Ben Rector

Studying with Dick Gordon Jr. was an integral part in my growth and development as a songwriter and musician. Though I played guitar and piano before I began taking lessons, without any knowledge or understanding of theory I felt like I kept hitting a wall. I felt limited in my playing and writing, and I was grasping for some type of system or format to categorize my understanding of chords and notes and melodies. I needed some way to link the things I knew together and to bridge the gaps between them.

Lessons with Dick Gordon Jr. provided an answer. It was incredibly difficult to start over. I was scared that the creativity I had would disappear when I peeked behind the curtain of how it worked. However, I committed to learning theory and Dick Jr.’s system. While it was incredibly challenging, it was also incredibly rewarding and has benefited me greatly in my career as a musician.

Though I’m not primarily a guitarist, the things I learned with Dick apply to every aspect of what I do. Learning theory created so many opportunities for me to grow as a songwriter, guitarist and pianist. From communicating with players and songwriters to producing and arranging songs, understanding theory unlocked a lot of things for me that would have otherwise been real hindrances. Moreover, learning theory taught me how to push through something difficult and that change is both difficult and necessary to reach the next level in whatever you’re doing.