all of my life I have been surrounded by music, listening to popular music on the radio as child, vinyl records, and cassettes when they came out. I got accustomed in repeating the intros to songs written by my favourite artists such as The Beatles, ABBA, Pink Floyd, and so on, not realising that what attracted me were actually guitar riffs and phrases. Then my brother enrolled into a music school, naturally I wanted to go as well. Most of the people want to play the guitar not because of Francesco Tárrega or classical guitar, but mainly because the idea of being a Rock Star appeals to them. I was no different. I didn’t evolve in the music school, because I was lazy and played mostly what lured me into music in the first place: rock music. I bought the Johnny Pro electric guitar in Germany and started rocking the house with riffs from Deep Purple, AC/DC, and others. There was no internet in those days, so I had to teach myself how to play solely from listening and rewinding tapes – I broke at least two tape machines. In a while I started reaping the fruits of my labour and learned all the solos from Santana, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Page, and some other heroes I had at that time. I joined a rock band and thus began my career.
In couple of years one my older friends invited me to play with them in the Dixieland Band, which was the first time I came face to face with a major chord in my solo. So, I stuck to what I knew, a pentatonic scale, which was fine until the band got to the seventh chord. Then bamm! I was lost! This experience pushed me into learning more about chords, their structures, and scales that go with it. Wanting to become more proficient in the Dixieland Band, I began studying Freddy Green’s style of comping (as can be heard on his Basie’s Big Band sessions). Luckily we had many gigs (almost every weekend), which meant that I was forced to master new material very quickly, besides it becomes really boring to play the same things over and over again, which is why I was always experimenting. After being in a spotlight on assorted stages across the Europe, USA, and Canada, it dawned on me that I would get even better if I studied Jazz more professionally. So, I applied to the Klagenfurt Music Conservatory (Austria), where I met an incredible guitar teacher Guido Jeszensky, who in the next couple of years taught me a great deal of things that got me to where I am today. Soon afterwards I got invited to become one of the members of Radio Slovenia Big Band, which was already very established – I am still their member. Then a renown and critically acclaimed Croatian vibraphonist, the late Bosko Petrovic, invited me to join his band. It was him that opened the doors into the world of jazz for me; he introduced me to many notable musicians and I got to share the stage with them in all sorts of corners of the world. Listening to these guys play made me aware of many mistakes I was making and many misconceptions I was having – I realized I was using too many notes; I know now how simple the logic really is or at least should be: less notes at the right time is what makes music sound good. So I changed my attitude and focused more on the melodies and made my phrases more scarce, but more meaningful at the same time. I still follow this philosophy.
After more than twenty years of a professional career on concerts and in recording studios, I got numerous requests for giving lessons and teaching. Now I finally got around to do it. This is my guitar school, my way of playing, and my way of teaching for which I have spent many years analyzing and perfecting. I am well aware that people are learning all their lives, so let’s call this guitar school what it is: the best I can produce thus far.
I have seen many guitar lessons on the internet and find them more or less the same – the material and techniques do not deviate from one another. Learning the licks will not help you grasp the idea behind it, besides it gets really boring after certain amount of time, because you find yourself being very monotone and predictable. Since I was lucky enough to discuss my beliefs and takes on teaching music with some of the legends, Phillip Catherine, Joe Pass, Mike Stern, Mark Elf, and Tommy Emmanuel to name a few, I realized that we share the same view point – playing around chord-tones is the right way of building a solo: the prime, third, fifth, and seventh tone of the chord (and any other tone if included in the chord, for that matter). I go in a lot more detail in my lessons and supplement it with demonstrative videos.
After being skeptical about doing my own online guitar school due to the fact that I am still a very much an active professional musician and in-demand, which correlates with ‘having no spare time’, I have decided that I can do my best and squeeze in a collaborative effort designed to meet the highest standard of teaching and affordable price as a compensation for all the work that is accumulated in this heartfelt creation. Here you have my version of PROFOUND and MOST SINCERE GUITAR SCHOOL in my humble opinion. I find it critical that musicians do not consider each other a competition, but rather as swimmers sharing and enjoying the same ocean of endless possibilities and numerous and diverse life stories.
I receive a lot of feedback into my mailbox from people all over the world and would like to encourage you to the same: share your opinion or ideas, let me know what you think and what could be better.
Now let’s get to work and stop wasting your precious time reading my foreword, when you could already be practicing and learning treasures that I have prepared for you. Let’s begin!
P.S. Sorry about my English and some Language mistakes in the Lessons, I will be better!!!
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