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Playing Guitar in Jacksonville, Florida

by James W. - Jacksonville Guitar Teacher

Jacksonville, Florida, a beach town on the Atlantic coast of North Florida, is the birthplace of southern rock and a great city to be a guitar player. Jacksonville - or “Jax” as it's known locally - has rich music roots, origins of jam band culture and a diverse, live downtown music scene, which includes local and national artists, southern rock, indie, underground, country western/cross-over rock, Christian rock, hip hop and punk.

Jax natives encourage guitar playing and original songwriting regardless of age or skill level. Gu
itar players in Jacksonville will find a mix of new and established sounds and genres, heavily influenced by southern and country rock and live performance. There are many opportunities for local talent, and southern hospitality is alive and well. For those who want to jam, take guitar lessons in Jacksonville and get a start in town, discover these Jacksonville venues:

1. Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach attracts national talent and regional acts, so it’s a great exposure for young talent. They boast two bars, and seeing how a local band owns the “big stage” is a huge benefit to young musicians. Are you forming a band? Come watch and learn. This is the place to go to get your start.

2. Shantytown Pub is “Your neighborhood Springfield pub." Downtown and open to 18+ crowds, aspiring guitarists and graffiti artists can get in. Intimate. The real benefit is that Saturdays are Record Label Night. It’s a chance to hobnob with label owners and reps, shop a demo and get tips on getting started in the music industry. Some musicians who met here formed their own bands. Artists and their dogs are welcome.

3. Burro Bar is an edgy experiment by the owners and friends of the old London Bridge Pub. Music is on every night. Simply submit your music to be accepted to the downtown fun, and set up and play. They have tech meets, live music, and a growing bunch of regulars – all aspiring artists are networking here! Local bands are encouraged to register.

4. Underbelly’s is also downtown and was voted one of the top music venues in Florida. Guitar players would do well to frequent this hot spot not far from the Central Station. If you love jam music, this is it! If you think you’re ready, it is also a chance to observe, get up and play, jam with humble seasoned professional touring artists and learn from them. A great atmosphere.

5. Jack Rabbits is for national and local bands and is just south of downtown. This is a small venue and bar located just across the St. John’s River from Willow Branch Park where The Allmans had played Sunday afternoons for free. It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but inside its a-hoppin’! The staff are nice people; the sound system is stellar. Best of all, the stage is “roomy” so you don’t feel cramped when playing live. To get your licks in on guitar is not a problem, as this place is “built for live music.”

6. Brewster’s Megaplex is a very approachable gig if there ever was one in Jax. Sporting four live venues, it just sings with good times. Located in the vicinity of the Town and Country Mall in Arlington area east of downtown, Go Big Entertainment book the Vans Warped Tour here. If you ever thought that you want to play the Warped Tour in Jax, this is for you. Go there to get a feel for what’s expected of your band. Most local bands will show up and play after competing in early rounds, a few great live bands play the finals, and the excitement is in the air every July on the stage. Both Ernie Ball and the Entertainment Workshop sponsor the event, and beginning and intermediate guitarists will benefit big time from the workshops.

It’s a good idea to make the rounds and connect with other like-minded musicians so you improve your playing while taking guitar lessons in Jacksonville. And Jax will encourage you to do that in that down-to-earth way. People are not as judgmental about skill level here. I found that the kind of people I meet in Jax are full of energy to play, and socializing with them gives me a place I feel at home. I haven’t met anyone I didn’t like or who wouldn’t share knowledge. Live music is a way of life. It's easier to be inspired to study music in Jacksonville, due to the fact that you're surrounded by music makers who have been where you are now and now hold out their hand in friendship. And that’s what it’s all about.

Justin W.

Jacksonville, FL

Students will utilizing standard music notation and guitar tablature while learning familiar songs, proper technique, and music theory. Students are required to have their own guitar, lesson book (Hal Leonard's Guitar Method, Complete Edition), guitar picks, and all other necessary supplies, and bring them to each lesson.

