I offer a holistic approach to musical truth. The focus of my personal instruction is not solely the fundamentals of music theory and modern technique, (and how to practically apply these sacred arts in order to channel your deepest feelings through your instrument), but also an exploration into the use of music as a metaphor for life itself. A natural blend of wisdom from the origins of organized sound, enhanced with a wealth of knowledge from humanity’s rich history of artistic expression, and practiced like meditation. All grounded by the down to earth awareness and authenticity of my own real world experience as a composer, recording artist, and performer!
And it’s my real world experience, or as I prefer to refer to it, my “Proof Of Purpose”, that is exactly what sets me apart from many of the 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 nearly every angle, from the perspective of Pythagorus and his music of the spheres, to Stravinsky’s atonality and Schoenberg’s serial compositions based on twelve tone rows, to John Coltrane’s Matrix and George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept. I’ve analyzed the evolution of the blues and went on to learn to burn by employing the shred techniques of modern day virtuosos like Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. I’ve also gone deep into musical mysticism and practiced the spiritual approach of music gurus like Hazrat Inayat Khan and Kenny Werner. I internalized all of these concepts and beliefs to create a singular musical voice that speaks volumes about how I feel inside, and have humbly accepted accolades from some of the most prestigious masters of music who were drawn into my orbit without me having to project myself towards them.
Here are a few highlights of my musical life:
* I have written and recorded well over five hundred rock, pop, jazz, classical, blues, spoken word, and guitar instrumental songs. My latest “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 has also played with everyone in the business, from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa), and his hand picked band of professional players who he asked to play on my record. Musicians of the highest caliber who have recorded and performed with the likes of iconic artists like George Benson, Chick Corea, Bette Midler, Boz Skaggs, Tupac Shakur, Stevie Wonder, and many others. (My latest single, “Many Blessings,” features bassist Dylan Wilson from Richie Kotzen’s band)
* Over the years, I’ve taught more than five thousand 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 the Lifetime Performing Arts Academy in Southern California.
* I published a guitar instructional book entitled, “Guitar Memoir,” and also, perhaps more notably, an arrangement of “Igor Stravinsky’s Rite Of Spring For One Guitar,” that was edited by rock guitar legend Uli Jon Roth, praised by world famous symphony conductor Carl St. Clair and legendary film director Tony Palmer, (Maestro St. Clair personally invited me to attend the Pacific Symphony’s celebration of the Rite’s 100th anniversary performance). And the book has also found its way into the hands of many well respected guitarists like: Paul Gilbert, Alex Skolnick, Jeff Loomis, Rusty Cooley, Jake Hertzog, Daniele Gottardo, Allan Holdsworth, 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), it was 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. Tens of thousands at amphitheaters across the Midwest, and by the hundreds at backyard parties, bars, and concert halls where I grew up in Kansas City, and then at iconic clubs on 6th Street in Austin, TX, (like the Steamboat and the Back Room), and then on 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, and jazz at art galleries, private parties thrown by billionaires, and fancy five star resorts like the Hilton, the Ritz Carlton, and Pelican Hill. (Pelican Hill has the coolest pool I have ever swam in!)
* 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). Now, what seems like many lifetimes later, I’m hosting my own radio show. Jazz Quest Radio has been broadcasting from KX FM 104.7 in Laguna Beach for the last 8yrs, and I have not only had the honor of interviewing many iconic artists, I’ve also had the opportunity to perform live over the airwaves every week since the show first started, and have 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 also 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 here in SoCal. (As for film work, I scored and performed the soundtrack for a documentary called, “The Miracle Story.”)
* 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.
So, I’m not only teaching students to play a musical instrument, but using music as a metaphor for many life lessons, and also offering professional advice about a number of things that you can do to find your own unique voice and succeed as a musician on your own terms.
Copyright © 2021 Brett Ecklund - All Rights Reserved.