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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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Marcus R.

Austin, TX

Guitar is my first instrument and as a result, I am well versed in a number of styles! I'm happy to work with a student towards their own personal goals on the instrument. I can easily tailor lessons specific to student interests. If you're a beginning player, we'll take some time to go over basic technique/music reading using a combination of material from the essential elements and Mel Bay books as well as chord charts from well known pop/rock/country,etc.. songs. I try to get all of my guitar students to feel comfortable reading music as well as understanding the basic tenants of theory and improvisation on the instrument. With these skills, you'll be able to do whatever you want to do with the instrument in no time!

About Marcus

I have been playing music since I was about 13 years old. I initially started out on guitar but I quickly picked up mandolin, banjo, and ukulele thanks to the great theoretical tools I'd learned from my first teacher! I started studying alto saxophone around the same time I picked up guitar and began extensively studying violin a few years later.

I quickly began writing songs and at 15, I recorded my first album of original material with production help from Grammy award winning producer/guitarist Joe Reyes. Joe and I would go on to make four other records together and I would wind up doin
g string arrangements for one of his albums as well.

While still in high school, I began playing with a number of bands in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas as well as a few groups in Austin, Texas all while still playing in my high school's orchestra! At 18, I got to tour the country playing violin/saxophone/musical saw with the Austin band Moth!Fight!

I earned my Bachelor's degree in music composition at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. At Trinity, I was able to fully explore my love of composing while honing my technique at classical violin and classical/jazz guitar. During this time, I was voted Best Instrumentalist by San Antonio's alternative weekly (the San Antonio Current). I also saw many of my compositions performed at many classical/new music festivals such as Seamus,ICMC, Spark Festival, and EMM and by ensembles such as the SOLI Chamber Ensemble.

In college, I also taught a "School of Rock" class at the Magik Children's Theater. In these classes, I taught young beginning instrumentalists how to play a number of pop/rock songs in the span of two weeks.

I moved to Valencia, California in the fall of 2012 as an MFA candidate in Music Composition at the California Institute of the Arts. Since moving to LA, I've had the opportunity to perform with internationally renewed pop bands such as Faust and Vinyl Williams in addition to performing/collaborating with well known composers around the city. I also have the wonderful job of co-teaching a musicianship skills class at CalArts!

As you can see, music is my life! I have experience playing a number of genres and I want to help you find your musical passion!

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons together will be laid-back and fun but also challenging. I truly believe that one of the best way for students to learn is for them to work on music that they enjoy. Therefore, I approach lessons by learning the interests and goals of my students and then teaching them the techniques they need to achieve their musical ambitions. If students aren't sure what they like yet then we'll try out a number of different styles until one or more stick! I am experienced playing lots of styles so feel free to bring anything in!

Beginning students can expect to learn a number of fun songs/exercises in order to familiarize themselves with basic techniques and reading practices. Once a student feels comfortable with basic technique, I work with them to find songs/pieces that interest them but also reinforce and develop their technical skill sets. Within a few weeks, you'll be able to play all sorts of songs! And within a few months you'll understand the basics of improvisation and theory!

I teach all of my students the basics of music theory. Understanding, the music you're playing is just as important as technique! I integrate this in a way that makes it relevant to whatever pieces or techniques we're working on at a time.

Students can expect to take home a small handful of exercises to practice after every lesson. For half hour instrumental lessons, I'll assign a song or piece (usually of the student's choosing) and a technical assignment/piece of some sort (these will be scales, improv exercises, or etudes of some sort). For 45 minute-hour long instrumental lessons, I'll assign the same material plus an additional song or exercise. Students studying recording programs like Ableton or Logic will have assignments that examine technical/musical aspects of the program every week. Students studying music theory or songwriting will usually have assigned readings and written assignments! Don't worry all assignments will be FUN and designed to fit your interests! Practice assignments can always be designed to fit the student's schedule as well.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Students are welcome to try various instruments during their first lesson but should be able to provide their own instrument for subsequent lessons

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students only need to provide their instrument. I can bring an amplifier if the student is studying electric guitar. I'm also happy to photocopy book pages/pieces for students.

*** Specialties ***
Pop/Rock (all kinds!), Jazz, Blues, Folk/Country, Classical, Music Theory, The Recording Programs Logic and Ableton, Songwriting
...

