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Dan Smith Might Teach You Guitar

by Jersey Lady

For 30 years, Dan Smith has made a solemn promise to New Yorkers. He posted his “Dan Smith teaches me guitar” flyer thousands of times to bodegas, coffee shops, pizzerias, delis, and coin-operated laundries around the city.Parody by Jon Stewart and the Guitar God John MayerSmith reached local legend status alongside the likes of Cellino & Barnes. Dr. Jismore and Keano.

was there at least 60 versions Most of the autographs include a picture of a seemingly ageless, brawny, smiling Mr. Smith posing with an instrument. But New York’s go-to guitar teacher doesn’t do much promotion of his vintage his style, and more of his 2022 approach, so in the urban wilds he’s unlikely to find one. It can quickly become rare.

Three months ago, 51-year-old Smith said: YouTube channel, he created short instructional videos to help aspiring guitarists navigate songs like “Sho I Stay or Should I Go” (The Clash) and “I’ll Be Your Man” (The Black Keys). posted. Some have been successful as his guitar instructors on YouTube. On ‘Marty Music’ he has 3.3 million followers and on ‘Andy Guitar’ he has 2.2 million followers. Just stepping into his tutorial world online, Smith has 144 followers as of this week.

While reporting this story, I took an old guitar out of its case. There was a family of cockroaches living there a few months ago and I tried to play along to his videos but it was just frustrating. gave up quickly.

My inability attitude makes me exactly the kind of person Dan Smith doesn’t want to teach.In other words, Dan Smith No teach me guitar At one point, he even threatened to cancel the interview.

After re-establishing the traditional journalist-subject relationship, I asked him why he was hostile to me. “You really didn’t want to learn how to play guitar,” he said.


“I understand why I’m perceived as just a great promoter,” he said. “Of course people perceive me that way, because in many ways it’s the only thing they’ve ever known about me.”

To crack a male Dan Smith, you have to see through the marketer Dan Smith.

Mr. Smith, who lives in Manhattan with his wife Melissa, a photographer, $150 for 1 hour private sessionI also conduct group workshops and lessons in songwriting and solo performance. He said he has supported himself by teaching guitar since the mid-1990s.

When he was 16, he began taking lessons in his hometown of Newton, Massachusetts. A few years later, after busking outside his Center Pompidou in Paris, spending time at New York University, and doing experimental theater, he turned to music and theater. He started teaching again to earn money and soon found his calling.

“I try to help people connect with themselves,” he said.

He has rules about who and how to teach, a teaching rule he said he came up with after thousands of lessons.

Students must see him at least one hour a week as a sign of dedication. And don’t go to him thinking that his lessons are for learning to pick, strum, and play solos like Guitar Hero.

“Music is more than just putting your fingers on the strings,” he said. “It tells stories, sets moods, and evokes emotions.”

Mr Smith doesn’t tell his friends. “We need distance,” he said. “We need objectivity.”

He does not accept students under the age of 21. what do i bring to the table People doing it have to pay for it.

There are more conditions. Mr. Smith does not offer gift certificates. He doesn’t teach people who sign up for lessons at the behest of others, like singers and actors whose manager wants them to learn guitar. And he doesn’t take or allow notes to be taken for his students.

“It doesn’t work,” he said. “I’ve tested all the facts I know. That’s another thing that sets me apart from other teachers. I’ve done research.”

For those who meet the criteria, the experience can be transformative.

Former New York Gov. David A. Patterson, who has been studying with Smith since 2020, said, “It’s not just about learning an instrument, it’s about expanding your feelings about yourself and what you are.

Patterson, who takes two hours of lessons each week, said he and Smith often spend half the sessions just talking. “I think that’s his meditation technique,” he said. “That’s how it makes him feel like playing.”

Mr. Patterson, who is legally blind, added that he appreciated his teacher’s patience and cross-technical approach. “He’s a psychologist,” he said. “I’ve always been someone who thinks you have to rush to make up the difference.”

“When you play a song, it’s like shoveling snow. You just drive through. You have a lot of energy and you work hard, but it’s not an intellectual pursuit.” It gets the feel of things, great musicians call it “Make room for Jesus.” In other words, you are playing and just quitting. That small space is just as important a part as the music. I’m still struggling just to stop. “

Smith says the time spent talking has a purpose.

Six months of study with Smith, Patterson and his teachers, 2020 stepped on stage Played Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” at Bar Nine in Manhattan.

Smith has also performed solo at Paddy Riley’s Music Bar and other Manhattan clubs. His original songs include the city-centric “Sixth Avenue” and “New York Forever.” During their time together, he said he was about to perform in front of a large audience at an outdoor show at Battery Park. In the days leading up to the gig, he texted me to make sure I was there. Smith’s wife echoed the intensity of the moment and how excited she was about the opportunity.

It was billed as a “talent show” featuring the city’s “most famous and iconic characters”. The lineup was put together by Nicholas Heller, a filmmaker and social media personality known as New York Nico. To coincide with the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Heller’s short documentary film, “out of order.”

“I have Buzzfeed list It’s a show about some of the most famous people in New York, with Dan Smith on it,” Heller said. “For me, he’s more important than global celebrity.”

Armed with his trusty Gibson Hummingbird guitar, Smith took the stage at dusk. He looked serious, serious. Unlike some of the others on the bill, it was clear he didn’t consider his performance a stunt.

He began playing “New York Forever,” which he wrote as a tribute to the city’s resilience in the early days of the pandemic. Midway through the song, another New York character appeared on stage on stilts.was a street performer bobbywho regularly walk the streets towering above the crowds.

Mr. Smith seemed unconcerned when Bobby appeared on stage. After all, he’s spent decades teaching others what it means to take your time and seize the moment. And when his song ended, the audience cheered not for the flyer man, but for the performer who, like us, was trying to make his New York dream come true.

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