|Jam Class students.|
Students taking guitar lessons from Daniel Cohn will show off their skills at “Keef VII,” a recital honoring Keith Richards birthday, Dec. 17, at JV’s Restaurant, 6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Richards turns 72 on Dec. 18.
Cohn’s Jam Class students will play first, focusing on Rolling Stones music, including the complete album “Let It Bleed.” They will also play side two of ACDC’s “Back in Black” and and music by ZZ Top, James Brown, and others who influenced and were influenced by the Stones.
Cohn started teaching music – guitar, bass, harmony, singing, and music theory – after spending many years performing on the road.
About seven years ago, Cohn says he got tired of “teaching people to play ‘Johnny Be Good’ in their bedroom,” so he started renting rehearsal space and putting people in bands. “It’s like ‘School of Rock,’ except everyone is an adult and works for the government.”
In December 2009, he put on the first recital for his students, which happened to coincide with Keith Richards’ birthday, so the show was built around songs by the Rolling Stones.
“Stones’ songs allow for improvising. That gives students a lot of freedom,” Cohn says. “Richards’ guitar style is great for teaching people to play off each other and improvise.”
Cohn teaches what he calls “the virtues of great rhythm guitar,” and Richards happens to be among the world’s greatest rhythm guitar players. If you’re in a rock band, “rhythm guitar playing is 75 percent of what you do. You don’t have a song without rhythm guitar,” he says.
Cohn is more than a rocker. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and continues to study composition and harmony.
Jam Class offers customized, private lessons for kids and adults in acoustic and electric guitar. Cohn’s larger goal, however, “is to get people to come together and make music,” he says. “That has a humanistic component. Actually getting people together to share music lifts people up.”