Archive for February, 2010

Hello Band Members

Marathon Jam 2010 – Saturday Feb 20th and Sunday Feb 21st, 2010

70th Join the Band Session Concerts- Wow!

We will be posting photos on our face book page very soon.

Don’t forget our next session starts March 1st. Concerts April 17th and 18th.
Call us now to register. 818-345-8950

Awesome concerts! A big thank you to our Band Members and Parents that supported the show over the weekend. We couldn’t put on these concerts without the help of our JTB staff.  Ryan Gelber, Trent Stroh, John Marx, Rosh Roslin, Tom Neely, Scott Gilbertson, Perk, and all of our  private lesson teachers.

I would say this concert weekend was one of the best ever. We saw a lot of improvement from many of our Band Members and the support was great.

Our blues workshop bands set the tone for the show with great performances all around. We also had a band of new Band Members that did very well on their first gig! Welcome to JTB! Our veteran Band Members had fun sets as did our jazz fusion teen band.

The only drag on the show was the lack of support for the last two bands. Please remember that the final bands are there to see and support your set. Make plans to stay and support all of our Band Members so they share in the experience.

What can say about this show? Absolutely great! The show opened with our youngest ever JTB band (6 year olds) and they were just awesome. (We are starting a new “kinder-rock” program for toddlers through kindergarten. Call us at 8181-345-8950)

The day progressed from kids/early teens to our teenage performers and we heard great sets  from everyone. The attendance was strong all day and it created a lot of energy in the room.

Of course with all the energy comes a few “hiccups”,  but learning how react to anything on stage is what creates great performers. The more preparation and stage time you have the better you are able to handle situations as they arise. Remember, it’s not what happens as much as how you react to it. Preparation is key but things happen. Your guitar string breaks, your fingers freeze and you forget a part, you drop your drum stick, you forget the words, your amp sounds wierd, your singer comes in to early or late etc… You can choose to be upset, flustered, worried etc.. Or you can take a mishap for what it is, learn from it and make the best of it. “What did you learn from the experience?” At the end of the day most people won’t even recognize a mistake unless it is a total “train wreck” or you telegraphed it to the audience.

Playing live is the most challenging part of playing music. There are no 2nd, 3rd, 4th, takes, no “copy and paste” performances, no pitch correction etc… It’s you, your instrument, your band and the audience. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. Sharing your music with others. And if you should make a mistake along the way, so be it. It does happen, Most musicians I’ve talked with are never totally satisfied with their performances. Like most artists we are all striving for a perfect take, perfect solo, and we dedicate our time practicing to achieve that goal. Before the kids in my sons karate school exit the mat. The sensei asks, “Did you try your best today?” The kids respond with a “yes”. That’s all we can ask for. Do your best.

All of our Band Members put it out there and they can be very proud of what they accomplished over the course of this last session. We also noticed higher comfort levels on stage, and as performers the only place you can learn that is by being on stage in front of an audience. At JTB we don’t try to “coach” kids into awkward stage moves. There are techniques we share with the kids but overall we have found that the kids and adult Band Members do much better when they are given time to grow into their stage personalities. It produces a more natural stage performer that is comfortable in their own skin.

In the middle of “Full Counts” set at the Whisky, smoke started to appear on the stage. I actually thought something was burning on stage and a few parents showed their concern too. YIKES! It turned out to be a fog machine gone awry. I must say for a moment there it was freaking me out.

See you at the next show!

John Mizenko
Program Director
Join the Band

GUITAR LESSONS IN LOS ANGELES serving Sherman Oaks, Encino, Studio City, Van Nuys, Tarzana, North Hollywood, Northridge, Woodland Hills.


14801 Oxnard St. Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks area


Where do I find a guitar teacher?
What age is a good age to start guitar lessons?
I have small fingers. Can I learn guitar?
Should start with an acoustic or electric guitar?

All of these are common questions to anyone starting guitar lessons.

I’ve been involved in teaching guitar lessons for over 30 years and I’ve seen just about everything.

Find a great guitar teacher by doing your homework. Call 3-5 music lessons studios and find out the qualifications of their teachers. Are they schooled musicians? Or are they kids just our of high school trying to make money by showing quick fix methods that will slow you down in the long run.

If you want professional results hire a professional. Find someone that has been teaching guitar lessons for at least three years. Find guitar teachers that can read music and understand how to teach. There are great players that don’t communicate ideas well and less skilled musicians that teach very effectively. Ideally you want a great player and a teacher in one package. It may take a few attempts and trial lessons to find the right teacher but it is worth the effort.

I have found that between 8-11 is a good age to start guitar lessons. Though I’ve had younger students the lessons are not very effective because of dexterity issues with young kids. Plus younger kids tend to lose focus very fast. Of course there are exceptions but they are just that, exceptions. Overall I’ve seen more success starting kids at age 10-11 than any other age.

The size of your hands will not hamper your ability to learn guitar. If you want to play you will find a way. Avoid making excuses. They just keep telling your brain you can’t do it. Disregard negative thoughts and just go for it. One of the greatest guitarists of all time had the fingers on his left hand so badly burned in a fire that he could only play with two fingers. His name was Django Reinhardt. Four finger guitarist still struggle with his solos today.

Start with a guitar that will get you excited to play. Find a friend or hire a guitar teacher to come with you and recommend a great guitar. Better a friend or teacher than a salesman on commission.

At our Join the Band Music Lessons Studio we teach guitar lessons to kids and adults of all ages. We feature lessons in all styles of music. From rock, blues, jazz, country, swing, classical, folk, heavy metal and more. Our instructors are university trained and experienced to help you get the most out of your guitar lessons.

The Join the Band Music Lesson Studio serves the Los Angeles area including: Sherman Oaks, Encino, Studio City, Van Nuys, Tarzana, North Hollywood, Northridge, Woodland Hills.

CALL 818-345-8950 to start you guitar lessons!

John Mizenko

Program Director

Join the Band Music Lessons Studio