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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 fo
r 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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Logan C.

Nashville, TN

All Styles, All Skill levels, Age 8 and up!

About Logan

I am a music lover, educator, and songwriter. I have been playing music since I was very young and it has consistently brought joy into my life. I have been teaching since 2007, specifically to share the joy i find in music. I teach because I think everyone is capable of making great music, and I want to help you figure out how. I grew up in California and have toured extensively throughout the western US. I graduated from Berklee College of Music where I earned my degree in Guitar Performance in 3 years. Since then I've been teaching, writing, and playing non stop. *** Lesson Details *** My Students get a very individualized experience. I want to help you play the music you love or want to create. We start playing songs as soon as possible, because it provides a context ...

Reviews

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Ashley D. March 25, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Logan has so much patience with my 7-going-on-17 year old daughter!
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Aaron A. February 21, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I've been taking lessons with Logan now for about two months and I am really happy with the approach he has taken in teaching me guitar. I have been a self-taught guitar player for about 8 years but had hit a brick wall with my playing. Logan is teaching me a lot of fundamentals that I missed when I originally taught myself how to play and is stretching me as a player. I'm learning at a faster rate than ever and I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to take lessons. He is patient and communicates very well and I always leave the lesson with material to practice at home. I have already recommended him to friends and definitely recommend him for both beginner guitar players and experienced players as well.
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Khiana R. January 30, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
My review does not stem from Logan as a teacher. He has been a good teacher, but my review is in regard to his professionalism. My daughter has been taking piano lessons with Logan since August 2014. I decided to choose Logan as a my daughter's piano teacher because he was budget friendly and had great reviews. I decided to have her take lessons in his home. Everything was excellent until this past month. We started with 1 hour lessons on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30pm.

In November, I asked if we could change her lessons to 30 minutes and if it would be ok to change her time from 5:00-5:30. I informed him 3 weeks in advance of the change. He told me that schedule would be fine. I could not change the schedule online and this is my first time using Takelessons so I did not know how to change the schedule. After talking to Takelessons, this was something that had to be changed by the instructor.

I purchased 5 (30 minute) lessons and told him that the 30 minute lessons would begin after Thanksgiving. She used 3 lessons during December, and he took 2 weeks off to go out of town. During the month of December, I never received any notification of nonpayment, so I figured everything was fine. When we returned after Christmas break, I arrived at his home to be told that Takelessons had canceled our time slot and another student had taken our spot. He asked me if we could come the next day at the same time. I was a little upset, but I understood and agreed. I came the next day at the same time, and he was not home. His roommate tried contacting him and leaving a voice mail. He was at another lesson. I left him a message with my contact information asking him to contact me. I never heard back from Logan.

A few days later, I emailed him and texted him about the missed lessons. He apologized and offered to give me an extra lesson. I had to contact him to see what would be a good day to reschedule her lessons. I asked if Thursdays were ok. He told me he'd get back with me about the time. I contacted him again to see, and he said 7pm on Thursdays. I agreed, but then I asked if we could do 7:15 because my daughter has a previous lesson that ends at 7 and could not make his lesson at that time.

We had her 4th lesson at 7:15 the following Thursday. The next week he canceled because he told me he was sick with a fever. I said no problem. Then I receive a text from him saying I'll be 5-10 minutes late. I asked if that message was meant for me. He told me no. I was under the assumption that he was on his way to a lesson and wasn't sick at all. He made a mistake by sending me the wrong message.

For yesterday's lesson, we were running a little bit late and arrived at his home at 7:20. We knocked several times and waited, but no one was home. I had been stood up and inconvenienced 3 times in the same month. I do not live very close, and it was a waste of my time and gas. I called him, there was no answer.

