WELCOME!! Here you will discover Bruce Helgeson/ Musician/Guitarist and keys to some of
his favorite information and resources. Vibrant music info and links will tap you into focused musical know-how
and music making joy. Go for it, and enjoy the tour.
"F11" for the Full Experience
Bruce Helgeson - Guitarist
"Back in high school I had to make a choice between buying a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a Les Paul guitar.
It's a choice I have never regretted. Not only has the guitar given me a lifetime of pleasure but I've become good enough
at it that I no longer have to wear a helmet when I play. But seriously, I think I have the best job in the world. Playing Jazz
Guitar for people is a real privilege." Even before Bruce pioneered the first Music Theory Class in his high
school (Anderson, SC) his passion was clear. He became totally immersed in progressive Jazz Guitar for 6
years at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
First came 2 years of Instrumental Performance(certificate) and then 4 years of Composition(degree). "I'm so glad I did it, I'm still applying the compositional ideas into every solo". After college, a year was spent
locked in a room composing and just trying to "put it all together" applying the concepts/theory to guitar and completing a
Symphony, Sonata, 4 part Fugues and varied works. Then the performing career ramped up. "Some of my first jobs were with Keith Lockhart
(now conductor of Boston Pops) playing local venues and High School proms. It's hard to believe we played weekends together
in an Elvis impersonator Band!!"
Six months were spent at UNCC researching solos of Bruce's idol, Charlie Parker while
designing a new curriculum named "Bird Lives".
Twenty five+ years of active gigging with Popular, Blues and Jazz bands and
teaching has helped build a solid foundation.
Teaching/playing and holding a guitar all day and half the night since 2000 hasn't
hurt a thing.
MASTER CLASS STUDIES with: Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, John Scofield, James
Moody, Mike Stern, Charlie Mingus, Bucky Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joe Beck, Buddy Defranco, Dave
Liebman, John Abercrombie, Peter Leitch, Joe Satriani, John Patitucci, Romero Lubambo, Harvie S (Swartz), Itzhak Perlman, Kenwood Dennard, ....Various
National Guitar Workshop, J Aebersold, IAJE, Berklee activities.
CLASS ROOM STUDIES: Jimmy Bruno, Howard Alden, Rufus Reid, Jack Wilkins(Gt), Joe Diorio, Peter
Bernstein, Dave Stryker, Rodney Jones, Eric Alexander, Jody Fisher, David Baker, Fred Hamilton, Corey Christiansen, Chris
Vadala, Barry Greene, Sheryl Bailey, Jack Grassel, Jamey Aebersold, Jerome Harris, Tom Dempsey,Dan Haerle, Jim Rotondi,
Ed Soph, Gary Campbell, Frank Potenza, Steve Erquiaga, Peter Mazza, Jim Snidero, Adam Rafferty, Steve Allee,
Kenny Wessel, Jeff Siegel, Carlo De Rosa, Pete McCann, Will Ray, Pat Bergeson, David Hazeltine, Chris Morrison Ansyn
Banks, Mike DiLiddo, Ron Jackson, Ben Sher, Dave Fiuczynski, Chris Buono, et al.
The BERKLEE guys: John Laporta, Bill Pierce, Bill Bresnahan(Gt),
Jim Kelly(Gt),Al Defino(Gt), Mike Grady(Gt), Lou Mucci, Bill Maloof, John Bavicci, Thomas McGah, Jon Damian, Jeff
Stout, Tony Germain, Peter Hume, Hal Grossman, Tony Lada, Matt Marvuglio, Stu Balcomb, Gary Brunotte, Dick Lowell, Roberta
Radley, George Zonce, Pat Pattison, Tom Lee, Peter Hazzard, Michael Rendish, Walter Harp, Don Sterling, Ernest Wiehe,
Robert Harrigan, John Stevens, Ben Silver, Chris Frigon, Jon Klein, Alex Radulescu, Don M Gohn, George Corderro, James Williamson,
Paul Lemke, Stefan Schindler UNCC: Michael Mosely, Patricio Cobos
has left a marked influence on Helgeson-
TEACHING COMRADES: Pat Harbison, John Fedchock, Doug Norwine, Scott Wendholt, Rick Simerly, Stockton
Helbing, Thomas Taylor, Ariel Alexander, Tom Hildreth, Wes Funderburk, Ana Gui Gui, Doug Henry, Duane Malphrus, Greg
Norwine, Joe Gianono, Charlie Mariano, Rick Peckham, Jon Smith(Sax),Buddy Wachter, Lyman Golden, Piers Lawrence, Torsten
Goods, Matt Olson,Johnny Mann, Dave Maher, Greg Alewine, Colin Campbell, Ken Allison, Greg Alewine, Kym MacKinnon, Charlie
Parker(Trpt), Ian Bracchitta, Mike Parker, Andy Nagel, Ron Davis, Shannon Hoover, Jeff Hook,Byron Burns, Hazen Bannister,
Jay Tyer, Alan Nowell, Jean Calvert, John Brookshire, Moss Mack, Tony Waldrep, Suzie Blackwell, Terry Reck, Alan Nowell,
Dave Fry, Jeff Purtle, Hunter Moss, Chris Devido, Marlon Slater, Murphy Pitts, Durwood Peed, J Michael King, Joe Jones,
Chris Hyatt, Ira Kamp, Cary Palmer, Derek Dodson, Dickie Fredericks, Lachlan Macleay, Dean Plowman, Gregg Emory, Dave
Daniels, Durwood Peed, Jerry Scala, Joe Osborne, Sonny Thornton .. ah etc
"I had a private lesson with Jody Fisher in
2007. What a great way to kick off some serious chord melody work!"
I also worked a week with Dave Stryker in combo... Whew......
I just Don't have the
words... maybe Total Intensity...and private lessons since....Yeow.. good stuff.
"I spent a 2 days studing improv and playing in
a rhythm section with Chris Vadala (Sax)..once again, I'll never be the same....his intensity and level of motivation is ....unbelievable".
(The insight gained over a simple lunch or coffee.....is .....well... Amazing.. but it's the music that speaks the
EQUIPMENT: Notes for those who
share the Passion of Guitar...Bruce plays:
-Gibson L-4, TI .011 Strings,
Acoustic Image Clarus 2R Amp (200W @ 4 Ohms). Two Raezer's Edge Stealth S10 Speakers (8ohms ea).
-Gibson L-5, with Magnetic Benedetto S6 Pickup(or Johnny
Smith Pup-now 2008) & Piezo Bridge(occasionally mixed into Pendulum SPS-1 Stereo Mix parametric EQ), .011 RW
Thomastik Infield Bebop.
AK-85(sim to Ak-86) Archtop; -Hamer Newport/PhatCat
Pups;TI .012's Flat wound.
work:Matchless Chieftain 40W Amp El-34's-Groovetubes-#6, or #5, 4-10's Open back. Pedal board, Picks: Dunlop
|( Ok , I have a sense of humor..please forgive the breach to familiarity.)