Welcome to my first lesson/column for Guitar.com! I was thrilled when Guitar.com asked me to write a series of lessons for them, so thrilled that I'm going to do this as a regularly recurring feature.
My name is Marc Schonbrun and I live in Northern California. I've been completely obsessed with the guitar since I was 16. I ended up going to school for music and concentrating on classical guitar (sneaking in rock guitar practice whenever possible). Towards the end of my schooling, I got interested in Jazz (which means that I disavowed all other music for a few years…) and started playing jazz gigs five+ nights a week. I finished school and started playing professionally in New York City. I also taught whenever I could. I've had an interesting career so far, one that's taken me in some directions I didn't expect. I've toured the country as a performer and as a clinician. I've written over 10 books on music and put out two DVDs on guitar playing. I've taught thousands of students and teaching remains one of my favorite things to do. Teaching online is one of my favorite things to do because of how many students I can reach at one time—a far cry from one-on-one lessons.
About this column:
I decided to name this column Pot Luck because you never know what you're going to find. I want to be able to mix it up, and pot luck seemed like the perfect name. As a teacher and a player, I've always been caught between playing from the gut and playing from the head. I love playing from the gut (ear, feeling, soul, or whatever you call it), but you know what really frustrates me? Playing a wrong note! And by wrong note, I don't mean less correct, I mean playing the 100% wrong, dissonant fret. It's happened to all of us and it's frustrating. As a player, I worked on getting around this by learning the fingerboard and music theory as they related to what I was hearing. This really helped my playing and it's how I'm going to approach this column. I have a unique way of looking at the fretboard, and I think it will help you make sense of the instrument that you and I both love so much.
I will show you all sorts of cool stuff that sounds good, but I'll always take the time to make sure you understand why it sounds good. The idea is that once I teach you some concepts, you can make your own licks from the same materials. So, today's lesson isn't really a lesson at all. It's a way for me to say hello, set the tone and reserve the space :)
In the meantime, I have an existing blog that you can visit to see some of my previous lessons.
I'm looking forward to this and I will see you all back here in two weeks!