Testimonials

"I had taken guitar lessons with Az for almost two months. I've got to say I had experienced the meaning of professional. I started playing fingerstyle guitar by myself and I thought what I was doing was right. However after a few lessons with Az. I found out I was able to play some pieces that I thought I wouldn't be able to play after many years later. Az knows every solution of my difficulties and they are very helpful. Az is very creative. He could change a song to my tunes which sound awesome. Anyways Az is an amazing guitar teacher and guitarist. I would love to have lessons again!" 

Jeremy Hou, Auckland, New Zealand (Skype Lessons)

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"I have been playing electric and acoustic guitar on and off for about 18 years. Being primarily self-taught, I focused on just learning songs that I wanted to play and completely ignored all other aspects of developing my playing - from theory to technique, and everything else in between.

I joined Az because I became frustrated with my inability to fully understand what I was playing, and I wanted to learn how to improvise and translate the licks I heard in my head onto the fretboard.

Learning from Az has been transformative for my guitar playing. He is equally as gifted as a player, as he is as a teacher, and he has helped me develop into a much more well-rounded guitar player with noticeably improved playing ability.

Part of Az’s “special sauce” is his ability to take complex, seemingly daunting material, and translate them into easy-to-understand bite sized concepts in a manner that made it incredibly easy for me to grasp - where previously I had failed at learning the same concepts online/through other material.

Highly recommended!"

Anand Krishnan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Electric Guitar Student)
 

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"I completed a two month Introduction to Fingerstyle Ukulele Course with Az or more appropriately “Dr Az”. He will look and listen and “diagnose”. He can pinpoint your idiosyncracies and pull down the stumbling blocks of each individual’s personal development. He has a mind so attuned to the finest details and he can really open doors that you cannot imapgine. He has an open mind that is ever willing to absorb and digest new styles and thinking. He is able to break down complex ideas into simple concepts. He can transgress all barriers to transform each individual’s creativity and musicality. He strives to understand each individual so that he can inspire one to rediscover their passion.

Last but not least, Dr Az is a passionate artiste who is true to his art and he sincerely strives for the betterment of all musicians alike."

Cheng Lan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Completed the Intro to Fingerstyle Ukulele Course)

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"Not only is Az a thorough and inspiring teacher, I loved how to customized the lessons to cover areas that would enhance my skills as a singer-songwriter, I don't think I've ever enjoyed homework that much! Az's mastery of the instrument translates into his lessons but technicalities aside, it was the way he made me feel - always encouraging - that marks him as as true teacher whose love for sharing surpasses all else."

- Bihzhu, singer-songwriter

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"Sometimes I feel that Az Samad is like a mini Berklee to me, I know it sounds weird...

I come from China, before I met Az, I’ve already play guitar for years, and really tired of this instrument, I’m not just hit the wall, walls are the only thing happen when I play guitar. I’ve seen many guitar players and I know that they can’t help me, probably I could help them (sorry for my arrogance). Also, I’ve seen some high level guitarist too, and they still can’t help me, because teaching is a totally different thing, just like I don’t know how to teach you my mother language.  

Then occasionally I met Az, watch him playing, he’s so good, and I go back home google him... Worth trying... you know...

Every time I taking the class is like a Jazz Improvisation Session, me and Az, nobody knows what’s gonna happen, so much fun and efficient, coz I won’t spend times on the things I already know."

 

- QuYuan Leo, Sound Engineer, Former Radio DJ, Guitarist

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"I recently took an 8 hour package deal with Az, as a songwriter i basically hit a wall in terms of composing. My main goal was to expand my understanding of the guitar in order to enable me to diversify and be experimental with how i structure my chords and to write new songs.

Az was very structured in his lessons and took the time to understand what my goals are and worked very closely with me to achieve that goal. He was very open with most of my questions and made the lessons very fun and informative.

As a result, I have now rediscovered my passion and this course has definitely helped with craft as a songwriter and performer by pushing myself to be more imaginative."

