San Diego Concerts - Belly Up

Can’t-Miss San Diego Concerts: Exploring the SD Music Scene

Can't-Miss San Diego Concerts: Exploring the SD Music SceneFrom arenas to more intimate settings, San Diego’s many concert venues offer a wide variety of options for every type of music fan. Often referred to as “America’s Finest City,” the beautiful weather, pristine beaches, friendly people, amazing accommodations, and assortment of venues make San Diego an ideal place for both artists and fans.

Top Venues for San Diego Concerts

Non-mainstream, niche, and cult music can be found amidst the surf atmosphere of Belly Up Tavern, which often offers San Diego concerts for less than $20.

In the former Woolworth building downtown, the HOB offers top acts and great food, and is reputed to have one of the top concert sound systems in town!

Humphreys provides a great summer concert series on the waterfront in an intimate setting. Have a boat? Freeload on the marina!

This 4,600-seat amphitheater on the San Diego State University campus has great sight lines and good sound. The theater often books emerging acts on summer tours.

This giant amphitheater in Chula Vista pulls in mega-acts with its 20,000 seat capacity, roomy facility, and large video screens.

Offering great seating and a classy atmosphere, Copley Symphony Hall offers amazing acoustics, as well as welcome relief from other pop music-laden venues.

Sycuan offers a small, intimate theater and hosts many top name acts.

How to Find San Diego Concerts

  • Search the web! From venue websites to online ticket resellers, there is an array of options for learning about San Diego concerts online, such as

  • Friend ‘em. Sign up for online newsletters or follow the social media pages of your favorite bands and venues.

  • Visit local venues. In person or online, venues always have an upcoming list of performers. See the list above for a few top venue names and contact info for San Diego concerts.

  • Ticket brokers. Love ‘em or hate ‘’em, the big name ticket brokers offer easy access to lists of events at venues citywide. For example:

New to San Diego Concerts? Follow These Tips…

  • Don’t get scalped. Purchase tickets for San Diego concerts from venue websites, band websites, or authorized ticked resellers, and compare prices between websites to ensure ticket prices are reasonable.

  • Pick up your tickets early. Will call service enables you to pick up your concert tickets before or at the show, and you’ll need to provide the credit card you used and/or an ID. Some venues also offer online tickets that you can print beforehand, which eliminates the hassle – just watch out for service fees.

  • Allow extra time for traffic, finding parking, locating seats, and purchasing concessions. Consider carpooling with friends to cut down on gas and parking fees.

  • Bring cash. It’s easier, and some venues don’t take credit cards.

  • Leave food, beverages, and any other material not permitted at home. Rules can vary depending on which venue you’re going to, so make sure to check their website beforehand so you know what to expect.

  • Don’t get lost! Determine a meeting place and plan for after the show or if you get separated from your friends.

Listening to live music can be a phenomenal experience! Whether you are a refined, classical music fan or a mosh pit master, don’t miss out on the variety of musical experiences that San Diego concerts have to offer.


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

 Photo by waves & leaves

tl on sd

TakeLessons in the News: Why We Love Working in San Diego

According to Forbes, San Diego is the best place in the country to start a business, and as a San Diego based company, we’re not surprised. Great weather, smart people, and a real sense of community go a long way toward making San Diego a great place to call home.

Our CEO and founder Steven Cox recently stopped by San Diego 6 to talk with Marc Bailey about our local startup scene and more. Check it out!

Marc Bailey: If you’re trying to start a business, we asked Steven Cox to come in because he knows what he’s talking about. You started You started it here in San Diego?

Steven Cox: Sure did!

Marc: And it teaches music? Music lessons online?

Steven: Not only music lessons, but tutoring, sports, fitness, wellness, arts and crafts, and more. If you think of eBay and how they have created a marketplace for both buyers and sellers, what we have is created a marketplace for parents or consumers who are looking for a great instructor. On the other side are instructors who are looking to earn more money and are looking for new students.

