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  1. #1

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    This forum and its members have been a terrific source of help, guidance and knowledge in the brief time I have been a member. You have really inspired me to pick up the guitar again after 15 years hiatus.

    I want to start a thread to acknowledge and support local teachers that may have inspired you or offer an exceptional experience to support your learning and help anyone looking for a local teacher to supplement their studies on here.

    For me, it's Randy Sarles in Collegeville, PA just outside Philadelphia. I have known Randy for better than 20 years and he is the consummate guitar teacher and specialist. If you know jazz in Philadelphia, you know Randy
    Randy Sarles.




    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Gary Wenzel from Reading Pa, who studied with Master Sandole was a great inspiration to me.

    Dave Brumbaugh, Berklee grad from Williamsport is another exceptional player/teacher and friend.

    Steve Adams and Marty Mellinger, Selinsrove and Reading, two more exceptional players who studied with Master Sandole, were also great influences on me in years gone by.

    I can say that I was honored to have played with all of them and humbled by their humility and love of jazz...

  4. #3

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    Thanks, lets keep it going!

  5. #4

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    Paul Byrne, a Sondole student was my first teacher. He taught in East Greenville and at Jaworski's Guitars in Phoenixville (yikes haven't been there in 35 years and forgot how to spell it!) in the mid to late 70's. Have never found him to tell him I've been playing professionally all these years. I'm still amazed at what he taught me in 3 years.

  6. #5

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    Check out my old guitar/music tutor.If you type in Sid Szydelco into google ,you should catch his website.Also are some you tube videos of his incredible classical compositions.I have known many musicians in my life,some of them superb,but without a shadow of a doubt sid is the most incredible musician i have ever met in my life.This guy writes classical pieces for orchestra and then can pick up his guitar and play the coolest jazz you ever heard.(I MUST BE UP FOR A FREE LESSON AFTER THIS)only joking the money i paid this guy for what he showed me about music ,and pointing me in the right direction is nothing for what it did for my musicallity.

  7. #6

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    Mark Slifstein, Yonkers, NY, who was a student of Barry Galbraith and an absolutely fantastic musician. In fact, he played on these: Barry Galbraith Jazz Guitar Study Series Complete Set Volumes 1-5 (1-2-3-4-5): Barry Galbraith: Books. I can't tell you how good this guy was. And, if I'm not mistaken, he is now a very high level professor at Columbia, one of the math disciplines, which should show you how hard it is to make a living playing guitar. I only had a bunch of lessons with him, many years ago, but they had a profound effect. Humble, not a hint of the hubris that I see oozing out of so many who are so untalented as to be invisible, and for the first couple of lessons he would only have you play. Why? Because once you heard him play, you might be inclined to take your axe and toss it into the ocean. I don't say this lightly, but I'm truly convinced he's a genius. I emailed him a couple of years back to thank him.

    The late, great Joe Puma. My Dad was a bassist and music teacher, Joe was a close friend. I spent a lot of time with him in my early 20s, he was at my house a lot. Pops played with him in the early 1960s, they reconnected in the mid 1980s. Joe was acerbic, and you had to get to know him. Once you did you realized he had a great heart. A 20 minute conversation with "Puma" (as everyone called him, think "Newman!"), could teach you more about jazz guitar than you could learn from any book, or 18 billion internet discussions about how to use the Dorian mode. My first lesson with him? We went in my room, I played some half-assed chord melody of "Autumn Leaves" in the wrong key, using (PERISH THE THOUGHT), BARRE CHORDS and he listened and said "Piece of shit. Too many f---king notes." I could hear the old man cackling in the other room. But I'll tell you something; everything was tongue in check and I learned so much. I miss him almost as much as my own father. He was, without equivocation, one of the funniest people I've ever known and please, get to know his work. I will turn anyone on to the his recordings who has interest. You want to laugh until you piss yourself, pick this up:

    Joe Puma: Jazz Guitar Encounters: Jazz Guitar/Solos: Joe Puma: 9780786680825: Books

    Yes, it does have some lessons in it, but it's mainly hilarious stories of Joe's gigs which will have you roaring (eg, playing through standards in Chuck Wayne's apartment, the toilet is overflowing, and the two of them keep playing). Puma anecdotes in the jazz world are legendary.

    My pops. The best. I miss you! Thanks Dad!

    You know, there's a lot to be said to connecting to teachers personally instead of through YouTube and Skpye.

    Great idea for a post. Sorry for my long windedness.
    Last edited by paynow; 05-16-2012 at 09:46 PM.
    Barney Kessel was asked, “What’s the hardest thing about studio work?” He replied, “Finding a parking place.”
    "I don't know what other people are doing - I just know about me."- Thelonious Monk

  8. #7

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    By far the best teacher I've had has been Jimmy Bruno. Not exactly "local" but always as close as my computer.

