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Check out some of our most popular teachers near Portland including Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Gladstone and Marylhurst.

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The Guitar Scene in Portland

By David H. - Portland Guitar Teacher

Portland is a great city for music. Whether you are just getting started taking guitar lessons in Portland or are a seasoned pro, the independent music scene is growing rapidly and people are moving from all over the world to take part in the music scene here. There are almost unlimited small venues for music as well as large venues to play. The best way to get into the scene here is to attend a few open mic nights, which you can find online or in papers like the Willamette Week. You will have the opportunity to sign up and then play for a small period of time. The purpose of these open mic nights is to get comfortable playing on stage and making connections with other people in the music scene. You shouldn’t be worried about starting at the bottom. You can then move up to playing shows at larger venues.

Social media is also a great way to see what’s going on in the music scene. You can see who knows who, and get a list of venues for acts that are similar to you. Then can then start approaching these venues and see what it would take to book a show there. You can also network with acts that you might fit well on a bill with. Get a demo recording of your music online and start adding people, then pay attention to what comments they leave and which songs get played and how much. You can use companies like CDbaby to get your music on iTunes and Amazon MP3 so people who are interested in your music can purchase it. Even if sales are low at first, having your music available for sale is a very important step on many levels.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you begin your musical journey taking guitar lessons in Portland!

About Chuck M.

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Portland, OR

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My primary goal as a teacher is to present musical material in a way that keeps students excited about what they are learning. Even with absolute beginners, I will have a student playing actual songs that they are interested in as quickly as possible. Along with way I include fundamentals such as scales, strength-building exercises, rudiments of theory, and ear training.
I also use interactive music websites to introduce students to concepts of music theory.

About Chuck
Chuck moved to Portland, Oregon from Gainesville, Florida, where he was a prominent member of the music teaching and performing community for more than 25 years. Originally from Chicago, Chuck completed his BA in Music History and Masters of Music (MM) at the University of Florida. Chuck became obsessed with The Beatles when he began piano lessons at age 12. His first attempt at composing was actually improvising melodies over the ending chords to "Hey Jude". Along with playing Beatles tunes Chuck learned classic standards from a set of Reader's Digest Songbooks inherited from his grandmo
ther.

Chuck has performed with classic rock, top 40, funk, R&B, and jazz groups, and has served as an opening act for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and legendary Texas bluesman Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. As a soloist he's played classical music, blues, jazz, and original compositions. Before devoting himself to music full time, he worked for 8 years as a radio announcer on WUFT-FM Gainesville hosting shows such as "Nothing but the Blues", "Montage" (acoustic jazz), and "Musica Antiqua" (Renaissance and Medieval).

Chuck has taught students of all ages and skill levels in piano, guitar, organ, flute, digital keyboards, recorder, and ukulele. He's also a multi-faceted composer whose instrumental pieces are infused with elements of classical, blues, and jazz styles.

Chuck's teaching philosophy: "In my 25 years of teaching I’ve found that everyone learns in different ways and at different rates of progress, so each of my students is treated as a unique individual. I try to get to know my students in the first few lessons so I can be more sensitive to their personalities. This helps me choose the best teaching approach for them. From the very first lesson I create a relaxed setting so students feel no apprehension, especially when trying something new. This allows them to feel free to take chances and experience playing music as something enjoyable, not a life or death situation! The biggest measure of my effectiveness as a teacher is when my students embrace new challenges and the opportunity to improve".

*** Lesson Details ***
My primary goal as a teacher is to present musical material in a way that keeps students excited about what they are learning. Even with absolute beginners, I will have a student playing actual songs that they are interested in as quickly as possible. Along the way I include fundamentals such as scales, strength-building exercises, rudiments of theory, and ear training. Some of the method books I use include the Alfred and Faber and Faber series, and Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist, among many others. These materials are always supplemented with arrangements and transcriptions of popular songs and classical pieces, along with original exercises designed to teach specific styles and techniques. I also use interactive music websites to introduce students to concepts of music theory. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. As students progress in their creativity, I also introduce them to composition and improvisation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Kawai K50 upright piano, music playback devices, Hammond C3 organ, multiple keyboards/synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers, computer recording equipment; parents are encouraged to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I don't provide any specific equipment. Piano students should have either a well-tuned piano or full-sized weighted-key digital keyboard (Casio Privia, for example). Guitar students should have a well set up electric or acoustic guitar and an amplifier (for an electric guitar).

