It’s my real-world experience, or 'Proof of Purpose', that sets me apart from many other instructors that you’ll find online. I have been writing, recording, teaching, and performing as a professional musician for more than 40yrs. and have studied music from the perspective of Pythagoras and his 'Music of the Spheres' to the classical strategies of Stravinsky’s atonality and Schoenberg’s serial twelve-tone rows to the jazz of John Coltrane’s Matrix and George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept. I’ve analyzed the evolution of the blues and then learned to burn by employing the shred techniques of modern-day virtuosos like Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai. I’ve also gone deep into musical mysticism and practice the spiritual approach of music guru Hazrat Inayat Khan and the mental manifestation techniques of Kenny Werner. I’ve internalized all of these artistries and beliefs to create a singular musical voice that speaks volumes about how I feel inside and have humbly accepted accolades from many prestigious masters of the craft who were drawn into my music without me having to project myself towards them.
Here are a few highlights of my musical life:
- I have written and recorded well over 500 rock, pop, jazz, classical, blues, spoken word, and guitar instrumental songs. My ‘Brett Ecklund EP’ features the legendary multi-Grammy winning bassist Max Bennett, (who is probably most known for his work with Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell, but who also played with everyone in the business, from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa). Max hand-picked an all-star band to record my music, musicians of the highest degree who have recorded and performed with iconic artists like George Benson, Chick Corea, Bette Midler, Boz Skaggs, Tupac Shakur, Stevie Wonder, and many others. And my more recent singles, ‘Many Blessings’ and 'Sandy' both feature bassist Dylan Wilson from Richie Kotzen’s band.
- Over the years, I’ve taught more than 5,000 students at numerous retail music stores across five different states and have been employed as a music educator at numerous high schools, the University of Texas, and the National Guitar Summer Workshop. I was also employed to teach up-and-coming instructors ‘how to teach’ at Lifetime Performing Arts Academy and Danman's Music School in Southern California, (where I teach in person). And I currently teach online lessons to students around the world.
- I've published a guitar instructional book entitled, “Guitar Memoir,” and also, perhaps more notably, an arrangement of ‘Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring Arranged for One Guitar’, which was edited by rock guitar legend Uli Jon Roth, praised by world-famous symphony conductor Carl St. Clair and iconic documentary film director Tony Palmer. The book has also found its way into the hands of many well-respected guitarists like Rusty Cooley, Paul Gilbert, Daniele Gottardo, Jake Hertzog, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Loomis, Alex Skolnick, Kenny Withrow, etc... (Both books are available on Amazon).
- On a side note, I first met the legendary fusion guitarist, Allan Holdsworth, (who Eddie Van Halen claimed was the greatest guitarist who ever lived), at a tiny little wine bar in San Juan Capistrano, where I was performing as half of a guitar duo called Jazz Quest. Allan sat 3ft. in front of us and listened to us play a full 40min set. When we took a break, Allan stayed to praise us, and went on and on about how much he loved to listen to us play. I’m here to tell you, there’s nothing more gratifying than validation from the GOAT!
- I’ve performed for hundreds of thousands of people. Hundreds at backyard parties, bars, and concert halls where I grew up in Kansas City, then tens of thousands at amphitheaters across the Midwest, and then at iconic clubs on 6th Street in Austin, TX, like the Steamboat and the Back Room, and on to the stages of the world-famous Whisky a Go Go, Cat Club, Key Club, and Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, CA. I’ve played punk rock at a dozen dive bars, jazz at art galleries, private parties thrown by billionaires, and fancy five-star resorts like the Hilton, the Ritz Carlton, and Pelican Hill.
- As for radio and television work, I might begin with being a guest on the Max, Tanna, and Moffitt Morning Show on KY 99.7 in KC. Max and Moffitt declared on the air that I was one of the greatest guitarists they had ever heard! (Tanna was out with the flu). And more recently I hosted ‘Jazz Quest Radio’ on KX FM 104.7 in Laguna Beach for 8yrs, and not only had the honor of interviewing many iconic artists, but also had the opportunity to perform live over the airwaves every week and had the pleasure of playing along with great musicians like Quist from the Brian Ferry Band (Roxy Music) and violinist Jessy Greene (Ghost, Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, Pink, etc..). I’ve done a bit of television, as I performed live on local television in Austin, TX, and had bit parts as a musician in two reality show pilots in Southern California. As for film work, I scored and performed the soundtrack for a documentary called, 'The Miracle Story'' and also recorded cues for a soon to be released television series entitled, 'The Block Trilogies'.
- I might also mention that I’m honored each year to be a brand ambassador at the NAMM Show for Godin Guitars and Ciari Guitars.