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Robert Labell

Instruments: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele

Styles: Beginners, Acoustic Rock, Classic Rock, Blues (Delta Blues, Country Blues), Fingerstyle, Bottleneck, Jazz, Pop, Folk, Theory & Harmony

Before he started teaching at Dave Sniders Music in 1984, Robert studied at Humber College Toronto. His instruction methods cover such styles as classic, contemporary and alternative rock. This also includes theory and reading music for students interested in these areas. His other guitar styles include Blues, Country, Folk, Fingerstyle and Bottleneck in the tradition of Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, John Renbourne, Michael Hedges and John Fahey.

Recommended Listening:  Robert Johnson, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Leo Kotke, John Renbourne, Ry Cooder, Michael Hedges, John Fahey, Don Ross, Blind Blake


Questions and Answers

Top ten albums

Alchemy – Dire Straits
Leo Kottke live – Leo Kottke
Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones
The Complete Robert Johnson on Roots & Blues label – Robert Johnson
Paradise and Lunch – Ry Cooder
Election Special – Ry Cooder
The UFO has Landed – Ry Cooder
Wrecking Ball – Bruce Springsteen

Best live music experience

Bob Dylan , Mark Knopfler at the ACC
Not to mention Heart at the amphitheatre and Ry Cooder at Harbourfront.
John Mellencamp , Leo Kottke and John Renbourn all in live settings .
Favourite Restaurant / Food
Fresh , Vegetarian Haven and The Loving Hut

Favourite scale

I will go with the Major scale this afternoon

List all the instruments you can play

6 and 12 string guitar , Mandolin and electric guitar

First musical experience

An old friend taught me some chords many years ago , from then on ………

Most influential artist

Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, Mark Knopfler, John Renbourn, Mick Taylor (guitar player for the Rolling Stones), Jimmy Scott and Robbie Macintosh (who both played guitar for the Pretenders). Eric Clapton to a degree.

I like to teach because…

Teaching Music on a one to one basis is geared entirely towards the individual I am working with. The focus is entirely on the other person. The idea behind private instruction is that I am going to get the person who is studying with me to make musical connections faster than if he or she were to work on their own. When I refer to connections, I mean keeping time, technical things like scales, playing chords, holding a guitar pick, being able to hear and identify major, minor and dominant 7th chords and be able to use them without thinking about it. The process is very much like learning to speak a different language, which is really what music is.

Above all, I have a lot of fun teaching and I get that across to people who are studying with me. In closing, I am quickly turning the people who are studying with me into doers, participants, people who are no longer sitting on the sidelines saying to themselves ” I have always wanted to play music, I wonder why i did’nt stick with it?” This is why I like working in Private Instruction; it gives me the chance to witness Growth, Courage and Evolution as well as the potential of the human spirit.

Favourite movie

The current Star Trek movies
Classics include: Thelma and Louise, Bonnie and Clyde Avatar, 2012 & The Hunger Games
My all time favourite is Robert Altman’s Nashville.

Why is music important to you?

Dave Snider once told me that “Music is a lot of fun and cheaper than a shrink”. It is a touchstone for most people that I know. It reminds us of who we are, how we got here and where we are going. What were you doing the first time that you heard a song that moved you, or who were you with? The tone and texture of a song can put you right back there. I teach a lot of songs and the people who work with me are encouraged to play the types of things that they are most interested in. The reason music is so important is that a lot of the time you can listen or play music and you get ”IN THE ZONE” so to speak . You block out everything else and one is simply immersed in the elements .

Before he started teaching at Dave Snider Music Centre in 1984, Robert studied at Humber College in Toronto. His instruction methods cover such styles as classic, contemporary and alternative rock. This also includes theory and reading music for students interested in these areas. His other guitar styles include Blues, Country, Folk, Fingerstyle and Bottleneck in the tradition of Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, John Renbourne, Michael Hedges and John Fahey.