Guitar Lessons by Stephen Carrington
I have been playing guitar for about 30 years—since 1987—and my formal education was in music education. I grew up in this area; I attended East Cobb Middle School, Wheeler High School, and then Abilene Christian University (in Abilene, Texas). My principle instrument throughout my school years was alto saxophone (but I also played a good bit of baritone sax as well), and like all music education majors, I learned to play all the wind instruments typically found in school bands...and of course, throughout all of that, I learned to play guitar as well. I play or have played bass, lead and/or rhythm guitar in many bands and musical projects in the metro Atlanta area over the years, in styles ranging from punk rock, to '60s garage rock, to metal, to experimental, to blues, to country, to heavy psychedelic rock, and lots of other genres along the way. You can learn even more about me and my musical history, as well as get all of the latest info on some of my current projects, at the Sludge Hammer Records website.
In addition to offering guitar lessons, I also do freelance audio mastering and mix engineering gigs; and I used to work at Doppler Studios in Atlanta, one of the pre-eminent music recording, voiceover, ADR, and audio post-production studios in the Southeast, handling scheduling/management duties as well as any engineering gigs whenever I could—but they unfortunately closed their doors in June of 2016, after almost 50 years in the business. I also offer guitar-specific recording, composition, and performance services; and I occasionally do minor repairs and set-ups on acoustic and electric guitars and basses as the need arises. Musically I specialize in rock and blues, but I also teach country, pop, and metal, as well as everything related and in between.
I have always been fascinated with, and drawn to, music of all kinds—and all the things that go into making recorded music; and ever since my middle school band director, Mr. Al Hager, showed me just how rewarding music education can be, teaching has been a huge part of my life. Being able to pursue pretty much all of my passions for a living, I truly feel that I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I'm certainly the luckiest person I've ever met.
I give lessons exclusively on Ibanez guitars, usually on a c.1987 model RG550BK (pictured above, along with my modified 1983 Ibanez Artist). Ibanez guitars are incredibly reliable—everything on my RG550 is solid, up and down the neck, and it stays in tune even under my rigorous playing schedule. And they are also highly versatile instruments—I can play anything from blues to rock to country to pop to metal on this guitar, and it all comes through mightily. I always recommend Ibanez guitars to any of my students that are looking for a new guitar.
I also exclusively use McPherson guitar picks, and I give a few samples of them in various gauges to each new paid student. I feel that they are a fantastic training tool for new players, and that they can also help seasonsed players improve their accuracy and consistency. If you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend that you do!
You can listen to me playing on lots of different tracks on the Sludge Hammer site; in fact, I'm playing on pretty much everything posted there. Some of the recordings are from many years ago, and some are from recent years; on some I'm playing guitar, on some I'm playing bass, and on some I'm even singing. I hope you like the tunes, and I'd love to hear from you if you have any comments after listening.