Teaching Background

Roger grew up surrounded by Bluegrass and Americana/Roots music- it was just a part of his family’s lifestyle. His Parents, from Missouri and Nebraska were fairly solid musicians by way of tradition. Roger’s grandpas both were fiddle players, and is grandma (on his dad’s side) had many of her own songs published.

When Roger was twelve his father showed him traditional fiddle tunes on the mandolin, by ear.  Soon after, he was adapting those tunes to the guitar believing he’d invented “flatpicking”.  A strong desire to fully understand the depth of music eventually lead to formal music study and at nineteen, Roger became a music-major. studying Jazz and Classical music at Olympic College in Bremerton Washington… the following year he was an adjunct faculty member – and still teaches at OC!

Gearing up for the Pickin’ Party – Roger (with guitar) and his Father, Chuck Ferguson- San Diego 1975

Comfortable with many styles & techniques, his expertise is in the area of Acoustic Roots music and Americana (i.e. Bluegrass, Country, Traditional Jazz/Blues) etc…  Roger offers beginning through advanced music instruction in various styles. He is known as a patient teacher who’ll go over and over a passage or lick, or concept until students are confident they know it!  By teaching students how to learn, Roger helps them become independent musicians.  Over the years, many of his students have gone on to become professional musicians, audio engineers, and/or music educators.

Student Reviews

Roger offers unique insight into learning music and many of his guitar lessons have been published in “Guitar Player Magazine”.  Roger’s article, The “Fiddle Shuffle” was featured in GP Magazine’s compilation book, “Licks and Lessons from the World’s Greatest Guitar Players and Teachers” and is one of the book’s key lessons.  In the book, Roger is noted to be among of the “finest pickers and teachers on the planet” along with BB King, Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin, Barney Kessel et al, and is also quoted on the back of the book with Steve Vai.

Sessions quotes 2

Back cover of “Licks and Lessons from the World’s Greatest Guitar Players and Teachers”

Formal musical training includes two years of classical performance, composition and analysis at Olympic College while studying  jazz guitar from Don Mock, of the Guitar Institute of Technology.  Two years of Jazz improvisation with Floyd Standifer (previously w/Quincy Jones). Roger also studied informally for two years with Jeff Morrison, former head of the jazz re-harmonization department at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.