Meet Neal Harris

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Genres: All Genres
Instrument: Guitar
Specialties: Jazz, Theory, Improvisation
Available: Wednesdays (virtual lessons only)

** Neal's schedule availability begins in June

Schedule a Lesson with Neal

Lesson Rates

60 min : $70

Meet Neal Harris

How did you get started in music?

I’ve always loved music. As a little kid, I played clarinet in the school band. Then I got a guitar, and I started out copying anything I could. As time went by, I got better at it ...

What artist inspired you when you were first learning to play?

At first, it was rock and blues players: Albert King, B.B. King, Peter Green, Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimi Hendrix, John McFee, Eric Clapton, The Beatles.

How long have you been playing? 

"Its been so long, I don’t know for sure, but I started teaching in 1972.” 

What is your favorite song to play right now?

“I can’t just name one... “Shuliann”, “The As Yet Untitled Peace” , “The Twisted Bagel” (My tunes), “Your Lady” (John Coltrane), “Leaving” (Ritchie Beirach), “Some Other Time” (Leonard Bernstein). 

What is your favorite genre to play? 

“I’m a jazz player/composer because that’s where my heart is ... when I play jazz and my own compositions it’s obvious that’s the right place for me.

What made you decide to start teaching?

First there was an opportunity, and I really enjoyed spending time with people around music.

What projects or bands are you involved in currently?

I have been in many bands in the past, I’m currently working on recording my own music mostly solo.


Do you have any fun tidbits or stories to share?

“How about the time I was backing Bobby Freeman in Tahoe (a very long time ago) and my Boogie Mark 1 amp caught on fire during the gig...

What is the best advice you can give to a beginning player who is just starting?

Think about what music you like the most, bring it in, and let us help you move toward the goal of playing it. (We are also there to open up new possibilities for you.) Try to get to your practice/play regularly. It helps to get your practicing done first and save some time to play some things that you enjoy afterward.

What is the best advice you would give to an established player?

I would first ask what are the goals the “established player” is interested in achieving. (Then we would work on taking them there.) Every student is different. I’m a different teacher for each unique student, as I’m there for them, not for me.

What instrument and equipment are you using? 

I usually grab my Gibson L5 or my Gibson ES 345 (guitars), a couple of vintage black face Fender amps (Vibroluxe Reverb and a Bandmaster, for example), a pedal board with a reverb and an overdrive pedal (Eventide Space reverb and a Royal Overdrive pedal are my current favorites) and I’m good to go...

Instruments and amps are your chance to find and establish your own unique voice; these are mine! It takes a while to get to the place where you start figuring out what your own unique voice will be.”

Need help booking a lesson? Email or call us at (415) 457-7600 x 104 

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