My Guitar Story

I began performing music in 1985 when I was a bassist in orchestra in 7th grade. After only 2 months of playing, at my teacher's recommendation, I was accepted into district orchestra going up against students that had been playing for 3 or 4 years. Still searching for something else, I discovered guitar a few years later and never looked back.

I began attending college when I was only 16. At 17, having only played guitar for 1 1/2 years, I was awarded a music scholarship. I learned a lot about jazz guitar and improvisation at this time, studying with Jack Peterson's protege, Mark Menza. Elaine Gardner-Morales and Brenda Dillon helped turn me into a music theory expert in no time. I also learned about classical guitar, as well as life, from Carlos Pezzimenti, a student of the great Andre Segovia.

After passing my University of North Texas music theory proficiency exam during my 3rd semester (the only student in my class to do so), I decided to transfer to UNT, focusing on composition, though I finished with more than 120 hours of music credits just to get in all the classes I wanted to take to satisfy my passion for music and love of learning.

After graduating from UNT, I began to focus on teaching and developing my own guitar instructional approach. During this time, I performed with the Brad Barnes Trio and played for 3 months on the Carnival Cruise ship The Tropicale. It was on the ship where I played guitar and bass with Duke Daniels of The Platters and many others. I also recorded an album which I released years later under the name Kitty Warrior Princess. Involved in numerous other projects, mostly I focused on teaching the likes of two-time Emmy-winner Josh Goode of the Josh Goode Band ( and other professionals such as Katie Carroll, Erica Perry, and many other quality guitar students.

I went on to focus on gigging for a while in the mid-2000’s doing 300 shows in two years - playing everything from jazz to rock to blues to funk. I played with Liz Mikels, Gino Iglehart, Quinton Perry, JB Saxx, and many, many others. I then conquered the fine dining world with an amazing jazz/pop/rock acoustic duo with Melissa Medlock playing restaurants such as Kirby’s Steakhouse, Bailey’s Prime Plus, Mercy Wine Bar, Zin Zen Wine Bar, Crù Wine Bar, Ocean Prime and many others. It’s at this time that I learned how to create piano-like arrangements on guitar since my guitar is the only accompaniment to the singer. After years of fine dining gigs, I returned to more tradition acoustic rock duos and trios with local Dallas artists such as Austin Gray, Sterling Masters, David Cotè and Christian Sly. I then took my amazing full guitar arrangements from my fine dining days and created a mesmerizing solo instrumental guitar show which you can still see at venues in DFW, as well as private parties and weddings. But I still love to shred on electric guitar, too!


In 2009, I had the amazing opportunity to put my teaching approach to the test when I wrote a 66,000+ worded script and created a nearly TWENTY HOUR guitar instructional series including Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced guitar lessons. I wanted to the “spill the beans” and went into as much detail as possible so that ANYONE could have as many guitar playing questions as possible answered, all from one source! Post-production was a challenge since I wanted only the best post-production animated graphics I could have created to support each viewers guitar learning process and make this series as easy to use and fun as possible.

Are you ready to start learning guitar?


On Business Spotlight hosted by Patrick Dougher talks about my then new video training on How to Play Guitar. Brad Barnes Presents: How To Play Guitar has three levels available for aspiring Guitar players.

Playing for Fun with local Middle Eastern band Badrawn

Just a Little Warm Up...