So, Who is Clancy?
I am Clancy – Paul Clancy. I was born in Queens, New York a long, long time ago. I began playing guitar with my brother when I was twelve years old. I remember the first song I played – “Please, Please me” by the Beatles. Then it was onto the Dave Clark 5, Herman’s Hermits and more of the same.
Much of my early learning came through watching guitarists who were better than me. I would study their hands, how they held their picks, left hand
positions, etc. Then I would squirrel myself away and try to imitate what I saw. This is something I encourage all my students to do – only be able to tell the good from the bad and “take what you need and leave the rest”.
I joined my first rock group when I was 17 – we played Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin, and more. We got a few jobs at high school dances and birthday parties. But mostly we played in the basement.
Then it was off to music conservatory for classical guitar. I spent a semester there before I got restless and decided to travel America. I spent the next several years traveling around the states with my guitar getting odd jobs, playing at odd places and learning several styles of music – blue grass, old finger-picking type blues, Travis picking, etc. All this time I was also writing my own stuff.
When I went back to college (to study Mathematics) I taught many students on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I formed the New York Art Band that performed original music mostly instrumental, non-stop rock/jazz structured freeform music. You can see pictures of the band members on the wall of my studio.
A while ago I had the privilege to study under Susan McDonald – a master concert guitarist who has played around the world, for several presidents, Carnegie Hall and more. She listened to several of my classical guitar compositions and recorded them on her Comfort CD. Since then we have become friends and she gives me many pointers on how to approach the guitar – very much from a conceptual and mental view.
I started Clancy’s Guitar school in 2004 with the hope of passing onto my students my passion for the guitar and helping them cultivate their own.