Wayne Riker Spotlight

"The Javelin Concerto" from his CD Guitar Decathlon
TGS Spotlight Player from April 12, 2012

My journey on guitar began shortly after the Beatles hit the shores of the U.S. in 1964. What started as a hobby, became a passion and career, shortly afterwards, beginning with my first gig in 1967 at The Cafe Bizarre in Greenwich Village, in my hometown of New York City, to my present situation as a free lance guitarist in San Diego, California. In between, I've played in over fifty groups, spanning most all the musical spectrums, including Rock, Funk, Country, Jazz, Blues, Latin, Top 40, Big Band, World Music, show bands, musical theater, and concerts backing up numerous "well known" and "hardly known" entertainers. in addition to solo guitar instrumental shows, winding through the heyday of the Jersey shore, to the plains of the Midwest, to the sunny skies of San Diego. Concurrently, I've taught guitar as my parallel passion, since 1973.

Here's the "Cliff Notes" of my career so far:

EDUCATION: Earned a BA in English Lit from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, basically buying time until the draft days expired. It was then my adviser encouraged me to pursue a career in music, as graduate school would be a ontinuation of my academic immaturity. Took a year off from gigs and private teaching, in 1979, to attend The Guitar Institute of Technology, now Musician's Institute, in Los Angeles. Invaluable, as a stepping stone to higher playing skills and teaching philosophy. During my mid life crisis in 1982, I chalked up a degree in Journalism from San Diego State University, via Grossmont College, opting out of a tempting alternate career in sports journalism, and staying on my musical path.

WORKSHOPS: Senior faculty member for The National Guitar Workshop for 17 years, 1990-2006, conducting group seminars in Connecticut, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco & Austin, Texas. Guitar Player Magazine sponsored workshops, 1992-2000. Alfred Publishing workshops, promoting my instructional books, since 1994, Los Angeles Music Academy presently, and ongoing local workshops on a variety of topics.

INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKS & VIDEOS: Over a dozen instructional books/videos with Alfred Publishing since 1994, including "Mastering Blues Guitar," "Blues Licks Encyclopedia," "Chicago Blues," "Slide Guitar" & "Blues Soloing Strategies."

INSTRUCTIONAL COLUMNS: Between 1989 to 2009, periodical instructional columns for: Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Premier & Acoustic Musician Magazines.

CD's: Since 2008, I've recorded five CD's under my name, all containing original instrumental compositions, including two solo acoustic discs, "Fretfull" and "Fretology" and three full band discs, "Full Soul Ahead", "Penumbral Sky" and "Guitar Decathlon." Here's the gist of the Guitar Decathlon CD that you'll hear a track from, taken from my CD Baby page liner notes: A landmark recording, featuring ten top shelf guest guitarists, from ten different musical worlds, one on each track, jamming out with me to ten of my instrumental compositions, ranging from Country to Heavy Metal, and everything else in between. A guitar fiesta from start to finish.

Visit Wayne Riker's website at

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