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Asheville Guitar founder, Mike Barnes, was inspired to play the guitar when he was just 11 years old studying classical guitar with the late great Jerry Young. At the young age of 14, he formed a band called Blue Sky with childhood friend Warren Haynes, and improvised each time they performed while spending many rehearsals working on the art of improvisation. Mike went on to study at University of Miami, Musician's Institute and UNCA where he has been a music faculty member since 1995
and holds two music degrees. Mike has previously been part of the Appalachian State University music faculty and recorded on countless recording sessions in Memphis, Nashville and L.A. and was signed to recording contracts with Geffen Records and Polygram records. He has been blessed to study and share the stage with some of the worlds greatest and most influential guitarists and musicians. Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule, Jimmy Page, Pat Martino, John Scofield, Joe Walsh, The Allman Brothers Band, Robben Ford, Jimmy Herring, Derek Trucks, Ben Harper, John Paul Jones, Branford Marsalis, Neal Larson, Jeff Sipe, Jerry Jemmott, The Black Crows, Dave Grohl, Moe, String Cheese Incident, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Steve Miller to name a few.
Mike's experience on the road, in recording studios and in various bands taught him that everyone learns music differently. This is why we invite new students to participate in a music knowledge test. From there we can determine what information you know, and can build a learning program around you! Our teaching process is unique to each student.