GGL Testimonies: Joe

Hello Grace Guitarists!

     A lot of you are probably wondering why are we doing this. What is the motive behind this?  What is the catch? Those are all great questions! If you have some time I would gladly love to explain the why of grace guitar lessons through my eyes. Hopefully by the end of this post you can understand and get to know me better. My goal is not just to teach guitar, but to also have a relationship with you guys that will last a life time.

    It all started when I was 14 years old. A tragic event occurred in my family that would changed the course of my life forever. My father had passed away. It really hurt, you know, to lose a loved one. To make it worse, I didn't  really have a great relationship with my dad at all. So, he died with the hate in my heart towards him. It is so crucial to have a male figure present at that age. If not nurtured, it can be devastating for their future. In this case, I did not have a mentor. Actually I did and it was the wrong crowd. I was mad at the world, mad at God, and just mad at everything. I would make multiple attempts to take my own life; from overdosing on pills, to cutting, you name it. Nothing worked... I couldn't even die. That's all I wanted and I couldn't even get that. From age 14-16 I did a lot of drugs and alcohol. That was also the period where I met the guitar. Playing the guitar helped me cope. It was a type of medicine that I needed for a long time. That soon came to an end as well. I had a teacher at the time that I went to every week. The thought of me being the next Steve Vai or Joe Satriani felt so unrealistic. Taking those lessons convinced me that I can do what they do one day.

     With my guitar placed in my gig bag with a new pair of strings, I was ready. My teacher taught me my very first scale the week before. It was a G Minor Penataonic scale. I had been practicing the scale up down, feeling very proud of myself. I went to my guitar teacher, sat down on the bar stool, and was getting ready to show my teacher how I progressed. Before I even started he asked me where was my payment and he wouldn't teach me until I paid first. Well, my mom was single now and money was tight. We where going to pay that next week. I thought he would understand because of my circumstance. I was wrong. He said I needed to leave "No pay, no lessons." You can imagine what that does to a young kid. The feeling of betrayal and manipulations lingered over me like a dark cloud. All that talk, "I am here for you." "I want to see you grow." "We will work with you." That was all just a business bluff. He wasn't interested in teaching me... it was just about the money. It was cold that day, the freezing wind turned my tears into ice. It was a very long walk home. My drugs habits got worse. I wasn't playing guitar anymore. The drinking got so bad by age 16 I was in the hospital dying from alcohol poisoning. At last I had my wish. The doctors couldn't find a vein in me for the I.V. because they were dried up.  Drifting away into the sea of no return, my body was getting colder, my eyes losing their sight, peace. I felt peace. There was no pain, no worries, good bye world. I didn't love you anyway. But then I heard my mom and that changed everything. She was crying, calling my name, telling me to hold on and not give up. I felt guilty she just lost her husband and now she would have lost a son. How selfish was I? She was going through a lot as well. In her sorrow she was strong for us. I didn't want to go like this. I cried out to God to save me to give me another chance. I messed up and I knew I deserved this punishment. God had other plans. He saved me. A vein finally appeared big enough for the doctors to stick an I.V. in me. My life has never been the same since.  Now 24 my music has taken me from the cold streets of  New York City, to missionary work in Angola, Africa , to the high mountains of the aboriginal  Australians, big circle crops of Lubbock Texas, flat plains in Dallas Texas and now the music capitol city of the world Austin Texas. Played  guitar in 13 different churches, and helped bands get on their feet. i have a wonderful family and now i am excited for this new chapter of my life. Being a guitar instructor.   

So to answer your question on why we do this? We do this for you. The world is filled with so much negativity and hate. I have to work a desk job to support my family and I'm fighting to keep this dream alive just as much as you guys are. I wrote this not to have pity on me, or feel sorry. Not at all. I wrote this to encourage you and to tell you that, yes I've been there, from the darkest of the darkest allies, to the ladder of cooperate america. Without Jesus I wouldn't be writing to you today. I am thankful that he cared for me enough to spare my life. My hope and desire for Grace guitar lessons is that you will grow exponentially in your instrument, in a positive and encouraging atmosphere. The world is crazy and scary out there. It is nice to come to place where you feel safe and can do what you love. I hope this first blog can be a first step for our friendship. I mean that when I say that I am here for you! You can email me at Thank you for reading!

Yours Truly,