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Mountain View, CA Guitar Lessons

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About Alex S.

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Oakland, CA
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I teach acoustic and electric guitar. I am flexible in teaching different styles, though my lessons always involve a good deal of ear training and theory. My goal is not only to teach you how to play the instrument, but also to help you understand the music that you play.

About Alex
I am an Oakland, CA based composer and performer with 14 years' experience teaching private lessons. In addition to private lessons, I work with the San Francisco Opera's education department, creating mini-operas with elementary school classes. I also music direct the SFArtsEd players, a high-level middle school musical theater company.

My musical tastes and experiences are broad, ranging from classical, to musical theater, to rock and roll. I do not believe in rigid boundaries between genres and I am able to work with many different types of students to help them achieve their goals.

My teaching method rests on three pillars, which are common across all styles and instruments: ear training, technique and fun. Music should always be fun, and a good ear and solid technique are the quickest road to fun, effortless playing.

I look
forward to working with you!
...
Reviews
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Carla January 26, 2017
· Piano · In studio
I have played the piano on and off for 40 years but never really got into music theory. Alex has a great way of improving my technique in playing music and also finding exercises for me that make me FEEL the theory behind the music. It's great fun.
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Alex S.

Alex S.

Oakland, CA 94602
(1)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Rhonda S.

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224901_430583_43828
Hayward, CA

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I've been teaching guitar to students of all experience levels and ages for 20 years. I structure lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of basic musicianship. I typically use Hal Leonard Guitar Method for those students who want to learn to read music.

About Rhonda
I have always had a love for music. From all the music trivia games my family won't play with me, to my large collection of records, cassettes, and CDs - I am hooked!

I made my solo performance debut at age 7 by singing "It's A Small World" acapella in a school talent show. At age 9 I started taking clarinet lessons where I learned musicianship and how to read music. Throughout my school years I also sang in choir, played tenor saxophone in the school jazz band, and hoofed it in marching band.

During my first year in college I took a beginning guitar class for fun and I never looked back! I studied classical guitar for 3 years and piano for 2 years. I ultimately received a Minor in Music from California State University, Hayward in 1990.

I have been playing guitar for 27 years. I have played professionally in the San Franc
isco Bay Area in various rock, country, and blues bands as well as playing solo acoustic performances at local coffee houses.

I have been teaching private guitar lessons for 20 years and piano for 10.I like to keep learning fun! I am a very patient, compassionate teacher who will come up with creative ways to explain/demonstrate something new.

*** Lesson Details ***
Music is the most fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy. And learning how to play music should be fun too! When students inquire about taking lessons from me I always ask, "What do you want to learn?" I try to keep students interested by showing them things they want to learn. I also believe in teaching the basics. Whether you want to take piano or guitar lessons I believe you should learn basic musicianship which includes learning to read simple notes and where those notes are on your instrument, rhythm concepts, and tempo. It's easier than you think! The more you know the more you can teach yourself later on, and the more you can collaborate with other musicians.

After 3 or 6 months of taking lessons with me, students will be able to read basic music notation. They will be able to play songs either by their choosing or mine, they will have self-confidence to play songs in front of an audience/friends, and they will have the knowledge to figure out how to play songs on their own.

*** Specialties ***
I studied classical guitar at Cal State Hayward and have taught different finger picking styles as well as genres such as pop and country.
...
Reviews
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Kathleen June 2, 2017
· Piano · In home
I have great experience w/ Rhonda on my first day to be with her. She's attentive to her students needs & concerns. Thanks Rhonda!
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Sia K. March 22, 2017
· Piano · In studio
She is very patient with students, organized, reviews the materials and most important makes sure that the students understands. She is fun living and a very sweet person.
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Kylie February 20, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Very patient, skilled, and knowledgeable. Thanks!
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Rhonda S.

Rhonda S.

Hayward, CA 94541
(38)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Hristo V.

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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.
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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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Beginner
I'm not currently taking beginner guitar students. Please refer to my studio partner Andrew:
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Intermediate
Learn about common variations of the tonalities you already know and start to venture into more complex rhythm ideas like polyrhythms. Also start to build the chops to learn parts more accurately when learning songs.

Advanced
Expand into more complex polyrhythms as well as asymmetrical meters. Also expand harmony and melody to include modes and chromaticism. Push your skills through original creations or original arrangements of existing material.

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
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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
$50 / 30-min

About Aidan C.

