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New Almaden, CA Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near New Almaden, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near New Almaden, CA including Los Gatos, Campbell, Coyote, Holy City and Redwood Estates.

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About Peter Q.

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Portland, OR

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All of my students write songs! You don't have to, but you'll want to/do it accidentally.

About Peter
I'm a multi-instrumentalist from the Northwest with lots of love for teaching people to groove. I got my bachelor's degree in music from Whitman College with an emphasis in Jazz Performance. I can teach anyone to rock, swing or get unreasonably funky. Lessons can be casual or serious and I'm down to tell you how to get to Carnegie Hall or onto the stage at the local jam.

*** Lesson Details ***
I like to teach my students what they want to learn! I'm always game for setting up a fun path to being able to play your favorite songs as fast as possible. I don't scold or shame and having a blast is the name of my game. I can teach you to improvise, read music, become a strummer or virtuoso, it's all up to you.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the basement studio, piano, guitars, amps, hand drums, a bass, woodwinds, FULL DRUM SET!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can travel with a sax, flute, guitar, electric bass, and a didgeridoo....

*** Specialties ***
I'm a jazz musician! But I listen to and perform all styles of music. I have written string quartets, been the front man for a funk band, and recorded every style of music under the sun. I can teach Bach and the Beatles and explain how/ and why they intersect and are similar musically.
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Reviews
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Paul May 23, 2017
· ·
An excellent teacher. He is kind patient and imaginative
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Paul February 20, 2017
· ·
Versatile, skilled and patient
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Amy L. January 5, 2017
· Flute · Online
My daughter just had her first Flute lesson with Peter. She was very nervous but Peter totally made her feel at ease. She loved her lesson with Peter and how upbeat and full of energy he is along with his patience. Looking forward to many more lessons. Thank You.
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Peter Q.

Peter Q.

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(9)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Rory C.

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Santa Cruz, CA

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Learn about songwriting fundamentals from both lyrical and musical perspectives.

Lessons examine song structures, lyric writing, composition and arranging techniques, and the interplay of those elements. Learn how to be more effective in conveying emotion and motion in your music through deeper understandings of developing melody, harmony, rhythm and metaphor.

About Rory
From beginners to intermediate and advanced students, lessons cover a wide range of topics including - ear training, left and right hand technique for both flat-picking and finger style playing, basic to more advanced music theory, sight reading, rhythm and lead playing, and more.

Former touring guitarist and songwriter with Bay Area based Americana trio Quiles & Cloud, signed to Compass Records Group; a Nashville based roots music label with over 25 years in the industry.

With nearly 2 decades performance experience and over 12 years teaching private lessons, Rory provides musical instruction tailored to individual skill sets and goals.

Have any other questions, feel free to ask!
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Reviews
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Jonathan December 15, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Rory is an amazing instructor -- he is patient, informative, but most of all allows the instruction to be fun as well as educational. Rory allows the student to have some free reign about where the lessons will go -- never boring, and always moving towards an increased knowledge of the instrument and the music being learned.

Rory also happens to be one of the best guitar players in the business - with a talent that shines through in his work and instruction. I'd highly recommend Rory to anyone considering lessons -- he's even great with beginners!
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Kyle O. December 14, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Rory is an awesome guitar teacher! He is kind, patient, talented, and is great about tailoring the lesson to what you want. Highly recommended.
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Rory C.

Rory C.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(2)
starting at
$35 / 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
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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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Learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics and how they affect your songwriting. Break down songs that you like to learn about the elements that make you like them and make them compelling to others.

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.

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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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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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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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Aaron C.

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Berkeley Heights, NJ
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About Aaron
*** Studio Equipment ***
Practice amp, spare instrument cables.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to have their own guitar, practice amp, spare strings, chromatic tuner, instrument cables, notebook, pencils, pens, guitar picks and any pedals they wish to use. If they have an acoustic guitar then I would expect them to also have a capo. I bring all materials listed above as well as my list of books and study material. I try to keep all materials in digital form to send to the student and parents at their convenience. In addition to the aforementioned, I also will come equipped with a macbook laptop computer with Pro Tools 8.0.3 and Logic Pro X professional recording software installed on it. I also will bring a fast track pro recording interface, a Sennheiser e935 vocal microphone.

