Hi, I’m Rob Gundry the Founder and President of “The Gundry Guitar Institute”. It is a dream come true to bring together friends from all areas, ages, and skill levels to a place based solely on the instrument I love, the guitar. There is only one reason for anyone to pick up a guitar and that is to have fun. To start a journey or continue along the path to relax and find their own individual voice through the most popular instrument over the last 100 years. I have been playing steadily since I was 16 years old and have experienced a full range of education levels and styles. As I sat down to examine my experiences I began to see the positives and negatives within each. I also started to chat with a large number of individuals. I found some very common threads that kept people away from learning how to play the guitar. Folks who had tried to play and set it down due to frustration after using common teaching methods. There were those who wanted to begin but held reservations and misconceptions of how complicated learning has to be. I think that my biggest obstacle is getting people to see that a new option is a reality. I want to help individuals understand that the TGGI approach is so different that they need to open there minds and kick down bad memories and misconceptions.
I began with traditional music store lessons with very limited success. Teachers who had no interest in teaching me how to create music but only to show me a song and have me come back next week and play it for them with no consideration if I liked the music or not. I tried books and they all lie unread because at some point I hit a spot that I did not understand. Then there was no option to ask the book to explain it to me so I could understand it. VHS tapes. CD’s. The Internet. You see it and that is it. All of these methods lacked the ability to interact with a teacher if I did not understand one concept or another.
I began the journey into live performance with open jam nights in clubs and coffee houses. I joined a number of local bands. This was a great experience and I learned that live performance and working with other musicians is an important key to the advancement of every guitar players abilities and is one of the most enjoyable things you can do.
One of the best experiences I have had, for general music concepts and insight into the best professional guitarists of our time, have been trips to Jorma Kaukonen’s “Fur Peace Ranch” located in Southern Ohio. Jorma, (Founding Member of Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, a “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” inductee and voted by “Rolling Stone” magazine as “One of the Top 100 Greatest Guitarists in Rock and Roll”) and his fabulous wife Vanessa, bring in world renowned musicians to teach weekend retreats. Here I studied in small groups with such great musicians as Warren Haynes (Allman Bros., Govt. Mule and a list of work too large to list here) G.E. Smith (Original leader of the Saturday Night Live band, Bob Dylan guitarist, Buddy Guy and the go to guy for any “all star band leader” gigs) Bob Margolin (Guitarist for Muddy Waters) Bill Kirchen (Commander Cody, Too Much Fun) Spencer Bohren (World renown songwriter, multi instrumentalist, performer and artist) Michael Falzarano (Hot Tuna, Memphis Pilgrims, Levon Helm’s All Star Band, producer, songwriter) and others. It was here I saw a different side of instruction, professional commitment and level of student comfort and camaraderie unique to “The Fur Peach Ranch”.
I have completed my certificate as a “Guitar Specialist” from the prestigious Berklee School of Music Online program. Taught by the same instructors in Boston that teach within the brick and mortar school. The education was challenging and a great way for advanced players to go beyond into music theory and it’s application. So please trust me, the guitar is something that no one ever stops learning as long as you want to pursue it!
Here at “The Gundry Guitar Institute” I have brought together the best teaching experiences I have enjoyed, and grown from, and have taken them to another level with the addition of multimedia and a wonderful homespun environment. I have developed a method to bring together the knowledge needed to play in a visual, simplified program that provides every student the ability to grow as a musician so that they can bring out the emotion and music they feel inside of their heart and soul. I also have tried my best to remove the obstacles to enjoyment while providing relaxation, personal growth and most importantly FUN! So please join me and give it a try. Let’s all get together, let the day’s worries slip away and PLAY.
THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED “PLAYING THE GUITAR”