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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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Jordan R.

Nashville, TN

All levels of electric guitar techniques including chord vocabulary and power chords, fretboard memorization, movable bar chords, scales and lead guitar techniques, alternate picking, economy picking, sweep picking, ear training, techniques for both clean and distorted rock guitar, funk strumming, jazz accompaniment, jazz lead lines, country lead techniques, and more.

About Jordan

I received my education at the University of Wisconsin, majoring in Jazz Guitar. I've studied with some of the best guitarists in the Midwest, and have performed live and in recording studios all across the country in a variety of styles (Rock, Metal, Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, Country). I've performed internationally, and my playing has been featured on several prime time television shows. I've always had a love of music, and it’s a passion that I try to instill in all of my students!

Through focus on note reading, chords, improvisation, and technique, I try to give my students tools that
they can take with them throughout their musical journey, whether playing music for fun or professionally!

*** Lesson Details ***
I like to be laid back and very individual with my approach. I always introduce a curriculum designed to teach basic chords, note reading, and basic theory, but I also understand that each student has a particular set of interests, and I want to inspire them to follow those interests. Whether it's Rock, Blues, Country, Folk, or Classical, I want to give my students the tools and understanding that they need to excel at the music that drives them.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect my students to have everything that they need to practice the materials that I give them, including an instrument, amplifier and tuner if necessary, and a music stand. I provide all lesson materials.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in rock, country, metal, blues, and jazz with an emphasis on theory and technique.
...

Reviews

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Caleb B. January 3, 2016
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Jordan was a very excellent teacher. He was very well spoken and very patient. Jordan brought humor into his teachings and it was well appreciated. I look forward to the next lesson.
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Joshua B. January 3, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Jordan was kind and knowledgable. He has a true passion for teaching!
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Ellie A. December 2, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
My daughter had a great first lesson with Jordan. She really liked his teaching style, how he taught her step by step. She is looking forward to next week!
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Jordan R.

Jordan R.

Nashville, TN 37211
(10)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Evan C.

Nashville, TN

Comprehensive study of music

About Evan

Born and raised in New Jersey, Evan Michael Coniglio was surrounded by music from a young age. His father, Salvatore Coniglio, a talented guitarist dreamed that each of his children would learn a different instrument. After Evan’s eldest brother claimed the guitar, Evan reluctantly picked up the bass at the age of 13. At first, Evan was not happy: It was heavy, and it hurt his fingers. But Evan quickly learned to love the power the bass had over the bandstand and after a few lessons, it was clear that the instrument fit him like a glove.

He soon began to perform with high school rock bands
, sneaking into local bars and clubs for weekend gigs. A newfound appreciation for upright bass led Evan to start his own trio, sparking a love of R&B and Jazz music that thrives in him to this day. Late in his high school career, he began to set his eye on top music schools, hoping to pursue his craft professionally. He wanted to play with the best, learn from the best and become the best.

In 2007 he was invited to attend Berklee College of Music, an opportunity he would not take for granted. Boston was a whole new world for Evan and he quickly began joining up-and-coming artists for live and studio sessions. His initial efforts paid off in 2009 as he was selected to perform in the American Songbook Concert featuring Burt Bacharach and Grammy award-winning singer Paula Cole.

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
He soon began to perform with high school rock bands, sneaking into local bars and clubs for weekend gigs. A new-found appreciation for upright bass led Evan to start his own trio, sparking a love of R&B and Jazz music that thrives in him to this day. Late in his high school career, he began to set his eye on top music schools, hoping to pursue his craft professionally. He wanted to play with the best, learn from the best and become the best.

In 2007 he was invited to attend Berklee College of Music, an opportunity he would not take for granted. Boston was a whole new world for Evan and he quickly began joining up-and-coming artists for live and studio sessions. His initial efforts paid off in 2009 as he was selected to perform in the American Songbook Concert featuring Burt Bacharach and Grammy award-winning singer Paula Cole.

Evan graduated from Berklee in 2011 and has split the last several years between studio gigs and touring with renown international acts. Currently, Evan works as the live and studio bassist for Jazz/Pop vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, the touring bassist for Country singer Nicole Frechette, and as the bassist for Boston-based R&B group Biscuits & Gravy.

In the last year alone, Evan has worked with executive producers Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton and recorded a live session documentary at Capitol Records featuring Herbie Hancock. Evan will spend the Summer of 2013 on an international tour with Nikki Yanofsky before returning to Boston, Massachusetts where he currently resides.

*** 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
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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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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 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
$30 / 30-min

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