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Half Moon Bay, CA Music Theory Lessons

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About Mark B.

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213893_265082_29530
Castro Valley, CA
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I love to teach music theory at all levels. Music Theory helps you understand many aspects of music, including why certain notes and chords sound good together, finding the right key to sing a song that is in your voice range, improvisation and soloing on your instrument, timing, rhythm, creating original melodies, thinking outside the box for composition, and many others.

About Mark
I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I ca
n explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed and well-equipped to teach many styles: Rock (including all sub-genres...Tribal Ambient Doom neo Punk, etc), Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Country, R& B, New Age, Ambient, Electronic, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Ear Training, Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which get major radio airplay in Europe.
...
Reviews
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Paul M. October 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
Silhouette-80
Scott June 8, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(15)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Hristo V.

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201524_204597_1263591460
San Jose, CA
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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 six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophi
sticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (blogcritics.com)
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He  paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ

“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)

“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”

“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner

In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”

“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”

“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)

“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."

"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.

Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.

Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!

*** Lesson Details ***
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.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Kim L. April 26, 2014
· Guitar ·
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.
Silhouette-80
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.
Silhouette-80
JeanetteY March 7, 2012
· ·
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA 95118
(9)
starting at
$65 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn about rhythm, harmony, melody, and dynamics in great detail.

Music is often taught excessively by rote, and I feel it's very important to understand the logic behind everything just like you would in mathematics. So take that leap and explore the science of music.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio along.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...
Reviews
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
Thumb_596ebb8e0d218_review_My%20Pic%20-%204-500px
Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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BRIAN July 18, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(86)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Kathryn G.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Kathryn
From the moment Kat was tall enough to reach the keys she made so much noise on her family's piano that they eventually bought a kid-sized version to keep in her room. When Kat turned 7 her family got her the best present ever; lessons with an amazing piano teacher.

Kat also began to study flute several years later and soon realized that music was the life for her. She majored in music in both high school and college graduating with a BA in Music from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

Kat has a very diverse career in music. From a full time private music teacher to the Musical Director of a Burning Man Opera, to the Section Leader for a Youth Orchestra, to the keyboard player in a Theatrical Heavy Metal Band, Kat is always thrilled to stretch her wings and try new things.

*** Lesson Details ***

I teach Tuesdays
and Wednesdays in San Francisco, and the rest of the week in the Santa Cruz area!

PLEASE NOTE - because I commute into SF to teach I do not offer in-home lessons. I teach at a lovely studio in the inner sunset!

I have a ridiculous sense of humor. I believe in stickers, high fives, and celebratory fist-bumps. And yes, that goes for the adults as well.

I always looked forward to my lessons because they were so fun, even if I knew I hadn't practiced enough. That is exactly what I try to create for every student I work with.

Besides the humor, I customize lesson plans to fit you. Not just the types of music you want to learn, but HOW you learn. My number one goal is that you completely understand what you are learning. I don't mind in the least if I need to explain a new lesson 10 different ways-€“ we will work together until you really get it! Understanding what you're doing makes it so much more fun.

Have a favorite song stuck in your head, but the sheet music is still too hard? No problem. I'm happy to write the song out for you at your own level. I want you to enjoy yourself, and if that means Lady GaGa then I'm happy to oblige. I will probably stick Mozart in when you're not looking just to make sure you're learning a lot of different things, but that's what teachers are for.

Of course we cover fundamentals and start with the basics. I typically incorporate music theory and ear training with your lessons as well . In 6 months on piano, with regular practice, you will be comfortably reading music and playing songs you enjoy with both hands AT THE SAME TIME! (Gasp!) On flute in 6 months you will also be able to read music comfortably, will no longer feel like you are about to drop the flute at any given moment, will have a solid range of notes and have a solid feeling of control while you play.

I look forward to sharing music with you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
piano, seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is comprehension -to make sure that all of my students really understand what they are doing. I work very hard to ensure an atmosphere where all of my students - no matter their age - can feel comfortable to say "I don't understand".
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Hailey May 15, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Kathryn is great. Her positive approach really builds confidence and makes you look forward to the next session.
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Andrea February 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My first lesson with Kathryn was fantastic. As an adult student, I was a bit embarrassed by knowing absolutely nothing about piano, and Kathryn would have none of it! She was wonderfully disarming, positive, and really knew how to structure the lesson so that I'd walk out motivated. I'm thrilled to continue lessons with her on the piano.
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Mia January 23, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Doing great so far!
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Kathryn G.

Kathryn G.

Ben Lomond, CA 95005
(34)
starting at
$31 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA

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I studied music theory in high school and through college. I have always enjoyed writing and arranging. I have written for small groups as well as big bands. knowing music theory will help one develop musically.

About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that
same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
...
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Evan X. July 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Mack was awesome !
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Mike May 27, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Fantastic. He evaluated my skill level perfectly in a short amount of time. I'm looking forward to more lessons!
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Yvonne R. April 19, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Mack is a good teacher.
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(21)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Dan S.

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San Francisco, CA

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Taught at Songbird Studios. Trained pianist and vocalist at Power Performance Studios. Music History & Theory classes in undergrad. Performed with NC Theatre, NYC Master Choral and Musical Creations Recording Co.

About Dan
Dan is an accomplished, multi-disciplinary performer (Singer, Actor, Dancer, Pianist) and is the founder & CEO of Multiviewing; a five-month, life-coaching program providing clients a unique and structured platform for personal and professional development.

