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LAMA Instructor Spotlight: Dave Murdy

Dave Murdy!

Dave Murdy!

At LAMA, it’s important to us that both student and teacher are connected throughout the musical journey. The LAMA faculty play a huge supporting role in the education process and often we’ll spotlight the instructors you’ll see on any given day at LAMA. Today we’re highlighting Mr. Dave Murdy.

Dave is a native Californian and received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz and Commercial Guitar from the renowned University of Southern California (USC) School of Music. Since graduating, Dave has gone on to lead a very diverse and successful musical career. He has performed both solo and with a wide range of artists that includes Jazz, Classical, Pop, Rock and Country genres.

Dave currently performs locally and internationally with one of Southern California’s most popular cover bands The Tijuana Dogs. He also performs with the Big Band Wartime Radio, Retro Pop and Soul Band The Class of 69 and freelances with numerous artists both locally and nationally.

Dave continues to be very active as a session musician playing on numerous independent releases, as well as arranging and writing. He has written, arranged and recorded original music for Universal Studios theme parks, as well as composed original music for “Muzak,” which is heard around the world. Dave continues to be involved with education, teaching the studio guitar course at Orange Coast College and several private students and has written his own guitar book.

For more info on Dave Murdy make sure to take a visit to his official website here.

-LAMA Staff

Dave Martone – “Top 10 Things You Need to Be Awesome”

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We are happy to introduce an exciting new learning opportunity called LAMA Online! LAMA has combined two technologies to deliver a fully interactive learning experience. In the video below, LAMA Online guitar instructor Dave Martone gives guitarists a preview of his course, “Top 10 Things You Need to Be Awesome” (we love that Parker Guitar he is playing as well).

In this course, Dave will take you through his Top 10 list of things that will teach you how to be awesome, including picking, legato, combo meal deal, expression, phrasing, fingerpicking, sweeping, hybrid picking, tapping, tone and more! You will be guided through all of these topics with multi-cam video, printed music including tabs, and backing tracks. Guitar Online Enrollment is now open for six guitar courses, beginning January 6th, 2013. Interested in taking Dave’s course? Register here.

How does LAMA Online work?

Each course features ten video lessons. At the end of each lesson you will be asked to submit a video of yourself performing the weekly assignment. You can video yourself as many times as you like, and when you record “the one,” upload it for the teacher to review. The teacher will then video himself/herself critiquing your performance. You will then receive an email in your inbox letting you know that there’s a personalized video from your teacher awaiting your review (the video exchange technology is included in the lessons). There are no programs to buy or download. It’s very easy to use: all you need is a computer with a camera and microphone.

-LAMA Staff

These 5 Guitars Are Not The Usual Suspects

You walk into Guitar Center. It is a mix of loud noodling, musicians of all skills and ages, and the unmistakable smell of gear and instruments.  If you are guitar player you look over at the wall of guitars and will likely see Gibsons, Fenders and the like. But what about trying out a different guitar? In this this article we point out 5 of our favorites that are a bit under the radar.

1.  Parker Guitars

Parker Guitars!

Parker Guitars!

Parker Guitars is an American manufacturer of electric guitars and basses, started by luthier Ken Parker in the early 90s. Parker is most famous for making the Parker Fly. Parker guitars are characterized by being thin and lightweight guitars; they are generally made from lighter woods like poplar, Basswood, and spruce, although there is a mahogany Fly. They have composite materials (resin and carbon glass skin), to reinforce a thin carved body and neck. Fingerboards are composite, and use stainless steel frets. Electronics include the integrated use of coil split humbuckers and piezo pickups with active circuitry.

2.Reverend Guitars

Reverend Guitars!

Reverend Guitars!

Reverend has grown from auspicious beginnings to become one of the fastest growing, and most respected US guitar companies today. Based in the greater Detroit area, Reverend enjoys worldwide acclaim, having established an extensive US and international dealer network, an enviable artist roster, and numerous industry awards.

 3.Radix Guitars

Radix Guitars!

Radix Guitars!

Radix Guitars Indonesia founded on a solid ground of long experience in design and production of the best Indonesian guitars. Endless spirit to produce better quality guitars every moment is always at the hear of every Radix team.