- Rashdan Harith, Singer-songwriter, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

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"I have been a guitarist for almost 10 years and thought I could just get by with chords and melody. Learning from Az has been an amazing experience, every lesson has multiplied my knowledge of music and just went I thought I learned enough about a particular thing, he amazes me with his depth of knowledge and wisdom. I always look forward to the next lesson, never knowing what I may learn and discover every session. Az Samad's lessons are tailor made for anyone, be it an aspiring musician, a music enthusiast or an advance player, he has always something to offer and in spades. He is a brilliant maestro but an equally great mentor if not better!!"

- Benjamin Khong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Completed The Jazz Guitar Masterclass Course in Oct 2013)

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"When start learning with Az, I want to learn something different or new from the way I playing. Not only learn jazz and fingerstyle but his vast knowledge of guitar and music have inspired me. His teaching method and explanation are brilliant, friendly and easy to understand. I found a huge improvement in playing and knowledge after learning with Az. Lesson with Az are definitely fun! "

- Aaron Ac, Rock & Jazz Guitarist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"Thank you Az Samad for the workshop & it is a pleasure sitting in your workshop for the 2nd time since Yr 2006/7. I can tell you have a passion for teaching and sharing & hope to catch you in action again soon. Beautiful sound from your Lowden even when it went direct to the PA system."

- Teik Guan Kam, Guitar Workshop Participant, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"As a singer, who plays guitar just to aid the process of songwriting, the thought of taking guitar lessons from Az was a little intimidating. I thought that I would be out of place because he's so skilled - how on earth would he deal with a novice like me? But one visit changed all of that. He's so friendly and easy to communicate with, so our lessons were never boring. I had no intention on ever becoming the next guitar legend, I just wanted to play better so I could write more diverse music, and Az clearly got that. These were by far the best guitar lessons I have ever taken because it didn't 'fix' me, it enhanced me. I told Az what I wanted to learn, and he tailor-made my sessions to constantly adapt to my learning pace and comfort levels. I learnt so many new interesting chords and techniques that I could apply to my writing immediately. I was a very basic player before starting with him, and my viewers left me comments saying they could sense a change just after 2 lessons! Az's lessons are so individualistic that it not only made me a better guitarist, but a better artist due to his insight."

- Keana Reinu, Singer-songwriter, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 

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"Az was a wonderful teacher to have at the Thomas Leeb Bootcamp. He touched on core topics of composition and phrasing in a way that was approachable and meaningful. He equipped us with tools that we can now use to help in our building processes."

Kyle Horn, Percussive Fingerstyle Guitarist, New York City, NY

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"We all know that Az is a fantastic guitarist and teacher, but it is his attitude towards his craft which strikes me the most. Az's joy when he plays the guitar is more than infectious, and I feel that beyond technique and musicianship, this is something many can and should learn from. I have had the absolute pleasure of being more than just a student of Az, but also a good friend. Az has a vast knowledge of guitar and the music industry, stemming from years of professional experience, and what he has shared with me has been invaluable in my endeavours as a solo musician. It has been a wonderful experience learning from him, in both his exceptional skill at the guitar and his admirable attitude."

Neil Chan, Fingerstyle Guitarist, Singapore 

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"Az has an amazing ability to teach in a way that makes it so easy to learn, I managed to learn so much in just a short span of time. Having a familiar and comfortable way of playing after many years using the guitar for songwriting, the lessons with Az was an exploration of new sounds and ways of playing that  inspires new material. Looking forward to experiment. Thanks Az!"

Mei Chern, Singer-songwriter, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"Az is one of the most passionate and approachable teacher that I have known. I have always wanted to learn to play a guitar but having a hectic schedule at work, I didn't pursue the interest thinking guitar lessons will be a routine and not feasible to be built into my plan. Having said that I realised that Az provided a flexible solutions to deal with the situation. Afterall my goal is not to sit for exams or to add stress to the learning experience. So indeed we managed to work on a plan for lessons to be managed with a balance of my work schedule of which I appreciate the most.
Being a beginner, I had to shop for a guitar for the first time and Az helped me out by taking time to share his knowledge on what are the things that I should look out for in buying a guitar and made the whole experience less intimidating and enjoyable.
I enjoyed taking classes with Az because he allowed me to progress at my own pace and he would translate 'technical' terms in a basic manner that can be understood easily for a beginner. There is always room for questions and creative approach taken by Az to explain the 'why' and 'how' throughout the lesson.
Indeed he has planted a seed of interest to continue to learn to play the guitar and making it a fun and fruitful experience for me."

