Sunday, April 23, 2017

King of the Skype: Fu Manchu's Balch offers online lessons

Bob Balch with Fu Manchu in Seattle in 2015. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

Stoner rock... Skype rock...those are the realms where you'll find Bob Balch doing his thing.

If you wanna learn the licks of the trade from the Fu Manchu guitar meister, he's ready and willing to give you an online lesson and likely engage in some banter about the rock scene.

Here's a Q and A with the man about his tutelage adventures with six-string students:

When did you start Skype teaching? 


How did the idea come about?

I just thought it could work and it totally does. I actually teach more people online now than in person.

Who are your students and what is the age range?

All ages. All styles. I've started "answering" students with tabs and video too. So there isn't a set time. But the content is the same.

How does this all work… they contact you with song requests or is there a list to choose from? How long do the sessions last and how many songs are performed?

Yeah, songs, technique, theory. Lessons run 30 or 60 minutes.

Do you have any interesting or funny stories about the lessons?

Farts happen. One dude kept smelling his finger. Once guy had to have been on acid or something.

What do you get out of the experience? Is it enlightening for you, as well?

Totally! I get to cherry pick ideas and licks. I've gotten tons better since I started.

How long have you been playing guitar and how did you get started?

Started at 13. Listened to Sabbath and Deep Purple. Then the Misfits, Slayer. Took lessons with a local guy who taught Fu Manchu's bass player as well.

What was the first song you learned? What’s your all-time favorite riff and song? 

"One" - Metallica
"Dogs" - Pink Floyd

You can reach me at to start rocking today! All levels welcome.

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