Brandon came to Littleton Guitar School at age 16 after trying to learn by himself from videos and other online sources. He found that taking lessons helped him develop his own style much faster than on his own, and that learning proper technique, music theory and ear training further developed his own personal sound.
As Brandon’s confidence increased, he began playing in front of his friends and family culminating with his first public appearance with the KenK band in front of thousands of people at an outdoor festival. Brandon is now at an out of town college, but he continues to play frequently and his music is opening new doors and opportunities for him. Here is what Brandon has to say about his experience with Littleton Guitar School.
LGS: How did you view guitar lessons before you started taking lessons with Littleton Guitar School?
BA: I took a certain pride in being “self taught” as many people do. Some people, myself at the time included, seem to believe that you develop your own unique sound learning independently of a teacher.
LGS: How has that perception about guitar lessons changed?
BA: I take my previous answer as a misconception now, only you can sound like you. Ken didn’t interfere with the development of my sound but rather guided it, or in many cases enhanced it, and sped up the overall process of its creation. Lessons greatly increase the speed at which you learn. There is no substitute for an actual person giving you immediate feedback on the things you think you’re good at, and maybe more importantly creating a plan for what you should learn next. When I started lessons with Ken I knew what the pentatonic scale was from a YouTube video, and when I say “knew” I mean that I could tell you where to start and end. I didn’t know where it came from, I didn’t know why it worked. Ken filled in all of the technical details after less than three lessons with him. Knowledge is a pyramid, it builds on itself. You have to lay every stone of the first layer before you can move on to the next which is what a teacher is for.
LGS: Name 3 things you understand or can do now, that you didn’t understand or couldn’t do before you began guitar lessons with Littleton Guitar School:
BA: Most everything I can do on guitar, specifics:
- Improvise over backing tracks.
- Write my own songs.
- Identify songs by ear.
LGS: What is your favorite thing about the guitar lessons?
BA: My favorite things about the lessons were how Ken challenged me every time I came. There was not one time that I came to a lesson that I didn’t completely fail at something, because I could then spend all week practicing whatever it was than come back next week and be challenged all over again.
LGS: If you were to recommend me to a friend who wanted to learn to play the guitar, what would you tell them?
BA: I would tell them Ken isn’t going to teach you how to play guitar, he’s going to teach you to become a guitarist. There are thousands of people who can play G, C, and D pretty well but that isn’t what Ken is offering. He helps you become a musician, someone who can play other songs or write your own, learn to improvise on the spot, and become a performer.
LGS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
BA: I spent three years under Ken’s tutelage, I stopped when I left for college, and it is honestly one of the things I miss the most. If there’s anything I can say to convince you to take lessons it’s that there is no such thing as talent, just hard work. Nobody is good at guitar until they practice. I’ve played for so many different people and the one thing I can’t stand is being called talent, because it really takes away from what I’ve accomplished. Ken gave me the tools to become a great guitarist and I took them and am still using them today. I pour hours into guitar on the daily because it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Becoming a musician of any instrument isn’t an overnight task or something that you can do in a weekend, it’s a commitment to yourself, but you have to start somewhere, and there are few better places to start than with Ken!