Dan Chernow

Dan C.

Barrington, IL
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
All levels are welcome! I have taught hundreds of absolute beginners and intermediate to advanced students as well. I like to think I get beginners started the "right" way- through learning to read music, gaining an understanding of basic musical concepts and building confidence through a progressive guitar method designed for each student. I use several guitar method books in my lessons (Mel Bay, Alfred, Guitar For The Small Fry) that we use depending on the student's age and prior musical/guitar experience, in addition to my own library of guitar materials.

For intermediate to advanced students, I specialize in single note soloing and improvisation, developing and building a chord vocabulary, developing good picking and fingerstyle technique, sight reading, ear training and applying music theory concepts to make one a better musician. I am well-versed in Rock, Progressive Rock, Blues, Folk, Fingerstyle, Classical, and Jazz guitar....let me help you get better while having a blast doing it!

About Dan C.

I have been playing guitar for 31 years, starting with Rock and Blues before studying both Classical and Jazz guitar in college. I received my Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1995. I am currently a guitar teacher in the NW Chicago suburbs and in Chicago currently with 45+ students, teaching all ages, all levels and all styles. I have been teaching guitar and music off and on for the past 20+ years but in 2007 I decided to devote myself to teaching full time (yes, teaching guitar is my primary job!)...one of the best decisions I have ever made!

To me, playing music is an incredibly rewarding experience. It's also a lot of fun! But no matter what your goals are in music, I have found, through many years of playing and teaching, that every musician needs a basic understanding of their instrument and of music in general. Whether you are learning piano, saxophone, violin, flute or guitar all music students will need to know about the basics of music, how it works and where the notes are on their instrument. My goal as a guitar and music instructor is to *teach people how to teach themselves*. I would love to have you study with me for years and years, but a good instructor should be able to show people what they need to know so that they can be their own primary music educator for the rest of their lives. Not only is it more economically friendly for the student, I see it as simply the right thing to do. My lessons are designed to make the absolute most of a student's motivation and to keep them motivated to maximize their learning experience!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are an absolute beginner or more experienced guitar player, I see it as my mission to prepare all of my students to be *musicians*, not just people who can move their fingers on a guitar. I believe that all musicians should think of music as a language: if you don't understand the basics of any language how can you expect to communicate well in that language?

Beginners can expect to learn the foundations of guitar and music: good finger and pick technique, familiarity with basic notes, simple chords, basic musical concepts, easy and fun songs. More advanced students can expect to improve in many aspects of guitar playing in most styles and in their understanding and appreciation of music- advanced playing techniques (pick and finger style), scales, arpeggios, advanced chord forms and chord progressions, melodic improvisation in any style, music theory, ear training, etc. I teach beginning and intermediate Classical guitar as well. I request that Classical guitar students already have some prior guitar experience (knowledge of basic notes and chords).

In my years as a guitar student and as a teacher, I have learned that communication is the key to good, productive lessons and as much as possible I cater lessons to what each student is interested in, while having fun!

At this time I am offering lessons on Friday afternoons and evenings at my Inverness teaching studio. Due to my weekly teaching schedule, I am not currently available to offer in-home lessons at student's homes.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My teaching studio is equipped with: amplifier, cords, music stand, guitar stand, laptop PC, printer, play-along programs for practice, hundreds of self-authored exercises for all levels. I also have a huge library of guitar books, songs and other materials available for lesson material as well. Method books to use for lessons available to purchase from me ($8-$10 generally). Just bring yourself, a guitar (acoustic or electric), a pick or two and we'll be ready to roll!


Write a Review
17 Reviews
Elliot (9)
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Dan is funny, nice and good at guitar and teaching. I look forward to my lessons. He makes learning guitar fun!

Posted Jul 27, 2015
Emily (age 13)
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Dan is really fun to have lessons with. He helps me pick good songs that are really fun to learn and play. He also helps me understand fingerings and strummings better. I really like taking lessons from Dan!

Posted Jul 27, 2015
Profile-location-home Student's Home

One of the best guitar teacher, I met so far!

I am taking guitar lessons from Dan for more than a year. Dan has profound knowledge about music. He has all the skills what I always look for in “perfect” teacher; good listener, push your boundaries, encourage you to keep learning. When I approached him through ‘takelessons.com’, I was not sure what to expect. He gauged my guitar skills and started from there. Now, I can play music notes, strumming, chords, bar chords and finger style etc.

I am grateful to have Dan has my guitar teacher.

Posted Jul 22, 2015
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My 10 year old godson has been taking guitar lessons from Dan for about 1-1/2 years. He is practicing every week now and enjoying the experience. It makes his settle down for a half hour because he tends to be slightly hyper and makes him focus. This activity has also helped his confidence in other areas.

Posted Jul 18, 2015
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My daughter has been telling me how great teacher you are. I took her to another guitar place and we compared the teaching styles. I like the fact that you can explain at my dughter's level (5th grade) and also teaches how to read the notes as well as teaching the technique. You are patient. The only hope I have you is if there is anyway you can expand your teaching to smaller kids who want to play ukulele. That will be super so you can have more students in the park district program.

