Guitarbeau, Musician Teacher Northwest Tucson Marana

On Teaching
Teaching is an art, requiring among other things, patience. I have had many opportunities to reflect on and realize this. Also I have been made aware of a need to rethink certain methods of instruction on occasion.
Realizing I was not getting through to a student was one instance. Knowing how to do something does not mean one will be able to explain to someone else, how to do it. I paraphrase a quote that comes to mind, read in Readers Digest years ago.
“An education is something you give to yourself”.
To me that means, despite the best efforts of teachers, the most interesting of presentations and the most comprehensive materials, we don’t learn because these exist, but because we want to. In many cases we have to learn things like walking, talking etc… But more often the subjects we study are chosen. So when a desire to learn is there, and as there are, ever increasing and evolving methods with which to acquire that education, the means of ones choosing are almost secondary.

There is no one way to acquire a skill, which is not to say a teacher is irrelevant to any course of study. But a learner must possess that which the teacher does not, an interest in learning.

The aforementioned ‘method I had to rethink’ was due in no small part to a communication error, a misunderstanding of what was expected and how to best deliver the information.
An older student wanted to improve his skill in music but his desired path was not the one I was attempting to put him on.
My method at the time, was regimented, orderly, think checklist, and focused on making progress, while his was on enjoying the process in a more casual way. Less structure more fun. Not understanding this at the time we parted ways. I don’t imagine he lost his interest  to continue though, as he had made a small investment in his instrument and education materials. He just needed a more ‘in tune’ teacher.

How to prevent a communication breakdown.

Listening of course is key, asking for clarification very helpful. Not being predisposed or presumptuous for that matter on the direction to take when endeavoring to instruct can be instrumental. I try to employ these skills when privileged to teach.

One can also learn while teaching. A student can bring new music or a technique to the process that wasn’t originally part of the program, perhaps challenging the current capabilities and humility of the teacher to under take development of said new music and or technique.

Some of my more advanced students have helped me to appreciate this possibility, I find inherent in teaching. Of course ones own knowledge is enhanced by showing another how to acquire skills within their interest. So if you are a life long learner show someone what you know and prepare to be enlightened as you uncover a new way to look at what you know!

So why use a teacher when there is YOUTUBE, the internet, CD’s DVD’s, Books?

Reasonable question, I use these methods at times as well to pick up a new tune or technique. Some things a teacher can provide:

Encouragement, if I can do it you can!
Incentive, someones going to hear me I better practice!
Observation of application of the instruction, am I doing this right? this can lead to faster more relevant progress.
Having a live teacher also shows a sincere commitment to see the effort through.

That being said, I am currently accepting new students for the Guitar and/or Electric Keyboard. I have been playing and learning the Guitar for 36 + years and have been developing my Keyboard abilities for about 8 years. I teach rock and pop music primarily, I can teach you how to read music, or tablature, or learn songs by ear. I have developed a tool useful for understanding some of the more complicated musical theory concepts to a single page, as in modes, scales and chords.
One of the main benefits that I can provide is that I come to you, (Marana, Northwest Tucson) besides the fore mentioned patience, listening ability and methods available to acquire and advance musical skill. But if you prefer a by the book approach I can accommodate that as well. There are many avenues to learn by. We can use whatever method you deem appropriate. No long term commitment necessary, if you just want a single lesson that is ok. If interested email or contact me at:
Or call & leave message please 520-638-8949 Bill L
Thank you for your consideration.

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Ok, Where to begin?

So this is a new endeavor for me (blogging), hopeful that it will generate some interest, both for myself and anyone who finds this here. My reach for musical proficiency began in earnest one Christmas after receiving a plastic rifle as a gift. I immediately strapped it over the shoulder and began to strum it as a guitar! Infatuated with music making, I continued a never ending, albeit intermittent climb to musical aspirations that remain forever on the horizon. As a child singing along with a limited but formidable number of 45 rpm records, I would channel Elton John’s ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ at the top of my lungs whilst enjoying the sonic sugar high with headphones on. Those outside the headphone induced delirium I was enjoying,  thought otherwise about my present abilities to carry a tune. I don’t remember the exact phrasing used to quash my efforts at out loud singing ‘practice’ but it did and still does give pause for concern. Though I can, given the right opportunity, publicly display skill in this regard (singing), There is a struggle to put it out there. But do continue the search for opportunity to do so.