Reviews

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nancy July 2, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
marcus was familiar with one of the songs and was able to break it down to learn easily. very nice person. he prefers to keep you on the right track with learning and gets all the mistakes cleaned up right away. validates you as a person and your experience so you find acceptance. first lesson was impressive for me. he did not let anything pass by him while he was getting to know me. was a very good instructional class for the first class. i was glad i met marcus.
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Amy B. December 3, 2014
Fiddle · In home
Verified Student
My 11-year-old daughter is loving her fiddle lessons with Marcus. He is patient, flexible, and encouraging. He manages to infuse the lessons with humor and fun while also facilitating serious technical progress. We recommend him highly!
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Christopher L. October 23, 2014
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Marcus is great! I have been working with him for over three months. I am 37 and did not consider myself to be a musician at all when I started working with Marcus. I set a personal goal to learn to play something, and I can do that now. Marcus is friendly, communicates well, adapts to my learning style and pace, and has been really patient in helping me learn the basics.

He has been super-flexible with scheduling. I was a little apprehensive about going to a stranger's home, but it's not weird at all. His place is comfortable and inviting.
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Marcus R.

Marcus R.

Austin, TX 78756
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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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
...

Reviews

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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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Erin B. January 12, 2015
Healthy Cooking · In studio
When I joined Sasona's housing cooperative community, I didn't know how to do anything. Sam provided an orientation for me that was above and beyond. Whenever I didn't know how to do something I knew I could ask him and he would not only tell me how, he would teach me how. Teaching is an integral part of who he is. He is conscientious, compassionate, and committed to his students. I absolutely recommend him as an instructor for people of all ages.
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Samuel B.

Samuel B.

Austin, TX 78745
(5)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Aimee B.

Austin, TX

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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Eddie W. August 11, 2014
Guitar · In studio
I am a retired faculty/staff member of The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in education. An 8th grade teacher diagnosed me to be musically challenged, and I was told not to make an effort to learn music. After retiring I decided to get a guitar and try to learn something about music. I had been trying to learn how to play on my own, but I soon realized that I needed a teacher. The first teacher I tried could not answer my questions, and inspire progress. Aimee demonstrated a very high excellence in teaching proficiency in the first lesson. While in her studio I observed her teaching young students, and it was obvious to me that she could teach both young and older students equally well. Have confidence that you can learn music with Aimee's guidance.
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Mike S. August 7, 2014
Electric Guitar · In studio
I'm a new student to Aimee, but have played guitar for years. My goal is to learn some music theory, understand chord progressions and positions, improve technique, and learn how to learn songs: how to break them down into chunks, so it's not overwhelming. It's already clear that she and I are going down that path. Best of all, she is patient, which should be incredibly important to any student.
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Brook D. August 1, 2014
Piano · In studio
My nine year old daughter has been taking piano lessons from Aimee for nearly three years. I really like Aimee's approach. For beginner students, she uses structured lessons teaching the all important fundamentals. As my daughter advances, Aimee continues to stress theses fundamentals combined with tailor-made lessons drawing from my daughter's musical interests. Plus, her strong communication skills go beyond from behind the piano. Her administration of her services make it a breeze to arrange lessons, make up lessons, and the like. Lastly, Aimee is just a down right cool lady, who clearly loves music and enjoys teaching what she loves. Thanks, Aimee!
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Aimee B.

Aimee B.

Austin, TX 78703
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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David H.

Austin, TX

Whether you just want to learn the chords to your favorite song, or learn chord theory and improvise blazing solo's, I can help. I specialize in blues, folk, jazz, Brazilian styles and rock.

About David

A graduate of Berklee College of Music with a Degree in Music Performance. I would love to teach you how to play your favorite songs, compose,music theory,to read music, and play lead guitar!
...

Reviews

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John O. March 22, 2015
Guitar · In studio
David is not only a great guitar player but a great teacher! He encourages his students to learn the basics so that once you start learning the other songs and riffs it makes sense and is easier to learn.I just wish he didn't move to Texas!
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Jaclyn L. September 19, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
David is very knowledgeable and talented. It is very rewarding learning from someone who takes his craft so seriously and passionately. I am looking forward to continuing my education with David as my teacher.
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Gary C. September 15, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
David is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He loves to share the knowledge that he has obtained, through his schooling and performing, with people wanting to learn the guitar. I am very happy to have him teaching me.
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David H.

David H.

Austin, TX 78721
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_54691_pi_timthumb

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 take 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 Mus
ic 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

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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Nancy V. April 28, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
he has helped me to memorize portion of my favorite song while learning a certain strum with accent on 2nd beat and working on it. he has helped me to organize time to learn. shown me strum pattern and how many in between per note while following and artists song. he is helping me to be disciplined not to think about it and do it subconsciously which is wonderful to learn. i am learning a finger pattern. all will take time. when i stumble he picks the same note up with me as i start again and helps me grow thru my difficulties with explanation and repeating over and over with me until i get it. very patient and nice person with good teaching skills.
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Mary A. April 10, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Great Lesson
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Derek V.

Derek V.

Austin, TX 78704
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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