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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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Cameron C.

Nashville, TN

About Cameron

I am a musician, teacher, and worship leader. I moved from Anaheim, CA 9 years ago to achieve a Bachelors Degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University and now resides in Nashville, TN.

Since 2004 I have gigged, recorded, and wrote/ co-wrote music in Nashville, TN. When I graduated in 2008 I went on the road for a couple years with an artist named Dave Hunt when I returned from the road I wasn't quite sure what to do next. I decided that I might enjoy teaching so for the last 4 years I have started small and built up my student base to around 30-35 students a week. I also teach high sch
ool music history and music theory at a home school tutorial and enrichment school in town.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach multiple styles (jazz, pop, rock, latin, country, bluegrass, and classical) on the instruments listed on my page and love to teach songs, technique, and music theory in my lessons. I also throw in, if asked for, note reading, and ear training by transcription of staff notation and the Nashville number system.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated lesson space.
- Amplifiers for electric guitar and bass.
- Electric guitar, 2 Acoustic guitars, Classical Guitar, Ukulele, and Mandolin
- Audio Technica AT4040, Pre-Sonus TubePre, M-Audio Mobile USB DAC, Apple Mac mini, Logic DAW, and M1 Active Alesis Studio Monitors for Audio Recording.
-M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 for Piano playing.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring all curriculum. I expect each student to own the respective instrument that they are wanting to learn.

*** Specialties ***
I like to blend a basis of music theory in with my song instruction, and I teach blues, jazz, country, rock, bluegrass, and latin styles of music. Since I have experience as a working musician, having been playing rock music in live settings for about 8 years and also jazz music for 6 years with 4 years of jazz study at Belmont University, I would say I have gathered a wide range of musical styles and specialize in all of them.
...

Reviews

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Carrie L. September 22, 2016
Ukulele · Online
Verified Student
Thumbs up
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Scott S. August 16, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I recently picked up guitar and have just concluded my 7th lesson with Cameron. He's done a great job at making the guitar fun and easy to understand. It is very clear that he is passionate about the instrument, and making sure that his students understand not only how to play certain songs but the theory behind them. It's been great having him as a teacher.
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Kara K. July 29, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
For years, I've wanted to play guitar and had picked up a very basic understanding of how to play along the way. Cameron quickly identified the things I knew and adapted each lesson to where my skill level was at. He was great at incorporating the things I wanted to know with the things I needed to know, and built my lessons from the meager understanding I already had. A great experience, all around. Highly recommended!
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Cameron C.

Cameron C.

Nashville, TN 37211
(4)
starting at
$17.75 / 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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Orlando P. November 17, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Met Elizabeth for the first time for my guitar lesson and never felt more relaxed and comfortable..she has a calmness about her and very knowledgeable..going forward looking ahead to more lessons and her professionalism
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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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Elizabeth L.

Elizabeth L.

Nashville, TN 37211
(5)
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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Karisma November 9, 2016
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Leandria has a very pleasant personality and a genuinely caring attitude. From start to finish, I was very pleased with the first lesson. She is a very knowledgeable teacher. I am excitedly looking forward to seeing great progress after this initial series of lessons!
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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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Leandria L.

Leandria L.

Nashville, TN 37217
(11)
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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Ashlie B. November 8, 2016
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
I had a terrible experience. He gave minimal guidance and when he told me that he would send me material to work on between classes he didn't send it. It took 3 weeks of me complaining to get 2 chords. Absolutely ridiculous. Please use an instructor that is older, more compassionate, responsible, and has more experience in playing and teaching.
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Melanie September 30, 2016
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
We have been very happy with the lessons that Caleb has given to our 6 yr old beginning Ukulele player. She is learning a few chords, is not overwhelmed, and most importantly for us, is enjoying practicing.
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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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Caleb E.

Caleb E.

Nashville, TN 37211
(21)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Rachel C.

Nashville, TN

I have taught guitar for 10 years and believe students should get to play what they want to play! Students are asked to come up with a list of songs and/or artists they would love to play. Through teaching chords, note reading and theory, the song possibilities are endless! I also can help the aspiring singer/guitar player to be able to both play and sing simultaneously.

About Rachel

Hello there! I'm Rachel C., a bass player and singer on the stage who also enjoys playing and teaching all stringed instruments. I have a degree from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) in Music Education. I've taught lessons for over 10 years and truly love working with eager students of all ages. It's never too early or too late to pick up an instrument and make music! I look forward to working with you!
...

Reviews

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Glenn December 1, 2016
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Rachael is excellent at recognizing my learning style and customizing her teaching method to best communicate key concepts to me.
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Anna M. July 28, 2016
Mandolin · Online
Verified Student
Fantastic lesson, will co ntinue.
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Ada G. May 10, 2016
Violin · Online
Verified Student
Excellent start, Rachel was very patient and helpful with my daughter's first lesson. Looking forward to her next lesson.
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Rachel C.

Rachel C.

Nashville, TN 37221
(21)
starting at
$24 / 30-min

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