- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I love songwriting, and have been writing songs pretty much since the day I started playing music. I mostly write songs on the guitar and for voice, but I have plenty of experience writing music for all instruments, as well as writing songs for rock, pop, and jazz bands. I can help you with your own songs no matter what style of music you like. I can help you learn the elements of song writing that are universal to all styles of music so that you can find your own sound, as well as how to get the sound of a specific style.
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
- August 2004
If you feel like you're stuck or hit a wall, I can help take your skills to the next level; I can help you improve your technique, learn difficult songs, learn more about gear and gigs and performing, help you learn how to play any chord, key, or scale in any position, or help you learn how to solo, improvise, or write songs or come up with your own arrangements of other songs. I can help you learn to read/play rhythm, notation, and/or chord charts, or help you audition for school jazz band or rock bands, etc. I can also help you with music theory as well as learning modes and how chords and scales all work together, and how you can use chords to build all your scales and musical ideas off of, making it easier to improvise or write songs.
Whether you want to learn to be a guitar virtuoso or you just want to be able to play some songs for your friends and family, I want to provide you with the best information and tools to help you accomplish your goals. I believe in trying to get the most out of the minimum - I want you to get the most benefit out of the time you spend, regardless if you are practicing for thirty minutes or for eight hours.
*** Background ***
I have taught guitar lessons for almost 20 years; I also can teach music theory and
composition, as well as beginning keyboards, percussion, and voice. I also gig professionally with
varying bands, as well as being hired to perform for weddings/events.
I began taking piano lessons when I was six years old, but switched to guitar lessons at age ten. I also have a BA in music composition from UCSD.
I can teach all styles of guitar from electric and steel string acoustic to classical/flamenco as well as bass guitar, and I can teach all styles from rock/pop to jazz to blues to classical to country
*** Lesson Details ***
I want the student to have fun with music, but I believe fundamentals are important too. Some schools focus on a "song first" approach, and while I prefer learning songs as soon as possible, I also believe learning some fundamentals will help avoid learning bad habits that can be difficult to break down the road. That being said, I try and be as flexible with the student as possible, as I know we all have different goals and amounts of time that we can dedicate, but I believe that even if someone just wants to learn some basic guitar playing, that a little understanding music theory and fundamentals will help them go a lot further.
Regardless, the student should be able to learn the music they want to play, and I will go out of my way to try and find/learn songs that will keep you interested. I will even transcribe or write my own arrangement if I can't find a suitable one, or to make a simpler version that the student can learn.
I recommend that my students practice at least thirty minutes a day if they want to see consistent progress, although in the beginning they may not be able to practice that much until they develop calluses on the fingertips. Of course, if they can practice more, that would be great, but I understand that with everything else going on, it isn't always possible to practice every day or for everyone to put the same time into it.
ALLERGY WARNING: I have cats at my house, so if you want to travel to my location, it could be an issue if you have cat allergies.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitars, guitar amplifiers, music stands, computer/audio workstation for recording and notating/printing music, microphones, mixer, studio monitors, etc.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Guitar, amp when needed, music/paper, possibly a music stand
I taught guitar to an after school group class with anywhere from 6 to 12 kids at a time
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.
Chis was a great teacher - very patient, knowledgeable, and inspiring.
Great teacher. Very helpful and patient
My boys (ages7 and 9) love Cris. They can’t wait for their next lesson! We highly recommend him!
Chis was a great teacher - very patient, knowledgeable, and inspiring. He was very invested in helping us (two adults in our thirties) learn guitar amid a slightly chaotic background with kids and a dog. Nothing phased him: he was always on time, positive, and good-natured. My husband initially took lessons with Chris at our house, and after several months, I was so inspired and decided to give it a shot too! I learned so much in just a few weeks. He is also now teaching my nephew - an 8-year old. To say the least, Chris is exceptional and I would recommend him to anyone!!Show More
My son is 13-years old and is really enjoying the lessons that are perfectly customized to his skill level.
I am very impressed with the way my son picked up the way to read notes and play a song minutes after his first lesson with Christopher!!! That speaks volumes about how good of an instructor he is. I'm glad he's my son's instructor and look forward to watching my son's guitar skills grow under his wing.Show More
I've only had one lesson so far, but I found Cristopher to be very knowledgeable, encouraging, and effective in providing advice and helpful hints to advance my skills. I'll be practicing the drills and chords he suggested, and I'm looking forward to next week's lesson.Show More
Very focussed, generous, and organized teacher. Our son will be learning a lot from Cris!
Its been a pleasure taking lessons from Cristopher! He is a very passionate teacher and gifted musician/songwriter. He really cares about his students. He will do what ever is necessary to help you learn and understand what he is teaching you. Very kind and fun to be around. A+ all the way for Cris!Show More
I have had the pleasure of playing, and practicing, with Mr. Cris over the last few years. We actually took guitar class together in high school, and even then, I could tell that he was exceptionally talented. Given his family background in music, and his desire to create wonderful compositions, it was no surprise that he chose to pursue music in his life. Recently I have needed assistance with my songwriting and I have had no hesitation in bringing my work to Cris in order to gain insight into what I may need o do in order to successfully finish my composition(s). He is well educated in music, has learned from many accomplished professionals, and is extremely hard working in his craft. And finally, Cris is very patient, insightful, and motivated, when working, and/or teaching, individuals. I would highly recommend him to anyone of all ages.Show More
One of the problems with musicians these days is a lack of formal training. Cris has spent the last 20+ years perfecting his abilities to teach music. In my opinion, Part of what makes Cris stand out from other instructors is his knowledge and open minded view of different styles of music. A teacher with a diverse musical background is ideal for a student who wants to create a good basis or reach the next level in their abilities. Cris is able to help you learn guitar the right way and set a path that will advance your abilities quicker than most other teachers.Show More
Cris is a very talented teacher. He can teach all styles of guitar and has been teaching for a number of years. He is very patient with his students and he really enjoys teaching. I would definitely recommend him as a teacher for any age or style.