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The Joy of Teaching Guitar Lessons in Austin, the “Live Music Capitol of the World”

By Alan R. - Austin Guitar Teacher

As many of you know, and as the world learns more and more every year, Austin, Texas is an amazing place to be a musician. It has all the ingredients of a great up-and-coming American city: a strong entrepreneurial spirit, openness to newcomers, a thriving entertainment and arts scene, and that indescribable feeling of opportunity in the air. However, what sets Austin apart from other great American cities is the community’s unique embrace of the musical arts. Austin is one of the few remaining cities that still has a thriving nightlife based on the people’s love of live music performance.

The live music scene in Austin boasts countless rock groups, at least half a dozen major jazz big bands, and blues every night of the week. It also has an active and lively classical music scene, including the amazing Austin Symphony Orchestra. Folk, bluegrass, Latin music and countless other genres are performed and created here every day of the year.

As teachers and performers living in the midst of such creativity, we have the wonderful opportunity and responsibility to teach our students by example. With our specialized training and experience, those of us teaching guitar lessons in Austin can share a deep appreciation for the art of sound with our students by showing them that a lifetime of musical enjoyment begins with an uninhibited sense of curiosity.

My most influential teachers were always the ones that led by example. They played and recorded professionally, had worldwide compositional recognition, won Grammys, and published books, yet were still there on time for our lessons every week. They came ready to share new insights gained through a lifetime of professional musicianship. Through these experiences I learned that being a student does not end when one receives a degree or achieves a certain instrumental proficiency. Knowing that my teachers continually strove to practice and improve themselves as musicians still inspires me to this day.

I would like to encourage my fellow teachers to continue to lead our students by example as we teach guitar lessons in Austin. I hope to hear you all out there soon in this wonderful “Live Music Capitol of the World!”

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Samuel B.

Austin, TX

I teach guitar lessons face-to-face without sheet music. This is my adaptation of Japanese instruction (involving a call-and-response method). I begin by teaching the student the major scale in first position (the first three frets above the head) in the key of C. Once this has been learned (backwards and forwards), the student is ready to learn first-position chords. Barre chords, the blues scale, as well as jazz-flavored triads are taught once first position chords have been mastered.

About Samuel

I've been a performing singer-songwriter since 1993. My influences include Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Richie Havens. I've been teaching private lessons since 2011 and I tailor my lessons according to the individual needs of my students. Everyone learns at a different pace and in a different way. My objective is to provide instruction that both challenges as well as respects your rate of progress.

I'm a primarily self-taught musician. Although I impart knowledge of scales (the major and the blues ones specifically) and the theory behind
them (both of which I learned from formal instruction) as a central component of my curriculum, the bulk of my knowledge came from listening to and imitating delta blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt both of whom displayed remarkable intricacies in their art.

We'll begin with the major scale in the key of C (as seen in the video) which you'll hear me indicate as being the white keys on the piano. Afterwards, you'll learn a spiritual and an American standard with just the three major chords comprising that key (C, F, and G7). The key of D will be taught in a very similar manner (a scale and then three chords) before the blues is introduced.

Though you will have learned to play campfire standards in fewer than eight lessons, I'm a believer in imparting the roots of the form and not just its recognizable elements. The blues (particularly the form originating from the Mississippi Delta) is the foundation of ALL American music. Therefore, I consider it essential to the curriculum.

I've always found E to be the most blues-friendly of all the keys. We'll be spending more than twice the amount of time we will have spent in C or D learning multiple progressions and chord formations in E. Afterwards, you'll be introduced to the blues scale and receive the basis for playing lead (solos). You'll learn some rudimentary jazz within this segment of the process as well.

For more information about my curriculum, you may review my published articles on TakeLesson's Teacher Blog:

http://takelessons.com/blog/learning-guitar-without-sheet-music
http://takelessons.com/blog/reasons-to-learn-guitar-scales
http://takelessons.com/blog/beginner-guitars
http://takelessons.com/blog/blues-chord-progressions
http://takelessons.com/blog/best-guitar-solos
http://takelessons.com/blog/guitar-barre-chords
http://takelessons.com/blog/learning-guitar-styles
http://takelessons.com/blog/expand-your-guitar-solos
http://takelessons.com/blog/maximize-acoustic-guitar-lifespan
http://takelessons.com/blog/are-you-ready-to-play-guitar-solos
http://takelessons.com/blog/blues-guitar-exercise
http://takelessons.com/blog/writing-a-song-on-guitar-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/writing-a-song-on-guitar-lyrics-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/guitar-tips-for-open-mic-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/preparing-for-bluegrass-guitar-lessons-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/2-simple-tricks-to-play-country-guitar-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/how-to-write-a-jazz-guitar-song-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/famous-guitar-players-who-are-not-virtuosos-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/5-jazz-guitar-licks-z01

NOTE: I travel strictly by bicycle and bus. Any in-home lessons must be within a three-mile radius of my home in Zilker/Barton Hills.
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Reviews

