Nashville Guitar Lessons

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Pickin’ Through Music City: A Quick Guide for Nashville Guitarists

By Tyler J. - Nashville Guitar Teacher

Thinking of trying out the Nashville guitar scene? Are you looking to take guitar lessons in Music City? Well, you’re not alone. For decades, Nashville has been one of the most influential hubs for popular music and entertainment. Thousands of musicians have made the move to Middle Tennessee with big aspirations; to become a superstar, to get hired as a sideman, or even just to start a band with like-minded individuals. Whether you want to play for fun or play to pay the bills, Nashville has plenty to satisfy any guitar player’s cravings for a musically rich environment.

First of all, while the country music industry is centered in Nashville, there’s much more than just country here. Rock, indie, pop, blues, and jazz are everywhere in the city, and for those who are interested in Christian and gospel music, you’re in luck: Nashville is the center for the Christian music industry.

I always recommend checking out lower Broadway first. Between the intersections of 6th and Broadway, all the way down to 1st, the streets are lined with live music venues. Some of the people playing on Broadway are playing for tips full-time to pay their rent, while others are playing for fun while they’re in town from being on the road. It’s a great place to network with other guitarists, so go on down, and take it all in. Over time, once you’ve become friends with some of the local players, they may ask you to come “sit in” for a couple songs while they take a break. It’s good to become a familiar face on lower Broadway if you’re looking for gigs on the road; many of these players are hired guns for some of the biggest names in the music business.

Music stores around town are also great places to hang with other guitarists. Corner Music on 12th Ave. South is a local staple for musicians, and Gruhn Guitars is an excellent place to see some vintage guitar gear. I should also mention major stores such as Sam Ash Music and Guitar Center – always great places to meet similar people.

There are plenty of open jam nights around town, too. If you’re ready to jam with some strangers (that soon will become friends), don’t be afraid to ask around for where the “hot spots” are. When I first got to town, the Fiddle and Steel bar on Printer’s Alley was the best place to go on Tuesday nights. There are places like that all over, so don’t be shy about asking people! Whether you go to play or not, it’s great to go and hang out at open jams to hear people play and to make friends.

Going out to the music venues in town is the best way to get some inspiration. Seeing successful players playing great shows is something that always motivates me to strive for bigger and better things. But music venues aren’t the only place you can find other guitarists. As a matter of fact, considering that Nashville has such a high concentration of musicians, you can go just about anywhere to meet players. Coffee shops and local churches are always full of people who are involved in the music business. Be kind, be considerate, and don’t be afraid to open up conversation. While Nashville has a reputation for being competitive, I’ve found it to be very welcoming to newcomers. Most musicians I meet around town are willing to be helpful to newbies looking for work.

Before you start your guitar lessons in Nashville, there are a couple things you should be working on, such as the Nashville number system. Ever hear of it? It’s a form of musical shorthand used to notate chord charts, and while people in most cities don’t use them, almost everyone in Nashville does. There are plenty of resources for learning the number system, including websites and books, so don’t hesitate to start learning now! Most music instructors in Nashville would be glad to help you become a fluent reader of number charts – and many of these instructors can be found right here at TakeLessons!

Something that isn’t all that surprising - but is often overlooked - is the fact that Nashville is all about relationships. Getting hired for a road gig or a spot playing downtown is often simply a matter of being a “good hang,” as I call it. Having a positive attitude, being reliable, and being trustworthy will get you far in life, and Nashville is no different. In fact, I’ve even found that you don’t have to be the most amazing guitarist in town to get hired – you just need to be a good team player.

Music City is glad to have an ever-growing number of musicians around. The metro area has seen unprecedented population growth in recent years, and the economy is booming, so there’s no better time to jump on board. So, if you’re looking to get involved in this local guitar scene and take guitar lessons in Nashville, you’re in luck, because Nashville is an exciting, eclectic, unique, and inspiring place to be. Beginners, intermediate players, and professionals are all welcome; so don’t be afraid to check it out. Good luck, and keep on playing!

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David F.

Nashville, TN

About David

Since beginning his teaching career in 1974 David has taught 7000 people how to play guitar! Some aspiring only to play at home for fun and others to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

David F. has also taught advanced guitar and music theory to several professional musicians who already play other instruments fluently including Oscar nominee Scott Rogness, who co-wrote and performed the songs featured in the movie That Thing You Do. Scott had this to say about his study with David:

"I studied with David for about 8 months. Although proficient on keyboards, a singer and
songwriter; I had never learned the guitar. I knew a lot about the guitar by osmosis, but technically was green. David let me look at the guitar in a whole new way, using infinite variations on basic chords, showed me how to move and follow vocal melodies and challenged me to SEE what I was playing. All at the speed of thought."

