Dan Bowden

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Dan Bowden is an unusually versatile guitarist and teacher, specializing in a wide range of styles including rock, jazz, blues, and R&B. With over a dozen instructional books for the guitar to his credit, Bowden has reached guitar students worldwide. His bestselling titles include Wes Montgomery: The Early Years, Mel Bay's Complete Accompaniment Method for Guitar, and Electric Blues Guitar Workout. Along with doing freelance performing in the Boston area, he plays and records with the blues, roots, and originals group Stingy Brimm. He has taught guitar at Berklee since 1989 and is himself a Berklee alumnus. His first guitar effects pedal was an original 1960s Maestro Fuzz-Tone. He has continuously used effects ever since.

Career Highlights
  • Private lessons with Charles Postlewate, William Leavitt, and Charles Banacos 
  • Performed with the Official Blues Brothers Revue
  • Author of an internationally distributed transcription book series for guitar published by Mel Bay Publications. Bestselling titles include Wes Montgomery: The Early Years, Mel Bay's Complete Accompaniment Method for Guitar, and Electric Blues Guitar Workout
  • Guitar transcriptions include Lightnin' Hopkins: Blues Guitar Legends, Slidin' Some Slide, Fred McDowell: The Voice of the Mississippi Delta Blues Guitar, Mance Lipscomb: Texas Blues Guitar Solos, and Lightnin' Hopkins: The Goldstar Years
  • Course developer for Berklee Online, Acoustic Blues Guitar, and Getting Your Guitar Sound
In Their Own Words

"I specialize in roots, blues, and Americana styles. My goal is for our students in my lessons, labs, and ensemble to find enrichment and inspiration from the vast amount of music I can expose them to and from the playing skills they will acquire in the process."

"Through my publishing career, I have created a large body of teaching materials that emphasize fingerstyle blues guitar, bottleneck and slide guitar, and electric blues guitar. These serve as a unique contribution to the benefit of my students."

"What draws students to my private lesson studio are the instrumental labs that I develop, which deal with acoustic blues, slide guitar, and bottleneck guitar. An important goal of mine has been to expand on what would be the typical blues education—trying to round out the blues students we have playing modern electric blues style by imparting some historical perspective along with traditional blues skills that are still viable in today's music when you look at Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Taj Mahal, or people like Keb' Mo'."

"I think there's always a core of students interested in the blues, just as there's always going to be a core blues market for concerts, recordings, and so on. That is stable. What you do see is that it can grow at certain periods fairly hugely, starting with the British guitarists in the 1960s who changed the face of rock music forever through their passion for American blues. Stevie Ray Vaughan brought back another resurgence, and now our former student John Mayer, who's very invested in blues, is generating more awareness."

"When I left the college as a student, I played a lot of different styles. I had already been a professional musician since leaving high school. I played commercial gigs along with roots music. I was even in a reggae band and an original rock band. At the time I became a faculty member, I also got very interested in documenting early blues and jazz, and I became a transcriber and ended up doing over a dozen books of blues and jazz greats for Mel Bay Publications. My first book was on Mance Lipscomb, who I saw at the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. I was a teenager, working there selling programs. It was great that I got to meet, at a very formative age, a lot of these people that continue to inspire me. That was a godsend."