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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!

About Jessica L.

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Nashville, TN
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I teach beginner to intermediate guitar. We will create a lesson plan based on your goals and interests.

About Jessica
The most important part of lessons with me is having fun! I am a nationally touring singer songwriter and I specialize in teaching kids and adults of all ages guitar, piano, voice and songwriting. I also have experience with very young children in a preschool and music therapy environment.

I teach guitar, piano, voice and songwriting with the intention of enabling students to create their own songs and performances whether it be to pursue a professional career as a musician or as a creative hobby.

I have years of experience teaching beginner to intermediate students. I have worked wi
th children as young as three up to adults. Whether you're just starting out or you are an expert that would like to write or perfect your own songs we will make a fun and original lesson plan just for you!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have an acoustic guitar I could provide.

*** Specialties ***
Singer/Songwriter, Musical Theater, Pop/Rock, Acoustic
...
Reviews
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Sienna P. October 3, 2016
Verified Student · Singing · In home
Jessica has a wonderful personality and was very good with my 10 year old daughter. She made the lesson educational and fun.
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Bailey August 28, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Patient.
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Talluah W. August 25, 2016
Verified Student · Singing · In home
Jessica is wonderful! My 6 yr old daughter loves her, and she is progressing very nicely after 6 weekly lessons. Jess comes in prepared every week with something new and fun for my daughter. I would definitely recommend her!
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Jessica L.

Jessica L.

Nashville, TN 37206
(14)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Evan C.

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Nashville, TN

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Comprehensive study of music

About Evan
Evan graduated from Berklee in 2011 and Evan has split the last several years between studio gigs and touring with renown international acts. Evan has worked as the live and studio bassist for Jazz/Pop vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, the touring bassist for Country singer Nicole Frechette, the bassist and songwriter for R&B group Biscuits & Gravy, and tours with Virtuoso Guitarist Johnny A.

In 2013 Evan worked with executive producer Quincy Jones and recorded a live session documentary at Capitol Records Evan will spend the Summer on an international tour with Nikki Yanofsky.

Throughout 2014-
15 He has been the bassist for Johnny A. Touring Nationally and Internationally with the highly acclaimed guitarist.

He currently resides in Nashville, TN

*** Studio Equipment ***
Drum Set
Guitars
Keyboards
Basses
Amps
Studio Gear

*** Travel Equipment ***
Whatever I need to bring I will

*** Specialties ***
Funk, Jazz, Rock, R&B, Pop, ect
...
Reviews
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Billy May 24, 2016
· ·
Evan was a great Bass teacher. I had fun every lesson and got significantly better at the instrument.
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Scott May 24, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In home
Extremely knowledgeable, patient and makes learning the bass fun and easy.
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Drew May 17, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Evan is an amazing teacher and made the process really fun!
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Evan C.

Evan C.

Nashville, TN 37204
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Caleb E.

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Nashville, TN
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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.
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Reviews
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Corinne W. March 1, 2017
Verified Student · Mandolin · Online
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Chris February 1, 2017
· Mandolin · Online
I really enjoy working with Caleb. I am currently learning bluegrass mandolin and have made a great deal of progress with his guidance. As a piano player, it was important for me to find a strong musician who could help me translate between the to. He works to make sure we are working on things of interest.....if you got the drive, he can help you find your voice on the instrument.
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shannon January 10, 2017
Verified Student · Banjo · Online
Caleb is a talented musician and an excellent teacher. He has great patience and does a nice job of communicating with beginner, intermediate and advanced musicians. He finds a nice balance of challenging students and knowing when to pull back and work on fundamentals and he keeps the process fun and interesting. I would definitely recommend Caleb.
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Caleb E.

Caleb E.

Nashville, TN 37211
(26)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Mallory B.

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Hermitage, TN

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I excel at teaching young people how to navigate the guitar using single notes, chords etc. I will teach you how to read music as well as how to use chords to cover your favorite songs or even write some of your own!