As we were leaving, I called twice to see if I could reach him, and then he finally picked up. I told him we were waiting for him for my daughter's 7:15 lesson. He said he was on his way to another lesson. He said the lesson was supposed to be at 7 and I said no, we agreed to 7:15. He said he waited until 7:20 and decided to leave. I asked why didn't he call before leaving. He then made the claim that I had not made any payment for any of my daughter's lessons. I was furious, and I informed him that I had proof that I paid him. He was being rude, and I was angry so I decided to end the conversation and mentioned that I would contact Takelessons to settle the matter.

I sent him a text message with a screenshot to show my proof of payment and my contact with him about the schedule change, and he responded back by saying, "I do not appreciate the harrassment or defamation, please cease contact with me and contact me through our contractor." I have been nothing but professional with him, and I feel as though I did not deserve that response.

I have been inconvenienced many times, and I feel as though he has not tried to alleviate the situation. He has not been sympathetic even though my daughter has been a faithful student. I feel as though since he believed I had not made any payments, he had been disregarding our lessons. I told him if he had concerns about payment, he should have taken the situation up with me and talked to me instead of avoiding me.

After talking to Take Lessons, if the schedule had been changed by the instructor, the instructor would have been paid for his lessons, and I would not have lost my time slot. This whole situation would have been avoided if he had changed my daughter's lesson time on Takelessons. I feel as though he should take responsibility for the error and apologize the inconvenience. I have always been honest with him, and I have been understanding up to this point. I am trying to leave an honest review of my experience.

I am very unhappy and disappointed with how Logan has handled this whole situation, and I would not recommend him as a piano teacher because he has been very unprofessional. I think he needs to do a better job scheduling his lessons and have better communication with his students.
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Jonah K.

Nashville, TN

About Jonah

Hello! I believe that music is something everyone can do: it can be played alone or in pairs (and trios, quartets,etc). Playing music is extremely rewarding. It's about discovering your potential, and having fun doing it! Having played music for 25 years, and teaching for 12, I have experience as a performer, composer, and producer. I grew up playing cello before switching to guitar, and graduated from New England Conservatory of Music with a BA in jazz performance. Most recently, I moved to Nashville where I am currently training to be a Registered Piano Technician. *** Lesson Details *** I offer a wide pallet of musical options. Whether teaching guitar, piano, bass, violin, or cello, I aim to provide a well rounded approach to the performance and understanding of music. ...

Reviews

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Lynne H. September 30, 2014
Cello · In home
Verified Student
He is a superior teacher! His musical ability is sine qua non. His ability makes it easy for me to learn from him. He began early with the cello, which he plays beautifully. He has also mastered other instruments. We play duets together and I enjoy playing with him very much. His theory is excellent; I have learned so much being his student. He has made me better and I feel more confident about my own playing and about myself.

I would definitely rate Jonah a 5 star teacher and would strongly recommend him to others.
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Loretta R. August 6, 2014
Cello · In studio
Verified Student
We are so pleased with the instruction our son received this summer with Jonah. He is excellent with students. You can tell he cares about their progress and their personal goals and that they really learn with him as their teacher. We have taken lessons with other music teachers in the past with our older children, and we have not found one that takes as much time with the student and really cares that they learn the way Jonah has.
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Tysha H. November 18, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
Laid back guy, great with kids, excellent musical knowledge

Jonah works with both of our sons teaching piano. He is positive and upbeat and encourages them to do their best. His credentials are impeccable with a wide-ranging and deep musical background/education. He expects success from the kids, he gently pushes them to succeed. He is always on time to our house and is trustworthy. We highly recommend Jonah.
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Dustin B.

Nashville, TN

Professional instruction on acoustic or electric guitar.

Learn: basic guitar playing techniques, how to get a quality sound from your amp and instrument, how to tune your instrument, learning chords and scales, playing exercises, fundamentals of music, playing different genres such as Classical, Jazz, Rock and R&B, learn Improvisation, performance techniques, stage presence, equipment selection, play along with your favorite songs and much more.

As with all the lessons I teach, being comfortable in the lesson and with your craft is crucial for making great music! Lesson are customized for each students needs and goals preparing a plan that is enjoyable, fun and motivating.

