My name is Gil and I’m the owner of Guitar Studio. I’ve been playing the guitar for over 25 years. (Sheesh, …I’m getting old :P) …but I try to stay young at heart. Thankfully, I have the music to keep me that way. Playing the guitar is my passion. It’s what I was put on this earth to do. There is nothing else in this world that makes me feel more alive than jamming with other musicians, and improvising that part where nobody knows what anybody is going to do next, and we’re all just feeling it out, and sparks of genius are flying around the room, and you play your very best stuff that comes out from deep inside your soul… all of your influences… everything you love about music… comes out of you, and you play something so amazing that everybody in the room feels it. And when you’re done, everybody cheers including the band, because you’ve all reached a high that is so amazing that you can’t find it anywhere else. That is what I live for…
I am almost completely self taught. I’ve only taken 3 formal guitar lessons in my life.
My first lesson was from a friend of my father’s (Ziggy Zarco) who gave me the most awesome lesson you could ever get. It was written completely by hand, charts and all, on some spare paper found in another room. I was taught the names of the notes, how to tune the guitar, open chords, bar chords, the blues scale…. all over a period of about 5 hours. I went home and practiced that material for months trying to understand it all. One day I realized that the bar chords were the same shapes as the open chords but your index finger assumed the place where the open strings would normally be. But I wasn’t sure if this was right… So I called Ziggy and asked him if this was true. He said, “Yeah man! You got it!”. So from then on I was driven.
I decided to go down to the local music store and get some more lessons from the local guitar teacher so I could continue to improve, and gain more knowledge. I was thirsty for more…
He asked me, “Do you want to be the baddest in the land, or do you want to learn other people’s songs?” I said, “I want to be the baddest in the land!” So he said, “OK, play this…” Then he played a really simple finger exercise… I played it almost perfectly the first time. Then he wrote it down in a tablature book. Then he said, “OK, play this…” He played another really simple, random, finger exercise which I could easily play. And then he wrote it down in the tablature book. I was already thinking to myself, “OK, I hope it gets better than this…” After about 5 more of these simple exercises he said, “OK times up, give me my $10…” I was like WTF…. That was lame…
I went home and was completely unchallenged by these exercises so I started having self doubt, and was thinking, maybe I should learn other peoples songs… So I found a song that I wanted to learn. Drop Dead Legs by Van Halen. (Not too hard for a beginner right? LOL)
The next week I went in and handed him the tape and said, “I want to learn other people’s songs.” So he put in the tape, learned the chords one by one and wrote them down in the tablature book. After he got about half way through the song he said, “Times up, give me my $10…” I was like EFF THIS! …I knew I had to find my own way.
On the way out of the store I stopped at the book section and started looking at books on how to play the guitar. I was probably there for over an hour looking at them all. But I found “The One”! The Advancing Guitarist, by Mick Goodrick. I could tell right away that this guy was the master. He had the wisdom of years, and the love of the instrument, and the love of music. I wanted to learn from this guy! There was only one small problem… It was all written in music notation, not tablature… And I didn’t know how to read music… So what to do?… I figured that If I really wanted this, to be able to play this instrument that makes me feel so alive, that I was just going to have to learn how to read music. So I bought the book anyway. Then I bought another book on how to read music so I could read “The One!”
So I began my journey… It started out with the names of the notes, then the names of the intervals between the notes, then the names of the different modes of the major scale, then on to triads and what comprises a chord, (major, minor, augmented, diminished), then onto seventh chords, quartal harmony etc… The foundation of music theory.
However, there were no methods supplied in The Advancing Guitarist. I had to come up with my own methods to teach myself. Which is what I did. It was purely a labor of love.
The Rock Gods were kind enough to put the right obstacles in my path to make me forge my own way, for which I am eternally grateful. Only under adversity do you show your true character.
In the past I’ve had the other guitarists in my bands ask me for guitar lessons which I’ve always loved to do. I feel really good when I see peoples eyes light up at that moment when they “get it”.
So after many years of a career where I trade the hours of my life away for money, doing things that I don’t really want to do, I’m finally following the advice of, “If you do what you love for a living, you will never work a day in your life.”
So the Guitar Studio is born. It is another labor of love.
When you get lessons from me you will learn what to do, and why to do it that way. I will start you off on the same path that I learned (Chords, Blues Scale, easy songs that utilize the chords you are using) but it will be customized for you.
I will supply you with backing tracks that you can play on your computer or mp3 player, or burn to a CD, so you have something to play along with to make the journey more enjoyable.
You will get access to your own private area on my website where all of your lessons will be stored so you can review any past lessons or just see how far you’ve come along. It will all be in one place so you’ll never lose it.
I use technology to make learning faster and easier for you.
My philosophy when it comes to music, is that there are ONLY 2 rules.
1. If it sounds good, it IS good.
2. Music should be FUN!
What it all really boils down to, in the long run, is that everything you learn: chords, scales, names of musical structures, are really only “guidelines” to help you play what you hear in your head and feel in your heart.
So follow your heart…
Lessons that last a lifetime… at the Guitar Studio.