Samantha Lee, Beginner Guitar Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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"I was lucky enough to have a 2 hour lesson with Az each weekday for two weeks. Prior to meeting Az I was a competent electric rhythm and lead player. Having a degree in composition I had good theory knowledge and interest in analysing music. I was hoping to expand my acoustic playing techniques and to have challenging conversations about music in general and guitar in particular.

Each lesson was unique, this was great for me as Az and I did a very satisfying mix of playing and talking. We challenged each other and enjoyed the exchange of knowledge and opinion on music playing, composing, listening and also life in general.
When demonstrating techniques or pieces Az was very patient and considerate and moved at the pace that suited me. He also allowed me to video key aspects of lessons.
Each day I looked forward to the lesson and wondered what it would bring.  I was never disappointed, the lessons were stimulating, challenging and fun.  
Each day I left wanting more, but also intellectually spent as we covered a lot of ideas and materials in each session which suited my level of understanding and skill.
I am a much better player following our series of lessons, I have a friend in Malaysia and I learnt a lot about music, playing and life through my interactions with Az.
Thank you Az for sharing your knowledge, passion and skills with me. With eternal gratitude. Mat "
Mat, Acoustic Guitar & Music Theory Student, Christmas Island, Australia 

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"Like most guitar enthusiasts, I started off young, enthusiastic and eager to learn, but eventually lost my zeal and got stuck in a rut with the same licks and chord progressions. Even though I wanted so much to learn about jazz guitar playing, the online resources available kept me away with their complex lingo on jazz standards and music theory. So when I heard about Az, I immediately called about classes.

I can remember the first class with Az so vividly, the way he handles guitar classes is truly a breath of fresh air. Always smiling and warm, he unravelled the basic jazz chords, as well as their arpeggios within the first lesson. I remember driving back and trying to recall all that I had learnt, and telling my mom how much I had enjoyed the class. Moreover, taking classes with Az has reinvigorated my desire to improve and practice harder than before. He has also opened up my playing from being a purely 'pentatonic scale' player to venture beyond my comfort zones on the fretboard. To put it in a nutshell, I've truly rediscovered my passion for the guitar.

From my experience with guitar teachers, I can testify that not all great guitar players make great guitar teachers. But Az is the exception to this rule, and I can't wait to get back to classes with him, so that I can continue learning! "

Arwin Goo, Jazz Guitar Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"Studying guitar with Az Samad is awesome. The 2 months of Jazz Guitar Masterclass is a kickass journey for me, made my money well spent. Haha. Az Samad's teachings is so well structured. Talking about soloing over changes, I spent most of my time finding more licks to solo, so that I don't play the same licks over and over again in every song. After I started Az Samad's lesson, I understand that being able to play a good solo is more than just practicing licks ! Hahaha. Good one.

We talked about how to explore and practice chord voicings, melodic comping, writing lines over changes, rhythmic and melodic motif development . Trust me, Az Samad is a friendly guy and it's really easy for me to get information from Teacher Az in any topic related to guitar. At least enough for a year to practice I can say. Hahaha.

Now that I've completed this 2 months Jazz Guitar Course, I feel better at understanding about Jazz Guitar. One of the most important information that I've got from Teacher Az Samad is, there are too many things for us to practice, we have to be sure what is our goal and we want to achieve so that we can have a good direction to plan for our every practice session. Really appreciate all the information I got from classes and I'm PROUD to be Az Samad's student !      =)"

Chee Seng, Music College Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"Before I join Az's class I had already learn and play for 4 years but all the while, my overall playing still quite stiff especially the percussive techniques that I learnt from Youtube. After getting his lessons, my previous weaknesses such as playing with no emotions, stiff techniques have removed! Moreover, after the lessons, I get to learn many things that are more than my expectations. Aside from the percussive techniques, I'd even discover my own play style and learn the way to compose guitar fingerstyle music. Aside from these, Az is also a very helpful and friendly mentor as he always provides me with good resources and suggestions even outside of class time. Finally, I can say is that my guitar playing skill has been ultimately reached the next level."