Scott Rogness
Singer/Songwriter/Keyboardist/Guitarist

David F. plays a custom built guitar with Bartoline electronics made by Jay Rhyne in Atlanta, GA. For live performances, David uses a Roland Guitar Synth and an Apple PowerBook with Logic audio for mixing his arsenal of software synthesizers and samplers, as well as Guitar Rig for guitar effects processing. When in Nashville contact David F. for private guitar lessons.

I am always looking for the band that will allow me to express myself, my influences include Hendrix, Page, Dimeola, Weather Report, Chick Corea, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and many others.

I read music and charts, and between practicing, teaching, playing, and recording, I have spent 80+ hours a week for the past 34 years with a guitar. I like to soar in the wind when I am playing."

*** Lesson Details ***
Almost all of my students learn bar chords and how to use them in song they want to play in the first hour of lesson time.

Almost all of my students begin in the first lesson with songs like Little Wing and Georgia On My Mind, and Stairway To Heaven, with the right chords in sheet music form. Once you learn how to do that you can begin to take yourself through songbooks, if you learn how to use the printed music, there is a vast amount of it available everywhere.

Almost all of my students are reading melodies using real notation by the 4th or 5th lesson. Reading melodies they like and want to play. Although my students know how to use tab, Notation is the best way and they all prefer it, once they know the difference. Like the Stairway To Heaven Solo, or any of the beautiful Spanish melodies from J.Rodrigo, or blues ,jazz,rock and roll, once you can read, you can read anything in print on your own.

All of my students learn rhythm skills playing scales and songs with a metronome, so you learn how to play in time, as you develop stronger rhythm skills you can play better alone or with other people.

All of my students learn the Music Theory. What Time Signatures are and mean, Scales and scale harmonization. Chord progressions and playing through the chord changes. All of these and more are the fundamentals you will begin to work on in the first 4-5 hours of lessons with me.
I just don't show you songs, I teach you to teach yourself and begin to become musically independent.
Work on picking and speed and most importantly touch and feel.
Work on Finger picking as well, learn to use all 5 fingers on your right hand. or use the pick and 3 fingers, with me you WILL use your pinky or little finger.
By 3-4 months we will have covered the fundamentals and be working on more advanced material, songs and technique.

*** Studio Equipment ***
separate room with seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
I use a Learn to play Guitar book that i wrote and self publish in full color. I also use several books by Jerry Coker with some jazz students,and I recommend the Harvard Dictionary of music to students
I teach the fundamentals of music applied to the guitar and bass, as well as metronome skills,sight reading and music theory.
...

Reviews

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Mike L. December 8, 2014
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
I have increased my lesson frequency to two one-hour sessions per week simply because of my progress under David's direction. After only three months of weekly lessons, I can now read music and play while reading. David has introduced me to effective melodic soloing, has significantly improved my understanding of barre chords up and down the fretboard, and has convinced me to abandon "guitaristic" thinking in favor of really understanding the potential of the guitar beyond shape memorization.
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Mike L. September 23, 2014
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
For those players serious about music, who are willing to devote the time and attention required to improve, and who appreciate not only learning to play guitar but the theory and history behind the music, David is your man. I have taken lessons in the past, usually consisting of a teacher asking what riffs I wanted to work on that day. Sound familiar? Not David. Within the first two weeks, he has me focused on plucking the strings with more feel, using a pick and fingers simultaneously with my right hand, practicing scales to the tempo of a metronome while using the forwards and backwards technique, etc. He has convinced me that I can become as accomplished a player as I put my mind and heart to. His mantra is to work towards playing at the speed of thought, which, for the first time in my life, looks to be a possibility with time. Thank you, David.
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Lewis G. May 15, 2014
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Just had my first lesson with David. Gave a wealth of info now it's up to me but with his approach I know it will be all good. Have had other teachers but David is not only an accomplished player he is also is able to instruct and teach. Will write again after a few more lessons.
Lewis G.
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David F.

David F.

Nashville, TN 37209
(8)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Elizabeth L.