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San Francisco, CA
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About Aidan
I have been playing guitar since I was 10 and loving music my whole life. I have been in numerous rock bands, high-school jazz band, classical guitar duos, trios, chamber ensembles, and even played mandolin in a bluegrass band. I received my Bachelor of Music at Guilford College as a student of Kami Rowan. During my third year of study there, I was nominated for the Guilford College Art Award as the outstanding student and performer in the music department. In February of 2010, I had the honor of being a member of the guitar orchestra during a performance of Shingo Fuji’s Concierto de los Angeles, alongside soloist, Grammy winner, William Kanengiser. I recently completed my Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music where I studied with Jason Vieaux. There I was awarded the Rosalia Ablan Memorial Prize for my accomplishmen
ts on the guitar. In addition to guitar performance, I have studied music theory, jazz theory, and pedagogy extensively. I am a native of San Francisco and have been teaching privately since 2007. No matter what a student's interests are, I can give them a rock solid foundation in technique, performance, reading, and theory.

*** Lesson Details ***
In my lessons I make it a priority to create an easy-going, non-intimidating environment, so that you, the student, can focus on your goals and learning, approach music at your own pace, and really look forward to coming in to lessons. Whether you are interested in electric, steel-string, or classical, Metallica, Mozart, or anything in between, I can teach you technique, musicianship skills, and songs that fit your personal interests.
For beginning students I like to teach a mixture of basic theory, music-reading, and chords/scales. Soon after, the student can begin to bring in songs that s/he is interested in, and I can start to build lessons around specific styles/pieces. I teach all levels and all ages, and I would love to share my passion and knowledge with you, and gain you skill and confidence on the guitar, as well as a deep understanding of music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical guitar, and am very familiar with the teachings of Aaron Shearer. His methods and practices provide the basis for how I teach technique and how i approach learning pieces. I also supplement his ideas with those of Pepe Romero, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tenant (particularly their views on technique).
I am also more than comfortable teaching pop/rock guitar on steel-string or electric, and TAB-ing/teaching songs the student brings in. Whether the student prefers classical or popular s/he will get a good foundation in music theory and music reading.
...
Reviews
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Peter N. February 28, 2017
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Very patient, very accommodating and flexible, very excited about the next lessons!
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Brian December 12, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Very solid and practical at teaching what you need to learn to understand the song or songs you want to play.
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Ingrid A. October 30, 2013
· Guitar ·
Not what I expected

Aidan is very patient & professional with his students.
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Aidan C.

Aidan C.

San Francisco, CA 94131
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Trevor M.

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Concord, CA

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About Trevor
My name is Trevor M. I primarily teach upright and electric bass. Beginning to advanced levels. I can teach you anything from Jimi Hendrix, to John Coltrane, to Bach.

Additionally, I teach beginning to intermediate Guitar, Piano, and Trumpet. If needed/preferred, I include reading music and beginning to advanced music theory in the lesson, as I offer Music theory tutoring as well, in Classical Harmony, as well as Jazz Theory and Improvisation.

I am dedicated to helping my students 1. Have fun, 2. Learn, and drastically improve in what they want to learn, 3. Grow and become well-rounded musicians.
...
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Trevor M.

Trevor M.

San Jose, CA 95112
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Marissa K.

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South San Francisco, CA
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I've been teaching guitar for 2 years and my students have gone on to perform at local shows. Within the first few lessons, you'll be able to learn your first chords and as time goes on you'll be able to learn picking techniques and rhythm. I specialize in folk and rock, typically use Hal Leonard books, and have the following tools available for your lessons: guitar, capo, tuner. I love working with students of all ages and experience levels and I can't wait to meet you!

About Marissa
I am a singer/songwriter/guitarist and I have been playing and singing for over 10 years. I have played many high-profile gigs including the St. Petersburg Pride Fest and Tampa Gasparilla Festival. I am very excited to teach and work with many different learning styles. If you want a dedicated guitar teacher with lessons that work with your style and pace of learning, hit me up!
...
Reviews
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Lore July 26, 2016
· ·
Marissa is an excellent music teacher!
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Lore E. June 22, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
The lesson witharissa was great!
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Brie April 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Very effective teacher, knowledgeable and patient. Highly recommend!
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Marissa K.

Marissa K.

South San Francisco, CA 94080
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Andrew I.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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I will teach you proper and comfortable techniques to play the guitar. You will learn to play in all major keys and with different rhythmic styles so you can play songs you like. I will also teach you how to read music for your instrument. My lessons are adjusted to the specific student's pace and their learning style.

About Andrew
I have been playing and studying music in a variety of settings since 2008. I have performance experience with both classical ensembles and contemporary rock bands. This has given me experience in writing music, playing music, and ensemble management all within a wide range of musical styles.

I have been training people in various fields since 2013. I am currently a junior instructor at MTS Studios in Sunnyvale CA where I teach a variety of instruments, including guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano and ukulele.