About Dustin

Education Experience: Private Lessons - 22 years Public and Magnet Schools - 7 years I've tutored 100’s of students from ages 4 to 58. Teaching primarily saxophone I've also tutored on Clarinet, Flute, piano, guitar, bass, percussion, tuba, trumpet and voice. I also give instruction in music theory, improvisation, arranging, composition, engraving, music notation, and general studio operations from recording to engineering. I have given lessons privately and under many school and magnet programs from Iowa, Miami and currently the Nashville school systems. I hold a Degree from the highly accredited University of Miami in Coral Gables Florida, and have also taken courses at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls Iowa in classical performance and education. Professional ...

Reviews

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Lisa L. April 30, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Dustin was awesome, real helpful, encouraging & educational. I enjoyed it so much! Thanks!
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J C M. March 22, 2015
Saxophone · Online
Verified Student
This is my second lesson with Dustin. Dustin is a knowledgeable cool young man with a keen ear for for the saxophone tones. I've learned something at both lessons. I plan to continue to learn from Dustin. I would recommend Dustin to anyone who wants to learn how play the saxophone. J.C.
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Matt M. March 20, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Don't let the saxophone fool you, Dustin is a top notch voice coach. He has been a professional musician his whole life so he has a deep rooted understanding of music theory. He seems to be a natural teacher too, who is dedicated to helping his students learn and grow. He was able to figure out where I was at quickly and start at my level. Highly recommended!!
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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 alive. *** 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 ...

Reviews

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NICOLE M. May 12, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
I have little time in Nashville because my parents moved to the US, my first language is Spanish. Therefore Leandria has been very patient with me. Thanks
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Yaseny A. March 27, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Leandria is very patient and breaks down the information in a way that my daughter understands which has helped her keep a steady progress.
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Denzyl R. November 14, 2014
Verified Student
Leandra is an a amazing teacher she has many different teaching style, and as well she is very patient with her student. I recommend Leandra if you really want to play the violin well Leandra is the person you should have as a teacher.
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Steve S.

Nashville, TN

I know, I know - there is no shortage of guitar players and teachers in Nashville, but often times the key to getting a student to learn is getting them connected with the right teacher. Just because someone is a great player doesn't make them a great teacher, and vice versa. If you or your child is interested in learning guitar, I just might be the right fit.

About Steve

Prior to moving to Nashville, I spent years as an instructor at the Newburgh Performing Arts Academy in Newburgh, NY, servicing not only students from the struggling local community, but also those traveling up to 40 minutes to see me for their weekly lesson. I began teaching group lessons, expanded to individual lessons, and my youthful, energetic personality soon had me handling upwards of 35 students per week spanning ages 6 to 45, ranging in abilities from "never touched an instrument before" to "starting to compose and perform original music," and including some children with special needs. My time at NPAA gave me great experience teaching students of all ages, abilities, and musical interests. Whether the student was just beginning, more advanced, interested in classical, ...

Reviews

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Joe H. March 25, 2015
Songwriting · In studio
Steve has an excellent balance between a structured approach to songwriting and a spontaneous creative spark. Steve has the tools to convey the structure and inspire a similar spark in his students. He is a very gifted pianist as well. Highly recommended!
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Ben B. March 11, 2015
Piano · In studio
Steve helped me learn Piano and eventually better my overall musicianship. Great Guy and a Great Teacher, I'd recommend him to anyone.
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Vince T. March 11, 2015
Piano · In studio
Steve is a natural musician and his music flows best through the piano. He teaches more than just proper technique and how to read music, but also how to become a serious player with a core understanding of music theory and soul.

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A wise man once said, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." Wait, that was Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf... But he does have a good point! One of the most fun ways to celebrate the holiday season is with music! With so much Chrismas music online, it can be hard to know where to start. In the spirit of the season, we're giving you this guide to our favorite Christmas song chords for guitar. Whether you're a beginner just learning guitar chords or a pro br … Read More
Play 10 Christmas Songs Using 4 Easy Chords
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