The following is a summary of Neal Grandstaff’s education, training and job experience. For additional information please contact Neal at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 503-422-6612.
Neal Grandstaff’s first music training began at age 10 with Segovian Master Class student and guitar instructor, Zane Casey, in Washington State.
In 1966 between the ages of 13 and 14 Neal started teaching beginning students at Wiltsey Weather’s Music in Salem, Oregon. The education tutor was Precilla Wiltsey, a piano instructor of local repute with a small academy. Neal used Mrs. Wiltsey’s Academy approach and fused that with the Segovian method and was teaching 10 students a week.
Work experience continued and in the next 3 years Neal had taken on 12 to 16 students per week in Salem and Corvallis, Oregon, all the while creating and musically directing a performing quartet, with the help of small business mentor Tom Day. In 2 years, he was able to develop a group that received national attention. The group made an appearance on ABC’s Happening ‘69 with hosts Paul Revere and the Raiders as well as receiving “Forth Place in Fifty” status from a Pop Music Association Contest at the national level. Neal graduated from Corvallis High with 3.85 GPA.
At 17-18 traveled extensively on the West Coast and worked Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, and Nevada (Reno, Tahoe, and Las Vegas) in shows and pit bands for a little over a year.
In the early 70s (1971-1973) at age 19, Neal attended Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon and was subsequently contracted to teach the Adult Education guitar classes at that school. During this same time frame Neal was teaching private lessons at Music West, also in Eugene, and was carrying 32 private students a week.
Now, at 22, he returned to the “traveling circuit” and started a publishing company, Sunrise Publications, which produced guitar instruction pamphlets and small manuals. Neal continued to travel, teach, and record between Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, L.A., Reno, Tahoe, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Finding a permanent residence in Portland, Grandstaff created a Co-Op music production team at Sound Smith Studios and a production company, Staff-O-Life Productions, using MHCC’s “Kicks Band” members and local professionals: Joe Millward, Rob Thomas, Thara Memory, Lloyd Jones, Tom Grant, Jim Solberg, Gary Clinton, Terry Lane, Dick Burdell, Mike Murphy, Jeff Uusitalo, Glenn Holstrum, Lester McFarland, Lee Wuthenow, just to name a few of the primary players.
This studio group produced content for recording projects involving local artists, film, TV and radio advertising and I.D. Packages. Neal continued to perform with many of the best regional musicians in concerts, special and private events, and club dates.
Neal published Guitar Mechanics, a guitar method book in 1977, which today includes two hours of video lessons with over fifty play-along audio recordings. Grandstaff continues to publish and revise this text.
Combos at this time included Spice of Life Trio with Lloyd Jones and Glen Holstrum, Nuance (Joe Millward and Dave Royer), The Buddy Fite Trio, Sound Advise with Gordy Michael, Higher Ground, the Swingline Cubs, CC and Company, Mary Curtis and the Ozone Rangers, The Bo Cody Band and various other Portland based groups.
Neal taught private lessons at Mt. Hood Community College using Guitar Mechanics as the method of choice in a third revision college edition.
Neal started work providing music, thematic orchestration, and sound design content on site in Oakhurst California for Sierra Online, the worlds largest producer of role playing (RPG) computer interactive software (video games).
Awards include the Golden Triad Award for Space Quest 6 and a variety of industry awards for music and sound design (Rama, Fantasmagoria, Slater and Charlie Go Camping, Police Quest 4, Kings Quest 7, Pepper’s Adventures in Time, Trophy Bass, 3-D Pinball, Quest for Glory 3, Gabriel Knight).
He moved back to the Northwest and started work at Dynamics, a sister company to Sierra, a new production facility co-oped by University of Oregon. Neal produced music and sound for sim-games (Herc Force, Earth Siege, Red Barron, Trophy Bass) and did sound design and additional music for “Rama” produced from the Arthur C. Clark, Rama series, books.
In 1996 Neal starts teaching a few days per week as an instructor and member of the music staff at Oregon State University. Teaching private guitar lessons to about 100 students per term and classes in Jazz Improv, Jazz studies and, Jazz combos Lab.
During this same time frame GSP Audio-Sunrise Publishing also produced several performance groups: The Wondertones, The Nairobi Bois, Threeplay, Just Us (a duo with bassist Ray Brassfield), Partykit, Donny Osborne Quartet with Al Criado and Caton’ Lyles, Django Bango with Tim Gilson and Alex Hargreaves. Two of these groups, The Willie Phillips Project, a simple country trio, and The Rubes, a twelve piece country variety act, were warm up acts at the Oregon Jamboree five years in a row, opening for Sawyer Brown, Dwight Yokum, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, and Lee Ann Womack.
Neal’s Guitar Mechanics is the method of choice at OSU. There is also an outreach program set up by Neal in a few of the local bistros for the students of the improv class to improve their skills and liaison with professionals for a real world training experience.
Many of the improv class participants are also networked with some of the Portland sessions as well. Through association with Ron Steen, Bill Beach, Phil Baker and others the students are always welcome at nightly jam sessions at Produce Row, Riverplace, Clyde's Steak House, or Jimmy Mak’s.
In 2003 Oregon State’s Distance Education began an online course for credit by using the Guitar Mechanics method in conjunction with the Guitar Mechanics Video Lessons. The student can also opt to take juries via web cam. This was the only course of its kind, at that time, at any college or public school in the country.
In addition to retiring from OSU and performing in concert with the legendary Wayne Newton, Neal continues to perform regionally and all around the country as well as continuing to teach individuals through the latest version of his online site Guitar Mechanics.com.
In 2009 GSP Audio-Sunrise Publishing LLC, in cooperation with Thunderstone Productions releases a marvelous Blues, Jazz, Funk recording that has been dubbed Old School “Progressive R&B”. The album ’Round Midnight by Jonny Dark and the Wondertones, is available on: iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon.com, and CD World. It can be viewed and listened to online at: thewondertones.com; booking and calendar info can be found there as well.
GSP Audio-Sunrise Publishing LLC releases The Wondertones Old School - 47 Minutes
GSP Audio-Sunrise Publishing LLC releases Quantum Guitar Mechanics (a solo album by Neal Grandstaff)
GSP Audio-Sunrise Publishing LLC launches a new web site Guitar Mechanics.com, a Live/Online Teaching Method and Membership Academy. It is an outsource for the public and private schools and for individuals wanting to study at the professional or collegiate level in order to start a career in performance and composition of music.