  9. #8

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    Jimmy Bruno is a Philadelphia treasure.
    Jaworskis is still around in Phoenixville, PA.

    Lets keep going!

  10. #9

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    Steve Greene in Rochester, New York, my first "jazz" guitar teacher very patient and thorough explanations a beautiful player. Later I was fortunate to study with Mark Mannetta (R.I.P) who played with Chuck Mangione for many years. Mark was a great teacher and friend who really helped me get it together. Here in New Olreans Hank Mackie a master of solo guitar, Steve Masakoski a true Jedi,and Brian Seeger another great teacher and player. I have been really lucky to study with all these guys amazing players, teachers and true gentlemen.

  11. #10

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    I am really pleased with the response to this thread. Keep them coming!

  12. #11

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    The teachers who have taught and inspired me the most on my journey so far are:

    Pete Snell (Los Angeles)

    Chuck D'aloia (Los Angeles):

    Sheryl Bailey (NYC): Sheryl Bailey

  13. #12

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    My two teachers:

    Neil Bacher (Bay-Churr, he's really picky about how it's pronounced hahaha) from West Palm Beach, Fl. Guy is a genius. He got me into jazz and taught me pretty much everything I know of jazz, and if he didn't, he gave me the way to find it myself. Great musician. Not a famous guy or anything, but he actually held a position as guitar instructor in a conservatory in Germany in the late 80s-90s. Went to school with Pat Metheny, studied under Vincent Bredice and the University of Miami teacher who's retiring (forgot his name haha).

    Jay Azzolina from Westchester, NY. My current teacher at Manhattanville College. Studied under Pat Metheny, Charlie Banacos, and Mick Goodrick in Berklee. Played with Spyro Gyra for a few years (the two albums I consider tolerable were with him). He's played with some other great players I can't remember to name right now. I know he has Scott Wendholt and Larry Goldings on a few of his albums. He is one of the best players I've heard, and is really top tier. More than a teacher, he's a great inspiration to what I want to be as a player. Fluent in many styles. His music is amazing, and the stuff he comes up with is just from another planet.

  14. #13

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    Ed Arkin was teacher who started me down the Jazz path.

    Norman Brown was our group's main teacher at GIT and excellent teacher and inspiration.

    I lived in Boston for awhile and Peter Cicco was great teacher.

    Then thanks to modern technology Sheryl Bailey is great teacher.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  15. #14

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    My own thread has sponsored a trip down memory lane. Maybe because of another birthday this past Wednesday? The time goes by so fast.

    My best and most passionate teacher in my early years was Clyde Davy in Brockton, MA. My Dad, always the instigator, met Clyde at Charles Bean Music (the store!) in Taunton one day and struck a friendship. Next thing you know, I'm traveling to Brockton to learn with Clyde.

    He was a young guy then (at least from my perspective now) with a new family, a nice home, a solid portfolio of students and a beautiful Gibson single pick-up jazz box playing through a super reverb. To show where my mind was at, I was more interested in the amp than the guitar since it wasn't a sold body "rock" guitar. I studied with Clyde for several years before taking my hiatus from playing (college, work, life, etc.).

    Clyde was truly passionate about guitar and music. He would always have some jazz playing on the turntable when I would arrive. I remember when he got his first official "gig" at a restaurant in Braintree, The Boots and Saddles (I actually took a high school date there, pretty smooth huh?) with John Kiley. John Kiley was the organist for the Red Sox, Bruins and the Celtics for many years.Clyde always said John's music vocabulary was very limited (hum "Charge!" in an arena setting while reading this) but he was solid as a rock, nothing flustered him.

    One of the posters on here mentioned how hard it is to make a living with a guitar. That was no exception for Clyde. When one of the many Massachusetts miracles went bust, Clyde took a job as a security guard which apparently he continued to do for many years, delivering medicines to nursing homes and more.

    I lost contact with Clyde but never forgot him and what a great guy and teacher he was. Unfortunately, he died 5 years ago, I believe from lung cancer; he was only 70 but had been a heavy smoker. He is sorely missed.

    Clyde Davy Obituary: View Clyde Davy's Obituary by The Enterprise

  16. #15

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    Are we done?

    That must be more.

  17. #16

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    A trip down memory lane? OK, here goes.

    I remember very little of my first piano teacher, except that she was kind and taught me a lot, including how to phrase Mozart. Her name was Mrs Baird and she died some time ago. My final piano teacher, Norma MacDougall, still tinkles the ivories. As a teacher she was always full of enthusiasm and I remember being amazed that anyone with hands even smaller than mine could actually make music out of the instrument.