Lai Ze Ren, Fingerstyle Guitar Course Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"Learning with Az has been a unique experience, full of many paths and unexpected turns that have lead to satisfying places and better playing.  Until recently, I've been a self-taught guitarist for the past 30 years.  Initially, I figured we would need to spend time working on my incorrect ways of playing.  But that didn't happen.  Az saw these not as bad habits, but as other ways of playing.  He urged me to build and add new voicing and phrases, as a way to add to my collection of existing techniques.  In a very short period of time, I've found myself exploring the fretboard with a renewed sense of wonder and curiosity that I haven't experienced in years, and as a result, my playing and compositions have benefitted greatly.  Az is probably one of the few instructors who knows how to engage his students, customize lessons, and enable you to discover what you're truly capable of."

Eric Hausmann, Multi-Instrumentalist & Composer, Skype Guitar Student, Portland, Oregon, USA

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"I have owned a guitar for 10 years before I finally decided to do something with it, and I picked the right teacher. Az seems to have a knack for mind-reading as he is able to dissect and explain the music to me even before I know what questions to ask. His emphasis on learning the basics well has helped me build a sound foundation to progress much faster.

One of the most helpful tools that Az uses well is technology. His videos of the songs and techniques that I'm learning let me review the lessons on my own, and has helped me learn so much better. Guitar is fun!"

Carolyn Hong, Beginner Guitar Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"Az is a guitar genius. Studying jazz guitar with him is a most eye-opening, musically-inspiring journey. His really unique approach to common musical challenges never fails to amaze me. What's best is Az teaches one "how to fish instead of giving him/her a fish", i really appreciate how he teaches one how to apply concepts, how to approach musical raw material and how to practice - which is knowledge that I can apply throughout my musical journey in life. His teaching style is really great too, as he is really friendly, concise and to-the-point. What's really cool too is that Az can make genres like funk sound really good on a classical guitar hahaha ! Az's mastery of any musical material he is working on is so admirable. I daresay Az is my most favorite guitar teacher !  :D"

Sapphire Ng, Music College Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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"My lessons with Az was one of my most fruitful and provocative experiences in my 'guitaring' adventures. Being a guitar teacher myself, i noticed that Az's teaching technique is comprehensive and he would always managed to keep 'boring' subjects interesting and fun for the students. I was always excited to attend his classes although it would take 5 hours to reach his apartment (I'm from Penang, by the way!)!! Besides being an awesome performer, he's a great teacher and he'd emphasize on details of techniques from various perspectives. Flexibility is his 'middle' name and I'm happy that each lesson is somehow customized to my needs rather than a fixed or rigid syllabus. Thanks Az! "

Richard Leong, Professional Guitar Teacher, Penang, Malaysia

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"I'm a self-taught guitarist and have been playing for 12 years now. I started with piano lessons till Grade 5 but I never quite liked the piano, so I taught myself guitar instead. Thanks to the internet and Youtube, I've managed to learn quite a fair bit - till I hit the ceiling of free self-learning about 5 years ago. Try as I might, I could never get myself to the next level, and I started giving up and thought "this is the best I'll ever get". That was until I met Az.

I signed up for four weeks with Az, with high expectations and "big problems" that I wondered if we could cover in time. I wanted to master the fretboard, be able to play further than the 4th fret, understand jazz basics, play some harmonics - stuff like that - and I figured we'd need months and months for that. Az blew that out of the water - I knew how to master the fretboard within my first hour with him. Mind = blown.

In the weeks to come, Az not only taught me all I wanted to learn; he also corrected the many little errors I had in my playing that I never knew existed, and taught me so much about the guitar that I now have enough practice material to last me at least 6 months. All in very easy-to-understand lessons with no funky guitar jargon. He's incredibly easy to work with, is really patient, and best of all - he *knows* what exactly to teach and how to achieve my goals that there is no wasted time. I've learnt more in those 4 weeks than in my 5 years fumbling around in the dark.

