Mike Walsh

Contact E-mail:
mike@sage4.com

Contact Address:
Mike Walsh
PO Box 808
Prospect Heights, IL
60070

When did you start playing guitar and did any band influence your decision to start?
I started playing when I was 14, in the middle of 8th grade. I had heard Metallica’s "And Justice For All" and was amazed at how cool the guitar could be. I was hooked and went to find an old Les Paul imitation I had and practiced everyday from then on.

What styles of music have you studied and what is your education background?
I got my B.A. degree in Music Education and during that time spent it playing/studying Classical and Jazz guitar..

How was your practice schedule back then, and now?
When I started playing guitar, I would put in a tape, strum along to it, and try to keep up. I had no clue what I was doing but would still practice 2 to 4 hours a day like this until I started lessons a couple of months later. During high school I was playing 6 to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. From 18 years old until now my practice time varies but I’m always doing something musical everyday.

Why and when you did come up with the Giano technique?
I created the Giano technique in January of 2003, I thought of it in college but had no reason or spare time to really try it. The idea came about from spending time listening to student and professional piano players/composers during this time period. I came away realizing that they really pushed their coordination and musical IQ to a higher level than guitar and I wanted to get a feel for how they thought about the chordal and melodic aspects of music while playing or improvising at the same time. For me, new years eve resolutions seem to get me pumped up about accomplishing new things so it was time I really take on this challenge of pushing myself both physically and mentally beyond what and who I thought I was as a guitar player. Honestly, I always feel like I’m holding back either physically or creatively with my music so I’m always looking to try things that I suck at or that I feel might be extremely difficult to do so that I can free myself of this invisible wall that I might have put up in my way of progress. Initially I just played chords in the basic Major keys in the right hand while improvising on the guitar with my left hand. After weeks of doing this about 3 to 4 hours a night I just kept adding on harder and harder ideas, eventually getting to the point to where I was playing unison solo lines and even learned the song Jump by Van Halen. The funny part is 6 months later there was an audition for a Fox TV show that was brought to my attention and I thought it was a good way to see if I was onto something different vs other talented or crazy acts. I landed the gig doing the Giano technique and was flown out to Hollywood to film the show, but unfortunately it never aired on TV but my performance is somewhat similar to my Youtube video.


Why and when you did come up with the Double Neck Guitar technique?
It’s very similar to the reasons I started the Giano technique and was put into my daily practice in January of 2004. After starting the Giano technique it really created a need to keep pushing and expanding my physical and mental coordination. Initially I only used one guitar and just did 8 finger random tapping exercises to get my right hand in condition and sync with my left. Then I moved onto playing the vocal lines of cover songs while also playing the rhythm guitar part with my left hand. I realized it sounded horrible on one instrument and that I could never really perform this live so I thought this idea was pretty much done. After a conversation with Tom Hess he said the most obvious thing, try it on a double neck guitar. Hello, Dolce and Gabbana, why didn’t I think of that?? So that began the hunt for Gedusa, my Dean double neck that is 7 strings on the top guitar and 6 strings on the lower guitar. From here I had it rewired so each guitar had it’s own output and I was finally able to hear each line separately. But then I hit another snag, the vocal line really didn’t sound like a vocal line so I thought once again I was done, yet with more $$ invested. Now the talk box seems like a logical choice but I’m not into pedals so to me it wasn’t as straight of a line as it would’ve been to most players. After snagging a talk box I got inspired to really learn a bunch of tunes and that year I had over 25 songs I was able to perform live. Unfortunately only 2 where video’d but I’ll get back into playing them again and hopefully video more. The Guns & Roses song is from Summer of 2005 and the Alice In Chains is from Summer of 2006.

Who are your 5 most influential bands?
Since 1999, I really have not listened to a lot of music I would feel is influential, on me. The list is really the same list I would have made in high school.

Metallica
Metallica is the main reason I started playing guitar. So I feel they should get the #1 slot here.

Megadeth
This only includes the albums that Marty Friedman was on. With Dave Mustaine’s great riffs and phrasings, and Marty’s unique solos, you have an unmatched combo that no band could compare to.

Alice In Chains
I love the band’s dark minor tone and great vocal harmonies. The playing was not a major influence on me but the writing style was. I am more drawn to the mood of their songs and how they were written. I love to hear Layne Staley’s voice over a slow, heavy riff in harmony. RIP.

Dream Theater
When I saw the "Pull Me Under" video I immediately went out and bought the CD. This completely changed how I viewed guitar and song writing in general. They were a part of why I wanted to get my music degree.

Pantera
If there ever was a band that could get you to kick the crap out of some random stranger, it would have to be Pantera. Dimebag is the King of metal guitar riffs and his legato solos are so musical that it’s sick.

Who are your 5 most influential guitar players?
1 . Steve Vai
2. John Petrucci
3. Marty Friedman
4. Dimebag Darrel
5. Kirk Hammett (I’ve played more Kirk solos than any other guitarist growing up)
6. Tom Hess (though it’s not 5, I’ve learned more from Tom than all of the above)

 
Click Here to read how Mike’s students have benefited from his guitar lessons and hear various success stories.
"Take lessons with me – Mike Walsh! If you are serious about meeting your musical goals, I’ll help you reach them. Contact me at Mike@Sage4.com to schedule lessons and we can work together to meet your musical goals." – Mike
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