Hey there! I'm Fidel.
I’m a professional online music teacher with a passion for teaching guitar. I started my career as a music instructor over 25 years ago. Sheesh! There’s more than a few grey hairs in my beard.
I adore music. I’m ridiculously, unashamedly, annoyingly passionate about it. I feel lost without a guitar by my side. Music has been my passion, my vocation and my solace throughout many years.
My mission is to share the fun and satisfaction of great music with as many people as possible.
Online Music Teacher
Over the years I’ve taught all kinds of instruments – drums, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, vocals, trumpet and banjo. But my specialty has always been guitar teaching.
I’ve taught one-to-one lessons and group music clinics, masterclasses and workshops in primary schools, secondary schools, remote communities, non-profit organisations, dance academies, music schools and large-scale music festivals.
I believe strongly in passing on musical knowledge to anyone eager to learn.
My Musical Philosophy
Learning music should never feel hard. Sure, it might be challenging at times, but that should always feel satisfying. Like you’re getting somewhere and loving every moment of it.
I believe there’s too much value placed on the wrong aspects of music learning. Academic and theoretic fundamentals aren’t all that useful to beginners.
I try to keep things simple and enjoyable for my students, all the while helping them build a solid foundation of music skills behind the scenes.
I also believe that music skills should be taught through great songs. Textbook exercises are boring. Playing songs you love is fun. Learning how to play doesn’t have to be a struggle.
I teach my students to be totally consumed, enthusiastic, inclusive and generous with their musical skills.
Music should be shared. We learn music to share our hearts and souls with other humans. Real music hits you in your core. It feels good to be part of it.
I started my first band when I was 17. Since then, I’ve toured the world with music – working as a session musician and full-time entertainer. I’ve performed in countless bands over the years. Some of my favourites were The Real McKenzies, Mongolian Fishmongers, and The Go Set.
My bands were always mainstays at major music festivals back in the 90s (yes, I’m that old). We were regulars at Apollo Bay Music Festival, Yackandandah Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, St Kilda Music Festival and Port Fairy Music Festival – where we played main stage six years in a row.
I’ve performed at music festivals and events all over the world across Australia, Europe, UK and USA.
I started playing guitar in my teens, but didn’t find the right teachers. Through trial and error, I taught myself a lot! There were always resources, workshops, festivals and awesome people along the way that helped me grow as a guitarist.
Later on, I studied jazz guitar and advanced musicianship at university. I was lucky enough to attend guitar clinics with some of the most underrated and interesting guitarists of our day including Martin Carthy, Ian Date and Dennis Cahill.
I’ve always been a slow learner. And I can totally empathise with the frustration you feel when you first learn guitar – I remember it well! Luckily, I know a few shortcuts. 😉
Passionate Music Advocate
Music has filled my life with friends and adventures. Guitar, in particular, has always given me a sense of purpose in this world.
I’ve always maintained a passion for music and searched for rewarding and enjoyable ways to make it a sustainable career. Music has so many emotional, physical, psychological and social benefits. It’s as beneficial for young kids as it is for older learners.
Once you’ve learnt to play a few chords, hold rhythm and sing your favourite songs, you can share your love of music with others. That’s what it all comes down to – learning a new skill and using it to connect to other humans.
Music moves us in ways we can’t quite explain. It has the ability to make us feel happy, sad, loved, understood, satisfied and hopeful. It gives us tears, smiles, shivers, laughter and joy.
I’ve seen how playing guitar can make you feel confident, help you to recognise your own worth and the beauty of your human voice. I’ll always be passionately guiding people towards listening, playing, enjoying and loving music.
Online Guitar Course Founder
I’ve taught more than 6000 music students over the past 25 years, most of them guitar players.
During that time, I experimented with different teaching approaches and discovered the secrets to turning nervous beginners into confident and competent players.
It’s not what you’d think. In fact, my no-theory-no-tab approach is pretty controversial, but it definitely works. And since fun, high-quality guitar teachers are few and far between, I’ve always been fully booked out.
I do love private teaching, but I can’t possibly reach everyone one-to-one. Even as an online music teacher, there’s just not enough hours in the day.
So I created my online guitar courses to make it easier for guitar enthusiasts to access superb quality, instruction no matter where they are.
In no particular order, here are my favourite musical moments in my life:
- Recording in the studio in San Fransisco with Fat Mike of NOFX
- When loggers cut the power at Apollo Bay Music Festival and our main-stage performance became an unplugged, candlelit concert.
- Developing a following of devoted viking fans who insisted our punk-folk band play at their wedding.
- Jamming with Rory McLeod and teaching him French songs on guitar.
- Running music workshops for indigenous communities in remote Australian locations from New South Wales to Arnhem Land.
- Seeing legendary bands Nirvana, Ramones and Faith No More live in concert.
- Managed Pan Studios – a rehearsal + recording studio in Geelong where I grew up.
- Leading a tear-jerking rendition of My Heart Will Go On together with a chorus of 400 male Afghan asylum seekers at Curtin Detention Centre. Cringe-worthy song, but a spectacular moment in my life nonetheless.
- That time I got to sing on stage in Germany with Bobby McFerrin.
- Getting VIP security-escorted to drive directly to the Port Fairy Folk Festival stage, rolling out the car and jumping on stage to perform.