Chris has been playing the guitar for over 15 years both professionally and recreationally. He's taught specialized rock masterclasses as far as Dublin, Ireland; played at Guitar Conferences in Chicago; and even taken over bars in places like Hong Kong on a whim with crowd-pleasing instrumental interpretations of popular music (ask him about his instrumental version of Eye of the Tiger)!
Let's face it. He's also a complete goofball, ultra nerd, and a master of the terribly timed pun. You've been warned.
Okay so that sounds cool and all, but what does it mean?
To make a very long rant/story as short as possible, most people that take guitar lessons (or any instrument for that matter) are typically taught in a way that they become dependent on a piece of paper (or their memory). For classical musicians, it's sheet music; for worship teams and/or cover bands, it's chord sheets; and for guitar players, it's tabs. Seriously, look at the comments of some of the amazing covers on YouTube and you'll see things like "Do you have the tabs for that" and "Can anyone tell me where the sheet music is" all over the place!
While we will start with the "paper" approach to music, and it's important to know your part in a band/performance situation...at the end of the day you aren't really being a musician yourself in this kind of situation. You're stuck performing whatever some other musician's vision was, not showcasing your own. We will try to teach you in a way that you grow out of this dependence as much as possible towards developing your own style and musicianship.
I don't write this to belittle anyone that learns their favorite songs, plays in cover bands, etc. It's definitely possible to have a great time and put your own twist on things in this way!
My point is that the real fun, in my opinion, is having the ability to understand music as a language (at the end of the day that's what it is: a way to communicate some thought or feeling through a universal medium). This way, you can reinterpret things at will, write your own music, improvise killer solos, and just have much more fun overall since you won't be stuck to paper and/or your memory.
Basically, it's the difference between being able to recite a poem or two in some other language vs actually speaking the language with others. I hope that makes sense to you, and we will definitely go over this in more detail in person!
While we will definitely go to the whiteboard and take the time to explain practical music theory, fretboard visualization techniques, etc when necessary... for the most part we take a very "let's do the thing first, then talk about it" approach instead of the classic "hey look, man, here's this music idea thingo for you to think about, okay? *spends 15-25 minutes talking* Oh, would you look at that, we're almost out of time. So, yeah anyways, make sure to practice that thing, see you later!"
Wow. Imagine if football, basketball, your favorite sport, etc were taught in this way. The coach lectures for the majority of the practice time, then expected the players to "get it" in their head well enough to go home and practice it themselves. NO WAY that would work!! That team would be slaughtered when it was time to play a game.
Instead, the coach will typically warm everyone up, then get right into drills designed to address the players' weak points to make them as good as possible. Sure, the coach will take the time to explain new concepts and answer questions when necessary, but the vast majority of the time is hands-on drills with immediate improvement as much as possible.
In fact, if the athletes practice with the coach enough, they don't even have to worry about practicing in their free time to see improvement!
There is of course, a lot more to the way that we teach here, but long story short, we are believers in doing things, not just talking about them.