My buddy Alex over at (the now defunct) guitarsightedinstruction.com got me thinking about teaching experiences, and one in particular that had a truly profound effect on me. Back in the early 2000s I had made the decision to get serious about my playing and go study at Music College. I chose the ACM in Guildford in the UK (more on that here) as it had a fantastic team of instructors at the time which included Guthrie Govan, Dave Kilminster, Eric Roche and many more.
Early one morning our normal classes were interrupted, and we were herded into the auditorium for an impromptu masterclass from none other than Mike Stern, who happened to be playing some shows nearby. I suddenly found myself with an unexpected front-row seat for a truly insightful performance. Mike is probably one of the humblest musicians you’ll ever meet, as well as a great teacher, and still takes lessons himself. He talked about learning guitar, chord tones and answered questions then gave a mind-blowing performance with the bassist he’d brought along. I can’t remember what the tune was, but I do remember him playing so far ‘out’ he came back round the other side… It was truly inspirational.
A few years later I came across these fantastic videos on YouTube of Mike Stern being interviewed and again, in the same vein as the master class, giving us a great insight into learning the guitar.