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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!

Profile_82581_pi_2015-10-01%2022.08.27

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
Profile_69900_pi_James%20Walsh%20plays

James W.

Hendersonville, TN

Theory, Harmony, Fretboard Mastery, all aspects of guitar and related equipment. Fingerstyle, Lead guitar, Composing and writing songs for Pop, Rock, Jazz, and Country Genres. "Get it under your fingers fast the G.I.T. way." Integrated approach so you can sing, play, and strum with ease. Songwriting for today's styles.

About James

I worked for Eddie Van Halen for five years in the 1990's in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles and was instrumental in providing help with development of the Peavey Wolfgang and Wolfgang Special Guitar by providing feedback on the prototypes Eddie was designing at the time. I learned a lot from Eddie and his brother Alex about music and the music industry. (All you have to do is pay attention! ) I have played in bands from Hollywood to Toronto and back both as a singer songwriter and guitarist. I bring the Musicians Institute way to the table and get things up and running quickly. I help s
tudents get it under their fingers fast and get it right the first time.

I believe in sharing the happiness of making music with anyone who loves music and the guitar in particular. I do my very best to get you playing the songs you love in Pop, Rock, Jazz and Folk Music of your choice. Today's modern new guitars are easy to play and you will enjoy learning Guitar right away. That is how it should be.
When you study there is a basic understanding of Guitar to be learned that allows an ease of use for anyone for years to come. This will help you reach your goal and improve each week. My students learn to practice in a way that feels comfortable and makes sense. This takes all the stress out of learning and gives everyone something to smile about and look forward to each week.

The good feeling of playing along with friends and taking a solo is within every students grasp. I will show you the way there. And with a solid and straightforward approach to the theory as it applies directly to the guitar you will feel confident and unafraid of any music endeavor. We'll cover harmony and fingerboard theory and give you a road map of the guitar neck that makes it a pleasure to play. You learn the basics and much more than you thought possible retaining 90 percent of what you learn!

Having been a student myself I was deeply involved in music since age 12 and played in bands and duos for over 15 years . I can help you to be a well rounded player and performer with a smile, a laugh and a joy for music whether your in a band or a budding solo artist.

*** Lesson Details ***
Most students want to play the Guitar to play their favorite songs and I'm the same way. Music is something we carry with us in our hearts and minds. Students will learn what they wish to learn and work at a pace that is comfortable to them. Whether you are a student, “weekend warrior” or a parent whose child has expressed an interest in Guitar anyone can learn all there is to know about Harmony and Theory for the Guitar and how to play their favorite songs.

We cover theory in an easy and straightforward no nonsense way in the first half of each lesson and then apply it to the song you wish to learn. This creates an atmosphere where you understand and feel at home with the Guitar. You get an understanding right away and because it is immediately fun it allows you to feel comfortable at any level. Music is fun, and songs are the creative expression of what we feel. Combining theory and the freedom to play and sing songs allows us to express ourselves through music. 
After 6 months students will have a solid foundation in theory, and a road map of the guitar fretboard enabling them to advance to an intermediate level if they are ready to do so. Students will know enough that music as it relates to the Guitar, which is the world’s most popular instrument in contemporary music, is not a mystery but is a welcome friend. And they will be able to play songs by popular artists and advance at a pace that is satisfying and enjoyable.
----------------------------

Student Comments:
What Students Are Saying About ~ James Teaching Style

“James’ patience, knowledge and under-standing made learning guitar fun. I like the lessons. He cares.”
--Rebecca L., guitar
student, Venice Beach, CA 2003

“James taught me to
play pop and rock, and
introduced me to
fingerstyle guitar. I love it!”
--Joseph E., guitar student, Vancouver, BC 2006

“I studied guitar privately with James in 2010. His style of teaching helped me to get
past my blocks. He opened new doors for me. Thanks!”
--Daniel S., guitar
student, Los Angeles, CA 2010
-----------------------------------
What James spouse says about working on songwriting with him:

