The Blog

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?

Favorite Albums of 2015

Do you ever finding yourself listening to the same music over and over again? If the answer is yes, look no further. The year 2015 is coming to a close and it has been a great year for music. Some of my favorite artists have continued to forge new territory and grow creatively.

One of the great things about being a guitar teacher is that students can turn you on to some really great stuff. It’s time for me to pass some of that great stuff along as well as some of my own discoveries. This is not a “Best of 2015” list. Notice I chose the word “Favorite”….completely my opinion. The list is also not ranked, so feel free to shuffle. I’ve chosen one song from each album, but all of these albums are worth a listen. Enjoy!

You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here!

FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2015

 

Fruition – Holehearted Fools

Chick Corea Trio – Trilogy

Lettuce – Crush

Chris Stapleton – Traveller

Infamous Stringdusters – Undercover

Warren Haynes – Ashes and Dust

John Moreland – High on Tulsa Heat

The Wood Brothers – Paradise

John Scofield – Past Present

Ryan Adams – 1989

Dave Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete

Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands

My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall

Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

Let Me Get By – Tedeschi Trucks Band (2016)

November 23, 2015 Comments Off on Favorite Albums of 2015

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?

Grand Opening!

I am very excited to announce that we will be opening in August in Atlanta! This has been in the works for a while and I can’t wait to share the new space with all of you. Guitar Shed will be located in the historic Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta (est. 1899). The official start date is August 1, but I am pre-enrolling students for lessons now. REGISTER HERE to guarantee a lesson time. The address is:

1610 Hosea L Williams Dr NE (Suite E)
Atlanta, GA. 30317

 

Kirkwood is centrally located and bordered by the neighborhoods of Candler Park, Lake Claire, Edgewood, Oakhurst and East Lake. The neighborhood has a rich history and the studio is directly across the street from Coan Park. Below are some pictures of the space, but I will be posting some more pictures once we move in and get things up and running. Stay tuned for more information about the grand opening party!

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First look at the space

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Interior view from the lobby

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Exterior view from the lobby

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View of the back room

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Coan Park is directly across the street!

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Mural across the street

July 1, 2015 Comments Off on Grand Opening!