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Allan Brandt April 5, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Samuel has been a top notch teacher and is very patient with my son. My son always tells me that he's inspired after every lesson. So much so that another one of my other sons has observed these lessons and is interested in taking lessons from Samuel as well.
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Ron A. April 9, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Over the past 20 years I have taken guitar lessons twice. The episodes were separated by 15 years. I was engaged and even intense about learning. Both times ended in frustration and more important, failure. After only 5 lessons with Samuel Bean, I have learned to strum chords in time, learned several scales, 12 bar and 8 bar patterns and a bit of music theory. The result is playing to a level that provides personal satisfaction. I look forward to playing. So for you beginners and frustrated musicians out there, you know who you are, give it a try. I predict success.
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Ted D. January 23, 2015
Guitar · In home
I have had known Sam for many years. I am friends with his parents and his sister Emmy, also a very talented musician.
Although I don't live near him, unfortunately, when he visits NYC I make it a point to check in with him and ask for his his advice on my rather limited guitar skills. I always come away from our sessions feeling much better about my playing and can see what an improvement he has made for me. He is very patient and so eager to help, even a beginner like myself. i just wish he lived closer!
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Samuel B.

Samuel B.

Austin, TX 78704
(6)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Aimee B.

Austin, TX

Individually catered guitar lessons in pop, rock, country, blues, etc.

All in-home lessons are an hour minimum.

About Aimee

Aimee's Teaching Mission:
To provide an inspiring environment for students to learn their favorite songs and to encourage creativity through exploring songwriting. Aimee demonstrates a clear self-awareness…revisionary”–Austin Chronicle

“Nothing short of a work of art”–Performing Songwriter

*Over ten years experience as a professional performing and touring musician
*Five years teaching private and group classes in guitar, piano, bass, songwriting
(over 100 private students)
*Three years instructing Rock Camp USA Austin (children band camp)
*Selected as a “Top 10 Band” by Austin Mo
nthly
*Featured in Austin’s premiere photo journal, Sound of Austin
*Charted co-written songs in Europe
*Songs commissioned and licensed to film
*Performances with Dr. John, Ian McClagan (The Faces, Rolling Stones),
Alejandro Escovedo, Ian Moore, Freedy Johnston, Thao and The Get Down Stay Down and more

Aimee''s Music Studio is a privately operated studio for music instruction hosted by award winning and international touring songwriter/performer, Aimee, in downtown Austin, TX. Both private and group lessons are available in guitar, piano, electric bass, and songwriting. Students vary in age from 5 years to 60 + years and are of a beginner and intermediate level. Lessons are conducted in 30 to 60 minute intervals. Styles studied are in the popular music genre (rock, pop, country, blues and fingerpicking techniques). Music fundamentals in reading, tablature, scales, and ear training are stressed and all lessons are supplemented with audio and visual reference material recorded during lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Upright Piano
Recording Gear to Record Lesson to E-mail Student
Music Stand
Copier/Paper/Scanner

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my instrument, stand, music and charts.
The student provides their instrument and a quiet, undisturbed working space.

*** Specialties ***
Performance:
As a professional performing artist I help intermediate students adapt songs for performance and explore performance from a background in acting. From the moment you walk on stage the performance has begun. We discuss how to introduce a song, talk on the mic between songs, and how to deliver an energetic engaging performance.

Songwriting/Recording:
I work directly with students wanting to compose and write their own songs. We look a different techniques to help you get "un-stuck" and to widen your chord range and feel in songs.
Co-writing is included upon request.
I have with both beginner and intermediate students arranged recording sessions with professional studios to document songs in a professional environment complete with band and all!

Young Students:
I combine a both classical note reading/theory with learning by ear. I simplify chords to get students playing quickly and to reap fulfillment from the very first lesson.

Adult Students:
I provide you with the basics in the first three lessons and resources online to help you get moving quickly. We discuss your specific performance goals and track your progress weekly.
...

Reviews

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jon S. April 20, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Had my first lesson yesterday. I play a bit, so we started with chords, and she showed me the caged system. Quite a revelation. Really enjoyed her easy way and
her focus. Very fast hour.Afterwards,she played me one of her tunes. Really great songwriter too!. Definetely looking forward to next weeks lesson.
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Robert April 5, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Off to a great start after the first lesson.
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Matthew Shostak March 23, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Nice first lesson. Looking forward to more!
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Aimee B.

Aimee B.

Austin, TX 78703
(8)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Matthew K.

Austin, TX

I teach electric and acoustic contemporary guitar.

Learn your favorite songs, how to write your own songs, and how to solo/play with a band.

Learn all the techniques:
Slide, Hammer-On, Pull-Off, Tremolo, Palm Muting, Finger-Picking, Tapping, Artificial Harmonics and Bending.

Learn to read music charts, build your own chord voicing and improvise.

