My name is Christopher DeLisle, and I’m the CEO and Founder of Black Bandana Artist Services. I graduated with a B.A. from the Mike Curb College of Music Business at Belmont University with a degree emphasis in songwriting. I am a live and studio guitarist, recording artist, songwriter, and music coach and artist development professional here in Nashville. My business, Black Bandana Artist Services, works with musicians locally and around the world to help musicians of all levels achieve their goals be it in their guitar playing, development as an artist, songwriting, or any other musical areas they wish to pursue.
What is your background?
I began playing guitar at 11 years old and progressed rapidly in my musical abilities. I began writing songs at 14, and at 17 I decided to become a professional musician. However, at that time I plateaued in my abilities. Extra practice, college music classes, professional advice from industry connections, and even being a part then guitar teacher didn’t bring me any improvement and nothing helped me get better. I felt stuck. For 10 years I didn’t get any better, or at least I didn’t feel like it. After graduating and working on a career in higher education, I came back to music and put in massive amounts of time to figure out why I couldn’t get better. With a music mentor and 30-40 hours of practice a week, I finally found the roots of my problems and learned how to grow faster than ever. I began teaching guitar more consistently and helping students break through their barriers. Through getting some songs cut and having success as I writer I made my way back to Nashville for good. I found some success as a recording artist in a duo, traveling as far as London to play, and I began building Black Bandana Artist Services alongside my own musical career. As I stepped away from the duo act, my teaching business started to grow. Now I teach full time while playing guitar for other artists, writing songs, and pursuing my own solo artist career.
How long ago did you start the company?
Black Bandana Artist Services began years ago when I was 17 and started to struggle to improve. I had no idea I would become a full time teacher and artist development professional, but the roots of this company reach all the way down to the struggles I had with learning to play as a teenager. The actual name, Black Bandana Artist Services, began in August of 2019, but as someone who hails from a line of teachers, teaching has always been part of my personality. I’ve been teaching guitar off and on for over a decade, and I started pursuing it more seriously after my own breakthrough in my playing in the summer of 2017. I’ve been working towards creating Black Bandana Artist Services ever since.
What are your services/products?
Black Bandana Artist Services offers private and group guitar lessons (online or in person), artist development, songwriting mentorships, music theory lessons, beginning bass lessons, beginning ukulele lessons, and a host of other customizable combinations of musical classes and information. All lessons and sessions are customized to each individual student’s needs as we do not believe one size fits all, and we work with students from complete beginners all the way to professional working musicians and everywhere in between. We also have a weekly live stream Q&A for guitarists and artists to tune in to ask questions, and we release a weekly free country guitar riff for our series “Twangin’ Tuesday” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. We also send Twangin’ Tuesday tablature for free to all who sign up for our email list to encourage more people to learn cool guitar riffs regularly. We offer discounts and specials to those who are signed up as a way to show our appreciation for their loyalty to our business.
Tell us about your packages/prices?
Packages are customized to every students. We recommend starting with a baseline of 1 lesson per week (lessons are 1 hour long) for $250 per month (a total of 4 lessons). However, we don’t want money to be the reason students don’t learn to play, so we customize options for other budgets. If someone needs to pay less, we’ll create a custom lesson plan to fit their budget. Also if a student wishes to supercharge their playing and learning, we can do more than 1 lesson per week which has some amazing learning benefits. The more investment a student wishes to make, the bigger discount we work to give them so it works out in their favor even more. We also do single artist sessions for artists looking to work on an individual song or skill on a lesson by lesson basis. We offer these for $90 for a single session (60-90 minutes depending on the needs of the artist), and these can be booked on a 1 by 1 basis. If a student doesn’t see a package it a monetary option that matches what they’re looking for we ask them to reach out explaining what they’re looking for and we’ll do whatever we can to make it work for them so they can begin growing and learning their craft the way they truly want to.
What are your goals?
As a business owner my goal is to grow my business and spread the word to musicians that we’re here for them. As a teacher, my goals are the student’s goals. It’s not my job nor my right to tell a student what they should be doing with their music. It’s my job to support them in their pursuits and help them be the best musician they can be in whatever way means the most to them. This is why Black Bandana Artist Services is so different. We don’t give students materials and tell them to go practice. We listen to what they want to do and what they’re they’re struggling with. Then we do whatever we can to help them get where they want to be, not where we think they should be or where we want them to be.
Why should people invest in your services?
Our students succeed at learning, plain and simple. We ensure that because our reputation and our business is built on others getting there results they want. If you practices and worked with us the way we tell you to, and you still didn’t see results, that would be our fault. We take students by the hand and walk them along the path of learning step by step so they avoid the years of frustration and the pitfalls of learning on your own or with a teacher who isn’t invested. We want our students to succeed because that how we succeed. We all have to do this together, and it’s our passion to do so and watch our students go on to do great things as a result.
Where can people go to check out your services?
Our website, www.BlackBandanaArtistServices.com, houses most information anyone could need. We also have our contact Information on there for anyone to reach out to us for more information. People can also go to our social media pages, Black Bandana Artist Services on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and BlackBandanaAS on Twitter. They’re welcome to contact us through any of those pages. Folks can also email us at info@BlackBandanaArtistServices.com, or if they prefer, they can call or text me at (513) 807-3945 anytime. Of course they can come up to me after a show anytime to talk. I love meeting people.
What have you learned running the company?
There are thousands of musicians sitting right on the edge of sounding 10 times better than they already do, and the key to getting past that point is to let someone objectively help them with small things, step by step, to massively improve. There are so many “problems” musicians have that, with a little help from Black Bandana Artist Services, have very simple solutions that create big leaps in their ability to play, perform, and write. A million struggles are all related to a small handful of issues, and I’ve dedicated the hours to finding out how to fix them for myself so now others don’t have to struggle with it. It’s really amazing to see how fast students can improve with just a little assistance, whereas on their own they struggled and felt lost and frustrated. I’ve also learned there’s a lot of bad information on the internet about guitar. Some good stuff is out there, but there’s a lot of conflicting and just plain wrong information that holds players back for years.
How have the past few months affected you?
Actually it’s been positive. I’ve had the time to sit and work on the business as well as my own playing. My business has grown and so have my guitar abilities. I work to get better at everything I do just like I teach my students to. The proof that what we do works is in my own playing and my own business growth. I’m doing exactly what I teach students to do, and it works. This last few months has proven that and allowed me to make faster improvements in my playing and my teaching business than I thought I would be able to.
Where are you located/how long have you lived there?
My teaching studio is in Hermitage just outside of Nashville. I’ve been here at this location for about a year, but I’ve been in Nashville since 2006, minus a few years I spent away for a job. However, everything I do can also be done online, so I’m actually worldwide.
Anything else you would like to add?
For everyone reading, we are here for you. Whatever your struggles, whatever your musical needs, we’re here to help. It’s not always easy, but you CAN learn and if you work with us we will invest everything we have to make sure you DO learn and you DO succeed. Our success is built on your success. It’s only together that we can all succeed in music. It’s a family, and WE are a family. Come be a part of the Black Bandana Artist Services family and let us help you succeed the way you want to without fear and frustration. We look forward to working with you.