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Saratoga, CA Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Saratoga, CA

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About Cory M.

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Hawthorne, CA

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I have been teaching songwriting for 30 years.
I have studied with world class songwriters.
We work on song forms, lyric writing, harmony and melody.
I have an easy style and like my students to enjoy their lessons.

About Cory
So you want to play an instrument? Well I have taught for over 40 years and have developed special programs for you on piano, guitar, bass, voice and other instruments for you to learn. From easy beginner to the most advanced, I will help you to learn the songs you love! Whether we use the most modern technology in my professional recording studio or just some chords or perhaps learning to sight read something for a talent show, I can take you all the way to the highest performance level. Your goals are my goals.
I have studied with some of the most famous teachers in the world, including Charlie Parker's pianist Walter Bishop Jr. and Dizzy Gillespie's musical director Mike Longo, among many others.
I also have the experience of over 400 gigs a year to bring to your lesson. I have performed on piano, guitar and bass and voca
ls with famous stars and some really great bands which will help me answer many of your questions. I am currently still working, teaching and recording all the time. I also have a professional recording studio in my home which you can take full advantage of.

*** Lesson Details ***
I want you to have fun learning and can help you with understanding and memorizing your songs.
I focus on sight-reading, ear training (like jamming and playing blues) and theory. You get to choose the areas you would like to learn.
Once we have established the basics including melody and chords, we will pick songs you want to learn to play with your friends or just by yourself. We can use music books or go on YouTube to learn your songs.
I have helped students with auditions as well as performances. After only a few lessons you will hear and see things differently than ever before.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio comes complete with acoustic and electric keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass and amps to play through, as well as professional microphones for recording. I use ProTools for recording which is used in every major studio around the world and it's loaded with great software for demos or mastering songs.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginner, intermediate and advanced students.
I teach all styles of music including Classical, Jazz, and Rock/Pop/Blues.
I also teach songwriting, performing and recording in my ProTools studio.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Malcolm M. August 9, 2017
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Great bassist and overall musician. He will break down the concept of music giving you a better insight and understanding of how it all works. I have great confidence you too will be happy moving forward with his lessons.
Silhouette-80
Malcolm M. July 14, 2017
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Very knowledgeable. Looking forward to the next course.
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Glenn June 5, 2017
· Music Theory · In home
Cory, is the Master Yoda of teaching music. That is truly evident in his patience, and honest desire to see you learn. Whether a beginner or an advanced musician like myself, Cory is exactly what you would hope to find in a great teacher. He is excellent in his skill and mastery of the art of music. That includes both his skill as a player, and in the science of music theory & harmony, When u see him play Piano, you will know instantly that he is a great master. Amazingly, he is also an awesome Guitarist & Bass Player. He has over 30 years of experience gigging on all 3, so there's no questioning his qualification to teach on all instruments. His seriousness as a true musician, and connoisseur of all forms of music & songwriting are especially beneficial to you. If you apply yourself, you will no doubt achieve your set goals, whatever they may be. Cory could be teaching at Juilliard or Berklee College of Music if he wanted to. That is not a joke. I went to Berklee, and so I am qualified to make that assertion. I learned a great deal studying with Cory, and that has translated into a priceless benefit for my own work.

Glenn Swan
www.glennswan.com
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Cory M.

Cory M.

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(18)
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
Silhouette-80
Kim L. April 26, 2014
· Guitar ·
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
Silhouette-80
AllenH April 4, 2012
· ·
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
Silhouette-80
JeanetteY March 7, 2012
· ·
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

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

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn about rhythm, 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 along.

Philosophy of Learning

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

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

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

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

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

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

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

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

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

Jesse M.

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

About Gordie S.

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Dallas, TX
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About Gordie
My name is Gordie. I have been playing guitar for 25 years. I've been playing professionally for 19 years. I've taught children as young as 8 to adults as old as 45 for 10 years. I have played in all kinds of cover and original bands covering everything from Hank Willams Jr to Slayer. My bands have opened up for Vince Neil, Great White, Jesse James Dupree(Jackel) and many other national artists. I have released two critically acclaimed albums in Detroit and Dallas. In 2005 I was chosen to be on a list of the best Guitar players in Detroit history. I have the knowledge and real world experience to make you a great Guitar player!! I have been teaching online lessons for a year and a half.I am currently accepting new online students from anywhere in the US!

