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Durdel's Music
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Meet Our Music Instructors

Go from simple strumming to advanced arpeggios when you learn from the team of guitar instructors at Durdel's. We love helping people learn to play everything from guitar to upright bass. Get in touch with us today to begin your guitar or bass lessons.

Bruce Baginski

Bruce Baginski — Guitar

Bruce has been playing guitar professionally for approximately 36 years. In the early '70s, he studied music at Monroe Community College and Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA. He left Berklee in the spring of '74 to join a well-established Top 40 band and played full time in various cities throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Canada. "Most of our gigs were in Chicago because that's where our agent was located," Bruce recalls.

"After the band broke up, I moved back to the Toledo area and started teaching at Durdel's while playing gigs with local groups, such as; East River Drive, Dixie River Band, Gallery, Masque, Headwind, The Breakaways, Dick Shell Combo, Phoenix, Kid Brother, and currently, Airborne. I continued teaching at Durdel's for 18 years, then took an eight-year break to pursue a professional career in the medical field. "I never stopped playing out, though," said Bruce. "I just love it too much not to do it!"

Bruce returned to teaching at Durdel's in January of 2002, and we are glad to have him back. "I love to play and teach all styles of guitar; rock, blues, country, folk, you name it! Personally, guitar has been my hobby, profession, and my inner peace. When I play music, 'I feel good.' That's how it should be for everyone."

Joe Boes

Joe Boes — Guitar & Bass

"My grandfather always used to play at holiday gatherings, while my aunts sang," recalls Joe Boes, when asked what got him interested in guitar. His best friend wanted to start a band when he was about 14. "I was supposed to play drums, and his friend would play guitar. As it turned out, we didn't start a band, and I ended up buying his guitar!"

At that time, he started taking lessons with Bryan Rombalski at Durdel's. "Bryan made me realize that music was more than notes, or studying for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Music was going out and enjoying other forms of art, life, and culture and incorporating these things into your music."

After several years with Bryan, Joe joined the Toledo Youth Jazz Ensemble. They went to a competition in Florida where they took 2nd place in the all-around competition. He also studied with Rob Worden for several months, prior to attending BGSU. While at BG, he studied with Chris Buzzelli. He also played in various guitar ensembles, both jazz and classical.

In 1995, he went to Southern University, in Louisiana, where he studied under the direction of Alvin Batiste, a legendary composer and clarinet player. While under his direction, his ensemble was asked to play at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where Joe debuted a piece he had written called "Vibe." "The cultural experience in Louisiana was very interesting. Along with the great academic experience, I was able to play with many blues musicians and enjoy many different kinds of music throughout the streets and clubs of New Orleans," said Joe. He was also employed by the University as a guitar instructor.

After returning in 1996, Joe played in various blues and R&B bands, including Blue Willie and the Mudcats, Mudfoot and the Blues Messengers and 5 Spot. During this time, Joe also moved about the country, with extended stays in Califonia, New York, and most recently, Nashville, where he spent about two years.

"I started out with an internship at Woodland Studios [which is famous for recordings from Shania Twain, Robert Cray, The Oak Ridge Boys, Days of the New, Ryan Adams, and others] but the studio closed, and I got a job in an entertainment union." While there, Joe also expanded his repertoire playing a heavy rock/alternative band, and alternative country/blues project and finally a casino circuit R&B outfit. None of the bands ever became more than locally famous, but Joe says of the experience, "It was fun, something more to put on my résumé. Getting a chance to get inside the music industry was interesting, both for the better and the worse."

Joe returned to Toledo in 2002 and jumped back into teaching at Durdel's. Joe was married in July of 2005, and they have had their first child, Isabella. Also in 2005, Joe released a CD of original music which you can hear on his website listed below.

"Guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker are what drew me to the blues. That's my foundation" Joe says other influences are; Motown R & B and the psychedelic funk of the '70s, like Sly and the Family Stone, as well as Bill Frissell, Tom Waits, Marc Ribot, Jerry Douglas and old Hawaiian-style music. "Then, of course, there's Hendrix. There's so much to be said about him, but I guess everybody already has said it at some time, so I'll just say he was an influence."

"A wise man once asked me what I thought music was all about. I considered it for a moment and thought 'is it for social change or heightened social consciousness?'. I told him music was to be enjoyed, and he told me I was right. So hey, music IS fun, enjoy it!"

If you want more information about Joe Boes, check out his website.

