OK, so how will we go about getting our material up to performance standards? Specific Goals: (To START these lessons)
1. Choose THREE songs you like and want to master. This IS an arbitrary number, I admit. You can select just one and focus on it. But three songs give you a variety to practice, pushing aside boredom somewhat. Choose SIMPLE SONGS to start with. Avoid songs with key changes (like “Already Gone”) or difficult picking patterns (like “Landslide.”)

2. Your first goal is to master playing these songs. No excuses. You’re shooting for 100% ability. The only way to achieve this is sheer repetition of the song, focusing on weaker aspects of each one, getting them overcome, then playing and singing the entire song all the way through until it is “as good as it's gonna get.” 

3. I recommend sitting to play through the first three songs, attaining success that way before moving on with standing while playing/singing. Success breeds success. Failure breeds failure.

4. Showmanship is another area we will cover, starting with you writing, memorizing, and practicing a short verbal introduction to each song you select. Yes, it may seem silly, but you will be expected to say these introductions to an audience of one (me!) each time you perform it for a while.

​5. Memorization: The easiest and best performances are done by performers that memorize their material. Watch any nationally recognized act to verify this. However, I’ve had TWO concussions, and I’ve always had difficulty memorizing anything. That’s why I “cheat” with chordcharts or tablet in front of me when I perform, even if I do have the song memorized. BUT- lately I've seen even youngish bands with "lyric-prompters"- usually computer monitors or laptops with scrolling white song lyrics on a black background (these monitors are either freestanding or in a wedge shaped black monitor box) in front of LOTS of performers who simply decided they either couldn't memorize all those pesky lyrics OR that the public doesn't care anymore if they "cheat." Most video producers won't allow the cameraman to show these lyric-prompters on the stage floor, you'll notice. But you can spot them there. The bottom line is that I no longer force my students to memorize Performance material. They know to do it IF THEY CAN, if they are playing out for an audience.

​We will also cover diverse areas such as guitar related equipment, the psychology of dealing with bandmates, non-verbal stage communication, dealing with different acoustics in different venues, stage presence, mic technique, using volume as a tool, etc., etc.

​Over the years it has become apparent that though my guitar students have LEARNED what I have taught them, few have MASTERED what I've taught. (If I forced students to master what I teach before moving forward, then few would move.) This takes time and practice. So, because I have been often asked to provide lessons beyond BEGINNING GUITAR,  I have added another level to my teaching:

               PERFORMANCE GUITAR LESSONS

I live and teach in New Bern, N.C.  I'm not hard to find. Go to our CONTACT US page for more specific information. Some of my students come from surrounding areas, Havelock, Vanceboro, etc. I have not had good luck with students traveling 45 min. or more to get here for weekly lessons, yet they keep attempting it. Just be aware that that drive is fine for a few weeks but gets rather old, UNLESS you come to New Bern on a regular basis anyway.  

PERFORMANCE GUITAR LESSONS

LEARNING CONTINUES during the Performance Guitar lessons, but at a different rate, on an "as it is needed" basis. LOTS of previous lessons have to be reviewed; things such as hammer-ons, lift-offs, percussive guitar, playing solos, fingerpicking, etc. take loads of time to learn. We do these in Performance Guitar. We also learn LOTS of new songs, some new techniques of playing, all with an emphasis on PERFORMING. 

​​SOME OF THE SONGS I TEACH 

MY GOAL is to get the student to be able to teach themselves almost ANY song they want AFTER I’M DONE TEACHING THEM! That is the goal of most any teacher of most any skill, to get the student to not need your help anymore. If you’re determined to learn something right now that is not on this list, I recommend you wait until you can teach it to yourself. Or try using YouTube to show you how.


If a student says a certain song doesn’t “sit right” with them, or maybe it conflicts with some core belief the student has, there’s no problem. I just choose another song. I usually ask before teaching a church hymn.

 

A PIRATE LOOKS AT FORTY- Jimmy Buffett

AFTER MIDNIGHT – JJ Cale, Eric Clapton


A HORSE WITH NO NAME- America

AIN’T NO SUNSHINE – Bill Withers

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER- Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix

ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM – The Everly Brothers

ALREADY GONE – The Eagles

AMAZING GRACE – traditional hymn

AMIE- Pure Prairie League (w. Vince Gill)

ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY- John Prine, Carly Simon, and dozens of other famous singers.

ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT – Sam Cooke, Jimmy Buffett

BAD, BAD LEROY BROWN – Jim Croche

BAD MOOD RISING – Credence Clearwater Revival

BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME – CCR- Eric Clapton

BIG BOSS MAN – Elvis Presley


BLOWIN' IN THE WIND- Bob Dylan


BORN TO BE WILD - Steppenwolf

BROWN EYED GIRL – Van Morrison, Jimmy Buffett, etc.