About Justin

Justin is an active composer and tenor soloist based in Jacksonville, Florida. Justin holds an Associate of Arts degree from Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College) in Cocoa, Florida, and is pursuing his Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music Performance degrees at University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Justin currently holds the position of Choral Librarian and Assistant Conductor of the Osprey Men’s Chorus at the University of North Florida under the guidance and mentorship of Frank Watkins and Cara Tasher, which has allowed him the opportunity to perform under such conductors as Simon Halsey, Rollo Dilworth, Sandra Snow, and Simon Carrington.


Julia A. October 29, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Justin is the essence of professionalism. He's never without a smile and is simply an amazing teacher. We are so glad we found him.
Sasha B. October 29, 2013
Verified Student
Justin is a great piano teacher

My 6 year old has piano lessons with Justin. He enjoys his lessons and I'm a proud mother when I listen to him play. My son is a little talker but Justin is always kind, very patient, and uses relatable examples for him to better understand. He encourages which motivates my son to want to practice more. He is also very polite, never without a friendly smile, and without a doubt loves teaching music. I hope Justin continues teaching music by the time my now 1 year old is old enough to take lessons. My family truly appreciates him.
Linda L. August 1, 2013
Verified Student
Excellent Teacher

Justin is a very reliable teacher. My children has been taking singing and piano lessons from him for about 6 months. Both kids improved a lot in skills, and they like him very very much!

Raymond (Remi) L.

Jacksonville, FL

Basic Popular Guitar:

Introduction: The Guitar and its parts
Sitting positions
The right position (left and right hand)
How to use the pick
Down Stroke Strumming
The diagram and Tabs
Basic Chords:
Harmonic Progression Reading
Repertoire (Easy American & Children Songs)

Intermediate Popular Guitar:
Up- an downstroke Strumming
Chords: Bridges, Substitutes, Altered, and Bar-chords
Repertoire (American, Latino & International Songs)

Advance Popular Guitar:
Advance Strumming
Chords: Dominant 7, Minor 7 chords, Major 7, Minor 7, Diminished, ½ Diminished, Add 9, Add 6, 7th-5th, 6th/9th
Repertoire (Other American & International Songs)

Electric Guitar:

"The Total Rock Guitarist" Method (by: Tobias Hurwitz)
Easy & Advance Chords
The Pentatonic Scale
The Art of Improvisation
Music Reading (tablature & music notation)

About Raymond (Remi)

I completed musical studies at the Conservatory of Music of San Juan, Puerto Rico and graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE, with Majors in Musical Education and as a Performing Artist. I am a qualified bilingual Music Instructor. I have performed as a guitarist with several orchestras, musical groups, bands and as classical guitar soloist I have given numerous recitals and concerts. I have worked as a Music Educator at the Social & Pedagogic Academic Institutes teaching pedagogic & didactic principles to teachers and at the same time I have been teaching classical and popular guitar at all levels and ages at several other music schools. I wrote a guitar method "MELODIC GUITAR" for beginners from 7 years of age and up, and this method has been translated from Papiamentu into the English and ...


Pranav B. April 25, 2015
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
I would highly recommend Mr. Lasten as a music instructor to anyone who wants to learn music. He is a wonderful teacher who teaches all the minute things that can help you become a better musician. I have been contemplating learning music for a long time but was initially hesitant due to my work pressure. I am glad I chose Mr. Lasten as a teacher. He is patient with me and motivates me a lot when I practice during our guitar session. I have found him to be a very pleasing personality and I really look forward to continue learning from him.
Keenen W. April 15, 2015
Piano · In studio
We are so delighted with our experience with Remi. Our son began lessons when he was a fresh 6 year old. Remi had so much patience and ability to keep him focused on the keys. The progress over the last 18 months has been remarkable. My son is much more confident and no longer prone to dwell on small missteps, He plays right through them and then works to correct them. This is all due to His wonderful teacher. As an aside, it's awesome when my son really plays well and Remi picks up his guitar and accompanies the piano like a real "jam session"
Alexandra D. April 1, 2015
Dutch · Online
Verified Student
Fantastic first lesson - I was speaking in sentences by the end of our 45 mins - albeit very simple ones - but nevertheless - I am impressed and look forward to getting closer to conversational Dutch. Top marks :-)

James W.