*** Specialties ***
I teach students of all ages and skill levels. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. I also teacher recording techniques using computer software including Ableton Live, Reason, and Pro Tools.
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Reviews
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Jasper W. April 21, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great teacher. Patient and I could see my progress
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JIA Z. February 12, 2014
· Piano ·
Mr. Michaelson is the best teacher I've met at Portland.

I do appreciate Chuck for his professional piano lessons and kind. My son enjoyed his lessons sooooooo much and, loves piano more from then on. He is really a great musician and responsible teacher I've ever met at Portland. His patience and style of teaching are sunshine to my son's piano life.
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lulu M. November 5, 2013
· Ukulele ·
Great music teacher!

I've been taking ukulele lessons with Chuck for over a year now. I am always impressed with his musical knowledge and appreciate the way he goes beyond the songs and also teachers me musical notation, chord progressions, and more. My lessons are always fun, with just the right amount of challenge to keep my skill development moving forward. Thanks, Chuck!
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Chuck M.

Chuck M.

Portland, OR 97212
(9)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Peter Q.

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Portland, OR

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Acoustic guitar, Jazz Guitar, Singer-Songwriter guitar. All the guitar you want to learn!

About Peter
I'm a multi-instrumentalist from the Northwest with lots of love for teaching people to groove. I got my bachelor's degree in music from Whitman College with an emphasis in Jazz Performance. I can teach anyone to rock, swing or get unreasonably funky. Lessons can be casual or serious and I'm down to tell you how to get to Carnegie Hall or onto the stage at the local jam.

*** Lesson Details ***
I like to teach my students what they want to learn! I'm always game for setting up a fun path to being able to play your favorite songs as fast as possible. I don't scold or shame and having a blast
is the name of my game. I can teach you to improvise, read music, become a strummer or virtuoso, it's all up to you.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the basement studio, piano, guitars, amps, hand drums, a bass, woodwinds, FULL DRUM SET!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can travel with a sax, flute, guitar, electric bass, and a didgeridoo....

*** Specialties ***
I'm a jazz musician! But I listen to and perform all styles of music. I have written string quartets, been the front man for a funk band, and recorded every style of music under the sun. I can teach Bach and the Beatles and explain how/ and why they intersect and are similar musically.
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Reviews
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Paul May 23, 2017
· ·
An excellent teacher. He is kind patient and imaginative
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Paul February 20, 2017
· ·
Versatile, skilled and patient
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Amy L. January 5, 2017
· Flute · Online
My daughter just had her first Flute lesson with Peter. She was very nervous but Peter totally made her feel at ease. She loved her lesson with Peter and how upbeat and full of energy he is along with his patience. Looking forward to many more lessons. Thank You.
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Peter Q.

Peter Q.

Portland, OR 97211
(9)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Lisa N.

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Beaverton, OR

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Students will learn how to read chord charts and notes and play their favorite song along with a drum machine or karaoke.

About Lisa
Hello:
I have been a guitar and voice instructor for over 15 years, and a piano teacher for 6, my piano program is the most popular. I am able to get you playing in no time. I have also tutored elementary students and worked for Montessori's for many years. I really love this job! I also teach beginning violin.

