Guitar Faculty

Jon Wheatley

Associate Professor, Guitar | 617 747-8115

"I feel that reading music has even more value for developing your improvising than we have previously thought. While reading and improvising may seem opposite, they are mutually supporting activities. Reading can be a way of thinking even more precisely about what you want to play. This is what an improviser does."

Mark White

Professor, Guitar | 617 747-8398

"Berklee is the best school in the world for its kind. The musicians here sum up such a wide spectrum of the industry, from performance to writing to MP&E. They're the best of the best. These are people who are proficient in their business because they've been in the business. There's not another conglomeration of such talented faculty anywhere in the world! You combine that with excellent course structure and continuing efforts to improve the educational aspects of the system, and you get a real win-win situation here. You add to that state-of-the-art facilities and you can't do any better anywhere else."

John Wilkins

Associate Professor, Guitar | 617 747-8400

"Good musicianship is about the fundamentals; it doesn't have to be intricate to be good. Technique is fine, but it's not everything. I stress accompaniment skills and time feel a lot. For most players, time feel is probably the most important skill, because you're usually part of a rhythm section. Your job a lot of times is to complement what's going on, so you have to be really good at listening to and interacting with other musicians. That's what makes great players great."

Michael Williams

Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with:: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8227

"I see a lot of people who are interested in blues and jazz, and those are the main areas that I love to work in. Students come in who are already blues players, wanting to work on elements of jazz, and students come in who are jazz or rock players, wanting to get more blues into their playing. I try to make students as complete as I can all-around, on guitar skills, rhythm guitar playing, and soloing. If they're interested in playing over changes, we work on that; if they want to get more into real, straight blues, I'm happy to go in that direction, as well. We dedicate a good amount of lesson time each week toward the personal strengths of the style or styles students are interested in."

Bret Willmott

Professor, Guitar | 617 747-8229

"The joy of the guitar is that it has so many different sounds and stylistic approaches. It has a harmonic sound unique to itself, and it can closely simulate the sound of a horn or voice through various techniques like string bending, hammer-ons, and tapping. I think many other instruments have greater difficulty accomplishing the versatile sounds that a guitar can make. Piano is ultimately the best instrument harmonically, no question, but I still believe the guitar is a more versatile instrument in terms of varied sounds and styles."

Norman Zocher

Professor, Guitar
Also affiliated with:: Berklee Online (available courses) | 617 747-8221

"You can't sound good if you don't sound good. Sound is probably the most fundamental musical element. It's the thing nonmusicians, even newborn babies, know instantly if it's good or not. There are so many facets to what makes a good sound, but I think what captures it best—the basic definition of technique—is touch. It's also that your sound must be coming from your ear internally first, then you shape it on the instrument. The answer is not in the equipment. The answer is in your own hands."