concepts. This also strengthens the interconnectivity of ideas and allows musicians to adapt to a variety of musical situations. My ideal lesson would be a perfect balance of repertoire and theory. Too much of either and you will fall off the musical tightrope.

So back to the original question. What songs DO you learn at Guitar Shed? Here’s a list of the artists that we are studying right now:

  • Albert King
  • B.B. King
  • Bach
  • Beethoven
  • Bob Dylan
  • Cat Stevens
  • CCR
  • Chopin
  • Daft Punk
  • Dawes
  • Dolly Parton
  • Doug Sahm
  • Eric Clapton
  • Eva Cassidy
  • Gershwin
  • Grateful Dead
  • Harold Arlen
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Horace Silver
  • Jason Isbell
  • Jerry Garcia
  • John Maye
  • John Moreland
  • John Prine
  • John Scofield
  • John Williams
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Neil Young
  • Oingo Boingo
  • Otis Redding
  • Pearl Jam
  • Pete Seeger
  • Peter, Bjorn and John
  • Phish
  • Pink Floyd
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Robert Plant and Alison Kraus
  • Rolling Stone
  • The Allman Brothers
  • The Beatles
  • The Eagles
  • The Magnetic Fields
  • The Rolling Stones
October 26, 2015 Comments Off on What songs do you learn at Guitar Shed?