The Guitar For All Project
Playing electric guitar has been my lifelong passion. Now I want to share that passion with others…
I love guitars. I’ve been enamoured with them ever since being in awe of my dad’s bright orange nylon-string as a toddler. I have been playing electric and acoustic guitar ever since I was young, with a particular passion for the electric. I have kept pursuing this passion as an adult, pushing myself in practice with the goal of writing and recording my own instrumental music. In this pursuit, I have enjoyed not just learning and improving my playing, but also learning about the instruments themselves: how they work, how to fix and improve them.
It’s always been my goal to share my passion for music with others. I’ve taught acoustic and electric guitar lessons off and on throughout the years. For several years I also taught guitar and drums at a local homeschool co-op. My favorite parts of this have been taking on students at no charge who couldn’t necessarily afford lessons, and fixing up their guitars so that they actually wanted to practice.
As guitarists know, it’s an art form that can be somewhat expensive to get in to. I didn’t come from money, I know what it’s like to see nice guitars and only be able to wish and dream of owning one. I also know what a huge difference it can make when even a cheap guitar is set up by someone who knows what they’re doing. I’ve seen many guitars abandoned and gathering dust because they stopped working and their owners either can’t afford to have them fixed or don’t know what to do. I know how hard it can be to get started or be consistent with practice when you don’t know what you’re doing and there’s no one to show you. These are all problems I’d like to help solve with the Guitar For All project, bringing guitars, equipment, repairs, and instructions to underprivileged young people.
How Does it Work?
Right now, I don’t have an organization or anything official for this, just a passion and a desire to help people. I’d certainly be willing to consider it if this idea took off and the need arose. At the moment, I just want to help more kids play the guitar, and see where this idea can go. So here’s what I’d like to do with the Guitar For All Project right now:
Provide guitar lessons free of charge at my Scottsbluff studio. Studio 202 is my building at 202 East Overland in Scottsbluff. It’s perfectly positioned between the downtown Scottsbluff and East Overland communities. It’s where my video studio and office is located, but it would be a great space for guitar lessons too. These lessons would cover anything from fundamentals of guitar, learning about the basic components, how to use things like amps, pedals, and software, as well as guitar lessons from beginner to intermediate to advanced techniques.
Provide free guitar repair. At the most basic level, this would look like what I do for people right now: assess the guitar, recommend what components need replacing, and then making the repairs with the provided parts. But I’d love to see this evolve a little bit, to be able to provide the needed components, strings, and materials free of charge as well. Maybe through a sort of sponsorship program through where I make known what a repair will cost, and anyone who wants to can choose to sponsor a kid’s repairs, and then would get some form of credit/thank you/shoutout. This could also be a great opportunity for kids to watch and even help me make the repairs, to learn even more about how to appreciate and care for their instrument.
Provide free guitars to students who can’t afford them. I would like to have a few “loaners” on hand to let students use who maybe want to just try lessons for a while without committing to a purchase, but I’d also like to provide a way to get commited students a guitar setup of their own. Right now my thought is to take a “middleman” approach. If you have guitars (even guitars that don’t work but could with a little TLC) or equipment that you’d like to donate, you can let me know what you have, and I can let you know if there’s a need and take care of getting them to the student. I could even keep an updated album with pictures of “inventory” to make it easy for students to find something they need.
Like I said, right now I don’t have an organization or anything for this, so I don’t have a way to provide tax exemption or anything for donations. I am certainly willing to go that direction if this idea takes off, but as I said, right now I just want to help more people play guitar, and we’ll see where it goes from there! I don’t want anyone to have any doubts about the integrity of my mission here, though. I promise that anything you give or donate will go to providing people with guitars, equipment, and lessons. I intend to be extremely accountable with how that happens, through posting frequent pictures and updates showing how donated gear is being put to use and put into students hands. There will never be any doubt about that.
Do you want to be in the program? Know someone who might?
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to me on Facebook messenger or Instagram at either @joepattersoncreative or @defendtheskyjoe. From there we can figure out what you need, schedule repairs or figure out times for lessons, and go from there! If you yourself don’t want to be a part of the program but want to reach out to me on behalf of someone you think might, go for it!
How Can You Be Involved?
I would love for you to be involved! The more people who join forces with me on this, the more we can share music and give opportunities to people who might not otherwise have them. Send me an email at email@example.com or message me on Facebook or Instagram! Who knows? Together we might be able to accomplish big dreams, like having a large music studio for lessons and rehearsal time in my building, or becoming an actual nonprofit to help people on an even bigger scale. Maybe shows or recitals to showcase what my students are learning and what your investments have enabled them to do! But for now, here are some ways you can get involved:
Donate your unwanted guitars, amps, or gear. Do you have a guitar that is gathering dust somewhere? Give someone the chance to learn to play! Even if it is banged up or needs some TLC, as long as it’s structurally sound (i.e. not broken in two), donate it to me and I will do my best to fix it up and get it to a student who needs it!
Sponsor a students repairs or maintenance. Students I connect with may have guitars that need wiring work, replacement components, or other physical repairs. I will do the work on these myself free of charge, but through sponsoring a student, you can cover the cost of the necessary materials. I am also going to try and come up with base price packages for basic string changes/maintenance. So you could potentially contact me and say, “Hey Joe, next time one of your students needs a string change, I’d like to cover that!”
Donate new strings, picks, and other necessities. I will try to keep an updated list of things we need to get students set up with everything they need to play. This would include picks, new strings, cables, and other goodies. I will also try to provide links to specific versions of those things that I personally recommend. Then we can have those things on hand to give to students who need them. Maybe you’re even a music store interested in being part of the program and you’d like to help supply underprivileged students with the basic stuff they need!
I will post updates, pictures, and everything else about this project at the links below! I’ve also posted some clips of my guitar playing below, just to give prospective students and people interested in the project an idea of my skill base and abilities.
www.instagram.com/defendtheskyjoe (my guitar-centric instagram account)