Spring Hill, Tennessee; 30, April 2015: Like many professional musicians, guitarist Desi Serna decided he wanted a career in music while a teenager. He realized right away, that a musical career would involve more than just playing an instrument. “I had a business instinct right from the beginning. I knew that if I wanted to make a living as a musician, I would need to offer a variety of related services and products. I decided to perform on the guitar, teach music to anyone interested, and create instructional material.”
Desi is primarily a self-taught player, learning the basics of the guitar from friends and picking up on songs by ear. Once he became more serious about his studies, he taught himself how to read music. He also began to work his way through more structured music programs available through the books and videos he found at local public libraries and music stores.
Even though he began playing guitar in the 1980s, it was the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s that inspired him. “I love songs by Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.”
Desi quickly became a popular guitar instructor simply because he could connect with the interests of his students. While most guitar teachers were using traditional method books, he would personalize a student's lesson to their particular interest, helping them develop the skills necessary to play the very songs that inspired them to pick up the instrument in the first place. These songs were often the same classics that drew Desi himself to the guitar. “I realized early on that most students do not sign up for lessons because they wanted to read standard notation like a concert violinist or be trained in traditional styles of music like classical and jazz. Instead, they just want to have fun and play familiar songs.” Avoiding the pitfall of his lessons becoming undirected, Desi developed teaching methods that addressed his students desires, while presenting important aspects of music at the same time. “You could say I almost tricked my students into learning the technical aspects of playing music. They thought they were just learning songs, but in the end they learned scales, chords, progressions, modes, and more.”
Desi’s years of teaching a hands-on approach to music theory led to the release of his self-published book, Fretboard Theory, in 2005. This book accomplished two main objectives: it emphasize fretboard shapes and patterns over notated music, and it relates musical and technical concepts to familiar songs. “What this book does for guitarists is shows them how music works on the guitar neck and how to play popular styles.” The approach worked so well that Desi wrote and released his second book, Fretboard Theory Volume II, plus a series of DVDs. These books and DVDs are popular sellers on Amazon.com, with numerous positive reviews.
The success of Desi’s unique approach caught the eye of Wiley, the publishing company behind the famous For Dummies series of how-to books. “They already had a handful of guitar titles that sold reasonably well for them, so they felt that a book on guitar theory would compliment their line-up.” The result was Guitar Theory For Dummies, written by Desi and published in 2013. Due to the popularity of this book, Desi was signed on to write second one, Guitar Rhythm and Technique For Dummies, which is now on its way to bookstores.
After a lifetime as a musician in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Desi picked up his guitars and family and relocated to Spring Hill, Tennessee. He says the music industry, community of guitar players, culture, cost of living, and climate all led him to pick the Nashville area as his home. “It’s hard to resist the Southern charm and live entertainment that Music City offers. I guess you could say that in addition to my approach to business, I’m no dummy when it comes to choosing a place to live either! My family and I are enjoying getting to know the people and the area.”
Now surrounded by more musical resources than ever before, Desi expects to continue to produce instructional materials. “I feel like I’m just getting started! I love studying music and crafting programs, programs that help guitarists progress so that they can experience maximum enjoyment out of playing their instruments.” Not a dumb approach at all. To learn more about Desi’s guitar lessons, plus enter for a chance to win a PRS guitar and other prizes, visit his website at http://Guitar-Music-Theory.com.
For Media Contact:
Desi Serna, Instructor
Guitar Music Theory
P.O. Box 285
Fenton, MI 48430