Podcast: Interview with Classical Guitarist and Educator Dan McKay

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Interviews, Podcasts | 0 comments

Greg recently had the chance to chat with one of Australia’s leading classical guitarists, and an old friend, Daniel McKay, who’s latest solo CD “Suffering and Madness” features premiere recordings by some of Australia’s most loved and emerging composers.

Daniel studied extensively with Tim Kain and took masterclasses with leading guitarists like John Williams and Carlos Bonell. He holds music degrees from the Australian National University.


As a performer, Daniel has toured Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Europe. He has released albums with groups like Guitar Trek and the Melbourne Guitar Quartet, as well as duet and solo recordings. Daniel is an in-demand guitar teacher, having spent years on faculty at institutions like the Australian National University School of Music. He currently teaches at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.


Key Takeaways and Tips:

  • Though now a master classical guitarist, Dan was inspired to start guitar by bands like Dire Straits and AC/DC. He eventually transitioned to focusing on classical guitar.
  • Dan shares tips on guitar practice – having a focus and goal for each session, developing technique and reading skills together.
  • For beginners, Dan suggests starting with simple melodies rather than diving right into music theory.
  • Consistent, focused practice is critical even if just 5-10 minutes at a time.
  • Dan and I both studied classical guitar under Tim Kain and were inspired by the Australian guitar scene in the 1990s.
  • We discuss reasons to love classical guitar – ability to play multiple lines simultaneously, portability, versatile repertoire.
  • We play one track from Dan’s album called “Cliffside” which was composed for Dan’s birthday by Robert Davidson.



Listen to Dan’s music and find out more about what he’s up to on his official website:

Dan McKay’s Website

And follow Dan on Instagram!

Dan McKay on Instagram



Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here



If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
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