Lessons with Josh – Interview!
Josh is a wonderful multi-instrumentalist, specializing in bass, guitar and ukulele – and those are just the instruments he teaches. Rumor has it that he’s great with flute and piano as well. Josh gives in-home lessons in the Los Angeles and Pasadena areas (teacher comes to you), and also live online lessons worldwide. Enjoy our interview below and reach out, if you’d like to schedule lessons with Josh.
Tell me about your the instruments and styles you teach. I teach bass, guitar, and ukulele. I love playing different styles/genres and different instruments- every genre of music appeals to a different demographic, and through playing gospel, rock, country, classical, blues, and other genres of music you get the opportunity to meet a variety of people from different walks of life. I love learning different instruments because they all serve different roles in bands/ensembles and they give a new perspective on your musicianship.
When did you first start playing? My mom started me out on piano at age 5, (she’s a piano teacher), and music was always present in the house. My dad never played an instrument in his life, but he opened my eyes to genres outside of classical music, especially rock music. This led me to pick up the electric guitar around age 12.
What was music like for you as a kid? I was always playing 2 instruments at a time. As an adolescent, I played the piano and flute and my mom kept me involved in the music community with recitals, performances, and competitions. In my teens, I continued with flute, and dropped the piano to pick up the guitar. I studied classical flute pretty seriously, and was absolutely obsessed with the guitar. My high school years consisted of flute competitions, orchestras, and playing guitar in the school jazz ensemble and a friend’s rock band.
Tell me about your educational background. Growing up, I was always taking music lessons on one instrument or another, and was involved in many music programs. I also received my BM and MM in studio/jazz guitar from University of Southern California.
What advice would you give a beginner? Pursue the musical subjects that interest you. Understand that becoming a great musician takes a lot of time and work; you get back what you put into it!
What are the essential things for a beginner to have?
-Amp, cables, picks (if applicable)
-Some sort of instructional book
-A great attitude and great listening skills
Tell me about your teaching approach/philosophy. Every student has a different background in music, and has different interests and goals. My teaching style varies depending on the styles of music and students I’m teaching. Generally, I teach functional skills, technique, and music theory, and use a genre of a student’s choice to incorporate all these skills into the music they enjoy.
What are some of your favorite things about teaching? Every teacher loves those “breakthrough” moments with their students. Recently, I was teaching a student some basics of jazz theory, and he it opened up an entire new world for him in regards to soloing and creating new ideas.
Favorite styles of music to teach? Blues, rock, slide guitar, and gospel music.
Where do you live? I live in Pasadena, across the street from Pasadena City College.
Memorable gig story? I was playing a wedding gig in Temecula. By the end of the night, all the men had ripped off their sleeves on their dress shirts, (they told me it’s an Australian tradition to rip off your sleeves once the workweek is done, and take the buggies off-roading*). The groom asked me if it was okay if he ripped off my sleeves, and after I said no, he quickly used his teeth to rip my sleeve off. At that point, I allowed him take the other sleeve too. They were nice enough to refund me for the shirt (it was actually my favorite dress shirt).
*Editor’s note: We have no idea if this indeed a tradition or simply an unusual wedding 😉
Favorite instrument or piece of gear? 60’s P-bass. Likely the most recorded bass sound of all time, and it’s still the standard today!
Favorite thing about living in Los Angeles? There’s always something to do, and always great music happening.
What do you enjoy doing, when not teaching? I enjoy gardening, biking, and playing video games with family (when time allows).