*** Lesson Details ***
The most important thing is to have fun!! I'm an easy going t
eacher that will make learning guitar a fun experience that you will look forward to every week. In the first lesson I'll go over how to tune and maintain your Guitar if your a beginner. In the next lessons I'll show you how to play all the necessary chords to get you playing your favorite songs and to start writing your own!! After that I'll show you the licks and technique you'll need to start shredding like a Guitar god! In a few months you'll be impressing your friends by playing their favorite songs for them.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Computer and printer, recording software, Several Guitars and Amps

*** Travel Equipment ***
Transcription paper. Their own guitar

*** Specialties ***
Rock, Blues, Metal, Country
...
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Dennis W. November 7, 2016
· Blues Guitar · In studio
Gordie surpassed all my expectations... can't wait to see him for my second lesson ... very knowledgeable teacher I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to learn guitar
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Jacob L. June 9, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
My 14 years old son has been taking lessons with Gordie for about 2 months. Gordie is very clear and concise with his instructions. He customizes his lesson plans based on what my son is interested in learning. When my son is having problem grasping a technique, Gordie will adjust his approach to make sure my son gets it. He is a very good teacher AND a great guitar player. He makes learning guitar a fun and positive experience for my son.
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Aron E. February 14, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Great instructor!
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Gordie S.

Gordie S.

Online
(36)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Andrew C.

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Henderson, NV

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the art of writing

About Andrew
Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, backing vocals) who settled in Las Vegas in 2013. After graduating with honors from Musicians Institute in 2008, he wrote a collection of acoustic guitar pieces licensed to The Weather Channel, then spent 5 years working as a show musician and top-40 musician for 3 cruise lines.

Upon arrival in Sin City, Andrew co-founded the local band “Tin Toy Cars” which consists of various Cirque du Soleil musicians from 2 shows. Their debut album entitled "Falling, Rust and Bones" is currently on hundreds of radio stations nationwide and has broken the all-time record for highest new artist debut on the A.M.A. Charts. Look for the album on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. In January 2016 the band had feature articles in dozens of newspapers and magazines in Las Vegas,
New York, and Los Angeles, and had many radio interviews scheduled to start the year. Their debut music video was premiered by The Huffington Post in March 2016 along with a feature interview.

Andrew also played the guitar/ukulele/mandolin chair in the pit orchestra for the show "Bright Side" which began in May 2016 and was showcased to pitch to Broadway. It's a musical written by Martin Kaye of "Million Dollar Quartet" (Harrahs Casino) and features a cast made up of performers from "Rock of Ages," "Blue Man Group," "Million Dollar Quartet," and others. The orchestra featured members of "Mystere," "Zarkana," "Vegas The Show," "Ka," and a former musical director for vocalist Andy WIlliams. He closed out 2016 performing in the musicals "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "American Idiot" alongside actors and musicians from "Ka," "The Beatles Love," "Million Dollar Quartet," "Blue Man Group," and "Rock of Ages."

Andrew's first 2 years in Las Vegas were also filled with many diverse performing situations up and down The Strip. These included a well-known top 40 and oldies band, a Mo-town tribute show, a country band that headlined the 2015 National Finals Rodeo, and a few others.

Andrew also owns an arranging and publishing company, HLC Publishing, which produces arrangements and sheet music for various Las Vegas performers, and a few cruise ship entertainers. Currently he is creating the guitar book for a new Rod Stewart and Tina Turner co-tribute act that will debut in February 2017, and he will also play guitar and mandolin in the show.

Andrew also teaches weekly lessons and plays Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings at Family Worship Christian Church. During the lessons, Andrew uses the same software as his professionally arranged sheet music, to keep a journal for each student as they learn, and the journal is regularly emailed to the student as a PDF file.

