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
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.
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