Santa Cruz Guitar Lessons

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Popular Music Lessons
in Santa Cruz, CA

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Popular Guitar Teachers Near Santa Cruz

Branden N.

Sunnyvale, CA
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Hristo V.

San Jose, CA
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Christopher J.

San Jose, CA
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Branden N. Sunnyvale, CA

-- Teaching for 6 years.
-- Curriculum designed around students' goals but with a strong foundation in music concepts and fundamentals
-- Teaching philosophy: see "About" section

About Branden

Branden is a successful graduate in music with a concentration in composition and jazz performance, completing his degree in only three years. He is a passionate performer as well as a dedicated teacher. He was awarded Cum laude for his great academic achievement. Branden is an accomplished songwriter, composer, musician, and teacher. Originally born in Chicago, Branden is now based in San Jose area, playing various events throughout the South Bay.

Branden has been hired to play local gigs as well as a contract to tour with a jazz band. His experience in teaching guitar for the last 4 years has ranged from teaching elementary school classes to private lessons.

*** Lesson Details ***
From past experiences teaching students ranging from 7 to 14, Branden has developed many ...

Reviews

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Zunaira Q. January 23, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
Great for grown ups too!

ABOUT TAKE LESSONS
I came across TakeLessons and was skeptical about what I would find. The customer service has been excellent (thank you Rafael!). Okay, like any company that would like you to enroll in their service, you might find them pushy. But if you're really interested in learning music of any sort, then go to TakeLesons to get your start. I did and I'm happy :-#

ABOUT BRANDEN
As a "grown up", finding guitar lessons around the Bay Area is no easy task. I was pretty sure Branden would be impatient and patronizing given I'm really old and don't know the ABCs of music.

I was very, very nervous driving up to Branden's with my acoustic guitar. I mean, would he just look at me and say you're too old to learn anything?

What a refreshing surprise! My fears were imaginary.

I've had 2 lessons so far. Branden is easy going, absolutely gets it and is no-fuss. We stick to our lessons, he is quick to point out where I'm going wrong and very patient #please don't change that Branden!#. He also highlights techniques to help learn smarter. Make sure you take your notebook with you when you go, he gives homework and it would be nice if you track it in the same place.

Also, I'm worried about booking appointments at different times and TakeLessons/Branden assured me that can be worked out later. Good to know.
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LeeAnne K. September 7, 2012
Bass Guitar
Verified Student
Branden is a great bass guitar teacher.

Branden is a great teacher. He is skilled and patient. He understands that beginners want to get started on challenging songs as soon as possible and he helps with that. After 3 months of lessons, he helped me get accepted to my school's jazz band.
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zackiel July 30, 2012
My teacher Branden is 5 star. I love my lessons. I am slow but i know i can learn. Trying my best to memorize my lessons. Anyone in the bay how wants a wonderful real teacher Branden is it.
Hristo V. San Jose, CA

I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, ...

About Hristo

Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitarists. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the ...

Reviews

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Kim L. April 26, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
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AllenH April 4, 2012
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
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JeanetteY March 7, 2012
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
Christopher J. San Jose, CA

I have had several guitar students for years, and had great success with each of them.

About Christopher

Chris Johnson has been teaching private lessons since 2009 and is currently available to teach lessons at your home, at his studio, and online. Chris Johnson has helped students place in advanced ensembles, win awards, compete in band competitions, and further their passion for the arts.

Chris Johnson is receiving his training from San Jose State University where he is studying Music Education and Jazz Studies. Chris Johnson is a nationally TIPS Certified bartender through ABC Bartending College. As an expert in his field, Chris Johnson looks forward to helping new students achieve their goals. Chris Johnson's teaching style is flexible based on students needs, structured, and based on state and industry standards.

*** Lesson Details ***
Aside from performing, I love ...

Reviews

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Michael H. June 13, 2014
Trumpet · Online
Verified Student
Chris taught one lesson to my son, then he cancelled the following week's lesson and never returned numerous phone calls, emails, and text messages. He didn't respond, then the following week at our next scheduled instruction he called me 30 mins before the lesson asking if he could move the date.

Needless to say, it was very unprofessional of him, and we intended to end our relationship with him as my son's instructor.

The thing got worse when he proceeded to schedule my son for a weekly reoccurring lesson for the next year. I've had to manually cancel each lesson, at least until Jan 2015.

I would strongly warn you against signing up with Chris if you expect an instructor who is reliable and responsive to your communications. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but the other problem is that this was my son's first experience to music lessons, so it was a bad first experience.
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Bill C. May 27, 2014
Violin · Online
Verified Student
We're giving 3 out of 5 stars since that seems fair. With regards to the lessons themselves, Chris certainly met our expectations with our son's violin lessons. However, with regards to communications and scheduling, it could have been much better. More than once my son was waiting on Skype after receiving the "You have upcoming lessons" email from TakeLessons. Chris needs to learn how to cancel the lessons ahead of time. He rarely responded to emails (was trying to get him to stop showing our email openly to all his other students, really needs to learn how to use BCC). He never returned phone calls. Due to the canceled lessons, our TakeLesson pay date came prematurely, and since I waited until our son's paid lessons were completed before paying for new ones, we got dropped from the schedule and lost our time slot. Too many frustrations led to finding a new teacher.
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Jane D. January 18, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Great teacher, especially for kids!

My two boys -- ages 8 & 10 -- needed just the right teacher to begin learning the piano, and I'm so glad we started with Chris. He related to them right away, just sat down and started working with them and within seconds they were playing. He interwove fun with learning seamlessly. The boys looked forward to their lessons with him. Thank you, Chris!!