CALIFORNIA DREAMING - The Mamas and the Papas


CAN'T GET ENOUGH (of Your Love) - Bad Company

CAN’T YOU SEE – Marshall Tucker Band

CAJUN MOON – JJ Cale

CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE – Jimmy Buffett

COCAINE – (an anti-drug song by) JJ CALE, Eric Clapton

COME MONDAY – Jimmy Buffett

COME TOGETHER – The Beatles

CRAZY MAMA – JJ Cale


CROSSROADS- Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton

DEAR ABBY - John Prine

DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS – Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels

DOCK OF THE BAY – Otis Redding

DONALD AND LYDIA – John Prine

DON’T GO TO STRANGERS – JJ Cale

DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALRIGHT – Bob Dylan

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY – Bobby McFerrin

DOWN TO THE WATERLINE- Dire Straits / Mark Knopfler

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME - The Mamas and The Papas


DUST IN THE WIND - Kansas


ELANOR RIGBY - The Beatles

END OF THE LINE – The Traveling Wilburys

EVIL WAYS - Santana


​FAR FROM ME - John Prine


FEEL LIKE MAKING LOVE - Bad Company

FINS – Jimmy Buffett

FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN – Marshall Tucker Band

FOLSOM PRISON BLUES – Johnny Cash

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH – Buffalo Springfield

FORTUNATE SON – Credence Clearwater Revival

FOX ON THE RUN – trad, bluegrass, Zac Brown

FREE BIRD – Lynyrd Skynyrd

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL – The Grateful Dead

GET TOGETHER – The Youngbloods

GLORIA – Van Morrison (with The Shadows of Night)

GOOD LOVIN’ – The Rascals

GOT MY MOJO WORKIN’ – Muddy Waters

GIMME THREE STEPS – Lynyrd Skynyrd

GRANDPA WAS A CARPENTER – John Prine

GREEN RIVER - Creedence Clearwater Revival


HALLELUJAH – Leonard Cohen

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – trad.

HEART OF GOLD – Neil Young

HEARTACHE TONIGHT – The Eagles

HELLO IN THERE - John Prine


HE WENT TO PARIS - Jimmy Buffett

HERE COMES THE SUN – George Harrison/The Beatles


HONKY TONK WOMEN - The Rolling Stones

HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN – The Animals


HOW SWEET IT IS TO BE LOVED BY YOU - James Taylor. Marvin Gaye, etc.

​ILLEGAL SMILE - John Prine

I’LL FLY AWAY – traditional gospel

I PUT A SPELL ON YOU – Credence Clearwater Revival

IT'S STILL ROCK AND ROLL TO ME- Billy Joel

I WALK THE LINE – Johnny Cash

I WON'T BACK DOWN - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


​JENNY (867-5309) - Tommy TuTone


JET AIRLINER – Steve Miller Band

JOHNNY B. GOODE – Chuck Berry


JUST WHAT I NEEDED- The Cars

KANSAS CITY – Fats Domino,  Little Richard, The Beatles, etc.

KEY TO THE HIGHWAY – Eric Clapton

KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR – Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, etc.

LANDSLIDE – Stevie Nicks (and Fleetwood Mac)

LAYLA – (UNPLUGGED version) Eric Clapton

LEAN ON ME - Bill Withers

LEARNING TO FLY - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


LET IT BE – The Beatles

LIES- JJ Cale

LIGHT MY FIRE – The Doors, Jose Feliciano

LIKE A ROLLING STONE – Bob Dylan

LIME IN DE COCOUNT – Harry Nillson

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC – The Doobie Brothers

LITTLE SISTER – Elvis Presley

LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN – trad.

MAGNOLIA – JJ Cale

MAMA DON’T ALLOW – JJ Cale

MARGARITTAVILLE – Jimmy Buffett

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB – trad.

ME AND BOBBY McGEE – Kris Kristofferson, Janis Joplin

MEDLEY- UNDER THE BOARDWALK (THE DRIFTERS) and STAND BY ME (BEN E. KING)


MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE – Pete Segar, The Highwaymen, The Beach Boys, The Smothers Brothers

MIDNIGHT HOUR – Wilson Pickett

MONY MONY – Tommy James and the Shondells

MOVE IT ON OVER – George Thorogood

MUSTANG SALLY – Wilson Pickett

MY BACK PAGES – Bob Dylan, The Byrds

MR. TAMBOURINE MAN – Bob Dylan, The Byrds

NAUTICAL WHEELERS – Jimmy Buffett

NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN – The Moody Blues

NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT – Bessie Smith, Eric Clapton

NO TIME – JJ Cale

NORWEGIAN WOOD- The Beatles

NO WOMAN NO CRY- Bob Marley and The Wailers

OLD TIME ROCK AND ROLL – Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band

ONE PARTICULAR HARBOR - Jimmy Buffett

PAINT IT BLACK – The Rolling Stones

PANCHO and LEFTY - Willie Nelson

PARADISE – John Prine

PEACEFUL EASY FEELING – The Eagles

PRETTY GOOD - John Prine

​PRETTY WOMAN - Roy Orbison

PRIDE AND JOY – Stevie Ray Vaughan

PROUD MARY – Credence Clearwater Revival

PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON – Peter, Paul, and Mary

PUT THE LIME IN THE COCONUT (The Coconut Song)- Harry Nilsson


RAIN, PLEASE GO AWAY - Alison Kraus and  Union Station

RAMBLIN’ MAN – The Allman Brothers

REFUGEE – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

RIVERBOAT SONG – JJ Cale


​ROADHOUSE BLUES- The Doors

R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A- John Cougar Mellencamp


ROCKY TOP- The Osborne Brothers

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT – trad.

