Guitar is my first instrument. I have over 25 years of experience playing and 20 years of experience teaching.
If you are a beginner, my approach is to get you playing and enjoying the instrument as quickly as possible by teaching you simplified versions of your favorite songs. Start playing real music right away! Keeping it simple will keep it fun! Based on your long term goals, I will help you to set reasonable weekly goals. By starting off with proper technique you will never have to go backwards, you will never have to unlearn bad habits. As you progress, we can expand upon your skills and knowledge.
If you are an intermediate or advanced player, my approach is to first come to an understanding of where you are at musically and where you want to go. I will analyze both your right and left hand technique. I will also analyze your knowledge of music theory and application of music theory in relevance to your specific goals. Once strengths and weaknesses have been defined we will develop a lesson plan. Examples of right hand (picking hand) techniques that may be covered include but are not limited to: sweep picking, alternate picking, economy picking, fingerpicking, hybrid picking, raking, tapping, muting, artificial harmonics, tap harmonics…Rhythmic studies include but are not limited to: how to use a metronome, reading and writing rhythmic notation, understanding time signatures, counting in odd time signatures, advanced beat permeation…Studies of music theory and understanding of the instrument include but are not limited to: learning the notes of the fretboard, playing diatonically in any key, playing modally, the use of chromatic notes, using and identifying intervals and harmonies, how to build chords and create your own voicings…Left hand (fret hand) studies include but are not limited to: scale fingerings, chord and arpeggio fingerings, the use of trills, vibrato, bends, hammer-ons and pull-offs, basic slide technique, natural harmonics, how to develop speed and dexterity…Also, how to safely develop your chops; the use of stretches and exercises to keep you moving forward – Shredders Welcome!!
Bass Guitar Lessons
I have been playing bass for over 15 years. There is an immediate transfer from a guitar to a bass. The left hand dexterity and voicing knowledge is immediate. The right hand flat-pick as well as classical finger-style techniques remain solid foundations. Though some things are the same others are not. For this reason I studied bass independently from guitar. It is very different from strumming chords just as it is not a lead guitar solo. Learning the role of the instrument in ensemble situations is crucial. Create the groove. Find the pocket. Embrace the use of space. At the same time the bass can be a solo instrument and offers much in the way of it’s own unique voice and capability!
My background in Drums: I have 25 years of experience playing drums. I took 5 years of weekly private drum lessons at Dicenso’s Drum Shop, located just outside of Boston. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from world class drummers and instructors such as Vance Gordon, Van Romaine & Mike Mangini (just to name a few)! I was able to attend many lessons and clinics associated with Berklee College of Music (Dave Dicenso being Berklee faculty) and I was able to learn so much about drumming and rhythm from such accomplished drummers. I have continued my studies on drums independently over the last 20 years. My drumming is featured on over 100 studio recordings including the one man rock show of “The Sky Zito Solo Experience”. I have vast live performance experience which includes becoming a finalist in the 2016 Austin GC drum off competition. In addition to “in home lessons”, I’m proud to offer the use of my conveniently located North Austin studio!
I have a flexible and adaptable system that includes warm ups, chop builders, rudiments, drum set grooves in correspondence with limb independence, chart study & playing along with recordings. Any style of music can be approached through this method. Elements from the daily practice routine can be combined to create something entirely new and fresh. As a side note, for anyone looking to add some flash to their playing: I love stick tricks, I know a ton of them and I love finding ways to incorporate them into a performance!
I have 25 years of experience as a vocalist. I began working on my voice simply to complement my guitar playing but it didn’t take long before it took on a life of it’s own. I discovered that I really enjoyed singing and enjoyed the process of developing my voice. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to study with many excellent vocal teachers, most notably Steve Heck (Berklee College of Music Faculty) & Mark Baxter (author of “The Rock N Roll Singer’s Survival Manual”).
My method of teaching is based upon the concept of minimizing tension in order to maximize results. Coordination will be achieved through isolating key muscle groups. The end result is vocal strength & flexibilty that will allow you to trust your reflexes and sing from your heart with your own unique style and sound.
Each student is reserved a reoccurring weekly time slot. That time is reserved for the student and will not be given to anyone else. I ask that you make a commitment to me in the same way that I am making a commitment to you. I have found that consistency is extremely important and directly related to progress. A weekly lesson will enable correction of various techniques without forming bad habits. There is also a motivational factor tied into the teaching process in which how you practice and how you view progress becomes in some ways as important as what you practice. Creating a positive mindset towards practice and learning to recognize your accomplishments in reference to short term goals is essential to the type of development I wish to help you create. If you are serious about bettering yourself as a musician then you owe it to yourself to make a commitment to daily practice and a weekly lesson. A simple statement that could not be more truthful: The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
Payments are to be made on a monthly basis. Payment is due on the last lesson of each month for the upcoming month. In the event of a 5 week month, your 5th lesson is always free!
If you need to cancel a lesson then a minimum of 24 hours of notice is required in order to be offered a make-up lesson. Make-up lessons can carry over to the next week or even month. If a student decides to stop lessons with make-ups that have yet to be scheduled then they will have forfeited any missed lessons. I very rarely cancel a lesson but if a lesson is missed due to me canceling then a credit or make up will issued. Cash refunds are not typically offered though exceptions may be made at my discretion.
(4 – 5) half hour lessons – $140 per month
(4 – 5) 45-minute lessons – $185 per month
(4 – 5) hour long lessons – $225 per month
Live performance opportunities including recital fees are included in the monthly rate!
If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a trial lesson, please contact Sky directly.
“Sky is such a good teacher, I am inspired by not only his music but his dedication to music.”
– John Mizell – Former Student – Currently performing with multiple bands in the Austin area
“Sky is an outstanding music teacher. He has an easy going style and a mastery of music theory as well as performance. I especially appreciate how consistent and reliable he is. I’d recommend him for students of all ages.”
– Lance L. – Parent of a teenage multi-instrumentalist
“I met Sky Zito several years ago in a professional capacity while recording a band that had come to my studio. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to also call Mr. Zito a friend. I’ve learned a lot about music and the creation thereof in having the privilege of knowing Mr. Sky Zito, and highly recommend his services.”
– Vicor Gramm – Producer / Recording Engineer – Milllion Dollar Sound / Sounds Victorious Studio – Austin TX
“Sky, Thank you for all you have done for my son, not only teaching him guitar, but for being a good role model.”
– Barbara O.- Parent of a pre-teen guitar student