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Mike Ihde

About the Author

I was born and raised in Nutley, New Jersey, once voted the safest town in the USA and home to such notables as sharpshooter Annie Oakley, actor Robert Blake and domestic guru Martha Stewart.


I started playing guitar when I was 13 and joined my first band, “The Uncalled Four” at 16. After graduation from High School, I went to the Art Students League in New York City in hopes of becoming a commercial artist, all the while playing at High School dances and a club or two when they didn’t check our ID. After becoming disillusioned about the struggle of the life of a commercial artist, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Luckily my Mother had heard about this school in Boston called Berklee School of Music (it hadn’t earned the name “College” yet). I graduated in 1972 and have been teaching there ever since! Yes, that’s a long time, but I actually do love my job. It’s a good gig!


Over the years I’ve played with a lot of fantastic musicians and had the privilege of teaching many students who have gone on to do great things on their instrument or in the music business as songwriters, arrangers and producers.


My love for all styles of music has made me a versatile guitar player and vocalist and keeps me giging in a wide variety of performance situations. I have two other books, “Country Guitar Styles” and “Rock Guitar Styles” as well as the lap steel guitar album “A Different Slant” and an accompanying music/tab book using the Leavitt Tuning. You can read more about them by clicking on “Other Publications” above. By the way, my last name is pronounced “eyed.”


Career-wise, I’ve played pedal steel with Joan Baez and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in Boston with John Williams conducting, wrote and performed the score for the documentary, “The Sun Dagger” with Robert Redford narrating which aired nationally on PBS, taught guitar in Japan, had two Gospel songs recorded in Nashville, played on the theme for the TV show “Home Again” with Bob Vila, gave guitar and pedal steel lessons to Joe Perry of Aerosmith and so much more than I have room to list here.


Keep your ears and your mind open to all styles and never say, “I hate that kind of music” because someday someone may want to pay you a lot of money to play that style and it would be a drag if you didn’t know how.