Mike Walsh Has A Degree In Music Education And Has Been Teaching Guitar For 22 Years.
Mike Walsh's Music Resume
Acoustic/Classical/Electric Guitar Player
B.A. Music Education
Music Teacher Of 22 Years (Full Time)
Has Taught Over 1,000 Students
Each Year Teaches At The Biggest Guitar Seminar In The USA
Has Sold CD's In Over 45 Countries
Has Recorded 7 Original Music CD's To Date (More Coming)
Continues To Tour The USA With His Bands
SAGE4 Won The 2010 Hot Topic Battle Of Bands And Played 70 In Store Acoustic Shows Over A 2 Year Tour
A Music Recording, Mixing And Mastering Engineer
Created A Duo Of Guitar/Violin That Still Perform Wedding Ceremonies/Cocktail Hours
Was 1 Of The Top 5 Music Students Chosen To Perform At The Elmhurst College Honors Recital (Played Classical Guitar)
Mike is also an accomplished live performer who knows how to prepare students for the stage or a career in music.
I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education with a focus on Classical and Jazz guitar. As a part of earning the Music Education degree I also studied and taught all the Band and Orchestra instruments. I took private lessons in Jazz Guitar, Classical Guitar, Voice, Piano, Oboe and anything that would fit into my schedule. I also was in the Classical Guitar Ensemble, Choir and Jazz Ensemble during college.
I started teaching guitar in the Spring of 1996 while pursuing my degree. Teaching guitar became a passion once I realized (with help from my mentor Tom Hess) that it was the career that made the best use of all my skills. Right after my graduation I've been teaching guitar as my only job ever since.
Q&A With Mike Walsh
When Did You Start Playing Guitar And Did Any Band Influence Your Decision To Start?
I started playing when I just turned 14, in the middle of 8th grade. I had heard Metallica’s "And Justice For All" over Winter break and was amazed at how cool the guitar could sound. I was hooked and went to find an old Les Paul imitation I had laying around as a gift from a relative, and practiced everyday from then on.
How Was Your Practice Schedule Back Then, And Now?
When I started playing guitar, I would put in a tape, strum along to it, and try to keep up. I had no clue what I was doing but would still practice 2 to 4 hours a day like this until I started lessons a couple of months later. During high school I was playing 6 to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. From 18 years old until now my practice time varies but I’m always doing something musical everyday.
What Are Some Of Your More Memorable Performances As A Guitar Player?
1) I first remember playing the High School variety show as a Sophomore and it was awesome. This 5 piece band we called Exotic Trill played Spirit Of Radio by Rush and I was really pumped to play in a band for the first time. I was able to join that band and play on stage in only 2 years due to the hard work I put in after I started playing guitar. As a Junior I teamed up with the metal kids and played Megadeth's Hanger 18 as the only guitar player in the band (yes, I played all the solo's) at the High School talent show and was on my way to really making guitar my main passion.
2) One of the first shows I played with the instrumental band HESS was at the Thirsty Whale weeks before it closed down. I still have the poster from it and it's a cool reminder of all the hard work and many hours it took to get to that level at such a young age.
3) Around 2004 I remember getting on a TV show for Fox called "30 Seconds To Fame". I got to try out my guitar/piano technique I had been doing for just over a year and 3-4 hours every night on. I lost $25,000 to a guy jumping rope while bouncing off the ground with his butt muscles, it's a joke I still laugh about today. It's was a good reminder that it's ok to try and train on something really hard and fail but still be worth it. It was also a good reminder that you don't need to beat yourself up, quit or change directions from losing competitions due to what other people perceive as skill/talent. It's not why I played all those hours in the first place but was a humbling experience to know that people think a butt muscle bouncing is more impressive than 10 fingers playing two different instruments at the same time. HAHAHAHAHA
4) In 2005 and 2006 I got to showcase my freak show of guitar antics during the teachers performance at National Guitar Workshop. It's really the only video's I have of those techniques playing live so luckily 2005 was a great performance I can stand behind.
5) 2010 = My band SAGE4 won the Hot Topic Battle Of The Bands a couple years earlier and we went on to play in 70 Hot Topics across the mid west. Playing 70 acoustic shows and doing mostly 2 shows a day really taught me a bunch about touring and it was a really fun time too.
6) In 2015 I got to play at the Summer Slaughter Tour with Never We See, we opened for Arch Enemy, Born Of Osiris and other acts like Veil Of Maya. They didn't let us do our freak show but it was still a great time to play in front of over 400 people.
What Bands Are You Currently In As Of 2017?
Here are the bands in order of when I joined.
HESS = Instrumental/Progressive/Neo Classical Guitar
SAGE4 = Female Fronted Hard Rock/Metal Band (New album Spring 2018)
SAGE4 (Acoustic) = New Album Nov 2018 that is all acoustic guitar playing sad/mourning songs
Never We See = Heavy Metal Band (New Album "Let It Kill You" out now in 2018)
Duo Vivace = Guitar and Violin duo that plays Wedding Ceremonies and Cocktail Hour music. (I train students how to do this for side money, and let's just say this pays better than the above). LOL
Who Are Your Most Influential Guitar Players?
1. Steve Vai
2. John Petrucci
3. Marty Friedman
4. Dimebag Darrel
5. Kirk Hammett (I played more Kirk solos than any other guitarist growing up)
6. Jerry Cantrell
7. Tom Hess (I’ve learned more from Tom than all of the above = combined!!)