Marc: So, you match these people up? You just combine the two. Most of these ideas, when we break them down, the beauty of them and the commonality is we all look and say, “I should’ve thought of that.”

Steven: Or, “Man, I did think about that.” Yeah, I get that a lot.

Marc: When did you decide to follow up on that and why? What was the motivation?

Steven: Sure, well, I’ve been doing tech startups since 1999. I moved down here to San Diego to take a little bit of time off and started wondering what I wanted to do next. I was living downtown in San Diego, and we came up with this idea. I happened to also be in a rock band as a bad lead singer. My drummer was looking for new students and was going to quit music and take an office job in order to pay in his bills. So, we put together this idea of helping him make a living do what he loved to do by helping him find students over the Internet, and that just happened to be my background. It kind of fell along this whole movement of being able to establish a business in a marketplace and then watch it grow here in San Diego, which is where we started, and then immediately start taking on new cities. Now, we’re in about 4,000 cities all across the U.S.

Marc: So, I’m going to say that’s successful, but it started right here in San Diego.

Steven: Yep, it started in a downtown office right here.

Marc: Why San Diego? Now, again, we heard Forbes’ reasons why businesses are successful starting up here in San Diego, but what’s the deal? Why San Diego?

Steven: Well, first of all, I can say that being in the industry for the past several years, the tech industry and the startup community is worlds different from where it used to be five and six years ago. One of the factors that Forbes had mentioned was the clustering, which is the ability for a large number of startups to all be in the same area, and we’re starting to see that downtown. There are thirty or forty startups right off the top of my head just within this little radius down there, which is a super cool thing to see.

Marc: That’s good energy, and you can share information.

Steven: They share information. They collaborate. You kind of feel like you’re not alone.

Marc: Is that one of the keys? Collaboration?

Steven: Absolutely. You get that and also just the number of industries that are in kind of a high growth aspect. So, anything from consumer Internet to clean tech to bioinformatics, San Diego has all of those. In addition to a great environment to start a business, there are a ton of smart people, and if you compare it to some of the other cities out there, San Diego has better air quality than L.A. I’m sure that you would know that. It has better traffic. The cost of living is 40% cheaper than it is in Silicon Valley. Finally, San Diego, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we have better weather than Boston and New York.

Marc: We’ve got to go, but give me the one misstep that people make. You’ve told people all of the positives. What’s the one thing that makes you say, “Don’t do that.”?

Steven: I’ve got to say that it is don’t believe that is super, super easy just to start an Internet business, and then the next day you’re going to be a success. It takes the exact same amount of work in order to grow a successful business.

Marc: That meaning you have to be totally committed to it.

Steven: That’s right.

Marc: Alright, Steven, thank you so much. Steven Cox, CEO of So, check that website out, especially if you’re trying to matchup your musical desires with a teacher. Great idea!

Steven: Thank you so much.


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource


Things For Kids To Do

Learning in Disguise: Things for Kids to Do in San Diego

Learning in Disguise: Things for Kids to Do in San DiegoInvolving children in fun activities that have an educational angle rather than just entertainment-based distractions is a great way to incorporate learning into your child’s free time. There are plenty of things for kids to do in San Diego that are rooted in artistic creation, methodical thinking, and musical expression. When kids engage in these pursuits, their curiosity is encouraged, as well as their creative thinking skills, leading to character building and intellectual growth. Explore San Diego and discover a community rich with organizations and programs dedicated to your child’s development – here are a few ideas:

Read more


4 Influential Artists and Bands from San Diego

5 Influential Artists and Bands from San DiegoSan Diego is a city full of art and creativity. Music is no exception, and dozens if not hundreds of bands and musical artists have found their start in Southern California, in nearly every genre. Here are just a few of those artists and bands from San Diego and a look into how they rose to fame.


