Don Mock began playing guitar in the sixties initially drawn to the instrument, as were many of his peers, by the music of the Beatles. His early influences were rock heroes of that era including Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Mike Bloomfield. Don’s growth as a musician included immersing himself in various music idioms including rock, blues and jazz. He has borrowed from all the best and is now the master of his own style, a style that is literally a “fusion” of his total music experiences. Don is well known among guitarists for his amazing technique and total command of the instrument.
Don has a unique music career, balancing performing and recording along with teaching, writing and video production.
As a performer growing up in the Seattle, Washington, Don played in several of the areas top rock and later, jazz bands. Later in his performing career while in Los Angeles, Don had an exciting fusion band and performed at most of the top jazz venues. The band developed a large following of students and fans alike. Don became well known for his intense style, and his amazing guitar synthesizer playing. He also showcased his acoustic side as a member of an acoustic guitar trio with blues veteran Robben Ford and fingerstyle wizard, Jamie Findlay. As a recording artist, Don Mock has appeared as a sideman on several albums and has two solo efforts: “Mock One” and “Speed of Light”.
Don’s improvising concepts have been made available for the education of guitarists through a number of instructional books including, “Hot Licks”, “Fusion – Hot Lines”, “Artful Arpeggios”, “Ten”, and his recent Warner Bros. “Guitar Scale Secrets” series. Don also has three instructional videos “The Blues from Rock to Jazz”, “Jazz Guitar Tips” and “Jazz Rhythm Chops”. Don began his teaching career in 1972 at the Cornish School of the Allied Arts and Olympic Jr. College, both in Washington State.
Don continued his interest in furthering the education of musicians when, in 1974, he met guitar legend Howard Roberts and agreed to manage guitar teaching seminars in the Northwest for Howard. In 1977, Don moved to Los Angeles to help start the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT). Don became a primary instructor and curriculum author for the school. That same year Don teamed up with publisher Roger E. Hutchinson (REH) to write and produce guitar method books. Don taught full time at GIT until 1983, then began a part-time arrangement while commuting back and forth from L.A. to Seattle. He also traveled around the U.S. and to Europe giving seminars to promote GIT with Howard Roberts, Robben Ford, Keith Wyatt and Tommy Tedesco.
In 1983, GIT (now with its parent name MI) added video to its curriculum, and Don was brought in to direct most of the 300 (30 to 60 minute) videos. In 1988, when REH began its very successful instructional video line, Don was hired as the primary director and producer. Don has worked on video projects with a virtual “who’s who” of modern guitar. Don’s talent and expertise as a player and teacher, as well as video producer, have benefited many artists who have been featured in REH’s videos including: Joe Pass, Alan Holdsworth, Robben Ford, Scott Henderson, Herb Ellis, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert, Pat Martino, Albert Collins, Shawn Lane, Chuck Rainey, Blues Saraseno, Frank Gambale, Carl Verheyen, Kee Marcello, Al DiMeola, Roscoe Beck, Keith Wyatt, John Petrucci, Bret Garsed, Gary Willis, Steve Bailey, Victor Wooten, Joe Diorio, Steve Travato, Clint Strong, Mark Hansen and many more.
Don is also a life-long fan of unlimited hydroplane racing and has produced and written music scores for several boat racing video productions. He currently heads up the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum’s video productions adding his unique compositions and guitar talents to those programs.