A graduate of Ramapo College of NJ with a BA in Music Performance and Production, Rob Spampinato has been a professional musician for the better part of the last 25 years. A skilled guitarist, Rob is also well versed in teaching bass, piano, drums, vocals, and audio production. Along with being the owner of Rob’s School of Music, Rob also performs 3 to 5 nights a week with various groups and releases music with acts such as heatedXchange, The Tommyknockers and Samantha Mera.
My Greatest Mistake:
Music has been around me my entire life. Growing up, my father was a drummer and performed at weddings and corporate gigs on the weekends. When I was five, my parents bought me my first guitar. It was a little Stratocaster knock off with a built in amp, made by a company called Terminator. After struggling with it for a year, I quit because it hurt my fingers. We tried a few different teachers, but no one was accustomed to teaching such a young child and they couldn’t get me excited about it. My dad was so disappointed I’d quit that he literally threw my guitar out the front door.
As I reached my teens, I started to get into music (mainly grunge music and Metallica at the time) and found myself becoming interested in playing guitar again. In school band, I tried drums, piano and clarinet, but I really wanted to be a guitarist. At age 13, I convinced my parents to buy me another Stratocaster knock off and a small amp (obviously with an overdrive channel). From that moment on, I never looked back.
When I first started teaching myself, I really struggled with technique. Once I found an amazing teacher from an ad at a local music store (ironically, it was a flyer I’d found at Alto Music), I was set. Still, to this day, I hate that I quit the first time around. If I’d only had a teacher when I was younger who could’ve worked with me, I probably would’ve stuck with it and been unstoppable by now!
At age 15, I started a band and began playing local shows. By 19, we’d put out a few CDs and performed some major gigs opening up for national acts. At 21, I went on my first tour playing gigs on the west coast. At 24, I graduated college with a BS is Music from Ramapo College of NJ and opened up a recording studio. By 26, I had picked up full endorsement deals from Dean Markley Strings, Dunop/MXR pedals and PRS Guitars. By 30, I’d toured most of the USA, both fronting my own band and as a hired gun, and released and played on numerous albums.
The After Party:
Along the way, I began taking on students between tours and running music programs for summer camps. After the birth of my son, Jack, I decided to trade in the touring, original music game for the high-end cover band circuit. I currently perform gigs 3 to 5 nights a week with my band, heatedXchange, doing a mix of public and private shows. I also write and produce commercial music with partners in Sweden, as well as around the USA. When performing at weddings and corporate gigs, I perform all different genres and styles. I can pull from a list of over 300 songs ranging from funk, pop, rock, dance, country, standard and traditional hits. Now, at 34, I am eager to take all of these experiences and offer my knowledge to the next generation. Music is who I am and it is my greatest joy to teach it to others.
When faced with the Covid 19 pandemic and the complete loss of gigs I decided it was time to make some big changes. In March 2020 we pivoted the school to fully virtual and for the next 12 months, we taught over 5300 virtual lessons to students around the world. In that time I also launched the “Rob’s School of Music Interviews” live stream series in which I have gotten to speak with legendary musicians such as Steve Vai, Phil X, Richard Fortus, Devin Townsend, Andy Wood, Nita Strauss, Billy Sheehan, Jeremy Popoff, Living Colour, Derek Sherinian, Adam Neely, Yvette Young, Mark Lettieri, Tim Pierce, Rudy Sarzo, Bruce Kulick, Zach Myers, SNL guitarist Jared Scharff, Andy Timmons, Ryan Roxie, Bumblefoot, Nick Perri, Todd Kerns, and Pete Thorn.