About Mallory
My name is Mallory and I just recently moved to Nashville from Los Angeles. I had a roster there of 55 private students of all ages and levels. I am immediately available and I have extensive experience instructing at summer camps, musical theatre, contemporary vocals, songwriting workshops etc. For Private Lessons, I teach a combination of a classical and contemporary approach in all mediums: Piano, Voice, Guitar, Songwriting, Acting, Musical Theater, Audition Prep, Shakespeare etc. Teaching is a passion and a joy so if you're looking for a teacher who cares and will tailor each lesson to the
individual student, look no further!
...
Reviews
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William March 17, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Very patient and helpful!
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Kate M. March 3, 2017
Verified Student · Singing · Online
Mallory is a doll. I learned alot and she kept me motivated instead of ashamed. Wonderful teacher.
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Kenny March 3, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Great teacher and did excellent work with my daughter
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Mallory B.

Mallory B.

Nashville, TN 37203
(7)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Bucky B.

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Nashville, TN

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I am excited about meeting new students of the guitar and would like to share my guitar knowledge with you. Whether you have never picked up a guitar and want to learn basic acoustic strumming, stretching the strings to get the sound of a soulful blues guitar, or all the way to blistering Rock solos or even Jazz improvisation, I will help you obtain and exceed your goals. I have played professionally since I was 15 years old. I am the blend of studio work, live gigs with the masters, and quite frankly, have so much on the job training that my credentials are found in my work itself. I'd like to pass on my knowledge to those who possess the passion in their gut to learn the guitar as much as I have had all my life. I am qualified to teach this beautiful instrument to anyone who wants to learn from an authentic player of all genres of music.

About Bucky
My name is Bucky Barrett and have played professionally since I was 15 years old. I taught guitar for several years and became very busy with recording and touring. My education has been on the job training. As I am no longer traveling, I am excited about meeting new students of the guitar and would like to share my guitar knowledge with you. Whether you have never picked up a guitar and want to learn basic acoustic strumming, stretching the strings for the sound of a soulful blues guitar, or all the way to blistering Rock solos or even Jazz improvisation, I will help you obtain and exceed y
our goals. My passion for playing was nurtured, enhanced and genuinely inspired by the great Blues, Rock and Jazz players. Muddy Waters shared his God given gifts by being patient with me to share his soulful licks. Elmore James taught me techniques on slide guitar only the masters were using from deep Mississippi. My experience working with the legendary Neil Young actually blessed me with my first gold record. I've simply traveled the world fortuitously and unexpectedly meeting and learning from Rock and Blues Masters, Jazz greats, award winning artists and authentic, studied masters. I am the blend of studio work, live gigs with the masters, and quite frankly, have so much on the job training that my credentials are found in my work itself. I'd like to pass on my knowledge to those who possess the passion in their gut to learn the guitar much as I have had all my life. I am qualified to teach this beautiful instrument to anyone who wants to learn from an authentic player of all genres of music.
...
Reviews
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Carol March 18, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
He makes it so easy! Very intuitive and I would recommend him to any level student.
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Johnny March 6, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Bucky has forgotten more guitar than most players will ever know! This guy took me to a different level in the first 5 minutes of the lesson. I've been playing professionally for 22 years. When you have a guitar teacher that recorded with Lenny Breau, Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison, Marcel Dadi, Neil Young, Larry Coryell, Ray Charles, Steve Morse, Albert Lee, Buddy Emmons, Hank Garland and Nokie Edwards of the Ventures just to name a very few, what can you expect! Amazing player and teacher!!!
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Billie Kay March 3, 2017
· Guitar · In home
I have played professionally for 5 years and decided to up my game on guitar. I was referred to Bucky and not only has he turned my playing around, he has helped me become an original instead of a copycat! Bucky has taken me to greater heights not only on guitar, but with my singing and phrasing. To be yourself is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn! I thank Bucky Barrett for that!!!
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Bucky B.

Bucky B.

Nashville, TN 37206
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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7 Female Guitarists to Watch in 2015
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