Posted Jul 8, 2015
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My daughter has been taking lessons from Dan for about a year now. She is 9 years old. He is patient and encouraging. He makes the lessons fun for her and she enjoys learning guitar. We would highly recommend him!

Posted Jul 6, 2015
Vaughn Holleran
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Vaughn has been taking lessons with Dan for the past 2 years (she is now 8). I am Vaughn's mom typing exactly what she asks me to write, and here is what she would like to say about Dan:
"He is really patient. He teaches you so that you can think through it and know how to do it. He always makes sure you understand everything before you move on. He is always happy. He is an outstanding guitar teacher".
From the mom's point of view:
Dan is perfectly suited for teaching kids. He is patient and kind and engaged. You can tell that he truly loves what he does, and that rubs off on the kids. To be honest, it would be much easier for our family if she took guitar lessons from the place where she already does dance and theatre, but we stay with Dan because he is just that fantastic!

Posted Jul 5, 2015
Lisa Altenbach
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ok ...I am the mom paying for the lessons and I can say we get our moneys worth! Dan is a talented musician and a great teacher. He is patient with the kids and flexible with time . Always willing to make up lessons or change out times. The songs he teaches are enjoyable to listen to and the kids have done well . The recital was at the library , very casual and low stress for the kids and parents. Dan worked with each student on an individual basis to improve their performance. Thanks Dan!

Posted Jun 26, 2015
Rudy Altenbach
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Dan really rocks!!! I have fun learning electric guitar and he even taught me a star wars song! COOL!

Posted Jun 26, 2015
Bella Altenbach
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Dan is a great guitar teacher. I have been taking lesssons on and off for a few years and anytime I want to learn something new he has been able to help. I get to choose songs I like and he helps me figure them out. We recently had a recital at the library and it was fun!

Posted Jun 26, 2015
Geerthi Balaji D.

Best Teacher and Encouraging

I have had Dan as my Guitar Teacher, he is the best in teaching Guitar from the basics. I started with him as nothing since I do not have any Musical Background, He encouraged me well to understand the Music notes and Guitar Tabs. Every lessons with him was so much interesting and particularly he asks me to choose my favorite song and explore the Guitar notes. That makes the learning interesting and willing to explore the different types of Music.
Any questions I asked about the Music, he could explain by the way that I can easily understand. Every second in his class is valuable and has some good information about Music.
He is the Best and I always feel proud to say that I am his student.

Posted Jan 13, 2014
Aryo P.

Best teacher i've had

Dan is amazing. I've had him as a teacher for a few years and I have already learned to play Hotel California, Johnny B. Goode, and many other songs. Dan brings his own equipment so that you can get printed handouts whenever you want. He is quite instructive and explains things in simplest terms. If you are having some trouble with something, he breaks it down into smaller pieces. Dan is definitely the best teacher I have had.

Posted Sep 21, 2013
Angela B.

Excellent instructor

Dan is endlessly patient and good humored as only someone who really enjoys his job is. He is easy to be around and quite attentive to individual needs.

Posted Aug 4, 2013
Debra B.

Fabulous Teacher!

Our 8 year old son has been taking lessons with Dan for almost one year. We feel that Dan is a very good fit for our son as he is patient, fun and inspiring. Our son always wants to go to lessons as well as practice at home. He even talks about Dan during the week - he really feels a connection with him. Dan's teaching style has allowed our son to go at his own pace, get comfortable with learning the notes and chords, as well as being able to ask lots of questions - as most young kids do! Dan is always at ease allowing for our son to be a little be of a wiggle worm in class when I know I would not have such patience:) He also engages our son in the types of music he would like to play, like the theme song from Star Wars! We feel lucky to have found Dan.

Posted Jun 21, 2013
Anca C.

Great teacher!

Very good teacher. I think he is starting the lessons the right way for the beginners, teaching how to read notes, explains well. I highly recommend Dan as a teacher.

Posted Jun 9, 2013
Skylar D.

This is a great guitar class.

I really enjoy taking these classes. I am really learing alot like new songs or cords. This is one of the best guitar classes I have ever taken. This teacher has a good teaching style. He will help you if you get stuck and you can learn at you own pace.

Posted May 5, 2013
Dan R.

Highly recommended!

I have been working with Dan for almost 3 years. Besides for being top notch in the basics - reliability, fun, preparedness, etc., Dan has such a wide set of abilities. We will study theory, then study skill development, then dissect any of a wide variety of music, including anything I want to try and tackle - rock, country, jazz, etc.

I started lessons as an adult and feel very confident in my skills now.

Posted Apr 20, 2013


Guitar/Music instructor
Sep 2007 - Present

Ultimate School of Guitar

I teach guitar full time for a small private guitar/vocal school in Chicago IL. I teach in the Chicago suburbs as well as in Chicago 6 days a week.


Bachelor of Music
Sep 1991 - Dec 1994

Berklee College of Music, Boston MA

Fine Arts/Classical Guitar
Sep 1989 - May 1991

University of Kentucky



Fluent / Native Proficiency

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