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"I got started because of Elvis Presley. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. I put a belt on a tennis racquet and would mime the records in front of a mirror. I told my parents I wanted a guitar because the tennis racquet didn't look so cool. They got me a ukulele, which looked even worse in the mirror than the tennis racquet. When they started offering music lessons at my school, my mother asked me if I wanted to learn music, and I said I wanted to learn guitar. So I started guitar when I was 11."
"In my teaching, I focus on the fundamentals of what I think someone who wants to be a jazz guitar player needs to be able to do. Sometimes other things about being in the business and in the profession come up. They're unscheduled, but they often lead to some of the most interesting times that we spend together."
"My students almost always play with a metronome. If it's a jazz tune, it's clicking on two and four. When it gets past a certain tempo, some people will turn it around so that the click is on 1 and 3. And I treat that as the worst thing that can happen. I tell them, 'You need to pay attention to the metronome as if it were the voice of God. It's the most important thing.'"
"You can tell when you've really gotten across with someone. It kind of hits you over the head. When someone really gets something, they light up like a Christmas tree—and you get the same feeling, from having spent so much time with them. It's really very obvious, and it's very, very cool when it happens."