True, Az's prices are premium prices - it's no secret that you can take normal guitar classes for a fraction of the price. But you don't get "normal" teaching with Az - you get customised, condensed, *premium* stuff that you absolutely cannot get anywhere else for this kind of price. Don't let the casual, down-to-earth look fool you. This guy knows his stuff, and he is amazing at teaching that stuff to you.

If his credentials listed in his website isn't enough to convince you, then let me leave you with this: If I had a choice to go back in time and decide whether or not to sign up for Az Samad's uber-premium classes - I would. Ten times out of ten. And I'm already planning to continue my classes once I've mastered what I've learnt so far.

Just sign up with him already. You will not regret it."

Michael Kwan, Tech Geek & Guitar Enthusiast, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"Az Samad was amazing when he came to work with us as the Jazz Consultant for the Young KL Singers' 10th Anniversary Concert, Popzzical! Knowledgeable and funny, he helped us understand the historical context behind Ain't Misbehavin', making good use of YouTube videos to highlight the different ways the song could be interpreted. He was also instrumental in getting us to groove properly for the rhythmic Sinaran, with his engaging and effective advice that was very easily grasped by all 40 of our members. He definitely helped us bring out the best in our jazz numbers for our concert. Thanks, Az!"

Yin Zhen Yao, Producer, Popzzical 

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"I'm a 30-something, tone deaf IT professional and a father of 3 kids under 6. My previous music education ended after my third piano class when I was about 8 and the only other instrument I played and was decent at in school was the triangle. If Az can teach me to play the guitar like a warrior mariachi and tell apart mexican and spanish finger styles, imagine what magic he can work for you and your guitar. His brilliance on stage is only overshadowed by his patience and creativity in teaching. He doesn't just show you the techniques, he makes you fall in love with the guitar."

Wu Han Ngeow, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"I was interested in learning more about song writing, but have always had the fear of writing my ideas and having others listen to them. I had a Skype session with Az and learned about many a variety of valuable things, such as where to get an idea and how to translate that idea into a musical composition. I wrote my first song (Night, in Farsi, “Shab”) in 15 minutes, and I was actually pleased with it. It is amazing how creative one can get if the motivation and excitement is behind a project. Az gave me the motivation to get started. I am not a composer and did not study composition at music school, I am a vocalist who has very little knowledge of the 'rules of composition,' yet, Az created a very friendly environment that taught me and my boyfriend (an engineer) how to get our ideas organized and use them in making some very fun musical projects.

Sara Renee Morajev, Professional Vocalist & Music Educator, Livermore, California.

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"I have been playing for about five years before enrolling with Az Samad. I have gone to a few guitar classes before but I remained stuck in a rut. It was frustrating.

A friend suggested Az Samad whom he saw performing and true enough, his vast musical knowledge and performing experience helped me a lot. My guitar playing improved by leaps and bounds. His approach to teaching guitar is very systematic, helped greatly by his personality that truly inspiring. We started with minor pentatonic before moving to major pentatonic. By my third class, listening to a song became a new experience and I could identify and understood the mechanic behind the songwriting, as if a veil has been removed.

With the help of Line 6 JM4 looper, I practiced what I have been taught and voila, I found myself jamming for hours. The best part was when my wife complimented my playing. Initially she thought it was the stereo.

If you are serious about guitar playing, I recommend my sifu very highly. Go to him and you will be surprised by how fast you can improve. He inspires me to improve and he will do the same to you too."

Hisham Zaman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"My name is Amirhooman and I major in music and before taking classes with Az Samad I was lost I didn't know how to get my tone how to apply the theory on my playing and much more in one sentence AZ SAMAD WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO PLAY THE GUITAR AND NOT THE GUITAR PLAYING YOU and my playing changed from the first hour of the class. And he is a true mentor."

Amirhooman Hesmati, Music College Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"I learnt more than I ever did in the past few months with my previous guitar teacher simply because he (Az) can effectively get the message across while keeping the subject matter simple. You won't regret it!"

