Les Ohlhauser has been teaching guitars privately for 15 years. He started teaching here at West Music Cedar Rapids in March of 2017. He started playing guitar at the age of 13. His father taught him a few chords on an acoustic guitar and he bought his first electric guitar shortly after that. It was a red Memphis-not exactly the Cadillac of guitars but it sure did the trick!
Les has a background in music theory from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and took lessons from Pat Smith and Steve Armstrong. He has also played thousands of gigs in all manners of genres. When he is not letting his fingers cruise around the fretboard he works as a bookseller. “Do what you love?” I’ve got that covered, he says.
Currently he plays solo acoustic performances and works with a band that writes their own obnoxious music. Starting this fall he will be playing with a band in Cedar Rapids that focuses on pop/funk/dance tunes. It’s a genre he has not played live much so for him it will be a rare treat and something new!
A past interesting performance his top one he says was,” playing with his old band called Nuclear Biologist Rocket Surgeons and they played in an art gallery”. It was full on experimental freak out music (9 minute songs about Riboflavin anyone?) With thousand dollar paintings all around them it made quite the experience. Surreal but cool.
His hobbies include: reading, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, hiking, gardening and of course playing musical instruments every chance he gets! A recent travel experience includes flying to Ireland with his wife which was a magical trip. He also travels a lot to catch live shows of his favorite bands. His favorite thing about teaching is that he loves seeing someone go from not understanding something to understanding. That moment the student “gets it” and the satisfaction that follows. I love it!”
One of his most musical/educational experiences includes playing in a live karaoke band in Chicago. Amazing band members, 120 song set list and new songs every week- the toughest gig he has ever played! Because it was the singers choosing the songs at random, we never played the same set twice, often completely different sets for a few nights in a row. Truly a test of chops, memory and organization. It was the kind of trail by fire you can’t get anywhere but the stage.