Neil K.

San Jose, CA
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John S.

Santa Cruz, CA
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Paul W.

Soquel, CA
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Neil K. San Jose, CA

I've been teaching guitar for the past 15 years. I help students find their unique musical voice through the study of songs and techniques they are interested in. For younger students I also use the Hal Leonard guitar method books to learn music reading. As students advance we switch to William Levitt's Modern method for guitar for jazz students, or Christopher Parkening's classical guitar method for fingerstyle players. Students should be able to play chords to their favorite tunes within 6 weeks. I teach to inspire passion for music. If you love music it makes it fun to practice. When you practice it makes music fun!

About Neil

I am a Jazz Guitarist / Composer / Arranger / and Band Leader and teacher who has been working in the greater San Francisco Bay area for the past 10 years. Originally from the East Coast and Chicago I arrived in California in 1992. I hold a Master's Degree in music from San Jose State University where I majored in Jazz guitar performance and composition / arranging. I have been passionately teaching guitar for the past 12 years to students of all ages. My goal is to teach you the music YOU want to learn while expanding your musical awareness. I am a patient and understanding teacher who will attempt to inspire students while pushing them to their playing potential. In addition to teaching I lead by example performing regularly in various Jazz ensembles. I have released a CD of ...

Reviews

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robert V. July 11, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
This course served my purpose

I have had only oneother guitar Teacher, and Neil was the Best of the 2. He is very easy to understand, and he makes it Fun and interesting. He is just a Great Teacher.
John S. Santa Cruz, CA

I'm a singer, so most of my guitar playing is accompanying my singing. I really love the empowerment that kids get from gaining a vocabulary of chords. Being able to learn and play favorite songs, and write your own: what awesome superpowers for a kid to possess!

About John

I'm classically trained as a singer, and currently sing with L'harmonia, a quartet of soloists focusing on renaissance polyphony.

I have broad experience singing, playing piano, guitar, and drums, Korean instruments, and programming beats using computers. I'™m well versed in classical, popular, and world styles. As well as teaching instrumental techniques, I teach music theory and analysis, and coach composition to budding songwriters and electronic music producers.

I have a doctorate in music composition from UCSC, and have written a lot of music for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal forces. I studied traditional music in Korea for one year on a research grant from the Korea Foundation. I also write songs in a pop/rock style, and compose electronic music for ...

Reviews

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Robert L. November 1, 2014
Cello · In studio
Verified Student
I appreciate John's patience and style in working with me on the Cello, given my issues with dexterity, range of motion and some memory deficits, as a result of a major stroke, of which I am thankful to have survived. It takes a special person with incredible patience like John, to be willing to take this journey with me, to a place where the healing power of music lives. I anticipate a great ride!
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Catherine C. March 12, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
Great Vocal Coach - he has helped me live my dream of singing (on my bucket list for years)

John is so tal'ented, plays multiple instruments, he's artistic and laid back (So Santa Cruz) and he helps me with breathing, posture, finding the right key for me, being able to put the emphasis where it belongs and just be comfortable expressing my inner self with confidence. I LOVE HIM! He is helping me live my dream. He lives right down the street from the beach so I can park on the overlook and practice singing along with my favorite artist - Brian McKnight on the way home after lessons.
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Heddi C. January 16, 2014
Piano
Great music teacher

John has been teaching my son (age 12) piano for the last eight months. We have been really impressed by how knowledgeable he is about a wide range of music and music theory and how patient and supportive he is with our son. John is great at working with kids where they are at and taking them to the next level. He's flexible in his approach and really tailors his teaching to the student. I would recommend John as a teacher to any level of student.
Paul W. Soquel, CA

Hello, thank you for visiting my page.
I have been playing music for most my life and have enjoyed playing and teaching professionally for over 25 years. I would like to offer you a chance to learn to play guitar, at your own pace, in a relaxed and fun environment. I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of guitar skills and music theory as it pertains to the guitar. I specialize in rock, blues, R&B and funk, typically use Hal Leonard books, and also have the following tools available to use during lessons: sound recording equipment, sheet music, internet and more. I am looking forward to the chance to pass on my knowledge and help you to become a great guitar player. Rock On!

About Paul

Beginning students will start by learning the fundamentals of the guitar including basic picking and strumming patterns, string names, notes and chords in open position. I will emphasize practice techniques that will help to keep them interested and to have fun learning. Students are encouraged to learn at their own pace playing songs and styles of their choice. I will help them to pick songs that match their skill level. I will also emphasize ear training and teach students how to learn songs on their own.
Moving forward, students will learn guitar theory, music theory, sight reading, composition and arranging techniques, improvisation techniques and most importantly, how to play in a band situation and be able to jam successfully with others.

Guitar With TakeLessons

TakeLessons offers private in-studio and in-home Guitar in Santa Cruz and nearby areas. Learn how to play guitar by working with a qualified TakeLessons instructor. Review Santa Cruz Guitar teacher profiles and contact a friendly TakeLessons student counselor by phone or email for assistance with scheduling your Guitar lessons.

Whether you are a beginner Guitar student, intermediate Guitar student, or advanced Guitar student, a TakeLessons Instructor can help you learn or enhance your Guitar skills. Your choices for a Santa Cruz Guitar instructor come from a variety of backgrounds, making it easy to find one that matches your interests and skill level. Each Guitar instructor's specialties are listed on their profile, along with helpful details like teaching style, background, photos, ...

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