Back to Cali / Teaching / Mel Bay's Guitar Sessions

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Ivan R's picture

Hi all,
Sorry I haven't been able to check in much over the last year-- I got a little too busy with a few bands and too much driving and touring. Anyway, I'm moving back to the Bay Area and hope to teach a lot of Dobro and clawhammer banjo, play locally now and then, and keep the out of town stuff to maybe a weekend per month. So I should have time to check in here once in a while. Feel free to get ahold of me if you're in the Bay Area and need a reso teacher. I'm looking to set up shop in the East Bay, but haven't contacted music shops yet so I'm not sure where. I might also get a day per week at a music store somewhere else in the Bay. Any suggestions?

Also, keep an eye out for some forthcoming articles at , home of Mel Bay's free online guitar magazine. Phil Leadbetter, who's been writing the column for the last couple of years, got too busy with his new band to keep doing it, so I'll be writing for Guitar Sessions beginning in April.

happy Dobro pickin!





Welcome back, nothing much has changed here we still disagree about brands of resophonics that are best but we all still agree that Banjo pickers are too loud. Same ole' stuff.



IFKAD Pickin' Dude

Eric's picture

Hi Ivan,

I, for one am thrilled you're moving to the bay area. Seems like much of the reso talent is moving east. Once you settle in, I'd be interested in some lessons. I enjoyed the workshop you held a while back at Philip's up near Santa Rosa - it'd be cool to get some 1 on 1 lessons.

As far as getting a day per week from a music store, I'd suggest Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.



My daughter lives in the Bay area and I plan to visit her and my new granddaughter this summer. I would love the chance to take a few lessons while I'm there. Not many teachers here in Texas, that have the time to teach at least.
All the best, Robert

MarkinSonoma's picture

This is just great news, bro!

The prodigal dobro son returns.

The 5th String in Berkeley, which I think is not related by ownership to the one in Sacto, had Mike Tatar Jr. teaching at one point-don't know if he is still there.

If you go for a place in the East Bay that it is convenient, then the old Ivan stomping grounds in San Rafael would be an easy shot across the Richmond Bridge for teaching at Bananas At Large.

...or Tall Toad in Petaluma

...or just make it closer to me, Zone Music in Cotati.

badger's picture

...or another workshop at my place. Make it more convenient for Mark. :wink:

Welcome back. This is definitely the promised land!


"You don’t have to be brilliant; it’s enough to become progressively less stupid"  - Marshall Rosenberg

SB's picture

We'll miss you in the PacNW. I'd been scouring your website to find a time to come see you but it seems I was just a little late coming to the party. Congratulations on your move.

Ivan R's picture

Hey, thanks for the ideas. Looks like Gryphon would be a good place--if you're interested in trying to coordinate a day there, let me know a few days and times that might work for you and I'll get ahold of Gryphon and see what the deal is over there. I emailed the fifth string in berkeley but haven't heard back yet...

I'll look into something in San Rafael, too--that's near my parents' place so it'd be good to get there once in a while. Anyone ever had lessons at a shop in marin? any place better equipped than others? thanks for any info!
see ya,

Ivan R's picture

...and Phillip, it'd be great to get another workshop happening at your place sometime--let's be in touch about that for sure!

sitnslide's picture

Party at badger's villa!!

Book it, Dan-O!

Lessons by the Bay. Cool. 8)

The left coast is lookin' up.

Eric's picture


If you are able to hook up with Gryphon, my schedule is flexible so it's easy for me to work around yours.

Also if you haven't already, check out or

Great group of people.

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