Portland Guitar Lessons

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

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Chuck M.

Portland, OR

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 recently moved to Portland, Oregon from Gainesville, Florida, where he was a staple 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 grandmot
her.

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 with 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.
...

Reviews

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JIA Z. February 12, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
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
Verified Student
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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Heather B. April 29, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
skilled teacher

My teen has been taking lessons from Chuck for many months and has learned a lot from him. He is knowledgeable and skilled in guitar, always on time and willing to be understanding with our schedule conflicts. His studio is very attractive and professional, very comfortable and nice location. He is patient and obviously enjoys what he does! thanks Chuck!
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Chuck M.

Chuck M.

Portland, OR 97212
(8)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Peter M.

Portland, OR

Guitar has been my primary instrument since I began playing at age 12, and over the years I've worked with over 100 students ranging from children and beginners to advanced students preparing to study music in college. Whatever styles you happen to be interested in, I can help you play them accurately and have a great time doing it!

About Peter

I knew I wanted to be a professional guitar player from the first time I picked up an electric guitar over 14 years ago. I started taking private lessons as soon as I got my first guitar, and without the crucial guidance and encouragement I received early on I certainly would not be the guitarist I am today, and that old guitar might even be collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Since I began teaching 8 years ago my goal has been to provide that same encouragement to beginning students and to help them realize that no matter what their ambitions are, they can be achieved with enough practice
and they can have fun along the way!

When I started high school I realized there was a lot more to playing guitar than the hard rock and blues songs I had been learning up until then, so I enrolled in a music theory class, joined my school's jazz band and began taking classical guitar lessons at the University of Wyoming. After high school I accepted academic and music scholarships to attend the University of Oregon where I majored in Jazz Studies, and I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis on jazz arranging. While at UO I performed in student combos and my own rock band Just People as well as the award winning Oregon Jazz Ensemble. I also had the opportunity to perform with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and play several shows with Grammy-Award winning country artist Lynn Anderson.

This diverse experience allows me to help my students improve their technique and gain a deeper understanding of the guitar, regardless of the style(s) of music they are passionate about. I firmly believe that anyone can learn to play guitar and that lessons should be fun, whether your goal is to be able to sing your favorite song and strum a few chords or start your own band and take over the world!

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that lessons are most effective when they relate to your life and the music you love. I've talked to countless people who have told me "I used to play violin..." or "I played piano when I was younger...", and every time I ask them why they stopped I get a variation on the same answer: "I just didn't feel like practicing." My goal is for every student to look forward to their practice time, and to prevent it from falling into the 'chores' category next to taking out the trash and washing the dishes.

In order to make learning fun we'll start by learning songs that are meaningful to YOU. After becoming familiar with the basics like chords and strumming patterns, we'll dig a little deeper and look at the structure of the song and the fundamentals of music theory that went into composing it. After learning a few songs this way you'll gain not just a larger vocabulary of chords and rhythms, but also the tools to start writing your own music. From there we can develop a more concrete lesson plan based on your individual goals as a musician, whether you're interested in songwriting, improvising, advanced techniques or music theory.

In addition to practicing the material covered in each week's lesson I'll often give students small homework assignments, which can range from finding a musical example of a topic we're learning to writing their own chord progressions. I'm very relaxed and easy-going, but I expect students to come to each lesson prepared to work on new material after a quick review of the previous week's lesson.

After a few months of lessons each student will be able to comfortably play several songs from beginning to end, play basic major and minor scales, discuss the basic structural elements of songwriting (verse, chorus, etc) and tell all of their friends how much fun they're having learning to play guitar!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated teaching studio w/ guitars and amps. There is no waiting area for parents but they are welcome to sit in on lessons. Lots of street parking.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide a laptop, lesson-related handouts and staff paper. I expect the student to have their own instrument and basic equipment (picks, spare strings, etc)

*** Specialties ***
My college degree is in Jazz Studies with an emphasis on arranging, I specialize in teaching jazz guitar as well as classic rock, hard rock, fingerstyle acoustic and blues.
...