Arthur Song, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"Az Samad is a wonderful musician and teacher. He is familiar with a vast array of guitar styles and techniques from classical to contemporary. What's more, he knows how explain the guitar in simple terms."

Eli Harrison, M.Mus. student, San Francisco, California. 

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"Az has a flawless technique for teaching guitar concepts, and is one of the top guitar players in the Bay Area. I highly recommend him for lessons or gigs!"

Keith Hunter, SJSU Music Education and Trombone Performance major, San Jose, California.

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"Az Samad is not only an incredible performer but has the ability to explain the techniques behind his phenomenal playing. His knowledge expands from Classical to nearly every contemporary style under the sun. Along with his teaching skills, Az has the ability to truly inspire his students to be outstanding musicians. Mr. Samad's teaching style is perfect for beginner, intermediate and advanced students!"

Alex Upegui, SJSU B.A. in Vocal Performance, San Jose, California.

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"Through our weekly guitar lessons, Az has inspired me in fingerstyle guitar. Our musical pursuits in class as student and teacher have broaden both our musical interests in terms of genre; our sources of music come from the current Top 40s to videos on YouTube, to classical sheet music. Az is an awesome teacher who is passionate about every song he plays."

Johnny Wong, High School Student, Fremont, California.

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 "As a student of many guitar instructors, Mr. Az Samad stands among the greats. His humble and patient approach, along with a wide breadth of knowledge, combines to create a perfect learning environment. Mr. Samad has an innate ability to pinpoint problem areas and focus your practice in a way that is enjoyable and highly productive. Simply put, a lesson with Mr. Samad is a truly 'Azesome' experience."

Mason Hutchinson, SJSU Undergraduate, San Jose, California.

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" My lessons with Az has turned out to be one of the most valuable and worthwhile experience throughout all the time I've spent on the guitar. It is not just the instruction of technique but the impartation of his experiences, thoughts & observations, interjected with humour and good advice that sets him apart from the rest. Highly skilled and an excellent teacher, Az is a must for anyone looking to improve themselves as a guitarist. "

Aidan Chung, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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"Az Samad was born to play teach and play the guitar! He is a natural! His style of teaching is easy to understand. Each time I met with him I was amazed at how easily he could get his point across. Every time I asked him a question in class, he was always knew the answer. Az is an excellent teacher! He is patient, kind and an expert at his craft! You will do well to learn from him."

Barbara Ramos, SJSU Music Education Major, San Jose, California.

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"As a private student of Az, I can simply say that no other private lesson I've attended was as comprehensive for both practical & theory. Not a single minute was wasted. The session I attended filled me full of new knowledge & vision that I later applied to my very own music.

Az was so helpful that he was even willing to let me organize a group workshop for my guitar community, ACPickers. Everyone who attended the workshop had nothing but good things to say and were satisfied with the overall output! I'm already looking forward for the next one which is coming soon at the end of the year!

Az is not only a great performer - full of sense of humor but also great educator who is willing to teach and share all that he has learnt and experienced!"

Yowech Yong, Guitarist and Music Teacher, Malacca, Malaysia.

Beats & Bytes

Teaching Highlights

Upcoming Workshops:

Currently scheduling workshops & speaking engagements for 2013-2015. Interested in organizing one? Contact Az here!

Mon, Sept 9: Singapore | Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop at Maestro Guitars and Ukulele, Esplanade | 6:30 PM

Currently scheduling workshops for 2013-2015. Interested in organizing one? Contact me here!

Recent Workshops & Talks:



10 Mar, Sun, 1pm & 3.30pm (Mosaic Music Festival, Singapore)

Mosaic Music Makers: In A Chord –
Guitar workshop for Absolute Beginners
 [SOLD OUT]

Thomas Leeb Residential Acoustic Guitar Workshop [SOLD OUT]
(with Thomas Leeb, Jon Gomm, Mike Dawes, George Lowden, Wilfried Lepuschitz and Az Samad) 
Turracher Höhe, Austria, July 13th - 19th 2013 

Thomas Leeb Residential Acoustic Guitar Workshop
(with Thomas Leeb, Jon Gomm, Mike Dawes and Az Samad) 
Turracher Höhe, Austria, July 6th - 12th 2013  

