Offering more than sales, experts are teaching Katy to play
James Anderson began playing around with his brother’s guitar when he was 11 or 12 years old.
Today he owns The Texas Guitar Company and gives lessons to aspiring musicians with the same optimistic drive that propelled his passion and career.
“The guitar is a very important thing in life to me,” he said.
Anderson enjoyed watching his father, uncle and older brother play, and by age 14 he had his own guitar.
“I had a heavy metal band in high school,” he said.
Inspired by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, music consumed Anderson until after high school when his band broke up and he joined the Army. He served in the military for three years and then went to the University of Houston where he earned his four-year degree on what he called the five-year plan. During his final semester, however, something changed.
“All of a sudden the guitar became very important to me again,” he said.
As he drifted through a tumultuous period in his life, he landed a job with a friend who owned a small guitar shop.
“I was teaching guitar there, and after observing how he operated I felt I could do better,” he said.
In 2005, he struck out on his own and opened The Texas Guitar Company in a shopping center at Fry and Saums roads and has been in business there ever since.
“My main focus is teaching lessons,” he said.
In addition to selling guitars and supplies, his store has eight enclosed studios where his staff teaches more than just guitar. Students can also learn violin, viola, cello, piano or keyboards and drums. Among Anderson’s slate of instructors is noted Houston jazz musician Glen Ackerman. Another instructor is also a student of Ackerman’s, 20-year-old Rebecca Laird.
Laird recently competed in Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues national finals in Los Angeles where she finished in sixth place. Influenced by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Vaughan, Jeff Beck and Harlan Wolfe, she first started playing seven years ago. When offered the chance to teach, she could not resist.
“I love it,” she said. “This is my first job, and it’s an awesome job.”
Her duties extend beyond teaching people to play.
“I do everything from cleaning the bathrooms to teaching the lessons to basic guitar repair and working at the front counter,” she said.
Anderson said he wants his store to always be family friendly.
“This is a good place to learn about music,” he said.
Getting schooled in guitar
The Texas Guitar Company currently has 14 instructors and offer lessons from basic guitar to different performance styles and instruments.
- Price packages vary depending on the length of commitment.
- A single lesson is $30.
- A month’s worth (4) is $25 per lesson.
- Three months worth (12) is $22.50 per lesson.
The Texas Guitar Company, 2351 N. Fry Road, Katy, 281-647-8111, www.thetexasguitarco.com