Reviews

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Kelley G. August 4, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have taken guitar lessons from Peter for a year and a half now, and I wholeheartedly recommend him to any child - or adult, like me - for the highest quality music lessons!

When I researched the TakeLessons website (and others), I looked for an instructor with a strong music background and saw that Peter had a degree in Jazz Studies and Composition from University of Oregon. He has been teaching for a number of years now, and can teach any style of music, including classical. He incorporates music theory into each lesson - very important if you want to learn how to play, improvise or write music. For those students who want to perform, Peter has lots of experience in that arena too, regularly touring with his band and teaming up with other musicians as well.

Peter's an enthusiastic teacher who takes his lessons seriously, and it is absolutely evident how much he loves music. He's exceedingly patient and supportive, and always gives plenty of positive feedback. He taught me how to practice properly, which doesn't mean playing a piece over and over, but rather breaking it down into sections - or even a measure or two - in order to perfect an awkward chord change or erratic rhythm. But perhaps most important is that he doesn't rush through the lesson; he makes certain you understand a technical point, or makes sure you're able to play a finger exercise correctly before he moves on to the next thing.

I've had numerous music instructors over the years in elementary, high school, college and beyond and Peter is without question one of the best teachers I've ever had. He's an incredible musician and a superb instructor. And a pretty terrific human being as well!
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david G. February 18, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
fun lessons!

Peter's a good teacher, smiling in the face of terrible, broken chords! The lessons are really enjoyable. Peter picks a suitable selection of music where each new piece builds on the past progress. I would recommend him to anyone.
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Peter M.

Peter M.

Portland, OR 97217
(2)
starting at
$22 / 30-min
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Kyle S.

Portland, OR

5 years of Collegiate Jazz Performance, 18 years of playing and performing, Studio Musician credit, three solo albums, employee of a Jazz Label PJCE Records.

About kyle

Hey!

My name is Kyle S. and I'm incredibly passionate about music education for all ages. Over twenty years of playing all instruments has taught me there is not one specific way to teach music, so I change my curriculum for every student and completely customize what you learn to how you learn, and what you're interested in. I started teaching music lessons in after school programs when I was eleven and fell totally in love. I continued to do this for many years driving to neighboring towns, volunteering at church youth groups and local Boys and Girls Club all around my hometown.

I we
nt on to study Music Education at Oregon State University and Guitar Performance at the University of Oregon and Jazz Performance on Guitar at Portland State University! At each of these Universities I taught students my age as well as locals in each town and have been supporting myself entirely through music since 2008! Additionally, I work for a Record Label in Portland, "PJCE Records", and have real life experience with production, press releases and booking through the west coast and mid-west.

In Portland I've been gigging, playing on records, recording music for films, and volunteering every week at Nonprofit Music Schools around town to help underprivileged kids, and expose them to the joy of music. Give me a call and we can talk about what you're interested in, and get lessons started.

Look forward to hearing from you!

*** Lesson Details ***
I'm fairly laid back, and teach from a number of different texts depending on the interests of the student. Each student is different, and I vary instruction accordingly. I have a lot of experience songwriting, composing, and playing as a sideman in groups on different instruments. I've been part of bands led by myself and been hired by other people, as well as composing for different groups of instruments from trios to full orchestras.

If there is interest, I can also provide worksheets based on the curriculum and standards held by the University of Oregon, and Portland State University.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Private home studio equipped with a many guitars, a piano, a Wurlitzer, electric bass and amplifier, two drum kits, and a beautiful kitty.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide guitars, amplifiers, and notebooks for all students even if they do not own guitars or amplifiers. I also make copies and email attachments of all homework, and record lessons and send them to students to listen to when practicing.