About Matthew

Matthew K. grew up in Austin TX playing music all types on saxophone and guitar, and taking 8 years of private lessons starting at age 12. He played in a funk band in High School and that was the beginning of his musical career. He's gone on to play with numerous bands in many genres including the Craig Robinson Blues Band, The Darrell Patrick Jazz Ensemble and Continental Drift to name a few... Primarily as a saxophonist, he is comfortable reading charts, playing strictly by ear, improvising, and even developing harmony on the spot.

Matthew's guitar style is soft and melodic, heavily influ
enced by Brazilian rhythms and jazz harmony. As a guitarist, Matthew is a pure tone rhythm player who reads charts, plays by ear, and will solo, but only upon request. He has studied under seasoned guitar master Andy Tran and learned the secrets uncovered during Tran's 40 year career. Because of this, his style is unique, implementing techniques which have become less common in later days. Tone, he has learned, comes from the fingers.

During his musical education Matthew underwent 8 years of private lessons taught mostly by Austin musician Scott McIntosh and also 2 years of teaching apprenticeship from master guitarist, Andy Tran. McIntosh taught a solid foundation of theory as he instructed both saxophone and jazz rhythm guitar to Matthew in the private lessons. Apprenticing under Tran turned out to be the most beneficial since he mastered the fretboard, enabling him to see the music moving over the whole guitar. The course of study led Matthew to adopt a unique teaching approach which caters to the individual and guides the student to make his/her own discoveries. Tran and Mr. K. are currently drafting a guitar instruction book to promote this unique approach and share it's benefits with the rest of the guitar world. Matthew K. has been teaching his instruments in private and group lessons for over 8 years now and is accepting new students in Austin.
...

Reviews

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Joseph M. September 9, 2015
Saxophone · In home
Verified Student
I enoyed my initial lesson with Matt. Looking forward toward my next.
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Matthew K.

Matthew K.

Austin, TX 78741
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Moses R.

Austin, TX

Rock, pop, blues, classical (intermediate); scales, chords, theory if desired; song-based

About Moses

Hello! My name is Moses. I have a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas. My main instrument is the guitar, and I specialize in teaching rock, blues, folk, and indie music. My strength is finding the strengths of my students and getting them off to a fast start. I have strong music theory skills, and my goal is to encourage my students to be as musically well-rounded as possible. I currently help lead the worship team at Austin Christian.
...

Reviews

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Marshall A. June 14, 2015
Bass Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Moses made me feel comfortable. He spent lots of time preparing for the lessons and understood where I was coming from. Highly recommended!
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Kenneth S. May 19, 2015
Guitar · In home
I took lessons from Moses from the ground up. Starting in 8th grade. His lessons were structured to be simple, easy to grasp, songs that I like. So the practice was fun in the early stage and he helped me through every stage. I learned from him for over two years. As the music that I was playing became more complex and speedy (I am a metal player as well as others) he was teaching me theory so I understood why things sounded the way they did. He has a good understanding of multiple genres. He taught me songs and licks in other genres. Rock, blues, metal, jazz, and classical. I am currently pursuing a degree in music education for classical guitar. He first instilled the love of music that I have had in the guitar for over 6 years now. He is great for beginners, or experienced players to step up their game. Great teacher
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Moses R.

Moses R.

Austin, TX 78723
(2)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Derek V.

Austin, TX

I've been playing guitar for 25 years, and teaching guitar for 10 years. I can teach a beginner from step one, or a jaded advanced guitarist looking for inspiration.

About Derek

TEACHING MISSION: Capture the joy of playing music. Inspire continual playing and/or practice, regardless of student's lifestyle/career choices.
I start the first lesson with a student wish list (songs, goals, etc) and every lesson we take significant steps towards the goals.

Skills: Guitar/Mandolin/Piano/Bass/Banjo/Recording/DJ Technology

Education: B.M. Classical/ Jazz Guitar Performance, University of Colorado, 2003
B.S. Audio Engineering/ Production, Middle Tennessee State University, 1997

Teaching Experience:
-The Musicians Woodshed (Austin) Sept 2013- Present
-Brooklyn Music
Lessons (NYC) 2010-2013
-University of Colorado (Boulder) 2000-2010
-Naropa University (Boulder) 2007-2010
-The Lesson Studio (Boulder) 2005-2009

Performance Experience:
Freelance Musician/ Arranger/ Composer 2000-Present
I have played guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, keyboards, or bass in folk, classical,
...

Reviews

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Marianne C. January 21, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
As an 'older' beginner, Derek tuned into what it is I'm wanting and tailored my lessons perfectly!
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Mary A. December 3, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Derek is very professional and friendly. Really knowledgeable about music, and he let me go at my own pace. Very patient! He's a great teacher!
Silhouette-80
Nancy V. June 5, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
He's a kind person. He works with you for what you want to work at. He will introduce new things to your capacity.
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Derek V.

Derek V.

Austin, TX 78704
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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