I've taught guitar professionally since 1968. I've often wondered why I've not "burned out" on it a long time ago, as many professional players have. I think it's related to the fact that I myself am self-taught. Having cobbled together the necessary guitar skill-sets in a somewhat capricious manner, driven mostly by my own obsessions with certain styles, sounds, and cultures, I realized early on that there are an INFINITE number of valid ways to learn to play music.

What I try to do is establish what abilities the person in front of me already has, (point "A") and also what abilities they would like to acquire through our lesson process (point "B"). I see my job as being "how do I take them on a journey from point A to point B as effectively and interestingly as possible"- but given the ENORMOUS diversity of possible points A and B, there's an INFINITE number of these personal journeys. Obviously there are common problems, stumbling points, and technical hurdles that virtually ALL would-be guitarists share, but each person's specific journey is unique. I strive to keep this thought present at all times in my teaching, and the more feedback I get from a student about what works best for them in their learning, the more I can develop an approach that is uniquely personal.

Past teaching stints include Dartmouth College between 1986-1990 as well as master-classes at Skidmore College, Johnson State College, Marlboro College and several other schools. Presently, I am teaching at University of Vermont (since '06) and Middlebury College (1996 to the present).


In recent years, I've taught a number of workshops, on various guitar topics. In 2002, I taught a pro players' workshop at the ASIA Symposium in Nashville, TN. I co-taught several workshops on jazz guitar w/ friend and fellow player John Stowell at the '01 and '03 Healdsburg Guitar Festivals, and at Johnson State College here in VT. Also at Healdsburg '03, I taught a workshop on Fingerstyle Blues  Guitar, and have been doing workshops on Swing Jazz Guitar and other topics there ever since. I've done Fingerstyle Blues Guitar workshops at every Newport Guitar Festival, and at every Woodstock Invitational Guitar Show.

Since 2007, I've been teaching at the Swannanoa Guitar Week in Asheville, NC. Fellow teachers at this wonderful sleep-deprivation experiment include Pat Donahue, David Wilcox, Kathy Mattea, Steve James, Al Petteway, Tony McManus, Stephen Bennett, and others.

In addition, I presently see between 10-25 private students/ week, covering every conceivable age group, stylistic orientation, and playing level. Past students have included recognized professionals in jazz, rock, folk, etc, including Phish songwriter/guitarist/icon Trey Anastasio.

I recently shot some clips for Guitar Player Magazine's online feature, one of which can be found here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=026-vEAVM_8  Also recorded some clips for a new online venture, "PegHead Nation", which debuts in April, '14.


Paul Asbell CD Arrangements...
Now Available in TAB Transcription Form!

In response to many pickers' requests, TAB transcriptions of arrangements from "Steel String Americana" and "Roots & Branches" are now available. Each transcription is note-for-note accurate to the version on the CD (and are 6-8 pages long as a result!), contain thorough rhythmic notation and fretboard diagrams for all the rather odd chord shapes used, and are printed on high-quality stationery stock. I've reduced the price of them(!!), and also added a quantity purchase discount, as follows...

1 TAB for $10, post-paid (please add $2 for overseas shipping)
3 TABs for $25, post-paid (please add $3 for overseas shipping)
5 TABs for $40, post-paid (please add $4 for overseas shipping)
10 TABs for $70, post-paid (please add $5 for overseas shipping)
15 TABs for $90 post-paid (please add $5 for overseas shipping)
ALL 17 TABs for $100 post-paid (please add $5 for overseas shipping)

Payment options include personal check to the address below, or PayPal. Please include your email address and/or phone number with your order, and indicate whether you'd prefer to receive the TABs in "hard copy" or PDF form.

Paul Asbell
56 Pomeroy St.
Burlington, VT 05401

Here's a list of TAB transcriptions of the arrangements from my CDs that are presently available. To make a purchase, click next to each TAB you would like and then click on the PayPal button to purchase with PayPal.

"My Blue Hellhound"
"St Brendan's Fair Isle/St Anne's Reel"
"Winding Boy"
"Chunky Monkey Gumbo"
"Such A Night"
"You Can't Get That Stuff No More"
"Water Is Wide"
"Stardust"
"Down In The Valley To Pray/Jesus, Make Up My Dyin' Bed"
"Fishin' Blues"
"Hideaway"
"Happy Thumb"
"Ain't Misbehavin'"
"Needed Time/Jesus On The Mainline"
"You've Been A Good Ole' Wagon"
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"
"I Loves You Porgy"

US shipping (included in TAB price)
Overseas shipping




Long Distance Instruction

The technology which allows you to read this page keeps progressing at a dizzying pace! The previously unimaginable feat of having a free "face-to-face" conversation with someone 3000 miles away is now commonplace. Thanks to audio/video equipped computers and services like AIM and Skype, I've been giving lessons to students from 50 miles away to halfway across the globe... almost as easily as teaching a lesson in my home! PDF technology allows me to e-mail a sheet of TAB, exercises, or a theory assignment to a student in seconds, and MP3s allow me to quickly record and send examples of what the music should send like.

In the last little while, I've prepared a lot of TAB transcriptions and other professional quality instructional worksheets for various projects... including video lessons for AcousticPlayerMagazine.com, jazz guitar workshops, UVM Jazz Studies Dept course teaching, and of course my normal private teaching load.

Some of these materials are exercises, worksheets, arrangements of simpler, familiar tunes, etc that are designed to bring the fingerstylist from "ground zero" to a point within "striking range" of tunes like I perform on my CD's. Additionally, there are a large number of worksheets which have been prepared specifically for the TAB/chord diagram-savvy guitarist who wishes to enter the realm of jazz/swing/archtop guitar styles. Finally, I have sheets covering important topics in jazz theory, chord-melody arrangements of jazz standards, exercises for improving one's scale and arpeggio skills, and single-line soloing strategies over modal progressions and complex chord progressions... these latter geared towards the serious jazz guitar student.

These materials, in conjunction with video-chat or long-distance phone options, have created effective and satisfying lesson options for many folks who live too far away to do normal "face-to-face" lessons. Interested? Drop me an e-mail post, and we'll discuss it further.