Welcome to the official website of the YouTube channel
Hub Hildenbrand Guitar Academia!
illustration by Kati Szilagyi
Over 25 years as a professional guitarist, composer, band-leader and researcher, I have collected a vast amount of experience and material. I have studied western harmony, jazz, improvisation, Indian raga music, the Turkish makam music and others, and have discovered close links that exist between these different kinds of music. The insights I gained from these experiences are not typically taught even at the best music academies. So, passing on these insights is important for me, and I am happy to be able to share my knowledge on this channel and worldwide with a comunity of enthusiastic guitarists.
Musical Philosophy - Music is one
In my musical development I have explored a wide variety of cultures, styles and aspects of music in search of my own musical language. Many music schools and universities seem to view and teach music from a single perspective and also to consider that this perspective reflects the whole.
My experience with diverse musical cultures and traditions has given me a different view of music which I believe is broader and more complete. There are an enormous diversity of musical forms, with each individual musical style looking at whole from just one angle. I believe these are all connected, which seems more obvious when you consider that the true source of music is the human mind.
Ultimately, there is only one music: it is the one language that connects all the cultures of the world, a real world language. It knows many forms of expression and each adds to a broader view of the music. The bigger picture can rarely be seen because we filter it through our individual perspectives but occasionally it is possible to glimpse it, and when this happens it is simply stunning. On GUITAR ACADEMIA I would like to share with you this fascination, knowledge and insight.
Music is a wide open, endless ocean and the search for your own voice can be a lifelong journey. Allauddin Khan told his students: "Every note must touch your heart" – which I think is a good guide for anyone who wants to embark on this journey.
To really know any given style perfectly you probably have to be born within that culture, since music both reflects culture and is simultaneously part of it. However, even if the perfection of each individual style is not achievable, the aim is to be the best musician you can be. It is my hope that treating music more holistically will enable you to find the vocabulary which is best suited to form your own musical language. Using the knowledge and skills provided in these lessons will help you to develop your own vision of music and become better able to shape the music according to this vision.
GUITAR ACADEMIA is designed to permit you to freely explore at your own pace. The total journey will take time, and in a sense, may never be completed, but I hope you will find value, insight and enjoyment in each part. The YouTube Channel together with this website is a project that I am undertaking in parallel to my other work as a touring musician and composer. I am excited to see how the project develops and I invite you to join me on this musical journey.
My Teaching Approach
Following the above philosophy results in a modified approach to teaching music which has an impact on the content of even basic topics. The broader outlook needs a different foundation, which is not generally taught. The individual development of the student is at the very centre of my teaching. On one hand the general basics are taught in order to create a solid foundation, on the other hand I invite you to inspiring expeditions into the worlds of sound, theories and techniques of different musical cultures - with the aim of expanding your possibilities of musical expression. The lessons span a broad range of topics:
Improvisation and Composition
Tonal Harmony, Jazz
Tone Production, the Mastery of Different Timbres
Microtonality on the Fretted Guitar
Sounds and Techniques from the Classical Music of North India
Raga (India) and Maqam (Turkey)
Effective Practice, Concentration, Mental Play
My instrument is the guitar, although at times I often hated it. I found that I could more easily relate to the sounds of the Turkish oud, Indian sarod, Afghan rabab and Persian tar. I could lose myself completely in their sounds. To find my language on the guitar, I needed to go on extended journeys, until the guitar finally began to reward me and became a wonderful means to express myself.
My grandmother on my mother's side studied piano and had perfect pitch. My grandfather was a composer and orchestra conductor, and he often took me along to his orchestral rehearsals. He passionately explained classical music to me and introduced me to the opera in the Arena of Verona. For my grandparents music had a prominent place and that has strongly influenced me. My grandfather also had a deep understanding of music theory and structure and this instilled in me the desire to comprehend the music meticulously.
My paternal grandparents also lived in the same village. They were simple farmers who had pigs, chickens, and goats. Life with nature, slaughtering and births made a very strong impression on me. There was something existential, which still fascinates me today, and I find this feeling as well in the simplicity of folk music from different cultures.
In my childhood, the guitar was just there – and my father played it often. There was a lot of music and singing at my parents' house. As a quiet child, I was initially drawn towards painting, however, music revealed itself to me with increasing strength. The sounds did not let go, and I felt a strong desire to become a musician.
I studied jazz and improvisation in the U.S.A. and Holland. Through a chance encounter I discovered the Turkish music in colorful Berlin and I went to Istanbul to discover more. My travels took me further to Calcutta (India), where I was able to learn Classical Indian Music first hand.
I have a strong belief in the power of music. For me, music is like an endless ocean. One of my greatest rewards is when my listeners experience something of its depth, mysticism and wonder in the music.