*** Lesson Details ***
Music Theory (Building Scales, Harmonizing Scales into Chords)
Ear Training
Single String Concepts (Scales, Arpeggios, Intervals)
Rhythm Concepts (Chords, Blending with a Band)
Learning Songs
Writing Licks, Lines, Chord Progressions, Charts, and Songs
Techniques (Pick vs. Fingers vs. Hybrid Picking)
Acoustic vs. Electric vs. Nylon String
Slide and Steel Guitar
Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, and Other Doubling Instruments
Playing in a Stylistically Appropriate Manner
Choosing the Right Equipment for the Gig or Project
Music Reading
How to Practice
How to Market Yourself to Acquire Work

*** Studio Equipment ***
various electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, ukulele, banjo. A few different amplifiers, and many different pieces of effect and accessory equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
various electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, ukulele, banjo.

*** Specialties ***
All Contemporary Styles (Rock, Blues, Country and Country Rock, Mo-Town, Jazz, Latin, Latin Jazz, Fusion, Metal and Tapping Style, Theater)
...
Reviews
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Hewan .. May 26, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
it was good start
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Wes C. March 1, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
Very informational instructor!!
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John G. February 10, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
It was a great first lesson. Andrew is quite knowledgeable on banjo, and I feel it was a positive first step on the journey ahead.
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Andrew C.

Andrew C.

Online
(14)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Paul N.

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Milwaukee, WI

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Learn how to write a song and all of the parts of the song that make it sound great.

Verses, chorus, bridge, etc... and lyric tips like rhyming and song structure.

About Paul
***My goal as a teacher***

I try to teach what the students are interested in and make it fun and interesting so that they learn the lessons and their favorite songs. Every student is different and needs to be taught in a way that makes learning easy and fun for them.

I have a passion for all people and all ages and am blessed to be able to teach from the very young, (ages 2-5 Toddlermusik lessons) to teens and adults.....all the way to senior citizens. I've had many older students all the way up to a 93 year old gentleman who is taking singing lessons and asked me to put music to his lyrics. We have recorded over 50 songs together.

***Background***

I started playing trumpet in 5th grade and knew that music was for me. I also liked playing with drums and piano also because they seemed exciting. I've competed in WSMA (Wi
sconsin School Music Assoc.) for many years which taught me a lot about performing for judges, being relaxed, and the importance of preparation.

I started playing the guitar and bass guitar when I was 13 and have never stopped practicing and performing since. I also have done a lot of writing, recording, producing, and have a Pro Tools Studio for students to use.

***College and Teaching***

I began teaching music lessons in college and enjoyed it very much. I received my B.A. in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. There I was very much involved with guitar, piano, voice, trumpet, and being in bands and writing music. After receiving my B.A. I also took 3 years of Education classes at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. I write, produce, and perform my music along with performing with bands around the Midwest.

***Life in Music***

After receiving my B.A. in Music, I continued teaching and opened up my home studio. After a year and a half I had enough students that I was able to quit my factory job and teach music full time. I've been teaching, performing, and writing music ever since.

***Performing and more***

I have been on stage performing music since I was 11. In school band, marching band, competing in music competitions, and in bands touring the Midwest.

I have recorded many CDs with bands and on my own. My most ambitious project was a CD of my original music called, "Girls". I've performed my music and promoted it by being interviewed on Milwaukee radio stations along with internet music sites such as CD Baby. It is very exciting talking on live radio about my music and my passion. It is also even more exciting, and scary, playing my music live on the radio, lol.

***Instruments Taught***

I have been teaching for over 2 decades. Students take lessons for:
* guitar (electric / acoustic)
* piano
* voice
* drums
* trumpet
* saxophone
* harmonica
* music theory / ear training
* studio recording / songwriting

I also give kindermusik lessons to 2-5 year old all the way up to senior citizens 70-93. I play parties, concerts, and Nursing Home performances.

I am experienced as an online (Skype) instructor, and I have taught online lessons worldwide. I've witnessed great results from my online students (both national and international).

I hope I can help you with all of your musical goals and get you going in a positive musical direction.

