Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo & Mandolin
I teach Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin. I am a guitarist, composer and educator based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of the University of the Arts with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies. Prior to completing my Master of Music, I earned a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance with Honors, and a Minor in Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology from the University of the Arts. I regularly perform around the region in a variety of stylistic settings, ranging from jazz and rock, to musical theater. In my lessons I strive to create an environment that helps the student plan and achieve their own musical goals! This is done by tailoring the lessons to fit the students’ musical interests, along with introducing necessary concepts in order to ensure that they grow fully as a musician.
When did you begin playing Instrument, and why?
I began playing the guitar in the sixth grade after begging my parents for about a year. At that point I was playing the violin and it was not for me. My older brother had already started to play the guitar, and like younger siblings I had to be just like him. Along with that, I wanted to look like my childhood musical heros. My obsession with The Who and Bruce Springsteen was all encompassing, and I had to emulate them.
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
The guitar is my main Instrument but I also play the electric bass, and dabble with various string instruments like the ukulele.
What are your personal goals as a musician?
My goal as a musician is to be as versatile as possible, I want to be ready for any kind of musical situation I might encounter. I strive to be the best that I can be, and to keep reaching for the next level.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
I remember in high school when I began learning music theory. Once I was taught how to spell basic chords and play chord tones, the fretboard really began to make sense.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
I remember once telling a teacher about being stressed for a certain performance I had coming up, and he just looked at me and said “Relax, it’s just guitar”. While I take music very seriously, I try to remind myself that at the end of the day “It’s just guitar” and to have fun with it.
What is your biggest musical achievement?
Aside from music, it is also an academic achievement. I am very proud of the work I put into my Master’s Thesis: “Advanced Concepts for Improvisation and Composition Derived From the Techniques of Olivier Messiaen”. In this paper I outline various approaches for applying concepts used in the music of 20th century french composer Olivier Messiaen. I am currently working on editing this essay, and hoping to get it published in the coming year.
Favorite thing about teaching?
Oddly enough, my favorite thing about teaching is learning. All students are interested in different styles and songs, and they continually push me to broaden my horizons and continue to grow as a teacher and musician.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Take it slow and relax! Music should be fun, and it is very easy to get disgruntled and discouraged during the process. It is very important to remind yourself to have fun and recognize all your progress.
Personal music projects:
Aside from being a guitarist, I am also an active composer. I perform my original music with my band “The Eric McGarry Quintet”. I plan on releasing my debut record in 2022.