History of Zager Guitars

About Denny Zager

Denny Zager is part of the legendary recording duo Zager & Evans”  who wrote “In The Year 2525,” the #1 song of 1969 and the biggest one-hit wonder of any artist at any time in recording history selling over 20 million records world wide. Click here to view the Zager & Evans vintage photo gallery!

Denny Zager

Denny Zager

You may have seen Denny featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, and The New Yorker. Denny has been asked to make numerous television appearances including The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dick Cavett Show, Top Of The Pops, The Music Scene with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and he was also one of the few musicians asked to play at Woodstock in 1969 with Jimmy Hendrix, Santana, and The Grateful Dead.

How It All Began

Zager & Evans

Zager & Evans

Denny began playing guitar in 1949 at the age of 6 years old. He taught himself how to play the hard way…listening to songs on the radio and practicing hours every day. Years later he began writing his own material getting local air play and at the age of 15 had the #1 song in the 4 state area.

Over the next few years he put together several well-known local bands…The Devillesand The Eccentrics.” When looking for a guitar player for the Eccentrics, Denny discovered Rick Evans and soon after they formed their own duo Zager & Evans,” who produced “In The Year 2525.”

After touring around the world Denny came back to his roots in Nebraska and focused on his one true passion…the guitar. If you know the music industry you’ve probably noticed that some people are in the business for fame and fortune while others are there for the love of the music.

Denny simply loved playing guitar, and performing was an avenue that allowed him to do it. Unfortunately Denny was never comfortable in the spotlight, which is why he retired from performing and began doing what he loved most …creating music and showing others how to do it.

The Zager Learning System

In 1972 Denny began teaching his son how to play and decided there had to be a better way to learn guitar then using the old boring notes and scales routines. Denny was never able to grasp those methods because he suffered from dyslexia. (A condition in which the brain reads things out of order) He wanted to create a system that was exciting and focused around playing by ear…the same way pro musicians played. Denny began creating a system that was unlike anything ever seen before. Instead of tedious hours of reciting notes and scales, Denny’s system focused on showing the student how to play a song right away.

Denny remembered one of his most exciting moments growing up was the day he could play a really popular song that was on the radio. He would play this song for his friends and this excitement and sense of accomplishment fueled his passion for the guitar even greater.

Learning By Ear

Denny’s guitar system focused on learning by ear (like the pros played) but he simplified it like the paint by number coloring books you used as a child. The spaces labeled 1 you painted yellow, the spaces labeled 2 you painted blue, and so on, and when you finished you didn’t know exactly how you did it but you had a beautiful picture that was well beyond your natural abilities.

Denny’s Guitar system was the same in that it was extremely easy to use and showed anyone how to play guitar and sound far beyond their natural abilities in a very short period of time.

Students would say, “The music’s flowing naturally from my fingers… but I don’t know how I’m doing it!” Denny’s guitar system tapped into that subconscious part of our brain that scientist’s say we gain all our power from but rarely use.

From 1972 to 2000 (almost 3 decades) Denny taught thousands of people how to play using his revolutionary guitar method, constantly tweaking his system making it easier to use. If you were a resident of Nebraska or the tri state area and played guitar during that time there was a very high likelihood that you learned to play using the Zager Guitar method. Click here to learn how Denny Zager redesigned his guitars to enable beginners to play with ease.