Joe Musella

Assistant Professor
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617 747-8325

"I specialize in contemporary guitar playing. I played in bands from the time I was in eighth grade, and learned a lot just through real-world experience. I was a performance major at Berklee, and when I graduated, I played relentlessly four or five nights a week. It was tough at times, but I was in my early twenties and totally loving life at that point."

"I remember as a kid sitting on my bed with my little stereo listening to Van Halen 1 and hearing 'Eruption' for the first time. When Eddie Van Halen went into that finger-tapping thing, I was mesmerized, thinking, 'How is he doing that?' I probably listened to it a dozen times in a row."

"I'm still very passionate about the guitar to this day, still actively playing. And teaching guitar is always very engrossing. Anything can be going on in my life—horrible things or great things—but when I get into the classroom and start talking about guitar, I'm there, in the moment."

"I never felt I was particularly naturally talented or gifted; I just kind of stuck with it and worked hard. So I think it's not necessarily about natural talent, it's about working hard and having your basics together. If you have a strong foundation, you can pretty much go anywhere from there."

"I really encourage my students to be more creative with the information I give them, once they understand it and start seeing the possibilities. So I give them a lot of writing assignments to encourage composition. I like it when students who have been struggling with their modes or their pentatonic scales tell me, 'Oh, man, finally it's starting to make sense to me.' It's a great feeling when they start to connect the dots—and especially when they start doing something creative with that information."

Career Highlights

 

  • Alumnus, Berklee College of Music
  • Private studies with Charlie Banacos
  • Lead guitarist for the Hell Hounds with performances throughout New England