"James is my husband for over 10 years now. Over the years, I have seen James give guidance and counsel to many hopeful musicians of all ages, and inspire others about how music influences and benefits our lives. I would highly recommend James to anyone who wants to learn guitar, voice, music theory, and acting. James is a great talent, and study with him would benefit anyone with the sincere desire to grow as an artist. When we married, I had fallen in love with James’ conversational style, and his vast knowledge of music. When I heard him play guitar, I knew that I wanted to write songs with him, and we released our first album, in 2012 on iTunes."

Regards,
Keri W.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Ovation Glen Campbell Artist Acoustic Electric Guitar, Ovation Pacemaker 12 string Guitar, Ibanez PF 5 Acoustic Electric Guitar, Fender Telecaster 6 string Electric Guitar. Korg Mini Pandora III Amplifier/Studio EFX, Toshiba Laptop Satelite Pro with PreSonus Studio One Artist Software, PreSonusUSB Audiobox, HD7 Studio Monitor Headphones, M7 Condenser Mic, PreSonus Studio Producer software with SoundCloud integration, iBook G4 with Garageband 3 and iLife Studio. Godin Summit CT Electric Guitar is the guitar I now endorse exclusively !

*** Travel Equipment ***
Lesson Plans, Godin Summit CT Guitar, Fender and Ovation Guitars, Tuner, Android Smartphone and apps, iPads, Korg Mini Pandora Amp, Toshiba Satelite Pro Laptop. Android LG Smartphone with Tuners, Voice Recorder, and Metronome and Chord Reference Guide, and Guitar Tuner, iPod Touch Pro Studio.

*** Specialties ***
Songs in the following styles: Pop, Rock and Modern Country Music. Also Composition Analysis while learning the song.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Paula May 20, 2016
Vocal Training · Online
Excellent exercises, songs, and conversations. Also. al lot of information sent about how to improve. Couldn't be much better.
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Karen May 13, 2016
Speaking Voice · Online
Verified Student
I enjoyed my lesson so much I increased the frequency so I can learn faster. I already see changes based on the techniques discussed in the lesson a few days ago.
Silhouette-80
Karen May 10, 2016
Speaking Voice · Online
Verified Student
I enjoyed my lesson so much I increased the frequency so I can learn faster. I already see changes based on the techniques discussed in the lesson a few days ago.
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James W.

James W.

Hendersonville, TN 37075
(22)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_69525_pi_IMG_5498

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

Silhouette-80
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!
Silhouette-80
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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Tommy F.

Nashville, TN

From beginners who are just learning how to form chords to experts learning modal interchanges, I gladly take all students of any skill.

About Tommy

Tommy is the owner and founder of Treble Makers Guitar Lessons. His approach to teaching is an innovative, interactive, and fun, way to learn guitar. Tommy is a young professional musician with years of experience and is eager to share his knowledge. He teaches the songs that YOU want to learn. From beginners who are just learning how to form chords to experts learning modal interchanges, he gladly takes all student of any age. To Tommy you aren't just another student, you are the next great musician!
...

Reviews

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Lucy January 28, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Tommy was great. He knows how to make lessons fun for a 10 and 8 year old. They're really looking forward to their second lesson.
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Tommy F.

Tommy F.

Nashville, TN 37206
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
Profile_59968_pi_1011464_757155990963766_2107109802_n

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

Silhouette-80
Macey M. April 19, 2016
Mandolin · Online
Verified Student
Caleb is great! He is very talented and an AWESOME instructor!!!!
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Josh S. April 13, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Caleb so far has been a great teacher. He takes time to really explain everything, is friendly, and a fun guy to learn with! Would recommend for sure.
Silhouette-80
Bob April 13, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Excellent knowledge and good instructor.
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Caleb E.

Caleb E.

Nashville, TN 37211
(16)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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