I have been playing guitar since the age of 9. My first guitar instructor was a man named Ron Work of Arcata, CA who played jazz and rock fusion guitar. He was a song-oriented teacher, and it was from him that I learned the basics of the guitar, strumming, simple soloing, etc. I learned a lot about dynamics from Ron, as well as always using taste and subtlety in music.
My next teacher was Ruben Diaz, who is often compared to Carlos Santana and Al Di Meola. It was from him that I learned about music theory. Ruben had a degree from Musicians Institute and from then on the Musicians Institute Curriculum had a large influence on me. I learned how to make sense of the guitar fretboard, how to use modes for soloing in different musical contexts (such as rock, jazz, and blues), how to understand and dissect songs using music theory, and how to build songs. I also developed an ear for music.
My next guitar teacher was Dave Wilson of Eureka, California. Dave plays both classical guitar styles (such as Andres Segovia), and jazz styles of all kinds (like Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery).
In addition to years of guitar instruction I have experience in a number of music groups, particularly Jazz ensembles. I am now part of a guitar duo (soon to be a band), playing live shows around Seattle. I am currently exploring more modern rock guitar styles such as metalcore and post hardcore.
I also know advanced guitar techniques (like tapping, fast alternate picking, and a strong use of legato in my pentatonic flavored solos). I greatly admire fast rock solos and I enjoy teaching my students these techniques as they can really open up new musical doors.