Jacksonville, FL

Theory, Harmony, Fretboard Mastery, all aspects of guitar and related equipment. Fingerstyle, Lead guitar, Composing and writing songs for Pop, Rock, Jazz, and Country Genres. "Get it under your fingers fast the G.I.T. way." Integrated approach so you can sing, play, and strum with ease. Songwriting for today's styles.

About James

I worked for Eddie Van Halen for five years in the 1990's in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles and was instrumental in providing help with development of the Peavey Wolfgang and Wolfgang Special Guitar by providing feedback on the prototypes Eddie was designing at the time. I learned a lot from Eddie and his brother Alex about music and the music industry. (All you have to do is pay attention! ) I have played in bands from Hollywood to Toronto and back both as a singer songwriter and guitarist. I bring the Musicians Institute way to the table and get things up and running quickly. I help students get it under their fingers fast and get it right the first time. I believe in sharing the happiness of making music with anyone who loves music and the guitar in particular. I do my very


Catherine P. May 7, 2015
Acting · In studio
Verified Student
AJ enjoyed his lessons and learned a lot.
Abby C. May 5, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
James is an amazing artist and communicator. He brings a wealth of experience to the table ranging from singing, playing guitar, putting a band together, recording, writing, to performing. He also knows the difficulties of living the artists/musicians life, as both he and his wife are performing artists. He loves sharing these incredible experiences with his students, making them applicable to the student's situation.

Although my son sees himself as a lead for his band, he comes across a bit shy and unassuming. James has been great at addressing this and pulling my son out of his comfort zone so he can reach his ultimate goal.

Also, my son was extremely particular about who he wanted as a voice teacher. I thought I would never find one to fit the bill. James was a perfect fit. I anticipate we'll be in touch with him routinely as my son pursues his music career.

James is a fun, experienced, talented musician, who makes his students feel quite at ease. I highly recommend him as a teacher.
Hal S. November 20, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Just three lessons in I am already singing 100% better than I thought I ever could. He mixes in singing with guitar playing and music theory. James is the man.

Logan D.

Jacksonville, FL

Guitar is my first instrument and I have been playing it for about 8 years. I can get anyone started and have them playing in a month. The lesson regime will usually partake in technique such as becoming fluid and comfortable with chord changes and scales and repertoire where the student will learn the music he/she desires to learn. I believe in giving students what they need to become the best they can be. I don't teach based on a rigid curriculum. I teach based off where the student is as a musician and help the student achieve the goals he/she is reaching for.

About Logan

I have been teaching and helping people on this musical journey since January 2011. it pretty much started out with me just helping friends become better artists and better people. I enjoyed helping so much that I thought it would be a good idea to share the knowledge even more so I branched out through takelessons.com. I can teach beginner and intermediate levels in guitar, piano, and music theory.


Baileigh W.

Jacksonville, FL

I've been playing guitar for 8 years now. Currently, I am enrolled as a performing music major in FSCJ for guitar. I've had many teachers that have given me a wide range in styles. Teaching people in the past, I have learned that everyone learns at their own pace and in their own way. I like to teach a bit of theory when I teach any instrument because more than anything I want people to understand the fundamentals which will create a stable foundation for any type of musician!

About Baileigh

Hello! My name is Baileigh. I've been playing guitar for 8 years now. Along the way I have learned piano, ukulele, bass guitar, and fundamentals for percussion. I'm currently going to school for music, which I hope will help me pursue a career in music composition and songwriting. Aside from music, I am very passionate about science and history. Sociology and astronomy are my strongest subjects. I'm looking forward to helping others invest in tangible knowledge that they will find exciting and useful many of times in the future.

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