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"Vintage" Pat

Contact: Site Map
    Patrick Leigh (Smolinski), Owner/Operator

Phone:  (920) 538-4538

Now accepting credit and debit cards, Paypal


The Alternative Recording Studio offers playing lessons on:


  • Keyboards (Synthesizers, Piano and Organ)
  • Bass Guitar
  • Guitar (Acoustic or Electric)
  • Beginning Drums (Acoustic or Electronic)
  • Drum Programming (Drum Machines, Keyboards, Software, MIDI)
  • Ear Training (Learn to play by ear)
  • Music Theory (How scales, melodies, and chords work together)
  • Sound Synthesis (How to program sounds on a synthesizer)
  • MIDI (What it is, how it works, and how to make it work for you)
  • Equipment and Software operation (See Consulting tab above)


Playing/Theory methods are conducted by ear, in any music style.  No note reading!  

Here is a link to an article/blog on ear training.  It matches almost exactly how I approach ear training:  It states that ANYONE can be ear-trained with practice, and much faster with a little help from someone who's already done it.

I use a completely original method, developed over 3 decades, and time-tested to get you playing freely in a matter of months, rather than years.

If you want to play in a band, (or just play your favorite pop songs), playing by ear is usually the best method.  Unfortunately, very often sheet music and tablature are simplified for the beginning player.  Many times sheet music (and tabs) from different sources contradict each other for the same song.  Sometimes there is no sheet music available at all for a particular song.  Other times the transcriber inadvertently (or intentionally) will put their own "twist" on the song.  If you want to 'play it like the record' the best way is to learn how to figure it out for yourself, and "play it like it IS".

Lesson Plan:

  • Learn the notes and basic chords on "pitched" instruments, or the purpose of each drum.
  • Basic chord progression theory with basic rhythms, or beats.
  • Basic ear training and play-by-ear method.
  • Start to learn songs with me, and more importantly, learn how I am figuring them out.
  • More advanced chord progression theory and play-by-ear techniques.
  • Start learning songs on your own, strengthening rhythms, and eliminating any potential bad habits.
  • Finish advance chord progression theory or complex syncopated beats to  tackle more difficult songs.
  • Learn soloing theory, and how it applies to progression theory.
  • Learn the "lingo" of the biz and how to communicate well with other musicians.
  • Jumping right in and improvising on the spot.
  • Setting goals, getting in a band, writing your own songs, getting noticed, signed, or whatever you want to do with your new abilities.

Obviously this is just a watered-down basic outline of the lesson plan.  It varies for each individual, especially if you already have experience.  Please call and come out for a meeting to get more details on the entire  process.


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