A message from Az:
At the end of this year, I'll be back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for about a month to perform, record and spend some time with family and friends. During this period, I will be available for a limited number of private guitar lessons and group lessons (mid December 2010 and first half of January 2011).
Topics may include (but is not limited to):
- acoustic guitar techniques (basic fingerstyle, percussive guitar styles, arranging, writing and improvising in DADGAD)
- guitar acompaniment styles for singer-songwriters (folk, contemporary pop, blues, groove-oriented fingerstyle playing)
- composition and songwriting
- jazz improvisation and guitar comping
- ear training
- fretboard harmony
- music theory
- preparation for music college studies
I typically teach an hour lesson but have also done two hour or more lessons touching on different topics within one session.
All levels and ages welcomed!
My students range from 10 year olds to seniors. Some of my more prolific former students include Malaysian singer-songwriters Pete Teo, Rendra Zawawi and Ariff Akhir. Two of my former students have gone to study at Berklee College of Music and one is currently pursuing his MA in Music in San Francisco.
I've been performing and teaching music for 15 years. My formal credentials include:
- MA in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University, San Jose CA
- BM in Jazz Composition and Guitar Performance from Berklee College of Music, Boston MA (Summa Cum Laude Honors)
- BMus (Hons) in Professional Music (Arranging) from the University of Westminster, United Kingdom.
My teaching style and material is influenced by my studies with many great teachers over the years including Mick Goodrick, Bret Willmott, Rick Peckham, David Tronzo, Jon Damian, Hal Crook (during my time at Berklee College Of Music), Eric Roche, Don Ross, Thomas Leeb, Stuart Ryan, Andrea Valeri, Jacques Stotzem, Jon Gomm and Gottfried Gfrerer (in fingerstyle guitar workshops and private lessons in the UK and Austria) as well as Jimmy Wyble, John Stowell, Ben Monder, Carol Kaye, Adam Levy, Guy Van Duser and Sten Hostfalt via one-off workshops and private lessons (in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area).
I've also studied classical guitar and participated in classical guitar master classes with Mark Teicholz and Muriel Anderson, as well as private lessons with Steven Lin, Patrick Francis, Grisha Groyachev, Scott Tennant, Willliam Kanengiser, Gyan Riley and Ron Burczon. I believe an understanding of classical guitar technique to be immensely helpful in both my steel-string solo guitar and fingerstyle jazz guitar playing.
I've been on faculty at the Berklee College Of Music Summer Guitar Sessions (teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced Fretboard Harmony classes) and have conducted workshops in Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), International College Of Music and Malaysian Institute of Art (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). I've taught group guitar classes in San Francisco, CA (USA) and for two years, co-taught the Guitar Fundamentals class at San Jose State University, CA (USA).
To inquire about availability and rates, message me here.
Please include your name, your playing experience (how many years, what styles etc.) and what you hope to learn in the lessons (possible topics, areas of interest,goals). I look forward to hear from you!
Testimonials from previous/current students:
"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.
"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.
"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, age 22, SJSU Music Education and Trombone Performance major, San Jose, California.
"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.
"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.
" 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.
"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.
"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.
To inquire about availability and rates, message Az here.