RUNNING ON FAITH- Eric Clapton


SAM STONE – John Prine

SENSITIVE KIND – JJ Cale

SEVEN BRIDGES ROAD – The Eagles

SHOUT – The Isley Brothers

SIMPLE MAN – Lynyrd Skynyrd


SMALL TOWN - John "Cougar" Mellencamp

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW/ WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD – “IZ” version

SOULSHINE - The Allman Brothers Band  (Warren Haynes)

SOUTHERN CROSS – Stephen Stills, Jimmy Buffett

STAND BY BE – Ben E. King

STATESBORO BLUES – Allman Brothers

STORMY MONDAY – Allman Bros., BB King, T Bone Walker, etc.

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU – Steelers Wheel

SULTANS OF SWING – Dire Straights

SUMMERTIME – Janis Joplin, etc.

SWEET HOME ALABAMA – Credence Clearwater Revival


TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS - John Denver

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN – Crosby Stills, and Nash

​TENNESSEE WHISKEY- CHRIS STAPLETON

THAT'LL BE THE DAY - Buddy Holly

THE BALLAD OF CURTIS LOEW- Lynyrd Skynyrd


THE CAPTAIN AND THE KID – Jimmy Buffett

THE SOUND OF SILENCE- SIMON AND GARFUNKLE

THE MTA – Kingston Trio

THE WEIGHT – The Band

THEY CALL ME THE BREEZE – JJ Cale, Lynyrd Skynyrd

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND – Woodie Guthrie

TROUBLE IN THE CITY – JJ Cale

TRYING TO REASON WITH HURRICANE SEASON – Jimmy Buffett

​TUESDAY'S GONE - Lynyrd Skynyrd

TURN THE PAGE – Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band

TURN, TURN, TURN! - The Byrds (Pete Seeger / Ecclesiastes)


TWIST AND SHOUT/ LA BAMBA – The Beatles/ Richie Valens

UNDER THE BOARDWALK – The Drifters


UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK  - The Band

VOLCANO – Jimmy Buffett

WAGON WHEEL – Bob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show, Darius Rucker

WALK OF LIFE – Dire Straits


​WALKING ON SUNSHINE - Katrina and the Waves


WALKING TO NEW ORLEANS - Fats Domino


WATER OF LOVE- Dire Straits / Mark Knopfler


WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD - Sam Cooke

​WHAT I SAY - Ray Charles

WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN – Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley,  etc.

WILD THING – The Troggs

WILD HORSES- The Rolling Stones

WILDWOOD FLOWER- The Carter Family

WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN ? – The Carter Family, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc.

​WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW - Carole King

WONDERFUL TONIGHT – Eric Clapton


YOU AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE- Bob Dylan, The Byrds, etc.

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE- Johnny Cash, etc.

YOU NEVER CAN TELL  -C'EST LA VIE- Chuck Berry


YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT – The Rolling Stones

YOU WRECK ME – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

(Plus any of my  songs I have written -BUT only upon request. )


 

 Acceptance as a Performance Guitar Student
Only selected students will be accepted for this form of lessons. I will audition you and your skill level on guitar. IF you need BEGINNING GUITAR LESSONS, I will say so. Many guitarists who already play will only need a few lessons to graduate to INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. Some may need no instructiuon at the beginning level and be quite prepared to move on. But be aware, I still do NOT consider myself an advanced guitar player and certainly can not offer advanced level instruction. Again, these classes focus on PERFORMING - singing and playing in front of an audience, playing with a higher level of performance and confidence.
Please call (252-474-3990) or email (bricescreek@gmail.com) for more information.


My two room teaching and recording studio overlooks Brices Creek. 

What is Performance Guitar? 
These lessons focus on "perfecting" the student's playing and usually utilize the student's acoustic and/or an electric guitar, and my amplifier, microphone, and PA system with floor monitors.
PERFORMANCE FOCUS IN INTERMEDIATE GUITAR LESSONS
General Goals:
1.Realize you will be expected to not just play your material for me, but to perform at a much higher level of ability. Your goal is simple: Be proud of your performance!
2.Therefore, you may have to practice harder than you normally would for each lesson. Like any common sense student, you will need to rehearse the weakest aspects of your performance until it comes up to the 98% + requirement.
3 If you are not willing to work towards this level, don’t agree to do it. You will only waste your money with senseless repetition. Everybody has a hard week or two when they can’t practice, but a pattern of them will only frustrate you and your instructor.
4.I strongly encourage each student to sing when appropriate. Even a mediocre voice can be improved through practice, learning new techniques of singing, how to fully utilize a microphone, and overcoming the fear and insecurity almost each of us has when singing.  Of course I will ask you to sing lead vocals for your selected material, but in the event you can not do so I will ask you to sing background vocals to the material. Background singers are needed in most bands, right?