    I happened to go to a school with an exceptional music department. The teachers went above and beyond the call of duty to arrange music for us, there were band, orchestra, recorder group, choir rehearsals before and after school. Mr Wilson arranged music from ET for the orchestra. Mrs Howden (the head of department) was absolutely tireless in the making of music. We sang Vivaldi's Gloria in Kilwinning Abbey (KILWINNING ABBEY, KILWINNING) and Handel's Messiah at a school concert. When the department was broken into and vandalised (all the double basses smashed, Mrs Howden cried and it was the only time I ever saw a teacher cry. Mr Keachie took me on as a cornet student even though I was two years too young. Brass lessons continued with Alex McCutcheon, who was wonderfully funny.

    I do think it is true that you can do anything with music if you have a good grounding. I had a good grounding because I had good teachers. They left nothing out. Except maybe jazz. And guitar.

    In my guitar journey I am in the debt of two fantastic local teachers: Ian MacKenzie who teaches my son (and amazingly, still lets me watch) and Rob MacKillop, who is well-known on this forum. Both have incredible patience. I can thank Ian for pushing me in the acoustic direction, for helping me buy a guitar and for arranging music for mother and son. Rob is amazingly knowledgeable in so many genres and very generous with his wisdom.

    Some wonderfully generous pianists have helped me in my jazz piano journey: Peter Friesen and Dave Frank (Dave Frank School of Jazz, New York City - Welcome to NYC's Dave Frank School of Jazz!). They have both given of their time and expertise freely. Each has his own vision for passing their gifts on, and have allowed me to tap into this at my own pace. Christophe Ludet (Jazz Band DC) has been a patient and reliable mentor for me, always with an encouraging word.

    I am lucky enough to be able to play music weekly in a local pub, thanks to sessions inspired by Nigel Gatherer (Nigel Gatherer's Traditional Music Site) master of mandolin and whistle, and a dab hand at guitar too. He is a walking encyclopedia of tunes, has an amazing memory, will jam with the best, and also taught me everything I know about whistle. Nigel connects as a teacher and leader with musicians from all backgrounds.

    I realise this is a jazz guitar forum. But for me, there's nothing about one instrument, one genre, that doesn't tap into everything I have learned. It's all about the music.
    I am responsible for all my mistakes.

  18. #17

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    What a wonderful post and tribute. Thank you!

  19. #18

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    your stories about teachers are helpful.....I always had problems studying guitar....when i was young i studied with a bunch of guys....but when i look back and compare the experince to self study ...its not good ...when i was young there was no Deslexia.....well having that doesnt help. either....theres alot to studying something....but there was some time i hung with Eddy MacFadden (Played with Jimmy Smith ) .. Man >>He could play a MELODIC solo.....U just cant teach it ....Well.... 2 things have really helped me now ......Meditation .... and the internet has been very inspiring and helpful .... so many good players who are willing to share and communicate .......I have my moments as a player ...and im still studying ....guitar is a bitch to play well.....but strange ...u dont have to play well to make good music ....maybe its because music has a magic component to it .....maybe i should try a shaman ??? Barret

  20. #19

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    How do you meditate?
    You're right about guitar being a bitch to play well. But sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.
    Thanks for the contribution.

  21. #20

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    Hard on ourselfs......thats another about that someother time....meditation had a big affect on my playing .....the mind needs to be focused .....meditatio....n does that .....teaches u to focus say the least......learn to calm down ....not get excited while u play.....its a personal thing ...helps to solve problems....because u ...maybe acquire clearity .....its like u see things clearer....your music for instance ..Ya Id say learn to meditate....a book ..a class ....learn to meditate....Ya ...good for YOU ....u just cant lose helped me so many ways .....My playin is just one....takea while ..though everthing else.... u know ...all good things take time ....over and out Barret

  22. #21

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    I'm with eddy b., I took some lessons with Hank Mackie in New Orleans. He's an incredible teacher and player. I never studied with Steve Masakowski, I think he's from another planet.

    If I could play like anybody, it would be Hank.

  23. #22

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    I don't consider myself to be an accomplished jazz guitar player by any stretch of the imagination.

    With that said I feel humbled and also very privileged for being able to take lessons with Vic Juris who happens to live just 2-3 miles away from my house here in Northern NJ. It has been an extremely inspiring and rewarding experience for me so far and it likely has changed my approach to playing guitar forever.

    I've also being taking lessons for several years with Josh Rubin in Clifton, NJ who is a fine jazz player. Josh really helped me to understand and internalize some basic concepts of playing jazz and to build up my own repertoire of tunes that I can play and join in at a jam session. He has been and still is a great teacher & mentor to me.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." Admiral Hyman Rickover

  24. #23

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    George Ogg taught at the sweetwater academy of music in fort Wayne, indiana.he is a true master of jazz and really got me into this style of music. Royce Campbell also is an Indianapolis treasure, he played with Henry Mancini for a number of years and well worth a lesson if you are ever in the area. When I first moved to Indianapolis I studied with Ben rice, and he was perhaps the most understanding teacher I have ever.. I was battling drug addiction and he was always so cool to me, and helped me get through that by rescheduling, and even giving a few free lessons when he could.

