Glenn Sutton: A San Diegan Virtuoso
By: Weston Buehlmaier
I chose Glenn Sutton as one of my mentors because he is experienced. He has been playing guitar and writing music for approximately 45 years. Glenn has played in various bands over the years and currently plays gigs all over San Diego with these bands. I have taken lessons with him at Ozzie’s Music in Poway throughout my entire high school career.
1) How long have you been playing music for?
I’ve been playing for quite a while. About 45 years. I’ve been playing and touring with bands ever since the eighth grade. I remember playing at the junior high dances with my first band…
2) When hearing a piece of music for the first time, what are the first things you notice about it?
At first I notice the groove or the feel of the song.
3) Do you write songs? Which instruments?
I write songs on the guitar and keyboard.
4) How time consuming is the profession of being a guitar teacher and a musician/performer?
It is very time consuming. I teach music lessons full time. Playing gigs, practicing, and songwriting also are very big time commitments as well.
5) What genre of music do you enjoy the most? In terms of listening/performing?
I enjoy rock, blues, soul, funk and jazz.
6) When constructing a song, what are the most important elements for you when writing/composing?
For me it is the overall feel of the song. I want to have a catchy riff and great chord progressions. The instrumentation has to be right. I like good bass guitar parts and also adding piano/keyboards.
7) Do you enjoy writing songs with others or in a more solo setting?
I will write the song myself. Then at rehearsals the band will give me more input
8) Have you ever been associated with anyone who is well known within the music business?
Yes, I have taught Scott Russo from the band Unwritten Law, and Jason Hill of the famous indie rock group Louis XIV.
9) What instruments do you play, and which are your favorite?
I play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, Hammond B3 Organ, piano and I would have to say I enjoy all of them equally.
10) What is one of the most memorable moments or experiences you have had within music/songwriting?
Recording a song… After putting so much work into a recording, it is the greatest reward just to hear it in its finalized state. I also really enjoy playing live and touring.
11) What is some good guidance advice you have to give to an aspiring musician/performer/songwriter?
The most important thing is just to keep at it, and to practice your instrument and become familiar with it. Everyone encounters downfalls. It’s all about being persistent and never giving up.
I am very glad I chose Glenn as my mentor. He is not only close by, but a true inspiration. After the interview I went home and practiced/worked on more music. After hearing from a true virtuoso, I’ve gained a new outlook on how I should go about things in music. A lot of ideas, I found, I shared with Glenn as well as certain areas in musical opinion. Talking with Glenn refreshed my motivation in writing music. He has shown me that as long as I am passionate about music, which I am, I will find a way to keep it in my life forever.
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