*** Specialties ***
I've been playing and studying guitar since I was seven years old. I've attended Berklee School of Music summer workshops, camps, seminars, and presented music theory papers at conferences at the University of Oregon. I can and am willing to teach any type of musical style or interest to any skill level!
...

Reviews

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Jeremy M. July 16, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Kyle has been great! I started using him for lessons for my son who just turned 5. He has the energy and attention span of a 5yr old. Despite this Kyle has done very well with him. He mixes the right amount of play and discipline to accomplish the lesson objectives and keep my son focused while maintaining a relationship with my son that makes him look forward to the lessons. I had a hard time finding teachers to start with someone so young, but Kyle has done great and I would certainly recommend giving him a try. We have done lessons both at Kyle's studio and our home.
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Gina S. March 16, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Kyle's strengths lie in finding out where the student is, and then teaching to that level as well as inquiring and embracing the curiosity of the student. Whether you're there to learn the basics or to explore writing and "feeling into" music, Kyle is a great guide. I have appreciated him and recommend him wholeheartedly.
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Yihan L. February 23, 2015
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I've had 4 different guitar teachers in the past and none of them teaches like Kyle does. I can feel that Kyle has a very vast but deep understanding in music, but more importantly he knows how to convey his knowledge to a student, which is an ability many teachers lack. Kyle would change his way of teaching according to different students, and I know this because he integrates piano into my guitar lessons due to my past experience with a piano, and it helps so much.

Kyle is very patient and approachable, but has just the perfect amount of sternness to keep pushing you forward.

Learn with Kyle, you won't regret it.

Thank you Kyle :)
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Kyle S.

Kyle S.

Portland, OR 97217
(18)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Karen W.

Portland, OR

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.
...

Reviews

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Ethan P. July 13, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
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
Verified Student
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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Gayle M. June 1, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
We are so happy with the lessons we've received from Karen! My son is 15 and is on the Autistic spectrum, so finding someone who is patient and willing to teach a student who is not always clear with his communication could have been a real challenge. Karen has been a wonderful instructor and my son looks forward to every lesson he gets with her. His progress has been impressive and we are grateful that Karen has helped to foster the love for piano that he has now.
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Karen W.

Karen W.

Portland, OR 97214
(8)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Rick K.

Portland, OR

I've been teaching guitar lessons for 15 years. My curriculum emphasizes an individualized approach that makes it fun to learn, but doesn't neglect the strong fundamentals that you'll need to become a great player.

Whether you're a beginner just learning to strum or a more advanced player who is interested in brushing up on music theory, my guitar lessons can help you reach your musical goals.

About Rick

Hi. My name is Rick, I'd love to teach you to play the guitar. I have 15 years teaching experience and offer lessons tailor-made to your individual musical goals and interests. You'll be surprised at how easy and fun learning the guitar can be.
...

Reviews

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Cathy C. June 5, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
I was excited and nervous to start ukulele lessons. Rick quickly makes you feel at ease-greeting me for the intro lessons playing his guitar! With an incredible ability to encourage and motivate he is the ideal instructor. It is very apparent that he loves music and sharing that love with students (of all levels!)
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Kelly L. June 5, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Rick is a fantastic guitar instructor! I knew absolutely nothing about playing guitar when I first started taking lessons, and now I can read music and play songs. He takes the time to make sure I actually understand what I'm doing, instead of just going through the motions. He's patient and encouraging when I struggle. I'd highly recommend him to anyone interested in beginning lessons, or anyone looking to sharpen their skills and add to their repertoire!
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Dave P. June 5, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
I've been working with Rick for a while now. He's professional, laid back, and fun to learn from. If you have an interest in a particular style of music, a specific song, or music theory, Rick will incorporate your interests into the lessons. If life gets hectic and you don't practice as much as you should, Rick won't guilt trip you for slacking. (Not that I'd ever do this...) Rick clearly wants you to improve and enjoy learning to play music at whatever pace works best for you.
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Rick K.

Rick K.

Portland, OR 97206
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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