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There is a lovely book by Victor Wooten called The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music. I often recommend this book to folks that have come to me over the years inquiring about Music lessons. It's a pretty terrible business model. “Hey Tanner, can I pay you to teach me things?” “Sure, but go buy somebody else's stuff first, and then come back if you're still excited about learning." That book characterizes the qualities of mentorship generally necessary for growth and discovery in Music; a lot of the discoveries that can make you a better musician can also make you a better person.

I spent a lot of years trudging through teaching myself by ear,  watching (and trying to imitate players in) live concerts and recordings on the 'tube, studying intently at shows, and picking things up at the occasional open jam or festival workshop. I have been lucky enough to brush shoulders, share stages, or pick up tips from some of the best such as Bela Fleck, Charlie Parr, and the late great Anthony Hannigan. I have been perhaps even more lucky to become close friends and collaborate with songwriters, players, and producers I truly admire (this list is far too long to write out here, but I have some amazing friends whose music I am happy to introduce you to). I have gotten to the level of creative playing, songwriting, production, and exploration that I am currently at through a lot of consistency and the gentle hand of friends and mentors helping guide me along the way.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the things I am happy to study and mentor with students, as well as general skills that can be useful to have some guidance on before you dive in too deep all by your lonesome:

  • 5-string banjo (fingerstyle, clawhammer, old-time, and progressive styles)
  • 6 and 12-string guitar (standard and open tunings)
  • Fretboard mapping (the CAGED system, for example)
  • Learning by ear
  • Improvisation and jamming
  • Concepts and creative exploration (this stuff is the most fun to teach and learn, in my opinion, and has been invaluable to me to learn from peers, giants, and even non-musicians over the years)
  • Harmony singing
  • Home recording and production
  • Self-management as an independent artist (affordable recording options, video production, copyright, registration, releasing music, band management, booking, etc.)

.   .   .

A few more things to note…

I am a happy endorser of Deering Banjos and can offer my students exclusive discounts on Deering banjos and products.

Occasionally someone approaches me that would enjoy lessons but cannot afford them. If this is you, please reach out, and let's see what we can do. If you would like to sponsor a series of lessons or host a workshop, feel free to reach out as well.

Have something you're interested in studying? Have some general questions? Submit an inquiry below to tell me a little about yourself, as well as what you have in mind.

Stay kind out there,



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