Let’s cut to the chase: I use the word “weird” broadly and with all respect and affection. Essentially what you will find on this page are unusual guitar lessons. I have nothing against “normal” or “traditional” guitar lessons, playing, or composition. I love it and do a lot myself. But I have found that there are no resources on the internet for guitar players who are looking beyond the normal rock, blues, jazz, etc. playing styles common to most players and teachers – music that many people might call “weird.” But I know as a performer and teacher there are countless guitar players out there who love this type of music.
This site is dedicated to teaching guitar music in the styles of such players and composers as: Shawn Persinger is Prester John (that’s me), Henry Kaiser, Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Fred Frith, Janet Feder,Buckethead, Nels Cline, Eugene Chadbourne, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, and many, many other interesting and so-called “weird” guitar players. I will also make note of weird guitar playing that has shown up in the music of mainstream artists such as: The Beatles, R.E.M., Pat Metheny, and others.
This page is for the adventurous guitarist. It is also for the curious. Some of the lessons will be unquestionably weird. Other lessons will have hints of the mainstream but usually in an “outside” context. I hope all players will enjoy these lessons and find something new to add to their guitar vocabulary. Thanks for visiting.
Why a webpage for weird guitar playing lessons? Because there aren’t any! Go ahead, google “weird guitar lessons” or “avant-garde guitar lessons.” This is all you will find. Even the usually extensive Wikipedia seems to be at a loss.
All of this lack may lead one to believe that there is little interest in weird guitar. But I personally believe the lack of educational materials is due to a few salient points.
1. Most weird guitar player spend most of their time playing and recording, not teaching, certainly not teaching weird guitar.
2. Many weird guitar players are of a D.I.Y. mindset and perhaps think it is almost silly to teach “how to be weird.” (My intent is not to teach how to be weird, just to show you some interesting ideas).
3. Where to begin? Is weird guitar the “noise” of Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth or the individualistic composition styles of Frank Zappa and Janet Feder, the whole-tone heavy progressive music of Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Primus or the frenzied metal of Mick Barr and Buckethead, the acoustic musings of Robbie Basho and Shawn Persinger is Prester John or the free improvisations of Sonny Sharrock andDerek Bailey? For me it’s all of these and much more. So where to begin? Just begin. Here we go.
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See you soon.
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