About the Genie
Hello everyone, my name is Robert Stefan and I am the man behind the onlineguitargenie.
I have had a love afair with the guitar since the early sixties when I used to pretend to sing and play songs on a plastic ukulele at my grandma’s house when I was just 5 years old.
Those were fabulous years for music. The folk era of the 60s was well entrenched but beginning to wane and artists were looking for exciting new sounds.
The British invasion brought us Beatlemania, the Stones,the WHO, the Cream, Marshall amps, Rickenbacker Guitars and more. Crowds in North America were rushing to Festivals like Woodstock to hear the sounds of Hendrix, The Greatfull Dead, Santana, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young playing on Fender, Gibson and Martin Guitars. All these artists had one major thing in common: THE GUITAR.
At the age of 12, I dreamt of starting a band with my buddies but there was only one problem!!! I needed a guitar and I needed to take lessons FAST!!! I then proceeded to borrow an old acoustic guitar from a friend and find a good guitar teacher. After a few months, for a reason I could not understand at the time, I was not making progress as fast as the other students. This frustraded me very much and it began to discourage me from continuing my dream. I could not execute chords properly, notes were buzzing, the sound was horrible and barre chrords…….Well LET’S NOT EVEN GO THERE. Was I a failure? Was it a lack of talent? Or was I just not cut out for this. Well my friends it was NONE of the above.
THE AH HA! MOMENT
The answer to my problems came one day during my weekly guitar lesson. My teacher had asked me to tune my guitar and after multiple failed efforts he became frustrated and took the guitar from me. He told my friend to give me his guitar – a beautiful sunburst 1973 Fender Kingman acoustic, so that I might tune up and execute this week`s lesson. He then proceeded to take my guitar and try to demonstrate to us a D major chord. It did not take long before I heard the words: “How can you play on this piece of S – – T!!!”
I then proceeded to strum a pristine D major chord from my friends Fender, I even ventured as far as executing a flawless suspended 4th. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard, clear, bright and soulful. I could do it! Just as good as anybody else, maybe even better!!
I learned a valuable lesson that day…………… A good guitar can make a BIG difference in the way you play. It can be the difference between winning and losing the battle of mastering the guitar.
THE ROAD TRAVELED
It’s been a few years since that fateful day and I have strummed many more D major
chords since then. I have been fortunate enough to have had many great teachers and mentors along the way to guide me on my path. My musical career has led me to many stages across North-America from Boston to Chicago, from the great state of Florida to Montreal Canada, all the way up to the northern regions of Quebec. I have appeared on numerous Canadian and American television shows as a solo performer or as a backup musician. I have won numerous awards such as: Canadian vocalist and composer of the year at the 1985 Talcan Awards, a nomination for best new artist at the 1985 L’Adisq awards, a Nashville songwriting competition award in 2007. I also work as a session guitarist/vocalist and producer in Montreal Canada and have appeared on numerous #1 selling albums, videos and countless jingles and demo sessions. So you see my friends, that fateful day where I had the AH HA moment really payed dividends BIG TIME. Amidst a very busy performance schedule I somehow found the time to enroll and graduate from a local luthier school and learnt about guitar construction, finishing and repair. I also co-owned a large local retail Vintage/used guitar store for many years and gained a vast knowledge about collecting and restoring vintage guitars and amplifiers, as well as servicing and advising the local collectors and players.
THE LOVE AFFAIR CONTINUES
I have been actively engaged in the music scene since the mid 1970s and one thing has been a constant for me….. My love affair with this amazing instrument,…………..It’s a band in a box, a party on the go, the sound of exploding thunder but can also be a tender lullaby or a beautiful love song. It can cover the gamut of all emotions. Be it acoustic, electric, 6, 7 or 12 string, whatever version you prefer, the guitar has become the most influential instrument in modern music today. Adopting this wonderful instrument into your life either as an amateur or professional will surely bring you many years of pleasure and enjoyment. The onlineguitargenie was created so that I might pass on my many years of playing, servicing, teaching and collecting to you . On this site you will find the tools you need to get started, to improve and master your instrument. I will supply you with articles, videos and hands on experiences that will help you on your journey.The onlineguitargenie will also have an full online inventory of fine used and vintage guitars and parts for you to purchase without neglecting the first time buyer or beginner of course!! (Remember my first guitar?) I sincerely believe that dreams do come true!! And the onlineguitargenie is here to make sure that your guitar dreams become reality. I can not do the work for you, I can only point you in the right direction and guide you to avoid the pitfalls I know oh sooo well. Believe in yourself, put in the work and get the right tools to do the job, that is all you need! Then you will find your AH HA moment!
So my friends….Let’s get started!