Scott Williams

Scott Williams — Guitar

At 30 years of age, Scott is working on his eleventh year as a member of the Durdel's team of music instructors. He first picked up the guitar during his senior year in high school. "I started playing pretty much by accident," Scott recalls. "A guy I worked with asked me if I wanted to buy his old Harmony Strat-copy for forty bucks. It seemed like a neat idea, so I took it home the next day!"

About a month later, Scott started taking private lessons. "I was lucky to find two really good teachers right off the bat — Rod Vaughn and, later, Chuck Stohl — and good things started to happen quickly. They had me note-reading and learning basic theory, as well as opening my ears to great players like Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and Yngwie Malmsteen." Scott quickly found himself practicing 2-3 hours a day. "After 6 or 7 months, I was totally hooked on the guitar. I also found out that if I used my ears along with what I learned in lessons, I could figure out licks and riffs off of the radio."

After finishing high school, Scott took a major step in his musical education. "Since my main interest had become music, I decided to go all the way and major in music at college." Scott enrolled at UT and studied classical guitar under Amy Brucksch. "Classical guitar playing was a totally different world," he recalls, "I learned so much about musicianship and technique." Within the first few months of his courses at UT, Scott began teaching at Durdel's Music.

"I owe a lot of my knowledge as a guitarist to my students as well as my teachers. From my experiences as a teacher, I've been exposed to a lot of different styles of music. My students have also challenged me by bringing on some pretty tough music to transcribe!" After a three-year break from college, Scott resumed his studies at Bowling Green State University.

"At BG, the emphasis is on versatility. Getting into that mindset has greatly enhanced my ability as an instructor - I can help students develop blues, rock, jazz, and classical chops." Scott graduated Cum Laude from BGSU in 2002 with a Bachelor of Philosophy and a minor in music.

As for future plans? "Right now, I'm a part-time law student at the University of Toledo. In addition, I read lots of books, play lots of guitar, and watch my daughter while my wife finishes her Ph.D. Also, being part of the Durdel's team is something for which I have a great deal of pride. It's a wonderful thing to work with such dedicated, talented people."

If you would like to contact Scott directly, e-mail him.

John Danielak

John Danielak — Guitar

John Danielak started playing guitar in 1979 and is a former student of Durdel's instructor Bruce Baginski. A 1988 graduate of the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA, he began teaching guitar that same year and joined the Durdel's teaching staff in January 1991. "Durdel's is one of my favorite places. I can always feel better by just being there".

After playing in various bands in the early 90's, John formed The Beef Carvers in 1993. The band played regularly for the next seven years and opened for such acts as The Tubes, Luther Allison, The Lemonheads and Pat Dailey. In 1996, one of The Beef Carvers original songs, 'Blasphemy,' wound up on Toledo's 94.5 Local Perspective and the St. Louis music compilation RMS 96 CDs. A revived version of the band, now called The Earregulars, is currently playing around the Toledo area.

"Being a musician and teacher has been a positive experience for me. I encourage anyone interested in music, or any form of art, to pursue it with passion — it will enrich your life."

Jason Gahler

Jason Gahler — Bass and Upright Bass

Jason has been on the teaching staff at Durdel's since September of 2005. Jason started playing electric bass in 1996 and was in the Woodmore High School Jazz band his junior and senior years.

By the end of 1998, he also began to study the upright bass His studies continued at BGSU in the Jazz Performance program at Bowling Green State University the following year. While there, Jason studied with world-class jazz bassist, Jeff Halsey. He has also studied classical bass with Yuan-Xiong Lu, Aaron Keaster, and Anthony Stoops. At BGSU, Jason performed in the jazz combos, big band, and orchestra. Jason graduated magna cum laude from BGSU with a bachelor's degree in jazz studies in 2004.

He performs regularly with the area's finest musicians. Jason has played at the Valentine Theater, the Stranahan, Headliners, and other venues. He is a versatile musician who can play in many styles, including rock, jazz, blues, classical, R&B, and funk.

Some of Jason's influences on bass include; Victor Wooten, Rocco Prestia, Geddy Lee, Flea, Dave Holland, Ray Brown and, of course, Jaco Pastorious. He is also influenced by greats on other instruments, such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.

Currently, he also teaches at Terra Community College. He continues to perform regularly and is involved in Chavar Dante's project with fellow instructor Chavar Ogelsby.

If you would like to contact Jason directly, you can email him.

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