We love a song. We learn a song. We play a song. Sometimes we play it for ourselves, and sometimes we are able to share it with the world. In our experience, that's why learning the guitar is fun. Songs are communicative, and when a song speaks to us we can't help but want to participate in the experience. The team at Six String Country gets out of bed every morning to provide guitarists the resources they need to participate, and we love what we do. There is an important place for learning the basics, and we'll help you with that as well, but we'll never lose site of what makes us pick up that guitar time and time again... Love it. Learn it. Play it.
Raised along the sandy dunes of West Michigan, Tony Bakker has been playing electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and piano since he was very young. At age 17, he said goodbye to the Lake Michigan shoreline and moved to Nashville, TN to attend Belmont University.
He began playing lead and rhythm guitar for a number of singers and bands soon after arriving in Nashville, and at age 19 began touring the country with rock band Sweet T. After returning to Belmont University to finish his degree in Commercial Guitar, Bakker continued to play for many successful singers. His professional experience as a guitarist includes playing live for Brett Eldredge (Atlantic Records), Clark Richard (Sony/EMI), Eric Paslay (EMI Records Nashville), Ryan Griffin, Susan Ashton, and many more. The groups he has performed with have shared the stage with many platinum selling artists including Keith Urban, Eddie Money, and Trick Pony. In addition to live performances, Bakker has done extensive studio work for some of Nashville’s top names including #1 hit producer Greg Droman ("Every Storm Runs Out of Rain" by Gary Allan).
“I love listening to artists that make their guitar sound like it’s talking,” says Bakker. His favorite guitarists include Eric Clapton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Brent Mason, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, and Mike Campbell.
Bakker learned the business end of the music industry working for a number of different publishing companies, most recently serving a 4 year stint as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Warner Music Group’s division, Word Music.
After starting SixStringCountry.com with longtime friend and music industry veteran Ryan Beuschel, Bakker returned to the dunes of West Michigan and claims to be one of the most fortunate guys on the planet. “Waking up and playing music every day is what I’ve always wanted to do. Guitar is my passion and the opportunity to be a part of this innovative approach to learning is truly exciting.”
Bakker is an active singer, songwriter and guitarist, and regularly performs solo, as a duo with singer/songwriter Matt Hanegraaff, and with his band Tony Bakker & the Mercy Wheel. The Mercy Wheel's debut record, 29, can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere digital music is sold. Tony Bakker & the Mercy Wheel's 2nd album, "General Reflections on Being Human", is available on vinyl, CD, by download, and on all major streaming services.
Ryan Beuschel’s love affair with country music started with the early 90s “hat acts” that catapulted the genre to the mainstream of popular music. Artists like Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, and Alan Jackson were main stays in his early cassette collection. Raised in the quaint country town of Sparta, Michigan, Ryan’s musical interests were purely as a listener. After high school, he accepted an offer to play basketball at Hope College. It was in his dorm room at Hope College that he taught himself to play on an old acoustic Hohner guitar his grandfather lent him.
His passion for learning to play country songs grew deeper and he quickly found himself saving any extra cash he could muster to afford guitar lessons at a local music store. “I became a student of country music and wanted to soak up as much as I could. The difficult part was finding an instructor that was as passionate about country music as I was!”
After graduating from Hope, Ryan set his GPS south to Nashville to focus on the business side of the music industry. In his first job he was the Catalog Coordinator at Universal Music Publishing Group. After only a few months, he transitioned into the A&R Department at Universal Records. While at Universal he worked closely with artists like George Strait, David Nail, Jamey Johnson, Lady Antebellum, Easton Corbin, Sugarland, Gary Allan, and many more. After three years at Universal, Ryan accepted a role as Associate Director of Writer Relations at ASCAP. After 4 years at ASCAP, Ryan transitioned into his current role as Director of A&R for a division of Warner Music Group.
On the origin of Six String Country Beuschel says, “When Tony approached me with the idea of Six String Country, I knew it was a no brainer. It marries two worlds that I’m such a strong advocate of. On one side, people who want to learn the joy of playing music now have an outlet to do so affordably AND conveniently, with 24-hour access to their instructor. Secondly, we have worked diligently to secure the proper licenses to compensate writers and publishers for their creative works. Not every music creator is on stage making millions of dollars a year. There are so many songwriters and musicians that are behind the scenes working hard every day to bring new and exciting music to the world!”
Born and raised in Alaska, Eric currently resides in Nashville, TN. An avid teacher, he is also a staff songwriter at Spirit Music Nashville and a member of the country band Triple Run.