Lowell, MA

As a guitar student of mine, you will come to understand that music is a language, and we want to give you the tools and resources that you need in order to speak and understand that language fluently. Prioritizing your interests and genres that you prefer, we will expand in areas where you seek improvement, as well as incorporating ear training, music theory, and new exercises and techniques specific to your skill level and instrument. Each lesson is tailored to each student's learning style. From reading music and ear training, to writing counterpoint and mastering improvisational techniques, together we will find ways to help you grow as a musician.

About Elizabeth

I am a lead guitar player and multi instrumentalist of over 15 years, and would love to teach you everything I know!

I have been studying music for over 20 years, through school and college, on my own, and with private instructors including Toby Walker, Anthony Wellington, and Buddy Charleton. I consider my main instrument to be guitar- I have been playing for about 16 years, and am comfortable in just about any professional situation on my instrument. I play lead guitar, rhythm, etc. We can go over many techniques and subjects to help you become more versatile and well rounded: including
ostinato picking, slide/open tunings, improvisation, and composition.

I also teach pedal steel guitar, I have studied for about 8 years, some of that time was with world renowned steel guitarist, Buddy Charleton.

Each lesson is eagerly tailored to the student's strengths and needs in order to help them learn to the best of their ability, and ultimately, have fun!

As a student of mine, you will come to understand that music is a language, and we want to give you the tools and resources that you need in order to speak and understand that language fluently. Prioritizing your interests and genres that you prefer, we will expand in areas where you seek improvement, as well as incorporating ear training, music theory, and new exercises and techniques specific to your skill level and instrument. Each lesson is tailored to each student's learning style. From reading music and ear training, to writing counterpoint and mastering improvisational techniques, together we will find ways to help you grow as a musician. :)

*** Lesson Details ***
When we schedule our first lesson, I will ask you a few questions about your interests, goals in taking lessons, and your priorities related to music. This way, I can be sure to tailor the lesson to meet your expectations and goals.

Generally, my lessons lean towards feeling laid back, and no pressure... along with positive energy and passion for music!

Curriculum is catered to the student, and based on student goals and priorities. Jazz studies will differ from studying rock n roll, as well as classical, etc. Once we have an introductory lesson, I will be able to review with you the materials, passages, postures, techniques, and music we will be working with. You always are encouraged to have a say in what you want to learn, whether it is your 1st or your 50th lesson.

***Skype Equipment Needed***
Computer, good internet connection, instrument, 1 hour

*** Travel Equipment Liz will provide/student can provide***
guitars, metronome, recording device

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced students in genres including jazz, rock, metal, classical, funk, blues, country, pop, and more, on a handful of instruments including lead guitar, rhythm guitar, slide guitar, ukulele, and pedal steel guitar.
...

Reviews

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Pete March 16, 2016
Guitar · In studio
I've been taking lessons from teacher Liz for a couple of years now but I've also had the chance to meet and play with all the other teachers as well. These are wonderful people dedicated to helping you discover or improve your inner musician. I've gone from complete beginner to being able to play and lead songs in the group jam sessions under their tutelage. It's been a great journey and I could not have asked for better inspiration and guidance. I'd give then more stars if it was an option.
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Christine March 16, 2016
Guitar · In studio
I have been taking lessons with Liz for about a year and a half. She is an amazing teacher! I am fortunate to have an instructor who knows my interests and goals as it relates to music. I have always had a passion for music, and Liz has made me realize that my passion can only grow further as I am learning how to create music on my own. She is encouraging and patient and knows just when and how to challenge me to reach the next step in my journey. It has been life changing. I can't thank her enough!
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Bao March 4, 2016
Guitar · In studio
She was a great teacher . Very caring and thorough to your lesson. I never have a dull lesson with her but also learning alot from her .
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Elizabeth L.

Elizabeth L.

Nashville, TN 37211
(4)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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Leandria L.

Nashville, TN

Leandria is a laid back teacher but loves to see her students’ progress with their music. She uses the Mel Bay method, and believes it’s very important for her students to learn the basics of the instrument(strings), how to read music, chords etc. In a typical lesson they would start with a ---finger exercises up the guitar neck starting saying the note, saying the finger number, and then saying both--- then they would work on which ever piece is their focus at that time.

About Leandria

Born in Huntsville Al, Leandria L. received her Bachelors from
Tennessee State University with a Commercial Music Performance Degree, since then, she has traveled to Europe to play in work shops and concerts, she's had the opportunity to played for gospel artists Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr, and Tye Tribbett, and has just finished up her first year of teaching music in a classroom. Her most recent teaching experience was Kids On Stage Academy, where in one week her students learned how to read music and how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Her love for the arts keeps her love for teaching al
ive.

