Welcome to My Lesson Page
Here you will find information on my teaching philosophy, recommendations on books and study materials, and some free downloads (available in the STORE).
I teach the following:
Guitar, Electric Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, Banjo, Resonator (slide), Composition, Theory, Song Arranging, Recording Technology, and Sound Production.
Private In-Person lessons are available Monday and Wednesday 10 AM - 7:30 PM and Friday 2 - 6 PM.
My lesson studio is located in Bang! Music, Inc. 261-107 Garrisonville Road, Stafford, VA. 22554 (540) 659 - 6687
Weekday Times Monday - Thursday:
10 AM - 2 PM is great for retired adults, working adults in the area with flexible schedules, and home-school families.
2:30 PM - 6 PM works well for ten-year-olds through young adults.
6:30 PM - 8 PM is ideal for HS through working adults with busy daytime schedules.
Friday: 4 PM - 6 PM
I offer monthly block scheduling billed at $35.00 per half-hour once a week or $70.00 for one-hour lessons scheduled once a week per month.
A single one-time, one-hour lesson billed at $85.00.
For Online lessons: Please ensure you have a strong internet connection and become familiar with SKYPE or ZOOM before our scheduled class. Email me with any questions regarding the setup and functionality of these products. If we begin the lesson and you cannot make your connection function properly, you will be charged for the lesson. In some cases, we can reschedule or I will send a video lesson for the missed time.
Lessons through SKYPE and ZOOM are recorded for later viewing by the student and are stored on the products CLOUD. It is the student's responsibility to download any videos as they are only stored for thirty days on the product's server.
Recommended Hardware: For the best experience, I recommend (but not required) Headphones, a Quality USB Mic, or an Interface to your computer or tablet. Make sure the lighting (natural or artificial) is behind your camera or webcam and pointing at you. Phones will work fine however, consider their placement and use a mount or stand. And finally, choose a location that is quiet and where there will be no interruptions.
My philosophy is simple:
In my opinion, Music is a type of universal language shared by everyone around the globe. We hear it, feel it, dance to it, sing, chant, clap the rhythm, and imitate the sounds we hear on an instrument and the journey lasts a lifetime.
A thorough understanding and application of the basic fundamentals of music (Listening, ear training, timing, technique, logic, theory, and harmony) will lead to the freedom of musical expression.
I began playing the guitar more than 40 years ago and I still consider myself as a student of the instrument. I have found that in order to master the guitar one must constantly maintain a level of proficiency, explore new techniques, expand our repertoire and compose new ideas every day. As a musician, we must keep our ears and minds open to what has come before, its evolution, and what is on the horizon.
I have always had a passion for listening to and playing music and the guitar was my primary instrument choice. I share this passion for music and the instrument with each and every one of my students.
“My desire is not just to help you to become a great guitar player, but to develop excellent musicianship skills which enable you to express your musical voice through the guitar”.
In the private lessons, each student learns, studies, and applies tools that enable them to master skills that are required to fulfill the demand of any musical situation. I highly recommend that everyone carve out of their schedule a minimum of 30 minutes every day playing the instrument for at least 6 months. Playing any instrument requires consistent practice, dedication, and focus. Trying to accomplish any task with an inconsistent schedule results in frustration, loss of desire and eventually stopping and putting the instrument away. Please understand that we, professional musicians, have good days and bad days too. And, for us, we have the drive and the desire to overcome those bad days and strive to improve.
I also recommend recording your practice session once or twice a week. Compile the recordings at the end of a month so you can actually hear where you have made progress and recognize areas that need improvement. You must understand that everything we learn and apply takes time. There will be some things you master in a few days others may take months. Just be patient! There are really no shortcuts in developing your craft, there is only focused attention on maximizing the most efficient use of your time.
Even the greatest musicians are always learning and expanding their craft.
Many years ago our group was on stage at Bayou in DC waiting for soundcheck. I was honored and humbled by listening to one of my favorite Sax players, Michael Brecker warming up. On the break, I asked him about some of the phrases he was playing through that reminded me of John Coltrane's intervallic patterns and in our conversation, his response was: " I have studied these patterns for years and in the past 6 months, I have been working on the patterns you heard. I hope to have them internalized before the end of the tour where they become a natural part of my vocabulary (improvisational playing) and I am able to express them in a musical way." I have never forgotten our discussion on music, musicianship, and the journey we take. So, Be patient and follow your passion. We all develop in our own time!
As their instructor, I like to learn about a students’ musical interests, hobbies, sports activities, study habits, organizational skills, comprehension, and family. The more I know about the individual student, the better prepared I am to develop a program specifically addressing their individual needs. To me, investing in their interests and study habits enables me to present the student with a concise, well-thought-out instructional plan that they can follow at a pace that meets their abilities and time commitment. I have found that this approach makes it easier for them to establish a consistent practice schedule, they feel more confident and they are able to reach their individual goals in a shorter period of time.
All of my students study their principal instrument but are also taught ear training skills, singing, music theory, composition, transcribing music, and music history. They are also learning traditional and non-traditional instrument theory and techniques. I place a large percentage of the development on the student. I present them with concepts and techniques which they must process and apply to determine for themselves through research (trial and error) which device is more efficient and effective for a given task.
Please e-mail me with any questions you may have at email@example.com.
If you or a family member is interested in learning to play the guitar and is willing to work hard, I highly recommend they take lessons from Bruce Middle Guitar Lessons. Zack has been taking lessons from Bruce for a long time and Bruce has given Zack the tools he needs to be very good guitar player. If you or your family member is willing to do their homework and practice (Zack has practiced at least a thousand hours), they will benefit greatly from lesson with Bruce Middle.
Bruce your a kind and patient teacher - Each week I knew I could look foreword to a healthy dose of music with a capital M !
Enjoyed my time taking lessons from Bruce....I offered a few challenges (Old man hands that don't stretch well, or conform to difficult chord patterns, fat fingering strings, and slower than normal fingering of single notes, just to name a few) and he always had a "work-around" solution. He tailors his teaching to the student's musical leanings and level of proficiency. Everything is explained in a simple, easy-to-follow manner. Great knowledge of the instrument and music theory makes him an excellent choice for an instructor...for beginners to accomplished players. We all learn something that makes us better. Thanks, Bruce, for the time I spent with you. I'll probably be back in the near future.
Love playing with this guy. If you decide to take lessons from him, please pick up his most endearing trait: He listens to the other musicians, and bases his musical statements as a response to what they have said.