About Dick Gordon Jr.

Dick Gordon Jr. Speaking at Tulsa Guitar and String Show, 2007

Dick Gordon Jr. Speaking at Tulsa Guitar and String Show, 2007

I studied guitar under my father, a nationally known instructor, beginning in first grade. By the third grade I was performing professionally. I was taking both guitar and singing lessons and was a trained Master of Ceremonies (M.C.). My father would hold shows of his students performing, and I’d host the show, perform, introduce the players, and sometimes play with them.

I soon performed in a duo and sometime around the 6th or 7th grade I played in my first band. In junior high I assisted my father in teaching group lessons and I began teaching private lessons in the 9th grade.

I played in many bands in the late 60’s, most notably Cargoe.

I enlisted in the Navy in August 1969 and served four years, an experience from which I gained many benefits. After I was discharged I returned to Tulsa to attend university, continue performing, and begin my career as an instructor.

I soon began to see the way I taught was simply inadequate.

I learned that my students wanted to be creative, whether they were a beginning or experienced player. I lacked the resources to teach creativity on the guitar. Most of the music theory instruction books available at the time required some background in classical music theory. The chord and solo exercises fell short for providing the resources, to say nothing of the dexterity, for modern guitar improvisation across different styles.

So after several years of teaching and doing research, I went underground to begin to develop a method to teach the creative potential of the guitar.

While beginning to develop my method, I studied psychology at the University of Tulsa. This helped me to improve my explanations of theory and helped me to understand how to assist the student in developing the attitude necessary for learning and applying the material and in cultivating creative thought. I began to work at developing a series of exercises to develop dexterity while providing a structure for chord and solo theory.

But the biggest insights came from my students. It was from them that I have learned the most. Many students were extremely helpful in the development of the guitar teaching method I’ve honed over many years. They taught me what worked and what didn’t work. It was through them that I learned how to teach.

Currently I am in my 36th year of teaching, with tens of thousands of lessons as an experience base. I am now confident that anyone who musters the appropriate attitude and is willing to put in the time and effort necessary can have the guitar become a source of real creativity, self-expression, and emotional release.

The older we get we begin to realize that Man is a creative entity: there is a creative energy existing in all of us. If some kind of outlet is not created, then the problems in our life seem worse and it is more difficult to maintain a sense of control over our existence.

Creativity energizes us and reminds us of who we are and whom we can be.

–Dick Jr.

Photos of the Studio

Dick playing guitar

Dick playing guitar

The Studio

The Studio

The waiting room

The waiting room