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, guitar, ukulele, music harmony and theory, arranging, improvisation and composition. I specialize in students who are on a course of self-learning and discovery and those students seeking unconventional approaches to learning to play an instrument and/or understanding harmony and chord structure. I do not use any traditional method books and don't assign traditional tasks such as practicing scales and exercises or rote learning of chord progressions and inversions. I focus on making music and learning the elements or harmony and theory from actual songs that you as a student wish to learn. This results in much quicker progress than with standard teaching methods and the result is happier students. Most people are extremely time-challenged these days and there's no point in spending practice time on anything other than learning the songs you want to play. For beginning students, I have developed a method using spread sheets rather than traditional notation that allows students to learn much more quickly as well as beginning to develop their ear and learn important performance techniques from the very first lesson. Students are playing songs with both hands and using full chords in the left hand after the first lesson and playing their favorite songs in a matter of weeks instead of many months.
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. 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 and MIDI compositions (two complete CDs are available to stream)