I had a real hard time learning guitar when I was growing up because of an accident to my left arm, but I wanted to play so much that I was able to overcome it. Because of this, I think I have learned to be a very patient teacher. I see students who get frustrated and think that it'
s too hard to play the guitar or piano, but I promise you, my program is fun and simple. I can show you the steps to success. I have taught over 1000 students in a variety of cities from Minneapolis Minnesota, to Los Angeles California, and now Portland Oregon. This is what I do. It is all I do. I have individually taught over 28,000 lessons total, so I have dealt with every kind of person including those with disabilities. I have taught every age from 5-70. I am also a performer, and I own my own music publishing company through ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers). I currently teach Piano to level 4, so if you are a beginner, you will love my new program. Music is my life, I can help you make your dream of playing a musical instrument come true, even in a few short lessons. You can do it! I prefer to have serious students and would like to audition you before setting you in a schedule as I have many students waiting. Therefore I now choose which ones I feel will be a good fit. This benefits you as well, as I want you to be happy with your lessons. I have worked for Take Lessons a long time and have a good track record.

* I hold recitals twice a year in May and November. Check out my videos.

*** Lesson Details ***
The thing I have learned over the years teaching guitar, piano or voice, is that everyone learns differently. I have taught in family situations where there are two or three siblings learning at the same time, but each sibling learned the skills that are unique to them. Some students are better at playing rhythm, some students are better at lead, some students are better with barre chords. As long as you are enjoying playing the guitar, you will be able to grow in every area at your own pace. Music should be a fun and rewarding experience. My lessons usually include songs that you like to play and are at your level of playing ability. We can play as a band too. When you are ready, I love to bring out the drum machine while you play guitar and I play the bass notes, giving you the feel of a live group situation that can make learning at your lesson more fun. But if that's not for you, we can just play guitar together too, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable is how you will be able to learn the best. Tell me what you need I am always here to help you.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Amplifiers, Chords, Microphones, Guitars, Piano,violins

Private Cancellation Policy
Effective 1/1/2014, all lessons scheduled with Lisa N., Take Lessons instructor for piano, guitar, bass, and voice, will now have new reschedule and cancellation requirements. These requirements are that no lessons may be cancelled, only rescheduled. If students miss a lesson due to sickness, vacation, traffic, or emergency, the student will have the lesson marked as missed, but will be allowed to make up the lesson within the month. The student must make up the lesson on a Saturday, unless other times are available for reschedule throughout the week. Check with the instructor for flexibility in scheduling, as every effort will be made to accommodate the situation. There will no longer be a 24 hour cancellation policy as all lessons will be marked missed. The teacher will give the same consideration due to emergencies, sickness, and or classes, and if a student shows up at the studio and a lesson cannot be given by the teacher for any reason, the student will not be charged.
Thanks Sincerely Lisa N.
Take Lessons Instructor

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.Beginning to intermediate Guitar Voice and Bass lessons, beginning Piano.
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Reviews
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Leila May 16, 2017
· Singing · In home
Lisa was wonderful with my daughter who is so shy and was so nervous. Lisa made her feel comfortable and more confident.
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Mady C. May 11, 2017
· Piano · In home
My 11 yr old daughter has only had one lesson thus far but I am so impressed. Lisa was so nice and positive and really got to work fast with my daughter and had her playing simple songs on the first day! Quite a surprise to me! She came home to practice more and was so excited about being able to take lessons, which is not a regular occurrence for her. I am usually trying to get her to do things but Lisa showed her quickly how capable she was and how fun it could be.
Thank you Lisa!
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Liberty F. March 10, 2017
· Piano · In home
She was great! Very patient and a great teacher. My daughter is excited to have direction and focus.
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Lisa N.

Lisa N.

Beaverton, OR 97007
(23)
starting at
$27 / 30-min

About Karen W.

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Portland, OR

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Experienced guitar teacher available for eager beginning students of all ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of musical skills. I taught myself to play guitar in high school, so just know the basics. I played keyboards, my main instrument, in several rock bands, so know some blues and rock riffs that could transfer well to guitar. I enjoy helping people to find the fun in playing guitar!

