- Surf Music
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Surf Guitar 101 is extremely happy and honored to announce that Alex Anthony Faide, the lead guitarist of the highly-acclaimed modern surf band Los Twang! Marvels, has been named the official SG101 Master Surf Guitar Instructor! We encourage SG101 members looking to improve their playing to consider signing up for Skype lessons with Alex. You will get full access to his prodigious talents and massive knowledge, and will receive instruction unique in its focus specifically on surf/instro music.
Who is Alex Anthony Faide: Alex is one of THEE most talented and celebrated guitarists in all of surf music and almost certainly needs no introduction in our community, but just in case, here’s his brief bio: As a teenager and young adult Alex played in MANY bands in his native Buenos Aires, Argentina, but the defining period of his musical life came when he studied in - and eventually instructed for - Robert Fripp’s legendary and highly challenging Guitar Craft program from 1995 until 2000. Moving to Germany in 2000, he started Los Twang! Marvels in 2002, touring all over Europe and Latin America for the next decade, even appearing on Brazilian network TV. Los Twang! Marvels’ second album “Jungle of Twang” (2008) was voted by surf music fans #3 in the Top 101 Surf Revival (post-1980) albums, while “Sea of Glory,” the album’s opening track, was voted #2 in the Top 101 Surf Revival songs. Alex was also a professional session guitarist for much of his time in Germany, playing many different genres but specializing in rockabilly, rock’n’roll, country and ‘Americana’. He moved back to Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this year (which is two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time zone). Alex speaks fluent English.
A few words about the lessons directly from Alex: “The emphasis will be on the mechanics of playing guitar with a pick rather than theory (which can be easily studied elsewhere on the internet). We will work on the student getting better through a body of exercises and quality practice concepts. Some of these exercises may seem very simple on the surface, but are quite difficult at the proper intensity (determined by the student’s current abilities). The possibilities are endless, and all skill levels are welcome. (My coaching can also lean towards learning repertoire rather than particular techniques.) There will be a focus throughout the study on generating good guitar tone, and I can also aid in the search for the right gear, effects, accessories and general surf-music paraphernalia, as well as sounds and bands, old and new. The regular program of study would consist of (roughly) a lesson every two weeks, which should leave enough time for the student to practice and experiment using newly learned techniques. Particular requests and wishes are welcomed, naturally!”
How much: $45 for an hour of coaching/instruction. Alex is offering the first half-hour session for free, during which the student’s capabilities and needs can be assessed, and an appropriate program of study calibrated. Payment would be made through Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Testimonials: There have been three Surf Guitar 101 members who have taken Skype lessons with Alex and here is what they say about their experiences:
Noel Squitieri: "Alex Anthony Faide is a guitarist's guitarist. As a guitarist, he is thoughtful, powerful, sensitive, inventive, hard-working, musical, artistic, and dedicated. In a word, brilliant. As a guitar teacher, Alex is patient, diligent, kind, generous, enthusiastic, and encouraging. Alex has been my guitar teacher since March 2014. Despite some concerns, there really isn't a limitation to taking guitar lessons using Skype. I enthusiastically and without reservation recommend Alex to anyone looking to study guitar."
Jeremy DeHart (The Monterreys, ex-Aqualads): “I started taking lessons with Alex and he immediately corrected some fundamental issues with my guitar playing that has led to a better foundation for my tremolo picking and a more robust ability to produce a better tone. He is very concise and extremely knowledgeable about all areas of the guitar, and I can't recommend his instruction highly enough. He has fundamentally changed the way I approach the guitar and practicing, and it has vastly and quickly improved my capabilities as a guitarist.”
Ben Johnson (The Deadbeats, ex-The TomorrowMen): “I've only taken a few months' worth of lessons from Alex, but even just an introductory round with him has been hugely helpful and illuminating! Alex's self-admitted approach is to teach "how" to play rather than "what" to play, and so my focus with him has been more on technical exercises than songs, but everything I've learned has been deeply applicable to more musical pursuits - both in playing and writing. If you want to get better at playing the guitar, and want to really get to know the instrument better than you do, talk to Alex. His help has already introduced me to an array of important details I might have otherwise missed or ignored - things ranging from how to milk the most tone out of both your hands (yes, both matter!), to developing a much more musical feel for the entire fretboard. After a few months of work, I can feel that my left hand is more limber, with my fingers more independent of each other, and my right hand is more steady with a more confident attack. And, just as important, my ears are more open! Not only is Alex an incredible technical talent to help your fingers, he's also an astute and inspired musician with a perceptive emphasis on the feel of what you're playing and hearing. It's a very holistic approach to the guitar, and he does it well enough that it even cuts through the technological limitations of Skype. It's helped me greatly as a player, listener, and writer. And he knows enough to school just about anyone on all fronts - you're bound to learn something, you can't lose!”
The future: There are early plans to develop a packaged curriculum (in both text and video forms), a guitar study class aimed directly at the surf community, to be sponsored and hosted by SG101, and initially aimed at two areas: tremolo picking speed and scale dexterity enhancement. Stay tuned for further announcements.
What to do next: If you wish to take advantage of your first free lesson, contact Alex through email at email@example.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/alex.a.faide or Skype at instrofreak.
Tip of the hat to Sven of Bang! Mustang! for dropping this bomb on us. This is an entire Los Twang Marvels! set from a recent show in Brazil. You can skip ahead to about the 11:00 minute mark where the band takes the stage. The video and sound quality are excellent, not to mention the performance! Enjoy!
Edit: January 8, 2014. The original video is long gone, but it has resurfaced at this link!
Edit: January 13, 2015: The entire set in one video.