Sometime later I received a much desired acoustic guitar, which was not as easy to play as the aforementioned rifle, but I would soldier on as it were with the help of a lovely young guitar teacher Miss Staci Misiti, if I remember correctly. She would walk me through the ‘Mel Bay’ learn to play guitar method. Once I broke a string and thought the guitar was forever broken, I cried like a little baby, emotional memories seem to last forever. Time passed interest waned but never left. A few acoustic guitars later, I got my first electric guitar and that was the real beginning of my musical journey. Armed with a proper desire to learn to play, to impress girls, I got lessons from the local guitar hero and began to get an education in rock that I was not privy to before. Being the oldest I had no elder brother or sister to inform my ears of music that was available besides top 40 radio. My Teacher at that time Marc Schumman (Marc Ferrari in the 80’s I think) Began my musical sojourn into hard rock guitar with bands like Aerosmith, Van Halen, Ted Nugent etc… Practicing in earnest I impressed my teacher but still didn’t quite understand the music he would try to teach me. I being a KISS fan new nothing of Led Zeppelin. An overlooked bit of music history that time had no problem helping me to correct. That and friends who would become the source input for the sonic impetus driving much of my formative musical training.

My first band. Me and Bob Alcott formed ‘Red Freaks Don’t Smoke’ He new what it alluded to,  I did not, and still don’t. They say 3 chords can say so much, but we only knew 3 notes before we took our show to the patio, at which time we were promptly hailed as guitar heroes via the ‘tossing of the proverbial empty bottle’ at our stage. This was not the last time some one would think so much of my stage presence as to throw something! That one really hurt, not the first one though. We were noticed, and there is no such thing as bad publicity! (Stone to the side of the head not withstanding)

Many, many lessons and practice sessions later with maybe 3 songs under our belt, we audition a drummer to round out our trio. The guy showed up with the biggest drum set I’d ever seen and a professional ability that far out weighed our own. I guess my sales ability on the phone and overt optimism about what we were capable of got him to show up. Why he stayed that afternoon I’ve no idea, but first time with a drummer and I was hooked. Rock n roll even our basic version of ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ in the garage that day sold me on the unflappable desire to continue this course and try again.

Again and again. The impetus to make rock music had borrowed deep and there were quite a few others that also entertained this obdurate wish to annoy our families, from the basement or, the neighbors from the attic on a Sunday morning. Restating famous guitar riffs and songs that got ever faster and harder (dynamically). We bore the names of our tribe, Warlord, Blitzkrieg with honor. And a determined preoccupation to not be associated with any other style of music than the ‘hard rock’, which been channeled into our brains as our fingers and feet would follow as best we could, to impress ourselves as well as, the beer drinking population that would tolerate the caterwauling we were capable of.

And so it went on, Wedding Receptions, Clubs, Pubs, Battles of the Bands, Private Parties, Writing and Recording, Teaching, Jamming. I always enjoy trying to make a performance a thing to behold, rehearsals could get discouraging depending on many things, not the least of which was how often we could get together. Once a month is not going to cut it to perform regularly, too often and it may sound uninspired. Then there are the leaders of the band that can be demanding to the point of  dictatorship, that can be demoralizing. And yet to get out there and play, make something happen sonically as well as the myriad other ways music can affect us is still the main goal, of wanting to be a musician in the first place. Of course it can also be for private amusement, one does not need to want to perform to want to play. But I think if you develop something to the point that it makes you happy, you will probably want to share that at some time to make another happy.

À la prochaine (until next time)


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Where are you?

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Today the universe reminds, that we are not always necessary, but might be glad we are here.


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