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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!”

About Samuel B.

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Austin, TX
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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
Verified Student · Guitar · In home
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
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
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

About Aimee B.

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Austin, TX

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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.
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Reviews
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Edward February 7, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Fantastic teacher. Amazing lesson plans. Really really happy with it
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MARY E. July 21, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
We got right to work on a song I selected. Aimee gave me a range of interlocking to work on which was just enough of a challenge. I've really enjoyed p.o. king up my guitar and practicing. Can't wait for the next lesson.
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jon S. April 20, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
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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Aimee B.

Aimee B.

Austin, TX 78703
(10)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Derek V.

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Austin, TX
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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,
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Reviews
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David November 10, 2016
Verified Student · Banjo · Online
Great teacher, very clear, patient communication. Can't wait for the next lesson!
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John White October 30, 2016
Verified Student · Mandolin · In studio
Talented guy, easy to understand and very patient!
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Steve September 30, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
First lesson... the teach has the talent!!! I'm impressed.
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Derek V.

Derek V.

Austin, TX 78748
(9)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About David L.

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Austin, TX

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I've been teaching guitar, acoustic and electric, for fifteen years. The first thing I like to do is get to know you, the music you enjoy and your goals. In a way, I like to begin by letting the student lead.

I believe anyone can play guitar. In most situations, we can learn the basics of playing some of your favorite songs in under a month. In the first few lessons we will learn open position chords and the basics of strumming and picking in 4/4 and 3/4 time. After you've memorized half a dozen or so songs this way, we can attempt barre chords and lead guitar playing.

About David
My name is David and I'm a professional musician who just moved to North Austin. I came from Cincinnati, where I went to the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, taught dozens of students at all levels and played regular gigs every weekend. I have been teaching for over fifteen years, and I'm looking to get a few new students.
I teach guitar, piano, bass guitar and even upright bass. If it's a tutor you are looking for I can also teach music theory and appreciation. I have a knack for teaching young people, probably because I was young when I started my musical journey. I'
ve been very successful at inspiring a student's love of music and instilling the patience required to take on the challenge of playing an instrument.
The first thing I like to do is get to know you, the music you enjoy and your goals. In a way, I like to begin by letting the student lead.
In addition to learning from you, I intend to present you with new information, to try and broaden your musical tastes and teach you how to be an active listener.
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Reviews
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Gary K. December 14, 2016
Verified Student · Classical Guitar · In studio
Excellent first lesson. Before the first lesson, David listened to the areas I wanted to improve and then at this first lesson he proceeded to address those areas. I have had several years of lessons before with two other teachers. David will definitely help me improve quickly by building on my current skills. Great start!
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Christa B. December 5, 2016
Verified Student · Ukulele · In home
David is so patient and encouraging. He is really helping my 9 y.o. daughter to learn to play ukulele.
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Ronan R. November 3, 2016
· Guitar · Online
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David L.

David L.

Austin, TX 78717
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About James E.

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Austin, TX

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I teach many different genres and ensure that all of my students develop their musicianship with a broad understanding and practice in music theory and ear training.

About James
Hello,

My name is James Essary. I offer private music lessons in piano, guitar, bass, drums, music theory, songwriting and music composition. I've taught through my own private studio for the past 8 years and have also taught music theory and composition for CCISD's WAVE program.

I pride myself on offering fun lessons that incorporate a strong development in music theory, ear training, sight reading, improvisation, and composition. I find it very important to put each student's individual interest first. I believe if you are learning what you truly connect with then all other aspects of
music become fascinating and meaningful.

I have a Bachelor's in Music Composition with piano as my main instrument as well as an associates degree in classical guitar. I also have professional experience as a recording session musician and live touring musician. Through this experience I've studied several genres including classical, jazz, pop, rock, folk, and country which helps me adapt to each student's taste and goals.

In addition to teaching, I also work as a producer, recording engineer, and composer. This background allows me to offer my students a special inside view and education on how songs are written, arranged, and recorded. I've often written pieces and produced recordings for students of mine.

I teach in home lessons and have my own private studio. The studio has a private recording studio and a teaching studio. The teaching studio is equipped with a Chickering console piano and also provides proper equipment for guitar and bass instruction.

I look forward to hearing from you!
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Reviews
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Pastor November 17, 2016
· Piano · In home
James is the most thorough music teacher I have had. His lessons are personalized yet comprehensive. He has a way of listening to how his students learn and adapting. While at the same time, he considers all aspects of learning an instrument important and will incorporate music theory, instrument technique and rhythm to ensure a complete understanding of what his students are practicing or playing. Just one lesson with James can set you on a motivated learning path, imagine what consistent lessons could do.
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Joshua November 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In home
I remember when I wanted to learn Beatles covers on bass. Westley owns this giant book of sheet music for every Beatles song and how to play it. So I was learning the exact way it was recorded. I remember coming to his house and showing him a short cut I found to play the song easier with my clumsy fingers. I showed him and he didn't say anything. I asked him what was wrong with the short cut I found and he smiled and said "that's not how Paul played it". I thought I was just learning Beatles covers, but Westley was teaching me to play bass like Paul McCartney.

Amazing instructor and great guy.
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Allison November 15, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I learned to play the piano as a child and recently wanted to learn the guitar. Wes was recommended to me by a friend, and after engaging him as a teacher, I soon also had him teaching my son (Ukulele and Piano), and my daughter (Piano). Although I already was proficient on the piano, Wes has been amazing at teaching me (what I should have learned previously) about Music Theory and Voicing and many other aspects of playing solo & in groups. He often has my children and I playing the same songs (from different angles) so that we can play together. He adapt to our crazy schedule and often provides insights and tips throughout the week via text messages (so we don't get stuck). We all play in various informal groups and Wes helps us practice and with arrangements. He is fun to talk to - has great insights and we all look forward to our weekly lessons. We are in Houston and visit with Wes in person 2x a month and Video lesson 2x a month. Both work really well. I highly recommend Wes as a teacher for all ages.
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James E.

James E.

Austin, TX 78702
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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