In the late ’90s, few musical names were quite so well-known as alternative rock band Blink-182. Bassist and lead vocalist Mark Hoppus worked at a record store to help pay his way through school, and eventually connected with Tom DeLonge, the co-founder of the band. They spent many hours jamming and bouncing lyrics back and forth, soon joined in this by drummer Scott Raynor.

The band rose to fame in Southern California, which wasn’t exactly a musical hotbed at the time, but San Diego had a substantial punk-rock scene through the local surfer/skater population, and many bands from San Diego have come to reflect that. Blink-182 played at gigs throughout the city, both solo and opening for larger bands, until they found themselves signed by Cargo Records, the largest independent recording company at the time.

Jason Mraz

Born in 1977, Jason Mraz grew up in the most idyllic of American towns in rural Virginia. He was a fan of Dave Matthews Band and other grassroots bands, but it wasn’t until participating in musical theater that he really got into playing music and performing. As soon as he graduated high school, he made his way to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He dropped out after a year, but his training as a vocalist is clear in the vocal range and clarity of his first album.

Jason Mraz really broke through into the musical scene in San Diego, finding his niche in the same coffeehouse scene that first supported singers like Jewel. Through those coffeehouses, he began his rise to fame as one of the many artists and bands from San Diego to reach their dreams.


One of the most popular bands from San Diego is Switchfoot. Though they market themselves as a Christian band, their songs appeal to everyone. One thing that sets them apart is the way they employ a much wider range of instruments than your typical rock band, including cellos, trumpets, violins, mandolins, flutes, and even sitars.

Switchfoot only had to play a few shows before they signed with Re:think Records. Three records later, they went platinum, and a number of their songs were featured in the movie A Walk To Remember. After that movie, they wound up signing with Columbia Records, a big name in the business.


Reigning as one of the many well-known bands from San Diego, Deftones took the alternative rock scene by storm. Co-founder and lead guitarist Stephen Carpenter taught himself the traditional six-string guitar while he was laid up in a wheelchair after being hit by a car, and though it was slow-going without any sort of lessons or instruction to guide him, he went on to help create a band that has churned out five albums thus far. Abe Cunningham, Deftones’ drummer, also took guitar lessons on the side. The two of them joined forces with three of their old high school friends, first just in jam sessions, then playing small gigs and opening for bands like Korn.

At one particular show, the gig was almost over and the crowd had dispersed, yet Deftones managed to impress a representative from Maverick Records. Their debut album released in 1994.

If there’s one thing you can learn from these and the dozens of other bands from San Diego, it’s that nothing works quite like elbow-grease and practice to help you make it big. Private music lessons are a great first step, and can open you up to a whole world of musical possibilities you never quite imagined were possible. So practice hard and keep your eye on the goal, and maybe one day the world will see your name in lights!

Photo by innovati


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource


SD Indie Fest

4 San Diego Music Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

San Diego Music FestivalsSan Diego is an exciting city, and an awesome location for catching a live band – or perhaps several! There are a ton of sensational music festivals held year-round, so there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. And as anyone who has been to a music festival would know, these kinds of concerts tend to have lots of energy, which makes for an unforgettable experience!

As you’re planning your concert calendar, consider checking out these four San Diego music festivals:

Read more

Broadway Shows

Broadway Shows in San Diego: Introducing Your Kids to the Arts

Broadway ShowsAs a parent who understands the impact the arts can have on a child’s life, you’ve probably thought about introducing your children to the wonderful world of musicals. For less than the cost of a ticket to Disneyland, you can introduce your child to these awe-inducing, inspiring productions with the many Broadway shows in San Diego.

Broadway Shows – What’s the Big Deal?

Broadway shows, originally named after the 40 professional theaters in the Theater district of Manhattan in New York City, are widely reputed to be the highest quality productions of commercial theater. Directly connected to Broadway New York, Broadway shows in San Diego represent this level of musical theater to residents of San Diego and surrounding areas.

