Introducing the Riff Ninja!

Riff Ninja GuitarToday the curtain is starting to get pulled back on my latest project... and it might be a little different than you might expect! (video below)

Let me back up, oh... say about 15 years. I met Colin Daniel when I was in high school looking for a guitar teacher. He's the guy that really got me started on the guitar, and taught me most of what I know about the instrument. In the years that I took lessons with him, I was amazed at his skill on the guitar, his depth of experience as a musician, and his skill as a teacher. I've seen Colin quite literally take the students that other guitar teachers had completely written off as being unteachable, and turn them into great musicians. It seems the harder the case, the harder Colin tries to find a way to connect with that student. Tone deaf? Not a problem; he's fixed that too.

Colin had a unique way of approaching the guitar that I'd not seen before, despite having learned music theory for several years in school. Colin's lessons made it 'click' with me; turning theory into incredibly practical and useful applied knowledge - and I trust I've been able to pass that on to some of you as well, through my Unlocking The Guitar series of guitar lessons.

Over his 40+ years as a musician, Colin has personally trained well over 5000 musicians, some purely for their own personal pleasure, some like me have gone on to teach others, and some that have literally 'gone pro' and now live off their skill on the guitar.

Anyways, in recent years I've been back jamming with Colin on a regular basis, and I really wanted to find a way to bring him to you... thus the Riff Ninja project was born.

In the following video, I've interviewed Colin to introduce him to you a bit. We go back a long ways, and I can assure you he is a absolute treasure trove of musical knowledge, not to mention the craziest guy I've ever met. (I say that in a good way!)

As you'll hear in the interview, Colin and I have put together a course on improvising, which is going to be our first offering under the Riff Ninja name. If you'd like to keep up with what's happening with Riff Ninja (and I can assure you, there's going to be a LOT happening there!), or if you'd advanced notice about the details on the improvising lesson, I encourage you to enter your name and email in the form directly below to join the Riff Ninja newsletter.

Watch the Riff Ninja interview on Youtube

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20 Responses to “Introducing the Riff Ninja!”

  1. Dr T November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Come on guys! This is supposed to be a guitar lesson site,
    not a biography. Colin appears to be a nice guy, but a biography??

  2. Mitchelguitar November 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I've been in the business of building and repairing guitars for 37 years, and never get tried of players talking about their passion. I for one like the change, thank you.

  3. Seneque Cesar November 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    I was happy to have watched that video. I wish that I lived in your town to learn how to become a good guitar player. I live in Florida, if there is any possible way to help me on being a better guitar player, like instructional videos on how to play,let me know and I would appreciate it.
    Thank you kindly.

  4. DJ November 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    A little LESS TALK and a LOT more action (playing).

  5. Steve November 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Great that i am following this, however try to find the time for learning i get around it. Still playing what i can

  6. jerry palladino November 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Very interesting guy with a great story. You should have him on again with some tips and techniques.
    Jerry

  7. Lloyd English November 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Gentleman, talk is not why we play. We play to make music. The guitar is an "instrument" for making music. So make some and speak with the voice that you should have found in your instrument.

    Everyone has a story, "musicians" tell theirs with music.

  8. Nick108 November 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    ahh music gurus, lead me to enlightenment, of hendrix styled lead breaks, clapton styled heart, stevie ray compassion, carlos santana fluency, and then I can chant all night in my guitar nirvana dreams.............AUM...

  9. mike O'Harrow November 13, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    great interview, the man plays well. I don't agree with what he had to say about the books, I use them to teach theory to my students & how to read notes. Notes are the written language of music. Just like speaking english, if you can't read or write you don't get very far. Put a man on a desert island with a sheet of tab and no idea what the song sounds like. Come back in a week and compare what he plays to the original and see what you get! Same man who can play notes, and knows music theory,{ with sheet music} can produce a duplicate of the original. I have been teaching guitar for over 45 years. I have a 95% sucess rate and have over 100 students I teach weekly. 10% of my students are at Conservatory level 5 and above. This is only one man's opinion, thankyou for a chance to express my opinion! Mike

  10. Lloyd English November 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    Did I miss something? Did he play? I heard a I-IV progression in an E blues with a few bass lines. Did I miss the part where he played something?

  11. mike O'Harrow November 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    I recognize someone who plays well,{ with just a few bars}, did you miss something?

  12. joe November 14, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Jon:

    I have learned more from you than I have any others, and in such a short time. I look forward to this new course the two of you have put together.
    Hurry on.

    Joe (Hose"A")

  13. Lloyd English November 14, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    No you can't recognize that someone plays well in a few bars. You can recognize if they have played a lot and if their muscle memory works but you cannot tell if they can make music and that is what playing well is.
    I don't care if you have taught a million guitar lessons, that does not make you a player and a musician and what I said was simple. Let's hear the music.
    Talk is cheap.

  14. mike O'Harrow November 14, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    MR. English, If you are unable to recognize someone's ability in a few bars then I really think you need help, both in your ego and your musical knowledge. Best of luck to you in your own little world. As for me I will enjoy what ever I can learn from the Riff Ninja and Jonathan, end of story. Mike

  15. Stibba November 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Guys,
    Some of you need to take a valium and chill.
    Just enjoy the story and music.Take out of it what you will and make your your own music and story.
    Cheers

  16. Lloyd November 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Gee, I didn't think musical facts could be so controversial.

  17. mirza November 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Super!

  18. SmoQles November 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    WTG, Stibba. I'd like to see the comments made if all the negative Nellie's got off the couch and did a web gig- I'll bet they'd be brutal- So put up, or shut-up. Thanks for sharing Jon and Colin.

  19. Justin November 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    I like the Riff Ninja's necklace.

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