After yet another month-long bout with laryngitis (yikes!!!!) I am back in the saddle, not only performing but teaching, too, for the first time in a few years. I’m really enjoying the process of showing some folks who are new to fingerstyle how to lend a new level of subtlety and expressiveness to their playing. If you’re in the Santa Cruz area and would like to learn fingerstyle technique yourself, it would be my pleasure to show you the ropes – read on! This post is for you.
I teach because I know I have something to offer that’s fundamentally different, bringing students an empowering advantage, now and in the long term. Along with the depth of understanding that comes from having played this style of guitar for 20 years, my education and experience also have a distinctive breadth. Playing with creative satisfaction, getting the most value out of the practice time we put in, and in a way that’s safe and sustainable for the human body over the long-term, are all elements that any musician needs to address. It’s a little of everything, from music theory and instrumental technique, to anatomy and cognitive psychology. Fortunately, however, you don’t have to spend the next ten years of your life pursuing degrees and certificates trying to understand all these topics.
That’s because I’ve done that for you.
It took me a few tries to figure out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, but parts of everything I studied along the way turned out to be to my advantage as a musician and as a guitar instructor. As a professional massage therapist, educated in psychology at the graduate level, and having done almost as much classical guitar and music theory coursework as I did for my major as an undergraduate, I look at things through many lenses. The wonderful thing about that is that I can draw your attention to what I see and give you a glimpse through the same lens I’m using. I can help you learn simple, practical ways to work with the mind and body to make best use of their potential, rather than struggling blindly against their limitations. I go far beyond explaining how to read tablature or how to make the best use of Travis picking patterns, into the seemingly little things that make all the difference in the world.
Knowing just a little about how chords are put together can unlock a host of possibilities for new sounds.
A simple change in hand position can change the tone color of the instrument and help develop the mood and meaning we want to express.
For some of us, a minor adjustment in the way we hold the guitar or put our picking arm over the body of it can expand the boundaries of what we’re physically able to play. For some, it may also reduce our long-term risk of repetitive strain injuries from playing in ways that needlessly stress our hands, arms, or even our spines.
In the long term I hope to be able to offer lessons online, but until I find the right technology to teach beyond local (or for that matter, national) borders…Santa Cruz locals, I’m all yours! If you’re interested, please contact me for details.