Intro to Guitar
Having been immersed in the music retail world for many years, Robinson is keenly aware of the different instrument options available to beginning students. Not only will he teach you how to play guitar, he would be happy to advise you on how to procure and maintain your instrument. An instrument of self-expression should not be chosen lightly - but there are affordable guitars out there, especially if you're willing to compromise on aesthetics or are primarily interested in learning slide guitar, which doesn't require low action or perfect intonation. A recent "set-up" by a qualified luthier is always advised, and Robinson is happy to recommend one.
With absolute beginners, Robinson starts with a handful of chord shapes that can be modified and arranged up and down the neck limitlessly. Then, he establishes the context of each chord within a given musical scale. Once the student has a basic chord vocabulary and grasp of musical mechanics, Robinson starts by teaching a simple composition of the student's choosing. He strongly believes that best way to remain enthusiastic about learning an instrument is to start playing music that you enjoy as soon as possible. Naturally, technique and proper body mechanics are covered as well.
Robinson learned to "Piedmont Pick" from John Cephas of Cephas & Wiggins. After mastering that, he went on to incorporate elements of Celtic and Flamenco into his right-hand technique. He believes that every finger can and should be used. He will show his students how to execute arpeggios, rolls, alternating bass patterns, and teach them how to incorporate nimble, melodic phrases into their chords.
Rock & Roll
Robinson is no stranger to electric guitars. He loves to get loud and show his students how to navigate the wide world of effects and pedals, including (but not limited to) delay, reverb, sample & hold, octave, loop and fuzz. Students can choose to use a pick or their fingers. He uses both.
Robinson loves to get "in-between" the notes. He believes that it is only with a slide that guitarists can realize the full vocal potential of the instrument. It is a mysterious and underutilized technique in which he specializes. Much of what he knows comes from studying the recordings of Ali Akbar Khan and Blind Willie Johnson.
Robinson believes in using different tunings to evoke different moods, accommodate vocal registers, and to enhance solo performance. Although well-versed in "standard" (EADGBD), he recognizes that it's popularity is mostly due to it's harmonic versatility, not its aesthetic superiority. Alternative tunings and capos allow for more musical diversity, not just ease of execution, and are to be used accordingly. Chordal tunings can also be effective for demonstrating and isolating theoretical principles.
Jazz, R&B, and Beyond
Although less experienced in these styles, Robinson is a confident, capable, and open-minded musician and teacher who is willing to explore any music you may enjoy.