Eric has contributed heavily to the blues guitar method, bluegrass lessons and more at SixStringCountry.com
From the thriving and culturally diverse city of Louisville, Ky, Anthony Olympia has had a myriad of musical influences. The only common thread was the guitar. Anthony started off in his early teens learning the riffs and solos from classic rock albums, and in high school played in punk and metal bands at rusty clubs around the city. In his junior year, he began studying music theory and played in Jazz band.
At the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University, Anthony studied classical guitar and composition. During college, he had the opportunity to briefly study with greats like Mario Ulloa and Manuel Barrueco. While at Western, Anthony began playing in the local college bars around Bowling Green, Ky. After forming a country band in college that went on be a successful regional act, it seemed like the ball was finally beginning to roll in a singular direction.
Having moved to Nashville in 2011, Anthony has a budding career as a professional songwriter, musician and producer. He has toured all over the U.S. with some of Nashville’s rising stars, opening for country and rock artists such as Chris Young, Diamond Rio, Old Dominion, Lonestar, The Brothers Osborne, The Band Perry, Kenny Loggins, and Leon Russell.
In the spring of 2016, Anthony signed a publishing deal with Combustion Music, home of some of country’s top songwriters such as Ashley Gorley, Matt Jenkins, and Jerry Flowers (Bassist for Keith Urban). Anthony has written songs recorded on several independently released albums.
While working on his own song catalog, Anthony is also producing several up-and-coming Nashville recording artists, and is an active multi-instrumentalist session musician recording in many of Nashville’s top notch studios.
“I like guitar playing that breaks the rules.” Anthony’s style has been shaped by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and melodic players like Keith Urban and John Mayer. “I love when you can sing the guitar solo after only hearing it once.”
John Hollier is a touring musician and songwriter in Nashville. He is a graduate of Belmont University and has worked in both the industry and performance side of Nashville’s country scene.
“A really really miraculous guitar player.” - Vince Gill, MCA recording artist, 20-time Grammy Award recipient, Country Music Hall of Fame Member
Although his earliest memories are of climbing up on a countertop to reach FM radio, since then guitarist Sean Weaver has traversed many musical pathways ranging from Chicago & Texas blues to an uncanny command of the major guitar figures of the 1960’s rock era, to the “golden age” of ‘50s Chet Atkins and 20th century country-blues minstrels, putting him on stages and festivals including the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, National Summer Guitar Workshop, and historic Ryman Auditorium. The recipient of awards from both the Home of the Legends Thumbpickers Association and Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Competition, he has performed in a wide range of musical contexts with several of his formative inspirations including Billy Cox of Jimi Hendrix’s seminal Band of Gypsies, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Les Paul, Lee Ann Womack, and fellow finger-stylists Tommy Emmanuel CGP, John Knowles CGP, Jim & Morning Nichols, Brooks Robertson, Richard Smith, and more. An endorsing artist with Kevin Ryan Guitars, LR Baggs, and GHS Strings, guitar writer (Premier Guitar), columnist (Frets, Guitar Player), and educator of 15+ years, his solo guitar release Half Past Midnight is available for physical purchase at here and digital download at iTunes. For custom Skype instruction of all levels in Chet Atkins-style finger-picking, solo acoustic guitar, altered tunings, electric guitar lead and rhythm styles, and the compositions and solos of Jimi Hendrix, he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
"There are strains of rag-influenced Piedmont and swing here, among multiple other elements. But Weaver’s most obvious inspiration is probably Chet Atkins, and it isn’t hard to imagine Atkins smiling with approval at this album.” - Rick Allen, Vintage Guitar Magazine, March ‘14
Six String Country is proud to sponsor our friends at NSAI. It really does all begin with a song, and NSAI is committed to protecting the rights of songwriters. Click HERE to learn about all of the benefits an NSAI membership provides. Here is their mission statement:
The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) consists of a body of creative minds, including songwriters from all genres of music, professional and amateur, who are committed to protecting the rights and future of the profession of songwriting, and to educate, elevate, and celebrate the songwriter and to act as a unifying force within the music community and the community at large.
Six String Country is proud to partner with Rio Grande Pickups. Instructor Tony Bakker uses a Dirty Harry Tele Super Classic bridge pickup and a Vintage Tall Boy Super Classic neck pickup on his go-to American Telecaster. Read below and visit their website for more info on this great brand.
Rio Grande Electric Guitar Pickups are custom wound and "seasoned to taste" in a "lo tech/high tone" environment. They believe they are among the finest replacement pickups that can be found north (or any other direction) of the Rio Grande.