*** Specialties ***
Genres I s
pecialize in include rock and metal vocals and guitar. Songwriting, production and performance
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Phil August 7, 2015
· Music Recording · In home
Very Broad range of knowledge on ProTools v8.
Had a lot of very useful information and tips to get started quickly.
His style of teaching made it fun and interesting.
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Lawrence S. June 5, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
I took guitar lessons with Aaron and then later did both singing and guitar lessons. I found him very proficient in both. The lessons were enjoyable and I learned a lot. Highly recommended.
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Aaron C.

Aaron C.

Online
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Philip L.

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Tallahassee, FL
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This is a great course that allows you to expand your knowledge and skills in songwriting. Learn how to create music that your friends will love. Expect to learn basics of form, rhyme schemes, and instrumentation.

About Philip
Guitarist Philip L. was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, where he began his musical studies at a young age. He was accepted to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, named by the Grammy Foundation as the top performing arts high school in the nation, and after graduating, received a scholarship to attend Stetson University. Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Robinson, the head of the guitar department at Stetson University, he was able to refine his skills and learn a great deal about the interpretation of music on the guitar.
After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Music, Philip became an instructor at University High School in Orange City, Florida. There he directed the guitar program, which he built, and, outside of teaching, Philip performed professionally (guitar and voice) around Central Florida in various groups and styles
of music, including Rock, Pop, and Jazz. Since then, he was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Akron as a Teaching Assistant and later received his Master’s under the tutelage of Stephen Aron. Philip is currently working towards his Doctorate at FSU. Philip has played a number of feature concerts and masterclasses with great guitarists of our time, such as David Russell, Andrew York, Dusan Bogdanovic, Roland Dyens, Michael Chapdelaine, and many other artists.
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*** Lesson Details ***
The first step will be evaluating the student's musical and technical skill level, then I build a curriculum from that point. As an example, a beginning student would learn how to read music, play basic rhythms, use proper left and right hand technique, and the notes in the first position on individual strings. After I have evaluated the current level of the student and their musical interest, I will begin to move my curriculum around their various needs.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I will have a music stand for you to use at your lesson. I require the student to have their own instrument so that they may practice outside of their lesson.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music Stand

*** Specialties ***
Classical - Pop - Jazz - Songwriting - Digital Arts - Recording - Music Production - Theory - General Music
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Reviews
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Alex B. September 11, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Philip knows what's up. Strongly recommend him
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Jennifer C. May 17, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
He is a great instructor, with a lot of patient. His classes are very easy to understand. I would highly recommend him.
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Jackie D. May 14, 2013
· Guitar ·
I recommend Phillip as a guitar teacher.

Besides being a very skilled guitarist, Phillip is very professional and reliable. He has a very laid back personality which really worked well for my shy 7-year-old daughter. He was patient and encouraging.
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Philip L.

Philip L.

Online
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Marwan S.

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Mountain View, CA

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I like to call it music theory in reverse. Having a strong foundation in the fundamentals of music and music theory makes the songwriting process much easier.

About Marwan
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I started playing piano when I was 3, and began writing music when I was 6. I've taught music and piano for over 12 years.
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crystal December 4, 2017
· Python · In home
Marwan always has smile on his face. And I have the very first python lesson with him. He is a great teacher.
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Moya November 11, 2017
· Classical Piano · In home
We could not be happier with Marwan! Most importantly, my daughter is thriving with his instruction -- though we like him too :) Marwin brings expansive experience in piano and beyond. For piano, he's got a great balance of being exacting and precise with instructions yet just as flexible as we need him to be if my daughter hasn't been able to practice due to other demands. We like that he doesn't make her feel guilty about that -- but is patient and able to get her on track so she can fulfill her amazing musical potential. We love his in-depth knowledge in a variety of things and he's charming, warm, and humorous to be around. Highly recommended: you'll enjoy meeting and working with him.
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Jen S November 7, 2017
· Piano · In home
Wow! We are so grateful for Marwan. He comes to our home, teaches 3 hours of 5 consecutive lessons and he still has a smile on his face when he leaves late in the evening. He's knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and enjoyable. His expectations are high, but attainable. I have seen a marked improvement in my children during the last three months of lessons!
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(11)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Stuart G.