I am looking forward to helping you further your musical goals and aspirations. Feel free to send a question if you want to ask about anything before starting up.
...
Reviews
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Mayu June 13, 2017
· Piano · In home
Andrew has been an amazing piano instructor for my 6 year old son. My son is so comfortable that he acts a bit silly at times and have to remind him that this is a lesson. He is familiar with other instruments too which makes it really fun for kids. Currently he plays the ukulele while my son plays the piano and he absolutely loves it. Outside of his obvious skill, he is probably one of the most patient instructor I know. Maybe that's why my son loves him so much :) Definitely recommend him if you want your child to start enjoying music.
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Destinee T. June 11, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Thank you
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Destinee T. June 11, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
He was the best!
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Andrew I.

Andrew I.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(19)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Dennis W.

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Palo Alto, CA

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I my first instrument was the drums, but later on I picked up the guitar and have become fairly advanced. I can get anyone started on playing guitar with chords, scales, and some basic songs.

About Dennis
I have been playing drums since I was 9 and have been teaching for 4 years. I currently play in a professional band in the bay area. I specialize in many genres and odd signatures. I make sure that every one of my students understand and play with proper technique and dynamics to perform like the professionals. I teach how to read music, play various types of rhythms, play to a metronome, and play along to any of your favorite songs. I will often times play another instrument with my students to give them an understanding of what it is like to play in a band setting. I also offer group lessons where multiple students learn to play different instruments together to make music.
...
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Dennis W.

Dennis W.

Palo Alto, CA 94301
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Todd S.

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Campbell, CA
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I have been playing and studying music for 30 years and performing for 20 years. I teach a variety of styles including rock/pop, jazz, country, and classical, as well as how to compose and improvise in a variety of settings. I can show you the in's and out's of the equipment used with electric guitars including amplifiers and effects, as well as teaching instrument maintenance and modifications. My teaching approach revolves around getting new students to make music as soon as possible, even with the most basic skills, to build confidence and ensure a continued interest in learning. I emphasize the internalization of the physical aspects of playing through repetition and progressive exercises customized to the individual.
Practicing very slowly, learning to use a metronome, shorter but more frequent practice sessions, and plenty time for free play, are some of the concepts at the core of my teaching style. My strong communication skills are used to dispel any mystery in the ...

About Todd
I have been playing and studying music for 30 years and performing for 20 years. I teach a variety of styles including rock/pop, jazz, country, and classical, as well as how to compose and improvise in a variety of settings. I can show you the in's and out's of the equipment used with electric guitars including amplifiers and effects, as well as teaching instrument maintenance and modifications. My teaching approach revolves around getting new students to make music as soon as possible, even with the most basic skills, to build confidence and ensure a continued interest in learning. I emphasize the internalization of the physical aspects of playing through repetition and progressive exercises customized to the individual.

Practicing very slowly, learning to use a metronome, shorter but more frequent practice sessions, and plenty time f
or free play, are some of the concepts at the core of my teaching style. My strong communication skills are used to dispel any mystery in the instrument, how it works, and making music with it. No matter the skill level of the student, there is always something new to learn or a new way to approach the instrument. I have extensive experience with music production technology including equipment, DAW software, and recording techniques, incorporating these into your lessons if you're interested. I am also versed in synthesizers and sound design.

My lessons are always customized towards the individual, but stress the ability to make music even with very little technique. Building on simple riffs, easy chord changes, and practicing slowly to instill confidence and keep students interested. I often incorporate popular Beatles or Taylor Swift songs to teach chord changes and song form. Working on reading music for piano students and tablature for guitar as well as lead sheets for both. I can also show you how to interpret "cheat sheets," those lyrics with the chords above them that you get from the internet, that are always a little bit wrong.

Having finally reached a place where technique is no longer a hurdle to making music is a reward equal to the amount of time and effort that was required to reach this level of proficiency. I find great joy in showing people of all ages that music can be life-enriching, expanding one’s appreciation of the arts, providing opportunities for new friendships, and creating a sense of accomplishment with every new song learned or skill acquired on a musical instrument.
...
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Todd S.

Todd S.

Campbell, CA 95008
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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Female guitarists rock just as hard, if not harder than some men, yet the things people say to us sound like they're straight from the 1950s! Ladies, women, and girls, here are 11 of the most annoying things I've heard in my years of playing guitar. Maybe a few will sound familiar to you too? 1. Is that for your boyfriend? Why do some people find it so unbelievable that you're carrying your own gear or shopping at Guitar Center for yourself? 2. You're pretty good for a girl. … Read More

11 Annoying Things People Say to Female Guitarists
Female guitarists rock just as hard, if not harder than some men, yet the things people say to us sound like they're straight from the 1950s! Ladies, women, and girls, here are 11 of the most annoying things I've heard in my years of playing guitar. Maybe a few will sound familiar to you too? 1. Is that for your boyfriend? Why do some people find it so unbelievable that you're carrying your own gear or shopping at Guitar Center for yourself? 2. You're pretty good for a girl.
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