Picking up the guitar
The guitar and I met when I was about 16-17 years old. Learning the chords to “Hotel California” from a friend really changed where I would be going and what I would be doing later in life. Even tough I had been surrounded by music and instruments all my life I never really considered playing anything until I started strumming those first chords. It’s safe to say me and my guitar got married shortly after we’d met and it is a marriage that is still going strong today!
In those first years I absorbed just about anything guitar related, of course filtered by my own music preferences(Rock and Metal at the time). One of my first teachers taught me to be openminded about music and introduced me to new music on a weekly basis. He would give me a tape and say:
“Listen to this, at least 5 times. You can like it, dislike it, but I want you to listen.”
The first tape he gave me was “Friday night in San Francisco” by Al di Meola, Paco de Lucia, and John McLaughlin. I must have played that tape a thousand times over. I was amazed by their improvisations, technical skills, passion, and musicianship. Whenever he would give me another tape I would listen!
Studying at the Conservatory
About 4 years after I played those first chords I started studying Jazz music at the conservatory of Amsterdam (Hilversum at the time). I would later on switch to Rotterdam where they had a world music department where I’ve spent many happy years playing Jazz, Argentinean Tango, Brazilian music, Latin, Latin Jazz, Funk, Pop, Rock, etc. I’ve never really specialised in a specific style but rather absorbed as much as I could of all styles! After graduation I started to broaden my horizon even further by delving into fingerpicking, classical music, and specifically learning all about Barrios and Tommy Emmanuel who’s skills became a new goal.
Teaching and the beginning of YGW
Since the age of 19 I’ve been giving guitar lessons to students of all ages at home and around my 27th birthday I started teaching at a large music school in the Netherlands. There I taught private lessons, group lessons, large workshops, and music projects.
Since 2006 internet has been becoming increasingly more important in my lessons leading to the foundation of Your Guitar Workshop. Though I have to give credit to Karsten (one my my students) as he jumpstarted my debut on youtube.
The fundamentals of Your Guitar Workshop
“This website is about the best possible learning experience, not about features!”
I’ve been teaching and band coaching for 20+ years and helped create large courses and music projects. All that offline experience has gone into my online lessons and courses which results into:
- Crystal clear explanation and step by step technique analysis
- Theory on a need to know basis, always integrated in practice
- You’ll only get the relevant camera angles so no cluttered up and confusing displays and screens!
- From short modules that target specific aspects of guitar playing to entire technical or stylistic courses, everything is to the point and focussed on bringing the best out of each student!
“There is only one teacher here on YGW: me. So when you love my teaching you’re gonna love all the lessons and courses!”
I guarantee I’ve personally made every lesson, exercise, and backing track on this website. This will speed up your learning process tremendously as my philosophy on learning and teaching is embedded in each and every lesson.
“All lessons are written to complement each other so you’ll hardly find any duplicate info on this website!”
I’ve started playing at 16-17yrs old, at 21 I was studying music at the conservatory. If anything what I’ve learned in those 4 years prior to the conservatory is to study very efficiently to get where I need to go as fast as possible.
- My courses and lessons are designed so you learn what you need to learn and then be on your way again. No long term subscriptions needed!
- No digging through libraries with tons of lessons, You’ll get there where you need to be in less time because of concise and targeted lesson programs.
“YGW videos, lessons, and courses are optimised for mobile use”
Mobile devices are the future and perhaps you and/or maybe your kids like to practice in places where they don’t have a laptop or desktop. No problem! YGW video’s are edited in such a way that they work great on: smart phones, Tablets, Laptops, and Desktops. Even on your smartphone you can actually read the TAB that’s embedded in the video!
“Despite all that I have to offer, it is you who has to put in the hours of practice.”
Don’t believe the commercials. You can’t get that perfect body with a 5 minute/day routine. It works the same with playing the guitar. You won’t become a guitar God(ess) practicing 5 minutes a day… You see sometimes we forget about the things that really matter when it comes to learning to play guitar:
A good teacher? Maybe… Lots of practice? Definitely!