************************************************************************************************************************************
...
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Brian July 23, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I meet Paul about three months ago, While not a complete beginner, I had tried to teach myself thru out the years and picked up a lot of bad habits. Paul helped me to see and fix my habits. Paul is a very qualified teacher, of many instruments, drums, keyboards, guitar, and others. I'm 59 years old, Paul doesn't mind my age, doesn't treat me like I'm too old to learn new stuff. And is more than willing to see me thru complete guitar instruction. Thanks Paul...
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Steve May 11, 2017
· Harmonica · In studio
Good start to my first music lesson in my life
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Johnny D. March 28, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Awesome job. Made it fun, easy to understand and listed to what my goals are. Fantastic teacher
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Paul N.

Paul N.

Online
(26)
starting at
$25 / 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 at the age of 3, and started writing music at the age of 6.
...
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Cherie June 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
We had a great first lesson. Very relaxed and unassuming. Looking forward to upcoming lessons.
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Ava March 6, 2017
· Piano · In home
Terrific with our small kids. Extremely patient and easy to laugh
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Caleb A. October 20, 2016
· Piano · In home
My boys took to him right away! He has a fantastic balance of high expectations/standards mixed with positive reinforcement. He also differentiated expertly with the 2 boys' ages/capacities. We look forward to continuing our lessons with him!
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(8)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Marissa K.

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South San Francisco, CA
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I'm currently teaching songwriting to help my students understand the basics of composition, song structure, and creating melodies and chords. I have studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for songwriting and have been writing music for over 10 years.

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!
...
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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
$40 / 30-min

About Timon K.

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Nashville, TN

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Let's write some music that sounds like you! Are you a beginner wondering where to start with you writing? Or are you looking to find ways to finish all of those songs that you are "stuck" on? Are you trapped in some kind of songwriting-block? Let me show you my songwriting and lyric writing techniques to help you progress, write professional quality songs, and work through the various struggles we encounter in songwriting.

About Timon
Hi! I am a professional musician, songwriter, and academic living in Nashville. I have a Ph.D. and have been teaching and playing music for nearly 20 years. I teach a wide variety of methods and find what works for each of my students. All of your lessons are personally tailored just for you and your musical or learning needs. Want to hear from my current and recent students? I'm happy to provide references upon request.

Whether you want to learn some of your favorite songs, learn how to keep up with your musical friends, or explore advanced concepts in music theory and ear training, I can help you! I teach all popular and folk styles, from the classics to present day hits and top 40.

About me: I am a touring and studio musician as well as a songwriter. As a writer for Terrorbird Media, I write for songs for television shows, commer
cials, movies, and other performing artists. I also co-own and co-operate an independent record label. I live in TN with my wife, a small wire-haired terrier that looks like a cartoon character, and an embarrassingly large collection of books and vinyl records.
...
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Claudia August 3, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Timon is a really great guitar teacher. I am an older student who has had some previous musical education in other instruments. Timon is able to understand my goals and customize the learning plan and approach to meet me at my current level of skills and understanding. He has an incredible knowledge of music from both a theory POV as well as different genres, styles and music eras. He is really fun to work with and and is always supportive and encouraging. I look forward each week to the learning process. I definitely believe I will be a much better, more well-rounded guitar player working with Timon than I would be with other teachers that I have met.
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Meredith August 3, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Timon is great teacher who can teach a variety of music. He teaches fundamentals but also encourages students to focus on music selections they like. He explains clearly & is very positive.
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Jamie August 2, 2017
· Guitar · Online
Timon does a fantastic job teaching my 13 year old guitar! He keeps it interesting, is very patient and keeps my son focused and moving forward. My son is learning a lot about playing the guitar and about music in general!!
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Timon K.

Timon K.

Online
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Joaquin H.

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Carmel, IN
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I am a published songwriter and have wrote songs with john legend and super producer Jason evigan. I have songs coming out on the radio in 2017 and 2018. I know my craft and if you have the drive and discipline ... songwriting can be taught . It's hard but I can show you many methods to get great results. I have been writing songs everyday for 15 years. Www.soundcloud.com/jhoward-1

About Joaquin
I write songs everyday. Either with a producer who makes an instrumental track for me or just with my guitar. I write songs professionally for artists on the radio and Spotify . I wrote a song with john legend and have songs coming out on the radio in 2017 and 2018. Songwriting is hard but I can teach you if you have the hunger to learn.
...
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Joaquin H.

Joaquin H.

Online
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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