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013, 6pm (ICOM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
The Secrets of a Successful Touring Musician
with Az Samad & Gabriel Lynch (FB Event Page)

Tues, Feb 21 | University of Asia and The Pacific, Philippines
Campus Workshop Tour in conjunction with Philippines International Jazz Fest

I've Conducted Workshops At: 


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Online Lessons/Transcriptions

Truefire.com Lesson - 4 Exercises For The Right Hand (US$0.99 - includes MP3 and PDF file)

Free Lessons:

Hybrid Chords and the II-V-I Chord Progression (includes MP3 & PDF)
CAGED Fingering Concept
Ideas on how to learn a song
Latah Setinggan Transcription - A section
Score/Transcription for Senja Mula Menangis

And more free lessons on:
www.achordaday.com
guitarharmony.blogspot.com

Selected blog posts:

On composing (March 5, 2004)
On the creative process (March 31, 2004)
Music and inspiration (Jun 1, 2004)
On attending Eric Roche's Residential Guitar Workshop (Oct 10, 2004)
Different aspects of the guitar (Oct 14, 2004)
Random notes about the guitar (Oct 29, 2004)

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I've taught at:

Northern California Music & Art Culture Center (NCMACC) , San Francisco, CA

SF Guitars Not Guns (Beginner and Intermediate Group Guitar Classes) - San Francisco, CA
The Music School, Sunnyvale, CA
Berklee College Of Music (Faculty, Berklee Summer Guitar Sessions 2007 & 2008) - Boston,MA
The North Beach Teen Program Guitar Classes @ Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center - San Francisco, CA
San Jose State University (Co-teacher for Guitar Fundamentals Class and Teaching Assistant for Jazz Improvisation I Class)
De Anza College (Teaching Assistant for Intermediate/Advanced Guitar Class)

And conducted music workshops at:

Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA. 
Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, California, USA.
Culturefest 2008, Pipestem, West Virginia, USA.
San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA.
Evergreen Valley High School, San Jose, California, USA. (Guitar Outreach w/ Steve Lin)
International College Of Music, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysian Institute of Art, Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
AC Pickers @ Freeman Guitars, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Guitar Collection Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Music Hut, Damansara Perdana, Malaysia
Young Choral Academy, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Damansara Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Kl SingSong Festival 2006

« Learn Jazz Guitar in Kuala Lumpur! | Main | Jazz Guitar 101 »
Friday
Feb102012

[Video Lesson] How Do I Understand Modes?

This video is an expansion of a blogpost about modes I wrote back in 2006. 

[The Short Version]

Essentially, there are two ways of learning modes:

1. Derivative Approach
2. Parallel Approach 

Derivative is taking a major scale and starting it on different notes.

Parallel is using the same root note and flattening or sharpening the notes to get the other modes.

i.e.

Derivative: same notes, different starting notes

Parallel: different notes, same starting note

[Additional Resources]

Click here for Guitar Tabs of [The Major Scales + Modes Starting on C]

Click here for [All This Modes Stuff Summarized in A Chart]

*****
[ACTION STEPS] How can you learn this better?

1. Understand the Parallel Aproach process I explained in the video & apply it to another Major Scale.
2. Play a 1-octave Major Scale on your instrument & change one note at a time to get different modes.
3. Pick one mode and improvise using it over a one chord backing track.

Wanna Learn More?

Find out more about my....

-> Guitar Lessons [Click here] 

-> Music Lessons for all Instruments [Click here]

Reader Comments (4)

Most valuable and straightforward explanation of modes. A gate wide opened to a whole new musical world, with so much to explore. Excellent work Az and thanks for sharing!

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFloW

You're welcome FloW! Glad you found it valuable. =)

February 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterAz Samad

Thanks Az! It will take me a few times of watching and putting the info to practice, but definetly helpful!

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuss

Hi Russ - thank you so much for checking it out! Yes, the video is meant for repeated watching.

Definitely try playing the guitar tab example (listed in the [Additional Resources] section in the text) to get a really hands-on understanding of the different sounds. =)

February 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterAz Samad

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