I seriously love guitar. In a way, it's all I think about; it's the lens through which I communicate with the world. It has taught me about myself and how to move things around.
I started this site in 2006 from a trapezoidal bungalow in the heart of Naptown, Indianapolis, IN. What began as a fun way to organize my teaching and learn how to build a website, became an integral part of a lifestyle.
If you have surfed the site, I hope it is clear that I care deeply about our subject. I absolutely love guitar and teaching folks how to go about learning to play it. The site is in its 8th year of offering content for anyone looking to integrate guitar playing into their lifestyle. I believe that meeting our goals with relative ease and in comfortable time-lines is attainable by everyone.
After teaching for 20 years, I've come to the conclusion that we don't need to know a million things and that enjoyment and positive memories are as important as knowing and being able to do a bunch of 'things'. Rather, there are primary practices, which overlap, and carry our development forward in a fun and intuitive way.
Many of us don't have time for a dense library of information. We simply want to learn to jam while keeping it fun. There is a lot of information on the site, with more being added weekly, yet most of us don't need everything found on the site. Explore! is a vault of articles I've written over the last decade on a bunch of topics.
Rather than trying to learn 1000's of things, we engage in practices, that when done with clarity, provide a basis for steady, life-long growth as a player. I have sought to distill much of what I understand about guitar into digestable interconnected clusters of information. All of which I have found effective and enjoyable. And, my methods continue to deepen as I learn and experience more daily. Guitar is my life's work.
Now, I do promote learning from as many sources as you deem appropriate for your development. Everyone can be a teacher. In my methodology, I seek to simplify many so called hard-to-do things and have attempted to use simple language to convey essential musical ideas. If you are a guitar coach, I hope that my efforts can assist you in your own teaching endeavors [maybe even saving you from years of trial and error; even though that is how it typically ends up working anyway].
In my experience, learning to play guitar does not happen like this...
Development isn't a tidy row of absolutely sequenced events, leading one to the next, that somehow add up to be a great guitarist.
It occurs more like this...
In contrast to a strict linear view, I think learning happens by exploring an array of topics in an intuitive manner. We explore a topic, then another. Or, we take multiple views and action on a given topic. We bounce around the map, following our internal cues. We build an experience that directs us. This way, we can always expand, never stagnate, and we aren't stuck in a fixed course. We choose our next move.
If we compared guitar to a huge buffet [which it is]: we can only carry so much on our plate at once, and carry so many plates. In some areas, we excel quickly, in others, it takes longer. Some topics are rarely, if ever, touched. And, some topics can be over-explored, sometimes to the point where an imbalance can occur in our learning system. Every one sets their goals, some simple, others complex, yet I think it is important to realize that all of us have the same access to the materials of music [rhythm, melody, harmony, and timbre] and the same physical equipment as everyone else. I am most often impressed by beginner's musical actions rather than the greats. The first time a beginner improvises can be some of the most powerful stuff out there.
Yes, to study with me means to think and to feel and to evaluate and to let go and to honor your musicianer self. When we do this, guitar becomes enlivening. And we never get boxed in and our process rarely, if ever, stifles. We are free to go in any direction at any time. I think this is when the instrument truly comes alive. Boredom does not arise; unfiltered guitar goodness does.
I've been playing for 30 years and teaching for over 20. I have two degrees in Music [BM in Classic Guitar and MS in Music Technology], and do use what I learned during those years of study. Yet, more than anything, I rely on tonal exploration, writing, and improvisation. This site exists to share that process.
I look forward to studying with you. I thrive on musical interactions, so please do not hesitate to get in touch for any guitar learning related topic [I am not really a gear head however. I'll play a brick if it has strings on it].
By using a specific mix of love and science, I sincerely hope that all of I Love Guitar's content helps you build your space to explore guitar without needless commercial nonsense or a fixed way of approaching a topic.
Fresh mind on a daily basis is our foundation.