Entries tagged with “Guitar Lessons”.


Hello Everyone

Great shows over the weekend! Overall Harper’s and The Mint worked out very well for our bands and we look forward to returning.

Adult Concert – Harper’s – Friday, October 15th.

Our first Friday evening gig was a lot of fun. We may look into continuing the time slot.  As usual Trent, Scott and myself showed up early (4pm) to set up. First thing we noticed was a much improved sound system with an engineer that really takes pride in his work. When he (Rob) tested the monitors while we were setting up we knew we had the right guy.

From the blues bands to rock bands everyone did a great job. The most important part of any gig is just showing up (besides being prepared) and this was our best show with our adult jammers. We actually ran early for the first time. (-:

Last time we played at Harper’s the amps were not miked up. This time everything was miked and you all adjusted very well to lower stage volume. Harper’s is very typical of the type of gigs most bands play. If you can make it sound good there you doing your part.

Kids and Teens – The Mint – Sunday, October 17th.

Big thanks to the JTB Crew. Ryan, Rosh, Gene, Tom, Perk, and Scott. The 8am call time in The Mint parking lot was an early wake up for all us, but the show ran very well. Another thanks to Scott for helping with 3 shows over the weekend!

Great show!

We had a few bumps in the beginning and the AIDS Walk was a minor issue regarding traffic and getting to the club, but everyone made it on time. Our apologies for the late door time. There was mix up with the club regarding our start time and door time but we managed to get it going by 10am.

The kids did great. Playing an intimate room like The Mint is very exciting. Everyone is close to the stage and you can easily see everyone. We noticed some of our Band Members were a bit nervous with the audience so close. In that environment it’s easy to lose focus, but overall we had a lot of great performances throughout the day in all age groups.

Our major sound challenge was vocalists not singing directly into the microphones. We do coach them all the time on this… We like to tell them to sing into the mic so if someone is standing right in from of them they (the audience) would not be able to see their teeth. (-:

Singers need to sing very close to microphones in clubs. Almost to the point of touching the mic with their lips. Even and inch away will dramatically change the volume level. This is especially apparent with very young singers that don’t have the lung power to fully project their voice. Singing guitarists and keyboardists very often look at their hands when singing and move their mouth away from the mic resulting in poor volume levels for their voice in the house mix.


This was our 74th concert weekend over the last 12 years and it was a blast to see and hear everyone perform. There were quite a few break out performances as we continue to see our Band Members raise the bar. There were also a few mistakes during the shows but that’s what playing live is all about.

Many of you have heard me comment on this before so please bare with me… (-: Playing live is the hardest thing to do as a musician. There are no 2nd takes or do overs. You get one shot. So preparation and experience is the key to having a successful show. I wasn’t playing clubs until my late teens but in JTB we have many Band Members getting stage experience at a very young age. Many of them have had great gigs and some that were not so great. But the not so great shows is were they are learning how to do better next time. If every gig was “perfect” they wouldn’t be learning anything. We all had to fall on our butts many times before we could walk. Nothing teaches you how to do something like learning from mistakes. You learn what doesn’t work and move on.

JTB Stage comfort and Inside Out : Being on stage can really get into a performers head. That’s why we don’t try to fill our Band Members up with nonsensical poses and posturing. That comes naturally with confidence and more stage time. We believe that working on the inside first will make a musician stronger in the long term. Knowing the music to the best of their ability is the best way to build confidence. Filling their head up with stage posturing before they understand the music can be “cute” and fun to watch but it can also be very distracting to the what they are trying to play and result in a poor overall performance. We prefer to hear music with our ears not our eyes.

Having said all that…Once the music skills are solid, performance (the outside) comes much more naturally to all students. I’ve been teaching guitar and coaching bands for over 30 years and can say that great performances are the product of solid music skills. I’ve seen students/pros stalk the stage that have minimal skills receive varied levels of response. But I’ve also seen/heard  brilliant performances from students/pros where the music pours out of their bodies while hardly moving a muscle and bring the house to their feet. Music will also reach the heart if it’s heart felt.

Look forward to seeing you all next time!

Call now to get in for our Holiday Concert weekend. 818-345-8950

Keep on jammin’

John Mizenko

Join the Band – Program Director

Hello Everyone

Great shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Adult concert at Harper’s. Join the Band returns to the new Harper’s. We had eight bands perform for a lunch time crowd and everything went very well except for a tardy sound man. (30 minutes late) John wasn’t impressed with that. (I sound like Bob Dole). Harper’s is a very typical room for a gigging club band. The relaxed atmosphere was a great fit for our adult Band Members. I received a lot of positive feed back from our Band Members. For myself I would like to see them improve a bit more on the sound. Since the club just opened they are tweaking and making adjustments to really get it right.

