G. Andrew Maness

Assistant Professor

"When I was about 12, shortly after I'd seen the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, my mother asked if I thought it might be fun to take guitar lessons. And she said I could, but I had to promise to take typing lessons, too, which I had resisted. So I took the typing lessons in order to take guitar lessons, and I've never looked back."

"Part of [my attraction to the guitar] was just seeing guys play and seeing the crowd love them, but part of it was the elements of music, what we think of as harmony and theory. Harmony and the elements of music made sense to me on the guitar almost immediately; I could see patterns and forms and a logic that I'd never seen before. The guitar provided a framework for me to make it all comprehensible, which it had never been before."

"I'm trying to instill professionalism in my students. That means doing their homework ahead of time on whatever situation they find themselves in, and then being as well prepared as possible. Don't give your word unless you intend to keep it. Show up on time. You need to maximize whatever it is that gives you the edge. Playing well is not enough; there are a lot of good players out there. What gives you the edge? Professionalism. A pleasant personality. Intelligence. Maximize it all. Being able to play is the icing on the cake, it's not the cake. The cake is all the other stuff."

"The generation of band leaders who preceded my generation loathed the guitar and everything they thought it represented. They thought Elvis Presley ruined music and they've been mad ever since. But they also saw the presence of a so-called 'rock guitar player' as a necessary evil. So they would hire somebody like me and be mad that they had to do it. I found early on that you can't win them over with music, because you represent stuff that they loathe. You can, however, win them over with professionalism and the ability to speak their language."

Career Highlights

 

  • Diploma, Berklee College of Music
  • B.A., Marietta College
  • Proprietor of the Absolutely Music/Four Guys in Tuxes office
  • Member of/composer for Magic Mose and His Royal Rockers, featuring Blind Sam
  • More than 40 years of full-time professional playing