Your First Broadway Show: Tips for You and Your Children

  • Keep age in mind. Children under 4 or 5 are generally not advised to attend most Broadway shows in San Diego. In fact, many theaters will not allow them to attend at this age. However, you can usually find other musicals and specific venues and playhouses geared toward younger children’s shorter attention spans. If you have a slightly older child, consider whether or not they can sit through the length of the shows, which are typically over 2 hours.

  • Understand how young children experience the art of storytelling. Young children experience theater differently than adults, since they often live in a world of pretend, where the line between reality and play is quite blurred. They often become mentally, emotionally, and (when allowed) physically involved in the story without reservations. This is an advantage in getting children excited about the arts.

  • Make sure content is appropriate. Choose your child’s first Broadway show wisely. “Little Women” might bore a young child, and “The Lion King”, though geared toward children, may still be scary for young or sensitive children. If you’re not sure how the show will be received, try film musicals at home before attending live Broadway shows.

  • Talk about manners. Remind children how they are expected to behave at the theater. Discuss both quiet times and times during the show when it is polite to clap. Make sure your kid are aware of how to let those sitting around them enjoy the show, as well.

  • Know before you go. Learning about the background of a musical before attending the show can make the show easier to follow and more enjoyable, particularly for younger children. For example, you could introduce your children to books and movies similar to the show they will be viewing before attending the show.

  • Arrive early, and consider when to depart. Arriving early will allow you time to use the restroom, find your seats, and explore the many areas of the theater children may find exciting, such as the edge of the stage and the orchestra pit. Recognize that it’s okay to leave early if your children are having difficulty lasting through the performance, or to take turns with another adult playing with rowdy children in the lobby area so the rest of your group can enjoy the show.

After the Show: Making the Most of Your Child’s Broadway Experience

  • What just happened? Take the time to discuss what you just witnessed after attending the show. Good topics of conversation include favorite and least favorite parts, as well as general impressions. For older children watching shows with more serious topics, discuss how settings, time period, and culture differ from their life today.

  • The effects of music. Live musical performances help your children understand that music doesn’t just come out of a box like the radio or TV. Ask your children how they felt about the music in the show and how it contributed to or took away from the experience.

  • Make it a project. After attending a show, plan an art, music, or dance project focusing on related material so your kids can reenact the performance. It just may turn out that attending a Broadway show impacts their entire lives by inspiring them to get involved in participating in musicals on their own!

  • Conflict resolution. Because theater sometimes showcases scary situations in a safe manner where no one gets hurt, Broadway shows offer a great opportunity to discuss conflict resolution with your children, such as confronting and overcoming fears. How would your child have reacted to that situation? What are some of their fears?

Supporting your Child’s Interest in Participating in Musical Theater

If you find yourself regularly attending Broadway shows in San Diego, you may soon discover that your child wants to not only watch, but to participate in musical theater! With these tips, you can focus on helping them achieve their performance goals and gain enjoyment out of the experience:

  • Don’t make it about you. Ensure the focus of your child’s musical theater career has their best interests at heart, not your own fears or desires.

  • Provide encouragement. Don’t point out every flaw. Constructive criticism immediately after a performance may not be the best idea, as kids are not as thick-skinned as they may appear. Instead, praise all the hard work your child put into his or her performance.

  • Inspire your children’s goals and passions. Attend as many plays, operas, concerts, and dance events in San Diego as you can. This will show your child that you both admire and respect his or her passions for the theater.

Showing your children a more exciting, cultured alternative to sitting on the couch watching TV by attending Broadway shows in San Diego is a great way to encourage a love for the arts. It’s a fantastic creative outlet and an escape from the ordinary!

Photo by Gary’


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of prescreened teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for safe, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource


Country Music

San Diego Country Music: Where to Listen, Play, and Two-Step

Country MusicStomping cowboy boots performing the two-step, hands clapping along, 10-gallon cowboy hats, flannel shirts, bolo ties, and men and women with slow drawls – these are all images we tend to associate with the country music scene. And, while it’s commonly known that the country music scene and culture is alive and thriving in places like Nashville, Tennessee, west Texas, and other southern states, many people think it’s hard to find good country music, bars, festivals, and bands in other places.

