Charles Hansen

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Member of Ross Phasor and Rock Bottom
  • Recordings include Ross Phasor's Gold Is Dead, Hide Your Rock and Roll
  • Author of "Twentieth-Century Guitar" in DownBeat
In Their Own Words

"My father is a professional musician in Canada, and I was influenced by him. I started playing when I was about 8 years old; he got me a guitar. I was always a guitar person, always, from the very beginning. I tried other instruments and can play a couple decently, but I was always really centered on the guitar."

"One thing that I like about the guitar is that it's probably more versatile than just about any instrument. You'll find it in so many styles of music. You can solo with it, you can accompany a singer, or you can be in a band. It has all that flexibility."

"I specifically like the electric guitar; it's just so malleable. You can use effects and get different sounds, or you can play just pure through the amplifier. You can make the guitar sing like a human voice, which you can't do with some other instruments. But you can also just play. With a piano, for example, it's not a singing instrument so much because you don't bend notes, and you don't bravado notes. The thing with the guitar, you can do that, and you can also do what the piano does, which is accompany someone with it."

"What I want to bring to my students is the notion that you have to work hard and you have to work efficiently. To me, of paramount importance is ear training: relating sounds that you train yourself to hear—intervals and chords—and being able to instantly access those sounds on the finger board. I can't stress enough how important that is."

"Playing the guitar is like anything that's difficult: It gives you a lot of satisfaction, and it also makes you learn about discipline. It's challenging, it's difficult, it's arduous sometimes, but the reward is that you develop certain skills. You're not just learning how to play guitar, you're also learning what dedication is and what discipline is."