- Klavier (Piano)
- Geige (Violine)
- Bratsche (Viola)
Alberto Santamaria is an Italian-American composer and guitarist, currently attending his second and final year of Master Performance at HKB Jazz, Bern. During his career, which began at the tender age of 12, he has played and collaborated with various musicians and composers.
Alberto Santamaria bietet auch Fernunterricht an.Wie funktioniert Fernunterricht bei uns?
10 Lektionen an 45 Min.: CHF 790
Für Kinder sind auch 30-minütige Lektionen möglich.
Gitarre, Akustische Gitarre und E-Gitarre
Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk, Pop, Klassik und Experimentelle Musik
Anfänger, Fortgeschrittene und Master
Englisch, Italienisch und Spanisch
Alberto Santamaria unterrichtet Schüler*innen ab 6 Jahren
Interview mit Alberto Santamaria
Which musician influenced you the most?
The Beatles, they were the beginning of everything, the reason I knew music, they were always with me growing up, and I was always captivated by their artistic/musical solutions. I had the privilege of playing in Liverpool and visiting the places where the most significant events of their career took place, and I realised how incredibly connected I was to them. To this day the Beatles influence my compositions.
What can you teach me on your instrument better than any other teacher?
What I always wanted from my teachers were the famous "tricks of the trade," playing in very different situations I often found myself out of my "comfort zone," which allowed me to grow and understand how to relate to my instrument in the most personal and effective way possible. An in-depth knowledge of other instruments has allowed me not only to have a more global view of my instrument but also to understand where its presence is actually important and in what way. The guitar is an instrument that has thousands of facets and the trick is knowing how to use them in the right way and at the right time.
How did you learn to play your instrument?
I learned my instrument thanks to teachers who were able to pass on their passion to me lesson after lesson, and as time went by I realized that I was also developing my own personal path with the instrument, increasing my passion for it and improving day by day.
How do you go about writing a song or composing a piece yourself?
In different ways:
• Guitar and Voice, the harmony (chords) and melody, the form I prefer most and which comes from my deepest intimacy.
• Guitar Solo, recording chords and melody separately, purely in the Jazz or Rock style.
• Piano, allowing me to bring to life another personality related to this other wonderful instrument, definitely more intimate and free from the geometric guesswork associated with the guitar.
• Voice Solo, melodies that travel in the air, while walking, while waiting for the elevator, every moment is good for a new melody!
• Bass and Drums, the groove of the song that is: the pulse, the soul, the trend that the song will have and everything else comes to follow.
• Melodic fragments, which are later developed with the music notation program (Sibelius). It is a decidedly more intellectual approach related to the "classical" tradition of music.
What equipment are you playing on today?
"It's all about the sound”. This has been my favorite sentence for years now. It is essential today to always keep up to date especially when you play an instrument like the electric guitar. When you think of a great guitarist you almost always remember his sound!
Guitars: PRS DGT Signature, Fender Startocaster, Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with P90, Maton Tommy Emmanuel Signature, Telecaster Custom Made by Anna Corona Liuteria , Retro by Anna Corona Liuteria, Danelectro DC etc.
Basically a lot of Electric guitars (14), 2 Acoustic Guitars, 1 Classical Guitar, 1 E- Bass, 1 Mandolin, 1 Ukulele.
Always and only tube Amplifiers.
Pedals: a lot of Reverbs by Earthquaker devises, many delays, Mobius by Strymon, bb-preamp and TS9 Overdrive, tuner, compressor, octaver etc.
Over the years I have experimented a lot with instrumentation given the different genres of music I have approached.
What personal quality helped you the most when practicing?
The relation with the instrument that grew day after day but especially in the first period. Also seeing other musicians who sounded really good, they really pushed me to do more and more. I have discovered new music over the years and this thing has always been the remedy for everything. There is always a song ready to listen to and to be listened to.
What does your instrument have that others don’t?
What my instrument can offer is simply more, because I play different instruments so in addition to focusing on the technical study of the guitar, it will be very interesting how the student can try to play together with other types of instruments such as drums, bass , the piano, played by me. I think this is very important because it allows you to leave the lesson and be able to play with as many people as possible, without too many complications, because the student will already know which techniques to use when playing together with a pianist or a drummer etc.
What do you pay particular attention to when teaching?
My focus is on the student's musical journey whether it is an amateur or a professional one. After reaching a basic level with the instrument as quickly as possible, many factors come into play that make our time together unique. The discovery of new music, playing together with other instruments such as drums, bass, piano, etc., composing and recording songs together. Teaching materials prepared by me exclusively for the student will be provided with each lesson.
How do you structure your music lessons?
• I’ll meet you in my studio with a system for listening to music, piano, drums and amplifiers.
• We tune the instrument after a brief personal refresher, put the focus on 'the topic I have prepared for the lesson which can be technique, harmony, rhythm, melodies, scales, etc. also making some steps forward for next week.
• I listen to new music with each lesson, following the student's tastes and desires.
• Approach to the study of a piece.
• Playing together or alone, with two guitars or accompanied by other instruments.
• Final part for questions and wishes for the next lesson .
How do you approach children?
I worked several years in a kindergarden, and had the experience of approaching different children in different contexts (individual lessons and group lessons). With children you know everything is a game, but at the same time you have to accompany them on a path lesson after lesson without stressing them too much, but rather making them protagonists of the learning choices and of having fun.
What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?
My best experience dates back to October 13, 2023, where I played an important tour in the largest Swiss cities (Zurich, Bern, Lausanne, Luzern, Basel...) with Tineke Postma and DKSJ All Star, we played in one city every day different and it was all very spontaneous and very educational, the music was very complicated but with excellent teamwork we managed to achieve the goal in the best possible way. The fantastic thing was that before the tour we didn't know each other with all the musicians and we only had three days to get to know each other and clean up the repertoire.
What was the biggest stage you played on?
It was on the “Teatro Massimo” of Palermo, symbol of the city, one of the most beautiful European theatres, the stage is depth 14m and width 18m. It was on 11th June 2017, In a Blink on a night, composition by Michele Tardini, for 80 E.Guitars, 20 E.Bass and Drums.
Which musician would you like to play?
I always have a beautiful connection with pianists, in a musically and personal way, so I would be really interested to play with Freddie Mercury that is not just one of the best singer ever but also an incredible pianist and composer. I had the possibility to listen in famous recording studio in Florence, the original tracks from Queen and I understood how much he was an unbelievably nice pianist. Also his connection with classical music fascinates me a lot.
Which record would you take with you to the desert island?
Nero a metà, a record by Pino Daniele, my favorite Italian Artist: Guitarist, Singer, Composer, Arranger, he has collaborated with all my music heroes: Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny etc. In this records there is everything that you need to know about him: Blues, Mediterranean melodies, Rock, Pop, Funk etc. It's impossible to get bored while listening to this album.
Which stage would you most like to play on or do you most enjoy playing on?
I believe that every stage, whether large or small, gives the opportunity to always express oneself in a different way, so I would like to play in as many stages as possible to be able to increasingly increase my language, determined by the context in which the stage is located. I still remember the London period where each stage really had a different flavor of the environment and in those cases your way of playing change and grow.
What else is important in your life besides music?
Although music occupies most of my time, I’m very careful to continue cultivating my friendships all over the world! In my spare time, I do some sports and love to swim in my hometown river.