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Van Nuys, CA
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"Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It's something I don't feel like I really control."

--Tracy Chapman

About Stuart
Hi! My name is Stuart. I am a Berklee-Educated teacher with a degree in Songwriting. I write all styles but I specialize in contemporary pop music.
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Brendan December 1, 2015
· Singing · In studio
I took a few vocal lessons with Stuart recently, and it was a great experience. I was a singer-songwriter with no prior vocal training looking for ways to improve my voice. Stuart patiently guided me through all sorts of different exercises and warm-ups, and corrected the unhealthy singing habits I'd developed over time. By the end of our last lesson I had already noticed a big improvement in my vocal performance. Stuart seems like a natural educator - he knows how to communicate with beginners like me, but he also clearly knows enough to teach at all skill levels. I highly recommend taking a lesson with him!
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Ben November 18, 2015
· Songwriting · Online
I have learned a lot taking lessons with stuart. When I started, I had written a few choruses, but I had never finished a song. Now I'm writing a new song almost every week, and I can't believe how quickly I'm improving. Thanks Stuart!!
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Stuart G.

Stuart G.

Online
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Emily C.

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Astoria, NY

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Whether just starting out, or putting the finishing touches on your songs, I can guide you to your best possible outcome. Some students come to me having never written a song before, and some come wishing to add something new to their already established project. I can help you put music to your lyrics, lyrics to your music, or fill in the gaps. Meanwhile, I will walk you through every step of the process so you won't need me forever! I can help with the basics of song structure, chords progressions, rhyme schemes, accompaniment and more!

About Emily
Emily has been working professionally for over 15 years and teaching for nearly as long. Professionally, she has worked with labels like Universal and Sony, and with artists like Katy Perry and Billy Joel. Former students have gone on to perform on Broadway, national tours and American Idol.

Every student's individual voice and style is taken in to consideration when forming their training. No two voices are alike, and thus, no two lessons should be alike.

Emily will focus on helping you find the strengths in your voice and then finding and overcoming your weaknesses. Emily is a firm believer, that the voice is a muscle system that must be worked and strengthened, just like any other; and she will provide you with the proper strength training to achieve your artistic goals.

Emily also teaches songwriting and piano, tailored to c
ontemporary artists.
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Paytra January 4, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Emily has been a god send ! As a professional and working recording artist in NYC... I was in need of a vocal coach who catered to my style. She taught me control and changed my voice completely. The best teacher I've had by far!
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Stephanie January 4, 2017
· Songwriting · In studio
Emily isn't just a great singing teacher- she also gave me the support, confidence and knowledge I needed to turn my musical ideas into completed songs for the first time.
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Casey January 4, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Emily Carlstrom is a total badass. I've taken a handful of voice lessons with her. They were so simple, yet so extremely helpful and motivating. She really knows how to listen and that makes her a great friend, artist and teacher.
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Emily C.

Emily C.

Online
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Socrates S.

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Los Angeles, CA

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Learn College Level Songwriting skills. I have 7 years of songwriting and i have worked with the best artist development teacher in Los Angeles, including Robin Randal who wrote songs for the tv series "Bay Watch" and many others. I will teach their techniques and exercises to writing popular hit songs as well as give you professional insights and encouragement to finishing song.

About Socrates
Hello, My name is Socrates, I'm originally from Brazil and I came to Los Angeles to study and pursue my dreams in Music. I went through a lot to get where I am now and I got my College Degree from Musicians Institute in the Vocal Program. I May look young but I have a lot of experience and, although I love teaching, I am also a performer and continue to do so as much as I can.
Not only will I be able to teach a variety of vocal techniques, but I will also help with the performing side of singing, where you can express yourself truthfully.
"I believe music has an amazing power to touch one's Heart, and my dream is to share this power"
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Royer March 12, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Great teacher! I noticed a difference in my voice in just the first few lessons. He really takes time to develop the different voice registers. Would highly recommend taking lessons with Socrates.
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Socrates S.

Socrates S.

Online
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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