  25. #24

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    some great stories here taking me down memory lane.

    I began trumpet in 7th grade jr. high...I wanted to play sax but the number of alto and tenor players allowed was the options were either trumpet, trombone, french horn, or tuba....trumpet it was.

    after 3 years of marching in what seemed like every holiday parade within 500 miles of my home of Sacramento, California, many of which yielded first place ribbons because we were the only jr. high band that performed college style weaves considered too complex for jr. high students at the time, like any jr. high student I couldn't wait to get to high school.

    Enter Grant High School and mentor music teacher extraordinaire Ike Pagent!

    Ike was cool, hip, even though at 40 was clearly old, right! Ike played piano, and alto, and improvised jazz on each with ease.

    Any popular music that was current to the day, we're talkin' '71, like Issac Hayes Shaft, Sly, tunes like 'the Horse', bands like Chicago, Tower of Power, War, Ike arranged it all for our 70 piece high school band...due to Ike's persistence, and sometimes hot temper, our band could have easily been mistaken for college level players... and on Friday night football games the entire stadium was rockin' to that band with one hot and current song to the was 4 quarters of one hot groovin' tune after another.

    Unfortunately, as a player, I was on the field and didn't participate. But just the same it was the joy and impact Ike's arrangements had upon an entire stadium that ultimately led me to begin the study of piano for song arranging was now a major motivation to me. I've never looked back...thanks Ike!
    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-04-2013 at 06:01 PM.

  26. #25

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    My teacher from way back in the 70's;

  27. #26

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    Gary Wenzel from Reading, PA.
    If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be making a living playing and teaching guitar.
    He still teaches at Fred's Music Shop.

  28. #27

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    Well, since this was resurrected, I'll chime in:

    My undergrad degree is in classical guitar, and I didn't start studying jazz until I was in grad school for psychology. I still had to play, so I found a local jazz teacher -- Jim Kanas -- in the small, northern Illinois town where I went to school. Jim can pretty much play whatever style he wants, but his love is jazz; I learned more from him about jazz/music/theory/guitar/life by taking weekly lessons than I learned with my music degree! He definitely got me on the path, for which I am forever grateful.

    I've since studied with a lot of "greats," but that's a different thread.

  29. #28

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    I'm not accomplished. I am realistic about what I am at this point. A rock and roller looking to expand. So I am still looking for that first, most important Jazz Teacher. But, for the styles I am most adept at the best teachers I ever had were Gene Bibby and Mychael John Thomas. One was very earthy, couldn't really explain a lot about what he did, but had a way of teaching you by putting you on the spot. It was like sink or swim method:
    Gene: "Hey, you're going to play rhythm guitar for me tonight."
    Me: "I don't think I'm ready to..."
    Gene: "Don't worry, read my lips and I'll tell you the chord changes."
    Me: "Ok, I guess".

    Gene:"I need a Bass Player tonight."
    Me: "Who you got in mind?"
    Gene: "You, lets get there about 30 minutes early so I can teach you the songs."

    It was stressful, but I became someone who was fearless in new or awkward situations.

    Mychael John Thomas was the complete opposite. He was a thinker. Made me break down every song we learned from a theory standpoint. He introduced me to the Jazz way back then, but I wasn't interested at the time....and frankly, he was just beginning to dabble around in it. He had a band called Felt way back when. I saw him at his recording/teaching studio recently and he was like a kid in a candy store. He was transferring all of his old masters over to digital and remastering them because some dude somewhere had heard some of the Felt stuff and was wanting do a re-release of sorts. Not sure what market he was trying to attract. Neither was Mychael, but I think he was just enjoying listening to the old stuff and was even talking bringing in the former members for an epilogue recording session.

  30. #29

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    I also had the opportunity to study with Hank Mackie while I lived in New Orleans. He was a great teacher. He also taught Phil DeGruy & they played together. Had the privilege of seeing them play once. Brilliant playing from both guys.

  31. #30

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    Tommy Bush in N.E. Florida
    A monster player and teacher, the videos on his webs site are cool but he's holding back so much.

  32. #31

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    Aunt Biddletree really wasn't my aunt, but she was my Grandma's best friend and got me started on tuba, mostly hymns and polkas. She had parental permission to spank me if needed, 'cuz back in the day, corporal punishment was considered a motivational tool...

  33. #32

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    After 25 years of trying to teach myself I've spent the last year and a half under the tutelage of Michael Kaplan, formerly of Florida currently Tokyo.