You’re studying with a full time performing musician.
I play music for a living and I have ever since I’ve been legally allowed in a bar. I received my BA in music from UMBC with an emphasis in performance and music education. I’ve played in rock bands, country bands, jazz combos, orchestra, and countless other acoustic duos and trios. I’ve had to learn a lot of music over the years and I know what goes into understanding music, learning a lot of music in a short amount of time, and even playing songs you’ve never heard before on the fly. Whether your goal is to play professionally or not I want to help you get to a place where you'd know what to expect and feel confident at a gig.
We’re going to learn to practice.
Practicing is a skill in itself. It takes a good plan and the discipline to stick with it in order to use your time most effectively and I want to set you up in each lesson with a clear game plan of what to work on and how.
I take on a limited number of students.
I used to teach at a local music store (which I loved and sadly had to quit after 7 years due to my gigging and touring schedule taking off). When I was there I might have 20-30 different students a week. The difference I noticed between having 20+ students vs 5-10 is that with 20+ the only time I have for you is when you’re in front of me. With that many students I don’t have time to listen to the song you wanted to learn ahead of time, think about different approaches to what topic we’re currently covering, or write detailed responses to a question you have during the week. With a smaller number of students I can do those things. I even find myself thinking about my upcoming lessons throughout the week at gigs or while practicing. It happens all of the time where whoever I’m playing with calls a song and I’ll think about how well that song fits with the topic we just covered at our last lesson and then think of ways we can go over it.
Keeping my student roster short also helps me stay excited for every lesson. I absolutely love playing music but if I have a 10 gig week chances are I’m a little less excited by the time I’m getting in my car to drive to gig 9 or 10. It’s the same with teaching or anything else. Keeping a very manageable number of students keeps me from burning out and helps me be as effective a teacher as I can be.
I teach because I love it, not because I have to.
I really look forward to getting together with each one of my students, no really. My main source of income is performing, whether it be touring overseas or playing at the local bar on the weekend, and I do fine with that. I teach because not only do I love playing music, I love talking about playing music too! I enjoy taking apart a musical “problem” you’re having and coming up with 3 or 4 different ways to think about a solution. Whenever I try to talk to my wife or friends about chord progressions, or modes, or great bass players they never seem to care very much, but you want to pay me to do that? Absolutely!
I’m available anywhere.
I offer lessons in person at my home studio in Pasadena, Maryland as well as online via Skype or Zoom. If you check my tour schedule and you see that I’m performing near you and you’d be interested in an in person lesson, reach out and we’ll see if we can make it work. Initially I was skeptical of offering Skype lessons until I had someone express interest in studying with me that lived on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. I decided to give it a shot and I was very impressed at how seamless it was. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not in the same room, it really is the next best thing to an in person lesson. It is helpful for you to have a metronome and a way to listen to music on your end so you can play along but we can talk about what you need to do in order to get set up for online lessons when you email me.
My rates are $55 / £45 for an hour lesson at my studio or online. Rates for travelling depend on distance.
PS If you’re having a tough time financially but are really passionate about learning to play bass shoot me an email and explain your situation. I'll do my best to work with you.