Fortunately for those of us living in San Diego who love country music and its culture, the rock, alternative, and indie music scenes have not drowned out country music. In fact, the San Diego country music scene is pretty robust once you take a look around!

San Diego Country Music Radio Stations

Tagged as “San Diego’s #1 for New Country,” KSON-FM is the best radio station to tune into when you are craving some country music. Whether you want to hear about country music events and news, need some country music ballads to create the perfect atmosphere for work, or want fun country songs to listen to at a tailgate or party, KSON-FM features a fun and interesting mix of new country and classics. Listeners can find the San Diego country music they want to hear by turning to either 97.3 or 92.1.

With several highly rated country music programs, KSON-FM is sure to help you get your San Diego country music fix. Starting off the weekday mornings with John & Tammy, a duo that’s brought in the highest ratings for the station in its history, listeners may not want to get out of their cars to go to work or school. And with a full lineup for the rest of the day and week, featuring a special Sunday morning country top 40 with Bob Kingsley, KSON-FM continually ranks in the top for not just San Diego country music radio, but across all genres.

Must-Visit Country Music Venues

Honkytonks, hole in the wall country bars, and rustic music halls are featured prominently in several cities throughout the U.S., notably Nashville. However, country music lovers in San Diego don’t have to miss out on their favorite music or the fun of hanging out with others who also love it with the wide range of places in San Diego that cater to country music fans.

A notable addition to the San Diego country music scene is InCahoots, a two-step night club that was ranked as number 1 by voters on With several levels, including an outdoor deck, country music lovers have plenty of space to relax to country music or get their dancing in. Catering to seasoned two-steppers and beginners alike, InCahoots offers free country dancing lessons five times a week. On Wednesdays, the club partners with well-known radio station KSON-FM for “KSON Night,” which features several drink specials after 7 p.m.

Local San Diego Country Music Events and Festivals

Though Nashville’s Country Music Awards Festival and the I Heart Country Music Festival may be some of the more recognizable country music events in the United States, San Diego is close to several large country music festivals and events that any country music lover would be proud to attend. Namely, the Stagecoach Festival is one of the top country music festivals in the U.S. that draws thousands of people from across the country.

Stagecoach Festival, one of the top country music festivals in the US, tops the list. Held in Indio, California, it’s a mere two and a half hours away from the heart of San Diego. Since the first festival in 2007, the Stagecoach has hosted many of the top names in the country music business, as well as up-and-coming artists. Ranging from bluegrass country music and folk to top 40 country to roots, alt-rock country, and more, this festival has every nuanced genre of country music you could wish for. The festival allows attendees to camp out, similar to the famous Coachella festival. With past musicians such as Taylor Swift, Brooks and Dunn, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban, anyone attending this festival is sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Learn to Play Your Favorite Country Songs

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually play your favorite country songs on the guitar, or sing just like your favorite country musician? Taking private guitar lessons is a great opportunity to take your country music fandom to the next level. With, you can easily find music teachers in your area who can teach you the basics and work with you on your favorite songs. Who knows – maybe you’ll be the next country star!

Photo by @giovanni


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of prescreened teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for safe, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource


San Diego Kid

Music, Museums, and More: San Diego Kids Activities for Artists of all Types

San Diego KidIntroducing children to the arts is an important part of growth and education. By encouraging your kids to explore the world of art from an early age, you’ll help them develop motor skills, learn to make decisions, improve language skills, become culturally aware, and develop a sense of innovation.

There are many opportunities for parents to encourage their kids to explore and develop through the arts right here in San Diego. Here are just a few of the San Diego kids’ activities that you and your children can enjoy:

San Diego Museum of Art

Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Art is a wonderful opportunity to explore paintings, sculptures, and other artistic pieces with your kids. Instead of just browsing, engage your kids by asking them what they think about each piece. Start a discussion, ask open-ended questions, and encourage your kids to think about what the artist’s motivation or inspiration.

