Ben Lansing began playing guitar at fourteen, influenced by various rock and metal bands of the day. Taking lessons in Memphis with a local blues guitarist, he learned early on the importance of tone, rhythm, and groove. That first teacher taught him how to improvise and play slide guitar, which has become a dominant aspect of his playing and a specialized aspect of his teaching.
Another aspect of Ben's playing style is his use of hybrid picking (incorporating both a pick and fingers simultaneously). This versatile picking technique allows for sounds and note combinations not possible with pick or fingers alone. With the exception of bass, Ben utilizes this technique on all of the instruments he plays, including electric, acoustic, and slide guitar, dobro, octave mandolin, lap steel, and banjo.
Since moving to Chicago in 1998, Ben has played in many bands, both live and on studio recordings. These bands range in style from rock, blues, country, funk, fusion, traditional and free jazz, to many types of "world" music. His ability to play traditional West African guitar styles has lead to performances with international artists, and he has toured Europe with a band playing American roots music.
Ben currently plays with a number of bands in the Chicago area. He strives to continue advancing both technically and creatively as a musician and to continue to evolve his unique approach to stringed instruments.
"I believe developing one's own musical voice" says Ben, "is the most important and rewarding achievement in becoming a true musician."
It is this emphasis on finding one's own musical voice that Ben brings to his students.