Dan has his BA in Communications and Music History & Literature from NC State University and his MPA in Public Administration & Nonprofit Management from Baruch College. He is currently working on his PhD in Integral & Transpersonal Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies. Dan excels in academia, as well as in multiple facets of the Performing Arts!

Growing up in NC, Dan trained at the Raleigh Conservatory of Music and was the youngest member of the Raleigh Oratorio Society and the North Carolina Master Chorale. He received excellent ratings in piano, vocal and a
cademic competitions, and was awarded the Triangle Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the North Carolina State University’s Theatre Endowment Award for Best Male Lead.

Dan is an alum of Broadway Theatre Project and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. He has directed, music directed, choreographed and starred in several theatrical productions and benefit concerts across the country for a variety of national nonprofits. He dreams of owning his own nonprofit healing and performing arts center in San Francisco.

Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Lived in: New York, NY
Current City: San Francisco, CA

Quote: “Everything starts with the decision and passion to succeed. Let’s unleash your potential and share your gift with the world!”

Top 10 artists: Luciano Pavarotti, Eva Cassidy, Samuel Barber, Jennifer Hudson, Frederic Chopin, Whitney Houston, Jason Robert Brown, Heather Headley, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim.
...
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Dan S.

Dan S.

San Francisco, CA 94109
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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Music theory is just the names and numbers we use to identify and organize musical sounds so that they sound good and happen at the right time, with great beats. It's way better than grunting and pointing when musicians communicate. I can teach theory the classical way, the Nashville way, or the juke joint way - whatever you need to understand musical materials so that you can use them to best advantage and communicate with your fellow musicians

About Winslow
My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.
...
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Andrew July 22, 2017
· Harmonica · Online
Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!
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Philip E. November 11, 2016
· Harmonica · Online
Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.
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Bob S. August 5, 2016
· Harmonica · In studio
My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.
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Winslow Y.

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA 94118
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About DeAnna H.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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I have a strong background in music theory. My doctoral dissertation was analytical in content. I love music theory - it is like doing puzzles! If you want to learn about theory in an exciting and fun way, I would love to help you!

About DeAnna
Hello! I have been teaching piano since 1982 when I finished my degree in piano performance. I also have a Doctorate in Piano Performance, and have an artist diploma from the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. However, I think what makes me special is that I combine a friendly approach to teaching with high standards. My students do well in competitive and non-competitive events. And, they have fun!
...
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Carlo July 15, 2017
· Piano · In home
Very good experience. DeHanna took her time to reach a comfortable start . Very good first lesson. Looking forward to more lessons
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Remi Adam A. H. March 4, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Remi my grandson enjoy his piano class very much. Especially when Remi got home he practice or continue the song he did with his teacher...like he appreciate himself because it sounds beautiful. We grandparents are very proud to here a lovely melody he played.
The instructor is very good and patient with Remi, she makes sure she gets through him in her own special way.
Very grateful,
Remi's grandparents.
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Eliza March 2, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My grandson seems to enjoy it, it's the first class and I hope he'll continue the positive behavior I'd seen on him toward his piano.
I appreciate the instructor very much and I believe that Remi will gain something better from his piano.

Grateful, Remi's grandmother.
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DeAnna H.

DeAnna H.

Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(11)
starting at
$75 / 45-min

About Brian M.

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Oakland, CA

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I have been teaching music theory for over 10 years. Both of my parents are music teachers so I have been immersed in it since I was young. Learn the inner workings of music, how chords and scales are constructed, how chord progressions work, harmony, rhythm, reading music and more!

About Brian
I have over 10 years of experience teaching in schools, music stores, and privately. My lesson plans are tailored to each student so you can expect to see improvement week to week.

My experience stretches a wide range of styles including rock, jazz, folk, blues, pop, soul, funk, country, and hip-hop to name a few. I have performed with several Grammy Award winning artists as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and am currently working on several bands and projects.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone could play music. I can work with you on songwriting and composing, improvisation, music theory, reading charts, and technical skills among other things. I look forward to meeting you and helping you become a better musician!
...
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Melody August 6, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Brian is so knowledgeable about music theory, and has been teaching for some time, and knows a lot of great mental tips to help me as a student learn things quickly. After only 2 lessons I could already play a whole song through! I would definitely recommend Brian as an instructor.
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Brian M.

Brian M.

Oakland, CA 94612
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Anton S.

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Bellevue, WA
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I'm passionate about helping students overcome their musical hurdles, both professional and recreational.

I particularly enjoy working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use them to make great music.

Other areas of focus:
• Improvising over chord changes
• Internalizing advanced harmony
• Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, funk & blues
• Phrasing
• Saxophone technique
• Efficient practicing for a busy lifestyle

About Anton
An expert educator with a welcoming, positive outlook and an irresistible passion for music, Anton is a longtime faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory. He's been Artist in Residence at Harvard University and The Brubeck Institute, and a clinician & featured soloist for countless university & high school jazz programs. Anton has headlined major jazz clubs across the US and Canada and has five critically acclaimed CDs as a leader.

"Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher… and a lot of FUN! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance & education… What more could a student want?!"
— Susan Muscarella, Director, California Jazz Conservatory

"Anton's the perfect blend: a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer and a professional with a keen sense of the music indus
try. His teaching combines these gifts into a unique presentation with sophistication, clarity & personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket!"
— Joe Gilman, Musical Director, Brubeck Institute
...
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Anton S.

Anton S.

Emeryville, CA 94608
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips

How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips

Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many … Read More

How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
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What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
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