*** Lesson Details ***
Leandria is a laid back teacher but loves to see her students’ progress with their music. She uses the Suzuki method, but believes it’s very important to for her students to learn the basics of the instrument, how to read music and at least 2 songs within the first 3-6 months. In a typical lesson they would start with a scale---saying the note, saying the finger number, and then saying both--- then they would work on which ever piece is their focus at that time, and then they would bow to each other dismissing the lesson.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Their own instruments and music stands.

*** Specialties ***
Suzuki, however I think it is extremely important that the student learns how to read. I use my own method to ensure this.
...

Reviews

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Matthew Q. January 8, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Awesome
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Kristen S. October 15, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Leandria is amazing! Not only is she an amazing teacher but she is a wonderful person as well. She is so personable and truly felt like a friend to me. I was amazed at how fast I was learning and was having so much fun while doing it. She taught me the basics and foundations and she also taught me to play some fun songs like beyonce's Halo song as well! We would laugh and say we were channeling our inner beyonce. She adapts her teaching style to your learning style and really makes the most of each lesson. Unfortunately my life recently got a little chaotic so I had to put my lessons on hold for a while but when I continue back up I will definitely be going back to her. You can't find a better teacher than Leandria! I would highly recommend her to all people and age groups!
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JANETH M. June 9, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
She is a good teacher! Recommend for other students! Not a problem.
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Leandria L.

Leandria L.

Nashville, TN 37217
(10)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Alan B.

Nashville, TN

I have been working as a professional musician since 1987. In that time, I've played many roles alongside a wide range of established and emerging talent, from around the world, including band leader, accompanist, music producer, composer, arranger, co-writer, teacher, coach and mentor. Along the way, I have continued to pursue my passion for education, teaching private music lessons to amateurs, professionals and hobbyists from all walks of life.

Guitar is my main instrument, and I have been playing since I was 13 years old.

About Alan

Beginner, intermediate and advanced are all welcome. I give the same attention to teaching amateurs as I do professionals.
...

Reviews

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Elisa July 31, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
relaxed, progress, professional... perfect
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Rudy April 21, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
A true professional in every sense of the word!
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Kim B. August 29, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
WOW - you guys read my mind so let me start with saying my teacher Alan is TERRIFIC - and I do mean TERRIFIC - when I first met him I felt so comfortable - his way of teaching is very patient and informative. Alan has a method of teaching that allows you to absorb valuable information while learning a skill. He makes the lessons simple and fun. Alan gives you the opportunity to learn at your own pace and that's wonderful for mature students that wish to learn something new. If I could - I would let everyone know that there is a chance to experience your musical dream - Just take a chance as a matter of fact take a Lesson.
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Alan B.

Alan B.

Nashville, TN 37208
(4)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Caleb E.

Nashville, TN

I am a 12 year guitar player and teacher. I studied under 2 time Grammy Winner, Curtis Burch to specialize in bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, and blues. I am very versatile and a sought after session player from Cincinnati to Nashville. I started playing when I was 10 and love teaching kids that same age.

About Caleb

Caleb E. has been teaching music since 2005 and is available to teach at your home or his studio. Caleb has helped students from age 8 to 65 and believes that there is no age limit on learning and trying something new or even getting better. Caleb is a two year student of the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music with a degree as a professional recording artist.
Helping students achieve goals regarding musical technique, personal creativity, and self confidence is a personal mission for Caleb and loves to teach in a personal, hands on approach.
...

Reviews

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Ruth O. July 27, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Caleb is a wonderful teacher. After over a decade of not playing guitar, he has helped bring me father than I thought I could be after just a few lessons. He's very intuitive for how students learn, and explains difficult concepts well. Coming from a fellow musician who has also taught music lessons-- He's the best! :)
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Donna D. June 28, 2016
Banjo · In home
Verified Student
Caleb is truly a student-centric instructor. He lets the student's progress dictate the pace and program. I've learned a lot from him, and intend to continue taking lessons from Caleb. Thus far, Caleb is the best instructor I've had.
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Jim C. June 3, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Caleb has a great personality and is able to explaining the basics of guitar playing to even a beginner like me. Great instructor!
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Caleb E.

Caleb E.

Nashville, TN 37211
(19)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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