About Karen
I have a BA in Psychology, and an MA in Parapsychology. I studied Architecture for 3 years, and Music Education for two years. I was a National Merit Semifinalist in High School for good SAT scores, and in the Honors Society in High School and College. I play piano, percussion, flute, cello, guitar, bass, cornet and glockenspiel, and teach music lessons. I enjoy playing duets with my students, sharing the fun of making music with them. I do macrame', draw and paint, and am certified as a Reiki Master. I always loved school, and enjoy helping other people to learn. My Dad is my role model, sin
ce he was a calm, patient tutor for me - I try to live up to his example in my own teaching work.
I like to work with my students in a learning partnership, letting them work at their own pace with my encouragement and support.
I love to teach, and can help you love to learn!

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are usually 30 or 60 minutes, once a week.
I can be flexible, if your needs differ.
I can also arrange more evening times at 5:00 or later,
if the times on my availability list don't work for you.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room with electric piano, electric guitar, percussion instruments, and seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
Piano students should have a touch-sensitive piano/keyboard in their home.
All other music students should either own or rent their instrument.
Everyone should bring their assignment notebook and their lesson books to lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I play Rock, Blues, Jazz and Classical styles.
The Faber method books are my favorite.
I have the most tutoring experience with Math and Statistics.
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Reviews
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Maria L. June 20, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Karen is not only a gifted teacher but an excellent listener and has an extremely easy going personality. This was my third lesson and I already "feel the love."
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Ethan P. July 13, 2015
· Piano · In home
My son was thrilled with Karen and so was I...she will be a great fit!
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Malini R. July 2, 2015
· Piano · In home
Karen was a wonderful teacher to my 6 year old! She was very calm, attentive and flexible with my daughter's learning needs. She was able to start my daughter off on the right foot with love of piano, having her play short songs and duets, learn notes and reading music. We moved but are grateful to have had her as a teacher.
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Karen W.

Karen W.

Portland, OR 97206
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Doug F.

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Portland, OR
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About Doug
Do you want to play your favorite songs without having to take the time to go through every little step of learning the instrument?

After teaching for 6 years and playing for over 10, I've learned that the traditional teaching method is not only overwhelming, but it's the main reason people end up quitting!

Going straight to playing songs that you love is a more exciting way to learn. And when you're truly enjoying every step of learning the guitar, your skills will accelerate rapidly.

I'll show you the shortcut to playing your favorite songs - with way less effort.

With properl
y set goals, I'll guide you through it in a way that keeps you entertained and excited to play.

You'll get better every time you play, instead of spending your time memorizing a bunch of stuff that "all musicians need to know".

_______________________________________________________________________

If you've already gotten this far, you probably have a pretty strong interest in learning guitar - and that's truly all you need to do play.

Being able to play music freely is beyond an amazing experience. Let's make sure the learning experience is just as great, so that you get there.
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Reviews
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Robert April 7, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
my first lesson ever. well done.
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Olivia February 25, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My daughter loved it and thought the instructor was patient and laid back. She loved that he picked out some of her music to practice with.
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bryan February 9, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Great guy, awesome teacher and very good with kids as well. Highly recommend Doug if you are planning to learn an instrument.
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Doug F.

Doug F.

Portland, OR 97215
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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Recent Guitar Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Guitar articles on our blog.

Play Thousands of Songs Using these Guitar Chord Progressions

Play Thousands of Songs Using these Guitar Chord Progressions

If you've spent much time on YouTube, you're probably familiar with the Axis of Awesome. For the uninitiated, the Axis of Awesome performs snippets of almost 50 songs in under 6 minutes using the same 4 chord progression. The video is super fun, and it creatively shows off an open secret that professional musicians have known about for decades. Essentially, most popular songs are based on just a handful of guitar chord progressions. Sometimes the chords are modified (adding a 7th or 9th for e … Read More

Play Thousands of Songs Using these Guitar Chord Progressions
If you've spent much time on YouTube, you're probably familiar with the Axis of Awesome. For the uninitiated, the Axis of Awesome performs snippets of almost 50 songs in under 6 minutes using the same 4 chord progression. The video is super fun, and it creatively shows off an open secret that professional musicians have known about for decades. Essentially, most popular songs are based on just a handful of guitar chord progressions. Sometimes the chords are modified (adding a 7th or 9th for e
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