Rick Peckham

Rick Peckham is internationally active as a jazz guitarist and educator. He has presented performances and clinics on six continents, and specializes in a unique blend of styles including jazz, rock, blues, fusion, and country fingerstyle performance.

Currently a full-time professor in Berklee’s Guitar Department, Peckham has been a faculty member since 1986 and served as assistant chair of the department, with 1,100 guitar students and 60 guitar faculty, from 1992 until 2013.

The internationally released album Left End, with drummer Jim Black and bassist Tony Scherr, was named one of the best releases of 2005 by DownBeat magazine. He organized the college’s honorary doctoral tributes to Roy Haynes, Joe Zawinul, Jack DeJohnette, and John Scofield, featuring then-Berklee students Kurt Rosenwinkel, Matthew Garrison, Antonio Hart, Abe Laboriel Jr., Melvin Butler, and Seamus Blake. He has coached Berklee alumni including Lionel Loueke, Lage Lund, Frank Möbus, Jeff Parker, and David Rawlings, among others. His Berklee Jerry Reed/Chet Atkins Guitar Ensemble performed to high acclaim at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2014.

Some of Peckham's published works are two 12-week Berklee Online courses—Berklee Guitar Chords 101, which was the recipient of the 2007 University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Award for best online class, and Berklee Guitar Chords 201—the Modal Voicing Techniques DVD, and the Hal Leonard books Berklee Jazz Guitar Dictionary and Berklee Rock Chord Dictionary. His updated edition of Modal Voicings for Guitar is soon to be released by Hal Leonard.

  • Career Highlights
    • Critically acclaimed recordings include Human Feel (1989), Stray Dog with Hal Crook/John Medeski (2001), and Left End with the Rick Peckham Trio (2005)
    • Featured soloist in the piece "Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra" (Guilfoyle) with RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin, Ireland
    • Online teaching includes Berklee Chords 101 (UCEA's Best Online Course of 2007) and Berklee Chords 201, from 2005 to the present
    • Coached multiple winners of the Montreux Guitar Competition, including Leandro Pellegrino
    • Work with multiple selectees of the Thelonious Monk Competition and Institute, including Lionel Loueke and Lage Lund
    • Producer of the Berklee Tribute to John Abercrombie show, featuring Joe Lovano, Joey Baron, and Lage Lund, 2018
  • Awards
    • Winner of the UCEA Award for Best Online Class: Berklee Guitar Chords 101, 2007
    • Dean of Faculty Award for Most Valuable Contribution to Teaching, Berklee College of Music, Fall 1988
  • Education
    • M.M.Ed., University of North Texas State, minor in computer technology, 1985
    • B.M., Ohio State University, 1981

In Their Own Words

"I intend that the musicians who work with me will emerge with the technical skills that will equip them for their professional lives. I want them to have the ability to help collaborators to realize their creative goals. Most of all, I want each student to be able to express their own creative voice in the most effective way."

"I've loved performing and teaching throughout my career. I identify with my students' accomplishments, day-to-day as well as life-changing. Every student is different, and I've been involved with hundreds of projects over the years, with many musicians of differing backgrounds. This allows me to help me to meet the musicians I'm working where they are and expand from there."