(502) 491-2337 Louisville, KY

Todd Armstrong - teaches Guitar, Bass, Mandolin

Todd Armstrong - teaches Guitar, Bass, Mandolin

For scheduling availability please call: (502)-491-2337

    As a child, my parents often listened to music around the house. My mother always listened to folk music, while some of my dad's favorites were Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Horton and most notably Hank Williams. All of these definitely had an impact on me, but especially the real life qualities of the folk music and Hank Williams. I've always been drawn to music with a more somber side. My introduction to playing music came from a close neighbor. He had a band that practiced a couple of times a week in their garage. I spent many nights sitting on the driveway listening to them play. They played quite a variety of music from classic rock and country to the blues. Noticing my interest he began to show me a few chords and some blues riffs. I was instantly hooked. My parents bought me a small acoustic and not too many days have passed since, that I haven't had a guitar in my hands. 

   I decided right away that this is what I want to do with my life. My parents signed me up for lessons and I was fortunate to end up with a good teacher who taught me the importance of learning music and not just the guitar. Most of my early study was devoted to blues. In my teens I began to write my own songs and formed a band. We experimented with all sorts of things and it was an incredible learning experience for me. As I became more interested in composition my interest turned to Jazz and Classical music. What started as curiosity turned into a full fledged obsession. I just couldn't get enough, and I listened to everything I could get my hands on. Upon hearing the Classical Guitarist John Williams, I basically abandoned everything else and gave Classical music my full attention. 

   I studied solo Classical Guitar privately through High School and after graduation went on to study at the University of Louisville. Interested in broadening my abilities as much as possible, I also enrolled in Jazz Studies at Bellarmine University. Constantly looking for new forms of musical expression, I began to experiment with other instruments. 

   Today I'm still listening to everything I can get my hands on. Most of my performance and composition is still dedicated to the Classical Guitar but I keep an open ear to all music. I've always loved music in general and feel there is much to be learned in every style. I'm constantly composing music for students to aid them in specific areas, and as each student is very different so are the pieces. I always try to expose students to many forms of music, and quite often they turn me on to new things. 

   One of my early goals was to become a teacher. Helping others learning to play and understand music is one of the most satisfying experiences I have ever known. I truly love what I do. As for my teaching methods, they vary from student to student. The great thing about teaching on a one on one basis is that I can custom tailor lessons depending on the needs of the individual student. Some of the basic topics covered are as follows. 

·  Proper Technique:

   Seating, the position of the instrument and right and left hand positions greatly influence your ability to play with more ease. These topics are addressed first hand and will greatly improve the success rate of your other studies. The goal is for the student's playing to be as effortless as possible, allowing them to focus more on the music at hand. 

·  Note Recognition and Basic Reading:

   It is very important to learn the notes on your instrument. Even if you're just learning songs from tablature notation, being aware of the notes you are playing is crucial. Simply learning to play patterns is a short-cut to NOWHERE! In the long run learning notes is the quickest way to learn. Eventually you will want to learn music theory, but without knowing your notes this study is useless. Learning to read music is one of the best methods for learning your notes, not to mention it will greatly increase your study resources. With the abundance of available tablature notation most students feel that reading is not necessary. Tablature was one of the earliest forms of notation which eventually became obsolete due to its limitations. Still today a good portion of tab is either vague or incorrect. It can be useful in the early learning stages, but in the more advanced stages is useless. 

·  Rhythm:

   This is one area where a lot of players fall short. How many times have you heard someone play a song and although all of the notes were correct, something still didn't sound right? Most likely their timing was off. If you learn to count early on you will never have this problem. Playing strictly by feel will only take you so far, but learning to count will greatly sharpen your feel for the music. To be able to play and interact with other musicians being able to keep time is essential

·  Music Theory:

   Learning your scales doesn't have to be boring. If you learn to create music with them right away they can actually become quite addictive. I don't believe in just memorizing scale after scale. Students are much more successful when they learn one scale and immediately learn to apply it. Our ultimate goal is to always be musical. Your practice can and should be enjoyable. As for the importance of scales, they are one of the first steps in learning the language of music. Virtually every other theory topic including chords, their construction, and chord progressions directly relate back to your scales. Learning theory is a major step towards becoming a real musician, and it's accessible to anyone. If you learn the right information in the proper sequence you will find that it's really not that difficult. No matter what your musical preference, or what instrument you play a good background in theory will help you reach your goals

·  Analysis:

   This is your chance to see Music Theory in action. Through the careful study of some of your favorite songs, we break them down to their basic elements. Here we unlock the secrets of how music is actually written, which will eventually lead us to our next topic....... 

·  Improvisation and Composition:

   Both of these topics could be viewed as applied music theory. This is your opportunity to express yourself and to develop your own personal style. The creative process is one of the single most enjoyable experiences you can have as a musician. Study could be divided into several categories including learning to create a) Chord Progressions b) Improvised solos over chord progressions c) Arrangements for your solo instrument d) Group/Ensemble Arrangements e) Transcribe music scores written for other instruments to your instrument and f) Create a Phrase or Theme and develop it into a Complete Composition. 

·  Practice Habits:

   Here we devise a schedule to help you get the most out of your practice. We figure out a time frame that will fit into your life, we establish your goals and then we organize the above topics into your own personal practice method. This doesn't necessarily mean hours of practice. The quality of your practice is more important than quantity.

   I consider it a privilege to be a music teacher, and I take it very seriously. If you are willing to put forth the effort, I will do all that I can to help you reach your goals.