Mission Statement: To help music students play complete songs on the piano with both hands in the first lesson, even if they have no music experience and to have them playing their favorite songs within the first month.
Welcome to Music Lessons in the Sunset, based in the Sunset District of San Francisco and serving the Sunset, Parkside, Richmond, Haight Ashbury, UCSF, NOPA and beyond. My name is Duane Frybarger and I am a teacher of piano, ukulele, music theory and composition. I have developed methods to get you playing songs on the piano quickly without learning how to read music or practicing scales and exercises. I have a system using spreadsheets to learn piano arrangements, thereby avoiding the complication of learning to read music at the outset. You will have plenty to keep you busy including learning note names, fingering, hand positions and basic left hand chords. This method has met with great success for every student who has tried it and has the great advantage of allowing you to learn key performance skills from the very first lesson. Even though these are simple arrangements, you will be playing them using professional techniques that will make playing much more enjoyable to you and will impress your friends and family. You will eventually learn how to read lead sheets and fill in with left hand chords so that you can learn almost any song you like.
For ukulele students, most students want to learn basic chords, how to efficiently move from chord to chord, basic strumming techniques and how to tune up. You will be able to learn a song or two in the first lesson and if you come prepared with a favorite song or two you want to learn, it's possible you'll leave the first lesson playing one of your favorite songs. If you want to learn fingerstyle arrangements, I have over forty tunes that I can prepare for you in tablature format or simply teach you by rote. If you have a favorite that is not available in ukulele tablature, I can most likely create a tab for you.
If you're interesting in developing or improving song writing or composition skills, I can help you on the path to understanding how chords relate to a melody and to each other and basic song structure fundamentals. We will work with any ongoing projects you have and analyze some of your favorite songs or pieces to see how chord progressions are developed and how and when to use substitute chords and advanced chord voicings. All of these skills also tie directly into improvisational and arranging skills.
My experience in music covers more than fifty years of performing piano (everything from private parties to concerts and live radio), many decades of composing (including two self-produced CDs that received extensive airplay) and more recently, developing skills in guitar, ukulele, voice and harmonica. Not only am I a life-long musician, but more importantly I am still excited about playing music and teaching others how to play. I truly enjoy helping others and have priced my services at levels that most can afford and if you truly want to learn and can't afford even the discount packages, I am willing to work with you. My extensive experience in composing and arranging mean that I have an understanding of harmony and theory that can help you find your own path to understanding what are really very simple concepts. Please visit the listening room for samples of my piano performing and arranging, MIDI compositions (two complete CDs are available to stream) and samples of an ukulele improvisation and a vocal/ukulele arrangement of a Brazilian classic bossa nova.