The museum offers several family-oriented events and programs, making the visit fun for everyone. Every Sunday, for example, stop by their Family Drop-In Days for hands-on, art-making activities. Teens can also stop by their Teen Art Cafe, held twice during the school year, to make art and meet with exhibition artists and other teen artists.

Looking for summer activities for the kids? The museum offers several different options for summer camps, for kids of all ages.

San Diego Civic Theater

The San Diego Civic Theater can provide a wonderful experience for kids that are a bit older, who can truly enjoy the world of live theater. Take them to watch some of the greatest theatrical and musical performances. The theater doesn’t stop at live theater; they produce wonderful music concerts as well.

Visit San Diego Theater on line for a listing of upcoming shows and musicals.

Museum of Photographic Arts

The Museum of Photographic Arts is full of inspiration and education. The museum contains a broad collection of photography, film, and video presentations and collections. During the summer the museum offers a camp for kids featuring different photographic activities and outdoor adventures each day.  They offer a variety of programs and classes for all ages throughout the year that explore the art of photography, film,  and video.

 For admission prices and museum hours, visit their main site. If you would like information on their classes and theater hours visit their calendar.

Private music lessons with

If you want you child to experience a more “one-on-one” activity, consider private music lessons. provides a variety of different musical lessons, so your child can learn how to play the violin, piano, drums, guitar, and more. You can find a teacher near you and book lessons that work  for your family’s schedule and budget. The site is easy to use, and your online account helps you keep track of your child’s lesson schedule and goals. also offers other private lessons in music, performing arts, and academic tutoring. Your child can learn ballet, dance, acting, singing, and so much more!

The New Children’s Museum

One of the most interactive San Diego kids activities is a visit to The New Children’s Museum. This place is all about the hands-on experience. Kids can enjoy many different workshops and activities, all designed to allow children and families to explore creative art and design processes. Some of the experiences include a paint farm, clay bakeshop, DIY food trucks, papermaking, and a garden workshop.

Let imaginations spark, generate a greater appreciation of the arts, and plan a day of fun. General admission for adults $10.00, for kids 1 and up $10.00, and children under 1 are free. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. For hours and more information visit The New Children’s Museum online.

Pottery Classes

In the Spanish Village Art Center in the heart of Balboa Park, you and your kids can find ongoing pottery classes. Sculptors ages 6 and up can enjoy learning about clay and make their own beautiful masterpieces. Classes are on Saturdays from 10:30 to 12:30 and are $20.00 each, registration is not required.

Crafts for Kids with the Lakeshore Learning Store

The Lakeshore Learning Store also plays a part in San Diego kids activities. Their stores host Crafts for Kids every Saturday from 11am to 3pm. The best part, it’s free and no reservations are needed! Each week they feature a different craft. You can expect crafts that may include making picture frames, puppets, bookmarks, hats, or card holders. Each with unique and creative themes that embrace cultures, love of arts and reading, as well as Holidays.

San Diego Junior Theatre

If you are looking for San Diego kids activities geared for children that love theatre, check out San Diego Junior Theatre. All year children from the ages of 4 to 18 can participate in classes and camps specializing in acting, voice, dance and theatre specialties. Also the theatre produces shows year round that you and your kids can go watch.

 You can check out their calendar of events to find shows and auditions.


Let your kids express themselves at Pachis Art Studio. They believe that kids are born creative and can discover themselves through art. Their classes encourage self-expression and build self-esteem.

 These are only a few of all the San Diego kids activities available for you and your families. No matter what classes they take and which places they visit, keep art in the picture. Your children will love the experience and develop an appreciation for creativity. And you will be providing them with education and early development advantages. It’s a win-win opportunity!

Photo by tauchris


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of prescreened teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for safe, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource