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Oakland, CA Guitar Lessons

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Guitar Resources in Oakland

Are you considering taking guitar lessons in Oakland? Lucky for you, the city is filled with valuable resources for aspiring guitarists and hobbyists. From repair shops to live music venues, Oakland is a great place for guitarists to get inspired and stay motivated.

In addition to taking guitar lessons in Oakland, it’s important to take advantage of the different resources around you. Listening to live music and playing with other artists helps improve your skills and speed up the learning process.

Below are just a few of the local spots around Oakland in which you can take advantage.

Live Music Venues

Café Van Kleef: Are you looking for a place with an eclectic crowd and great live music? Then look no further than Café Van Kleef. On Friday and Saturday nights, this intimate hangout features a wide range of live music, including jazz, R&B, and soul.

The Sound Room: If you’re into the jazz scene than The Sound Room is the perfect place for you to get inspired and maybe even pick up a few guitar tricks. The live music venue is home of the Bay Area Jazz and Arts Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting jazz.

The Legionnaire Saloon: From soul to indie, the Legionnaire Saloon features an array of live music acts all throughout the week. If you’re tired of playing the same old songs, then make your way to the Legionnaire Saloon to get inspired by some new sounds.

Guitar Shops

A&G Music: Located on 564 14th St., A&G Music offers a large selection of new and used guitars for both beginner and advanced students. Need to repair some strings? The shop also does repairs in its in-house instrument repair facility. According to the shop’s website, close to 15,000 damaged instruments come through the shop each year!

Jon’s Music & Repair Shop: Do you have a guitar that’s been collecting dust in the attic and needs some major repairs? Take it to Jon’s Music and Repair Shop on 467 19th St. where the trusted and experienced staff members have a reputation for successfully repairing instruments at a great cost.

Econo Jam Records: While it might not be a guitar shop, Econo Jam Records is a great place to go if you’re looking for some musical inspiration. The shop carries an abundance of new and used vinyl records and music from independent artists.

Guitar Meetups

Neighborhood Acoustic Jam Group: Do you want to practice your acoustic guitar skills with other musicians while having fun? The Neighborhood Acoustic Jam Group is group that gathers to play instruments and have fun! Past meetups have included nights out listening to live music and intimate jam sessions.

Rise Up Singing: This folk singing group, comprised of 429 members, welcomes guitar players as well as other string instruments to play along during their singing sessions. Taking place around the Oakland, Berkeley, and Walnut Creek areas, this meetup is great for those interested in possibly forming a band.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t wait another minute. Sign up for guitar lessons in Oakland and take advantage of all the resources available to you!

About Amber S.

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Vallejo, CA

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Award nominated singer-songwriter (wife and mom) with over 20 years experience available to teach eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of skills, focusing on self-expression and technique. I specialize in pop, folk, rock, blues and country styles. Let's have fun making music!

About Amber
I have been a performing singer-songwriter/graphic artist for 15+ years have written roughly 200 original songs, released several CDs and performed hundreds of shows. Music has been an important part of my life and has given me enormous amounts of joy and growth as an individual. Both of my parents are musicians and I was fortunate to have their support and guidance in addition to formal and informal training from various musicians over the years but mostly, I developed my style of playing from many hours of playing and experimenting. I am excited to have the opportunity to teach others the tools needed to start their own journey in music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am both easy going and goal oriented. I want my students to get the most out of their lessons and enjoy every minute.

I provide the syllabus & handouts needed initially
but will may assign a book after the first few lessons. Students should have an empty three-ring binder handy or iPad in addition to owning their own guitar or piano/keyboard. I recommend supporting local music stores before going to the big chains. I can help with choosing an instrument if needed.

Within 6 months*, the student should know and be able to play major and minor chords (instruments only), understand basic music notation, time signatures, and be able to follow basic sheet music. Students are encouraged to name songs that they wish to learn to keep them excited and interested in learning.

Emphasis will be on accuracy, performance techniques and having fun!

* results will vary with each student.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Each student needs a guitar or piano/keyboard and a 3 ring binder.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar, Piano, Songwriting: Folk, Rock, Blues & Country.
...
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JannessaB April 25, 2012
· ·
Great Teacher

Amber was great with my son. She was very pleasant, professional and on time. Very good teacher!
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Amber S.

Amber S.

Vallejo, CA 94589
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Jason J.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Jason
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for over 15. I have experience playing live including, classical guitar, acoustic popular songs, rock and jazz groups and most notably with The West Coast's Premier Tribute to Pearl Jam, Vitalogy. I have two music degrees (BA music and AA-O in Guitar Performance) and a California Music teaching credential which all has given me the training to assess your progress and differentiate your instruction based on YOUR specific needs as a student as well as your musical goals.
There are a couple of books I may suggest for you depending on the situation and of course I require you to provide your own guitar as you will need it to practice what you learn in each lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I take a balanced approach to teaching that includes equal attention to theory and technique w
hile helping a student accomplish his/her musical goals. I am comfortable teaching the following genres: rock, blues, classical, reggae, jazz and country
...
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Jason J.

Jason J.

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

About Mark B.

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Castro Valley, CA
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I teach all levels of guitar lessons, from beginner to advanced professional...in all styles, except classical/flamenco.

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

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

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which get major radio airplay in Europe.
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Reviews
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Tommy A. October 17, 2017
· Harmonica · In home
Great experience.
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Paul M. October 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Rhonda S.

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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.
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Reviews
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Promila V. October 30, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Rhonda’s teaching style is very easy to follow. She is very organized in teaching step by step which was very helpful for me. She really made me feel at ease and made me believe that I can learn this.
Thank you,
Promila
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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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Rhonda S.

Rhonda S.

Hayward, CA 94541
(39)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Rory C.

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San Francisco, CA

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Throughout the last 10 years I have toured internationally and across the US, recorded and collaborated on dozens of musical projects around CA, and taught hundreds of private music lessons.

I teach music as a language with three main components; melody, harmony and rhythm. Lessons emphasize ear training and technique, pushing students to develop a personal relationship to their instrument and understand how to best utilize it's strengths, either on its own or in a group setting.

About Rory
Rory is a 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.

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 and ear-training, sight reading, rhythm and lead playing, and more.

Have any other questions, feel free to ask!
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Rory C.

Rory C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Ken W.

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Concord, CA
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Ken has taught electric and acoustic guitar for 20+ years

About Ken
At age 12 Ken picked up a guitar and fell in love with the instrument. He began with an obsession with Metallica and related bands that later evolved to a passion for classical and jazz music, music theory.

From 2008 -2010 completed the music program at Diablo Valley College in June of 2010, which includes extensive coursework in Music theory, Piano and Guitar. Since 2011 Ken has been a Jazz Guitar Performance Major at Cal State East Bay. There he has studied Classical and jazz Guitar performance with world class musicians.

"Music has many different levels and the beautiful thing is there is a place for everybody. I have spent a lot of time throughout my music career going “back to basics” in order to become a better musician. We are all capable of becoming great musicians and just because someone can play faster than you doesn't n
ecessarily make them better. Music provides everything from healing power to just plain fun for the human spirit so I always encourage students to go at there own pace and work within their abilities."

*** Lesson Details ***
20+ years experience as a musician and teacher Ken has taken self taught route and the lessons route. "I believe 100% that being taught by someone who has sufficient experience really provides the roadway for a solid foundation whether you are planning on being a pro, just for fun and all levels in between. The combination of self-discipline and a good teacher are a must to have as a musician."

Amongst many other approaches of teaching music, I try to instill the 3 most lacking areas most musicians usually have to begin.

1. Sight reading: Unfortunately most common with guitarists! Tablature is a somewhat useful way to start but reading music will open many doors and opportunities for any musician

2. Collaboration: A teacher provides one way of collaboration as well as a band or an ensemble at school or in the community.

3. Improvisation: I provide a music theory background and I have a method plan for chord progressions, and help with learning the entire guitar.

I take step-by-step approaches towards giving a student encouragement and instilling music appreciation. I am very organized so every lesson will be documented and we will work on specific areas of fundamental development. Most of all have fun! That what gets us playing music in the first place!

I look Forward to meeting you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lesson room, music stands, benches, amps, two pianos, computer area for recording,

*** Travel Equipment ***
Their own instrument and any necessary cables, amps etc. for them I will provide my own

*** Specialties ***
I mostly specialize in jazz and classical guitar and have taught blues, rock, metal and Latin American guitar. All ages and all levels. I also teach western music theory (classical and jazz) from the baroque period to modern day. I teach beginning piano which consists of the basic fundamentals (i.e. scales, posture hand positions, etudes and beginning repertoire)
...
Reviews
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Rahul S. November 6, 2014
· Classical Guitar · In home
Ken is an awesome teacher and an great person. He teaches my 5 year daughter and she loves his lessons and his jovial approach. Within 4 weeks, she has picked up a lot of things and is improving day by day. He is patient as you ought to be with the kids and yet persistent enough to stick to the task.

I am really looking forward to them picking up songs in the coming lessons. I will recommend him anytime and completely vouch for his credentials and ability as an excellent guitarist as well as teacher.
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Jon C. August 18, 2014
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Ken is a talented musician, nice person, and a fantastic teacher. I wanted to branch out into classical guitar after many years of playing other styles. Ken was good at adapting to my background and goals.
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Francesca G. June 30, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
Ken W. is an awesome teacher, my daughter loves her lessons with Ken, he is very patient kind and makes my daughter feel very comfortable. He also is very positive inspiring. I plan on keeping Ken as my daughters instructor for a very very long time
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Ken W.

Ken W.

Concord, CA 94521
(9)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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From Classical to Jazz, and lots of World Music in between.
Guitar was my main instrument until I began playing Bass in bands in 2000. Since then Guitar is still my main 'go-to' for practice at home, teaching music theory, and composition.

About David
Hi there, and thanks for viewing my TakeLessons profile! I am excited to be a part of the team in Berkeley, CA.

I started teaching lessons while in music school for Classical Guitar in 1996. From 1998 onwards, I played with a variety of musicians from Africa and Latin America, as well the as great American traditions of gospel, funk, jazz, and bluegrass. All the while, I continued to study music theory and composition, on my own and in private lessons with both well-known players and local professionals. Flamenco and Indian Classical music have also been great interests which I am still involved with.

Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. The last few years, I have begun to develop my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teachi
ng music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville. This is a digital production environment for the arts, and my students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are musicians/aspiring musicians, and some are primarily interested in working with technology; but all are audio enthusiasts and love music!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing gigs for years, are very young or old, I have something to offer you!

How we structure lessons depends in part on you and your goals, as well as your learning style. Having taught music for over 15 years, I have a large amount of resources at my disposal, and can either teach from a method book, or a variety of materials, some of which are my own creations.

I also like to use technology as a teaching aid, and can show you how to use your own computer, keyboard, or music production application (garageband, etc) to practice and create music at home. Another thing that I offer is to make recordings of key parts of the lesson, either as an audio or video file, or both. These can be shared with you through email, dropbox, or a flash drive if you bring one along to your lesson.

Please contact TakeLessons if you have any further questions! I look forward to meeting and working with you or your child.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Front room with computer station, guitars, music stand. Waiting area with couches and table, and parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available, no pets.

College: practice rooms and classrooms available with computers and MIDI controllers.

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
...
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Elliot November 2, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Really great teacher and person. Would highly recommend him.
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Kelley Martel March 24, 2016
· Guitar ·
It was a great first lesson with David . He is very kind and patient and helpful and I can see he is skilled as a musician. I am excited to work with him !
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Roy H. January 28, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
If I could give 4.5 stars I would, the only reason it's not 5 stars is because I think nobody is perfect, but David is very close to it. I really liked how patient David was with Eli and his deep knowledge of music was very impressive. David is able to prevent things in a number of different ways and he makes sure that you understand that material very well.
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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(13)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Victor S.

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Palo Alto, CA
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I offer acoustic guitar for children and adults of all levels, from first time players to very advanced players. I offer lessons teaching Country, Rock, Classic Rock and Folk style guitar. I can provide a complete curriculum including tabs/sheet music or I can can give personalized lessons on skills or music of your choice. I can teacher material in both standard notation and tablature as well as learning to play by ear. I can also prepare students to play in bands and jams.

