I’m a pro guitarist, composer, instructor, and author in my mid-30’s, who was probably born about 15 years too late. Why is that? When it comes to guitar education, I’m all about ‘80s-era intensity.
Oh yeah, and the “Tron” style graphics, too.
Coming of age in the 90s was tough, because while I was passionate about mastering music theory, playing fast, etc., most of the popular rock music at that time was all about sloppiness. Sluggishness. “Jangly” chords. The guitar magazines were full of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, Weezer, Counting Crows, and other Lollapaloozers - all seemingly advocating that you shouldn’t ever practice, that playing fast sucks, and other ridiculous statements.
Sure, 90’s-era Metal was phenomenal, and in that respect, I’m glad I was a teenager at that time listening to all of it - but fact is, I’d missed the boat on the “guitar-centric” era of the ‘80s, that shred-obsessive time of Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen that saw so many bars (and metronome tempos) raised. Often, I felt like a fish out of water. And yeah, Phish was always in the ‘90s guitar mags too. Great.
In ‘98, I enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. There were some kindred spirits there, certainly. But after a year, I found myself drawn to the smallest major at the school - Classical Composition. Strangely, even though in my mind there was an obvious symmetry between shred, metal, modern music theory, and composing, there were hardly any other metal guitarists in my classes. Not caring that I found myself once again “on the wrong side of history”, I graduated with a degree in Classical Composition in 2002.
In 2005, I released “Constant”, the first Brett Miller record of instrumental metal. After that came “Druid Green” in 2007, followed by a few years of side projects and video game soundtracks: 2008 saw the release of “Mercury” by Men Of Letters, and during 2009 - 2011 the first Gentleman Heretic record was written and recorded, plus two full-length soundtracks for the “Mishap” games published by Namco / Bandai, and an additional game soundtrack for the now-defunct Virtual Prophecy Entertainment.
In 2012, my instructional company Guitar Foundry was created. Having been an in-demand private instructor since 2003, Guitar Foundry expanded my ability to reach students anywhere in the USA and around the world, by conducting live guitar consults via Skype and Google Hangout. After creating the popular “Blank TAB Domination!” series of guitar and bass manuscript titles, I began writing instructional books, and publishing them under the Guitar Foundry name. Also in 2012, I returned to the world of instrumental guitar, recording the Brett Miller EP “Metal”. 2012 - 2014 found me writing more guitar instructional titles, as well as releasing “Beast Sides”, a record of B-Sides from the “Metal” sessions and various high-quality demos and other guitar music that hadn’t seen the light of day. In 2015, the 5th Brett Miller record, “Oath Of Dagon”, was successfully overfunded on Kickstarter. A collaboration with sci-fi and fantasy artist Marcelo Orsi Blanco, “Oath Of Dagon” is wholly inspired by the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, and was officially released in May of 2016.
In addition, 2016 saw the creation of this company right here - Metal Guitar Academy. With more guitar instructional books and courses on the way, it became necessary to provide an unique environment for them, separate from my Skype consults at Guitar Foundry.
It’s a great privilege for me to be able to help so many guitarists, of all levels, continue to achieve their goals. I’ve been at it for more than a dozen years - and it’s only becoming bigger, better, and more rewarding. Thanks for allowing me to be your guide on this incredible journey of music and guitar -