Kids and Teens concert at the Roxy: Another great concert. Well attended and everyone did a great job. 28 bands! Whew! Thanks to my staff of teachers and stage managers. Tom, Scott, Perk, Rosh, Ryan, Julie, October. We also had a big improvement in the sound this time. We requested a different sound crew for this show and the Roxy obliged  us. The result was much better that  last time. It makes a difference when somebody cares about the job they do. (-:

Note regarding kids and teens show: We did have to stop allowing cameras backstage. It was creating a lot confusion and we couldn’t get the kids focused on getting ready to play. For the next concert we will prefer to only have the kids backstage with our Band Leaders unless there is a medical reason why they should be escorted by a parent. If any parents want to volunteer to help us manage the backstage area that would be great too.

Also. Parents. Refrain from lifting the curtain up at the shows to talk to your kids while we are getting them ready to play.

  • One. It is dangerous if you somehow get snagged on it while it is raised.
  • Two. If the Roxy staff see’s you doing it they will throw you out of the club.
  • Three. It is very distracting to what we are doing to get the kids ready. We know what we are doing. Let us do our job. (-:


Once again our Band Members delivered great performances. Band Members  from 6-60 years old performed on our JTB stage. Was everyone perfect? Not really. Mistakes happen and everyone handled the glitches quite well. Did everyone try their best? I believe so. And at the end of the day that is what matters.  The stage experience everyone receives from these shows will only create more confident musicians. Our goal at JTB has always been to teach our Band Members about setting goals, teamwork, supporting each other and having fun. Having said that, you also need to be realistic about songs you want to play and learn in a seven week period. (-:

JTB Etiquette. I was also glad to see that we had good attendance at the end of both shows. All of our Band Members deserve the same support. Thank you for making that happen.


We featured our JTB Teenstars at the Roxy Show and they delivered a great set. We traditionally haven’t singled out any one band in JTB but felt it would be fun to showcase some of our top teenage musicians with some very challenging material to inspire our younger Band Members. I hope everyone enjoyed their set. Special thanks to Joanne Paratore for working with our singers on Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a tall order but all the work and time paid off with a great performance.


We look forward to seeing you all in our next session!

Schools Out session starts April 26th

Schools Out concert weekend is June 12th and Jun 13th.

Music lessons. Remember Join the Band has an excellent staff of university trained and experience private lesson teachers. Call us to reach you music goals. 818-345-8950

Lessons for Guitar, Piano, Voice, Drums, Bass Guitar and more! Serving Los Angeles area. Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Studio City and Encino areas.

Keep on jammin’

Jammin’ 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

Happy Holidays from the Mizenkos and Join the Band

We wish everyone a wonderful

Holiday Season and Happy New Year.

In the past year our studio was filled with music and we are very thankful to our students and families for supporting our program. We have a great community of students and watching their growth over the year(s) has been amazing. I never tire of watching the kids/adults at our concerts. The look on their faces before they get on stage is always a thrill and the warm reception they receive from our JTB community is just wonderful.

In 2010 we look forward to continue offering want you want in a music program. Private lessons, Band Classes, Concerts, Camps, Recording, Workshops and more.

All the best in 2010

John Mizenko and the JTB staff

http://jointheband.com/ Call Today for Music Lessons 818-345-8950

My name is Louis Hoffman I am your typical band teacher; I play a bit of most everything and am always looking for new and exciting learning opportunities for both my students and myself.

One of the toughest challenges for and young and old musicians is finding a place and a reason to keep playing. Music is such a solitary pursuit, with hundreds, even thousands of hours of practice time. It can be boring, disheartening and monotonous and without some kind of an outlet, many if not most beginning musicians just stop playing.

For most people I know they learned the piano, guitar or maybe they even dreamed of singing, but they never got out there and just played live in front of audience, performing music they loved and wanted to play.

In general, traditional music education centers around the musical genres of classical, folk and jazz, but most contemporary styles (blues, r & b, rock, funk, punk, pop, disco…) are simply not address in our schools.

So, many a budding musician heads down to their local music store and learns some basic techniques on their instrument of choice, a tune or 2, but by-and-large it ends there.

What’s missing is MENTORSHIP… and that’s what Join The Band offers. A professional and gifted musician and teacher in the studio, guiding a group of likeminded individuals through the rehearsal process, comminuting in a performance at real venue. Having a goal, a performance date, in an appropriate learning environment with quality instruction makes all the difference.

This is the real deal!

By the way, I am not just a fan, but an active member too. I am now on my 3 workshops, made some great friends and am having an absolute blast just making music.