Portland Guitar Lessons

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Popular Guitar Teachers Near Portland

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

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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 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.
...

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
$35 / 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 16 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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Emanuel C. May 11, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Peter is the first guitar instructor that I have ever had and it was a blast to learn from what he had to offer. Very knowledgeable dude and I enjoyed the lesson.
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Elizabeth March 4, 2016
Guitar · In home
Peter has been teaching my daughter guitar for about 7 weeks now. Every lesson is so positive and his teaching style is great. My daughter is gaining confidence quickly with her new skills and we are really enjoying it thanks to Peter!
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Elizabeth January 19, 2016
Guitar · In home
Peter arrived right on time for his first lesson with my daughter and husband, who have decided to learn guitar together. He put them immediately at ease and got started with the basics. They have been learning their first cords and are getting used to playing, and they sound great! We are very excited to continue!
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Peter M.

Peter M.

Portland, OR 97206
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Joel J.

Beaverton, OR

Joel is author of an upcoming book detailing all common, and some uncommon principles of guitar music. Having taught guitar and participated in the music performance industry since the 80's, Joel is well-acquainted with the makeup of the complete guitarist and all steps leading toward fluent musicianship. Joel's teaching style is unique to each student- tailored to the student's own love of music, or toward the intentions of parents, so as to effectively set realistic goals and to reach them.

About Joel

Joel J. took his first guitar lesson in September 1980. A lifelong student and teacher of guitar and improvisation, Joel began playing in bands at age 14. Seeking a higher awareness of guitar, he left school at U-Michigan to study at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA. While there, he received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1997 he received his B.M.S. in Professional Music with a concentration in Private Instruction and Studio Arranging from Berklee. No stranger to the industry, Joel has recorded 3 CD's with rock bands Michigan and Color Phobos as primar
y composer and lead guitarist. Joel is former owner of The Great Hall Restaurant and Music Room where raw live performances occurred every night. He currently plays with Portland area blues-rock band The Fabulous Badcats, and co-hosts an open jam every week in SE Portland. Embark upon a discovery of music born in the fires of your own passion as Joel will lead you through a course of study based entirely upon your goals and desires for your relationship with the guitar. with a vivid memory of studying guitar as an eight year old, Joel teaches all ages with patience and understanding.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons with Joel are like Choose Your Own Adventure stories. The curriculum is based on the Performance programs of Berklee College and Musician's Institute, with supplements by Mel Bay, Hal Leonard, and including the music of YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST. We will navigate through a rigorous study of the instrument, including metronome study, sight-reading and notation, ear training and everything else. But once we cover the basics, the course will take the direction of your interests and what is fueling your fire. Keeping true to what motivates you will keep the lessons interesting even when the commitment becomes difficult..and it will..but as you may already know, nothing worth having is easily achieved. Come take a deep look at the most popular and versatile instrument of the modern age, and master your own style of guitar playing with a teacher whose own commitment to music education is absolute.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Studio room in private home- with piano, electric and acoustic guitars and equipment, on-screen learning; chairs, piano bench, room for parents to observe lesson.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide music stand and curriculum. I expect the student to provide pencil, notebook with lined paper, music paper, metronome and instrument. I do have instruments available for rental

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in rock and blues improvisation, and beginning to advanced music theory.
...

Reviews

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Jeff March 27, 2016
Guitar · In studio
We are very impressed that Joel is such a great teacher!
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Allison February 6, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
We are very much enjoying the guitar learning experience with Joel. I applaud the fact that he is not only teaching the mechanics of playing the guitar, but some theory to back up the practices being taught. Learning to read music is a nice benefit also. Joel is very patient with my 10-year old Allison and she is enjoying his teaching style. He's a very easy person to talk with and ask questions to.
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Paul S. December 21, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
Knowledgeable and patient

Joel was great. He gave me tons of exercises to practice so I never ran out of stuff to do. He is very knowledgeable about music and really understands the theory and incorporates it into his lessons. Overall great experience.
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Joel J.

Joel J.

Beaverton, OR 97078
(5)
starting at
$25 / 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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Dwayne M. March 6, 2016
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Rick makes me feel comfortable. Very patient. Enjoy learning the Ukulele from Rick.
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Susan McCormack February 12, 2016
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Rick is quick to see where I am struggling. He is easy to work with and gives me some structure which I need in order to learn. Makes the time very comfortable.
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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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Rick K.

Rick K.

Portland, OR 97206
(6)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Mira A.

Portland, OR

I help kids discover their love of music through a hybrid of guitar, songwriting, singing and recording. Lessons are song-based: they learn to play and sing, but also to notice the patterns in music and find out what makes it tick.

We also work together to record covers of their favorite songs… Which introduces them to process of recording, applies the guitar and singing skills in a hands-on way, and builds overall excitement about music and their instrument. Learning across a variety of mediums prevents kids from getting bored and giving up, and my weekly practice charts make it easy for them to track their progress.

I have experience working with kids at a variety of different levels, including kids with autism and other developmental disabilities. I worked for 3 years in a Head Start classroom, which required me to work with a wide array of students and find the approach that worked best for each child.

I feel confident that I can help your child discover the “spark” that ...

About Mira

Song-based Lessons

Singing, Guitar and Recording

Theory broken down at a kid's level

Teaching across a variety of mediums

Effective methods for tracking & motivating practice

Experience in Classrooms (Head Start)
...

Reviews

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Diane March 3, 2016
Guitar · In home
My daughter has had such a wonderful time working with Mira. Mira's strategies helped her not only play the music she loves, but understand it. I would recommend Mira to anyone who's kid wants more out of lessons than just plain guitar technique!
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Nancy February 18, 2016
Guitar · In home
Mira's work with my son Travis has produced phenomenal results. They worked together on guitar initially, then grew to singing and recording. What's stood out the most is not just the skills Travis has developed, but the passion. When your kid becomes truly inspired, practice feels less like a chore and more like play. This is what Mira does best.
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Nancy February 18, 2016
Guitar · In home
Mira's work with my son Travis has produced phenomenal results. They worked together on guitar initially, then grew to singing and recording. What's stood out the most is not just the skills Travis has developed, but the passion. When your kid becomes truly inspired, practice feels less like a chore and more like play. This is what Mira does best.
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Mira A.

Mira A.

Portland, OR 97211
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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