About Victor
I am a professional teacher and performer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. I have been teaching guitar, banjo, and mandolin professionally since 2004. I have performed on all of these instruments and have played at numerous music festivals throughout the United States as well as teaching at many music camps on the West Coast. I am currently performing in bands on electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
...
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Steve August 19, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
The lesson was great I told Victor the things I struggle with most & he started me off with some basics that I need to work on & also showed me some bad habits I needed to correct all with a patient pleasant attitude I'm looking forward to the next lesson.Steve S
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Steve August 19, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Victor was great I haven't picked up my Guitar in it felt like forever and I had picked up a lot of bad habits he was very patient and gave me the building blocks to help me get started back on the right track.
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Shaheer M. January 25, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Had a great lesson with Victor! He knows music really well and is very patient with beginners.
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Victor S.

Victor S.

Palo Alto, CA 94306
(6)
starting at
$30 / 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 Carson R.

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Alameda, CA

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Also teach guitar

About Carson
Recent USC Music Grad available for bass lessons and more. Having been a student most of my life, I've experienced what makes a teacher and lesson plan great, or stale. Ready to extend my knowledge to students who are thrilled by music and the bass, and ready for the next step in their creative life. Over the years I have studied with many great bass instructors such as:
*Alphonso Johnson- Weather Report, Bob Weir(Grateful Dead) and
Santana
*Ray Riendeau - Rob Halford(Judas Priest), James Labrie(Dream
Theatre), and Solo Slap Bass Master!
*Barry Olson - Retired Principal Bassist of the Phoenix Symphony

In addition, I also studied Classical Composition, Counterpoint, Theory, and Arranging extensively with:

*Neal Desby- Composer, Film+Video GameScore Arranger (
Guardians of the Galaxy, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and 3), and also teaches Flea, Frank Ocean, Weezer, Maroon 5, and Fall Out Boy.

*Veronika Krausas - Composer, teacher at USC, Lecturer for the LA Philharmonic
...
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Carson R.

Carson R.

Alameda, CA 94501
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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3 Alternate Tunings Every Guitarist Should Try

3 Alternate Tunings Every Guitarist Should Try

Did you know tuning your guitar a different way can open up tons of new possibilities in your playing? Guitar teacher James W. shares three of the most popular alternate guitar tunings you'll want to explore... It is estimated that singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell created over 58 open tunings for guitar in her quest to create new songs over the course of her 50 year career in popular song. She was able to be remarkably inventive in her playing simply by experimenting with the guitar’s tuning. … Read More

3 Alternate Tunings Every Guitarist Should Try
Did you know tuning your guitar a different way can open up tons of new possibilities in your playing? Guitar teacher James W. shares three of the most popular alternate guitar tunings you'll want to explore... It is estimated that singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell created over 58 open tunings for guitar in her quest to create new songs over the course of her 50 year career in popular song. She was able to be remarkably inventive in her playing simply by experimenting with the guitar’s tuning.
Essential Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners
For many beginners, learning easy guitar chords is a great way to get comfortable with your instrument. Chords are also the building blocks you'll need to learn to play many of your favorite songs. Grab your guitar and dive into this essential guide to the basic guitar chords you need to know. A chord is a group of notes that create a harmony when they are played together. There are two ways you can play a note on the guitar. You can produce a note by holding the guitar string down at a speci
Learning Guitar: Understanding Minor and 7th Chords
What are minor and 7th chords anyway? TakeLessons teacher Brian T. breaks down the music theory behind building these chords... Learning guitar chords is one of the early challenges of learning the guitar. Very often a new student will find themselves presented with a host of fingering patterns that make little sense. "Why this set of frets and not that one?" the student wonders "Why, when I move my E major down a string does it become A minor?" With just a bit of music theory and a willi
Step Up Your Game: 4 Alternate Guitar Tunings for Beginners
Whether you just started guitar lessons or you've been playing for a while, you may be itching to learn some new songs and take on some new challenges. You might be wondering: where can I go from here? That's where alternate guitar tunings come in! With this guide from Michael L., you'll learn how alternate guitar tunings can take your playing to the next level... One of the amazing things about the guitar is its versatility. Not only can you play rhythm and/or melody in different genres,
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Are you ready to learn 5 basic guitar chords that are the basis of dozens of easy songs? In this blog post, we'll take a look at a few simple open-string chords on the guitar that you can use to play many beginner guitar songs. You'll learn how to read guitar chord grids and tips for memorizing these 5 important guitar chord shapes. We’ll also take a look at a chord-change exercise that will help you get your chord playing skills up to speed in no time. How to Play 20 Guitar Songs with 5 E

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