4. Becker Guitars

Becker Guitars

Becker Guitars

Becker Guitars began in 1995 as a repair shop in the basement of founder Dan Becker. Becker Guitars is a boutique guitar manufacturer located in Attleboro, Massachusetts. They specialize in producing hand made custom electric guitars and basses. In addition to building guitars, Becker Guitars operates a guitar repair and restoration shop. Famous artists include The Disco Biscuits.

5. Lanquedoc Guitars



Lanquedoc Guitars  is common name for fans of the band Phish. As the bands original soundman Mr. Lanquedoc branched off on his own and created Lanquedoc Guitars.  The guitars featurs carved bookmatched top and back plates, parallel braced top, bent rim sides, kerfed linings, full binding all around, bound traditional f-holes, and a curly maple neck with an integrated re-enforcement/dual acting truss rod system of my own design. The sound chamber is carefully sized to react with an amplifier so that desirable harmonics are emphasized, and the standard electronics provide the most useful tonal variations in an easy layout.

These are just a few of our favorite obscure guitar companies. Now with the internet the world is truly flat and you can have access to all these great companies. If you want to try them out in person we suggest that you visit a locally owned music shop in your town. Which ones did we miss?

-LAMA Staff

New LAMA Online Course: Advanced Chord Systems

It is time for another installment of #LAMATube ! This time featuring the great LAMA instructor Jody Fisher.

For guitar students who already possess a knowledge of basic diatonic harmony, and have a good vocabulary of extended chords, this class is the next step. The course dives into the theory and usage of altered dominant chords right from the beginning. Check out the video below:

-LAMA Staff

LAMA Musicians Entertain VIP Crowd


LAMA’s Michael Alvidrez (bass) and Lorenzo Grassi (guitar) were the featured musicians invited to play Pasadena Museum of History‘s VIP reception (Aug. 17th) for museum donors and sponsors. The feedback from guests was overwhelmingly positive — great job guys!

We’re always working with our friends and businesses in the local communities. If you are interested in featuring LAMA musicians for your event in Pasadena or Los Angeles, please call Iris Alba, LAMA’s Director of Alumni Relations, at 626-568-8850.

-LAMA Staff

Peter Erskine App Features LAMA Drum Instructor Aaron Serfaty

New App!

New App!

We are very proud to announce LAMA drum instructor Aaron Serfaty, the go-to studio drummer for Afro Cuban and Brazilian drumming, is featured on the “Erskn Afro Cuban Essentials”, a brand new app from Peter Erskine (currently available in the App Store).

Here is how the App works:

Using the built-in mixer, the user can create their own combo: full rhythm section (trio), music-minus- piano, music-minus-bass, music-minus-drums, or solo tracks of drums-only, bass-only or piano-only PLUS any combination of congas, bongo and timbale percussion tracks. There are click-track and count-off options, too. 

This YouTube video showcases all the features of the app:

Want more from Aaron? Check out his quick tip videos from LAMA College for Music Professionals below:

-LAMA Staff

LAMA Gospel Choir Records “Roll Over Beethoven”


The choir in the studio!

You might remember an earlier blog post celebrating the LAMA partnership with The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (London, England) and Academia de Música Fermatta (Mexico City and Guadalajara; Mexico) to create the International Association of Music Colleges and Universities (IAMCU). To celebrate the launch of IAMCU, the association announced it has partnered with UNICEF for a special collaborative project to mark the 50th anniversary of the seminal album, “With the Beatles.”

Recently the LAMA Gospel Choir was in the studio recording vocals for the Beatles version of the Chuck Berry song “Roll Over Beethoven”. (Track #1 on Side #2 of the original With the Beatles vinyl) The members of the choir are:

Choir Conductor : Dawn Bishop

Sopranos : Grace Park
Dawn-Charlott Thompson

Altos : Rannveig Amundsen
Mariela Arredondo
Tshegofatso Mhlongo

Tenors : Erik Kapernick
Elliot Steinwedell
Anton Söder
Nicolas Tinguely
Jesper Windmar

We are counting down the days to hear the finished album!

-LAMA Staff

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