Jesse Horner

Jesse H.

25 Reviews
Del Mar, CA
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About Jesse H.

Background check: Last verified 10/22/2014
Jesse passed a background check on 10/22/2014 that included the following:
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Jesse teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: October 2005
Last sign in: 2 days ago


Jesse H. plays guitar with The Mar Dels, one of San Diego’s best-known dance and party bands. But he’s more than just a rock-and-roller — he’s studied jazz and classical guitar with other master musicians.

His lessons focus on developing:

- Right and left hand technique
- Finger picking and flat picking
- Tonal and sound quality
- Playing and singing
- The ability to play a solo
- Chords, scales, and arpeggios

Jesse’s broad skill set allows him to teach a variety of styles, though he’s happy to focus on one particular style if that’s what the student prefers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to take guitar or ukulele lessons from one of the top musicians in San Diego.

*** Overview ***
I studied jazz guitar with Peter Sprague and classical guitar with Celin Romero. While at UCSD, I studied with Pepe Romero in master classes. In 1982, I became interested in classic rock and founded my band, The Mar Dels. During my time with the band, I’ve learned and performed many classic rock hits. One of the best-known dance/party bands in San Diego, the Mar Dels continue to play at private and public events locally, nationally, and globally.

*** Lesson Details ***
I give my guitar students a solid background in right and left hand technique. This includes finger picking technique for the right hand as well as flat picking. It’s important for students develop a correct left hand position, if they wish to continue to play for many years without injury to the left hand. It’s also very important to young students who may wish to move into classical music. Most classical guitar music can’t be played well with a standard rock left hand technique, but all rock music can be played very well with a good classical left hand technique. 

Most of the studies I use with my students are songs, scales and arpeggios from my personal library, so it won’t be necessary for my students to buy any books right away. However, if students want some additional materials to review, I can suggest some titles.

I emphasize the quality of sound that the student produces with the instrument. Many musicians feel that playing a piece of music is like running a 100-yard dash. I prefer that my students play at a comfortable tempo and create beautiful sounds, rather than rushing through a song simply to show an ability to play fast. I feel that it’s very important to practice any new piece or exercise at a slow tempo till it can be played well with relaxed hands. When the tempo is gradually increased, one acquires beauty with speed.

Within the first three months, the average student should be able to play some open position chords, bar chords, and arpeggios, and be able to improvise over a chord progression using four or more notes from at least one pentatonic scale. I like my students to learn at least one guitar solo (a piece that features guitar either solo or with accompaniment) within six months that they could play for their friends or parents. If the student’s goal is to use the guitar to accompany their voice, they can learn to sing and play at the same time. This is a special skill that takes time to master, and is something that I have done for years. I’m happy to share my ideas on how to develop this skill with my students.

Ultimately, the progress of the student depends on their talent level and their desire to acquire skills. If a student is interested in only one style of playing, I am happy to focus on it; however, I have a very broad skill set on the guitar and I like my students to develop as many techniques as possible.

*** Equipment ***
Depending on the student’s interest, I bring either a steel string or a classical guitar, and I prefer that the student also have an appropriate instrument. If it’s an introductory lesson for a beginning student, I can bring an instrument for them to use for the lesson.

*** Specialties ***
Since 1982 I have played guitar in The Mar Dels, a popular dance and party band so I am familiar with most pop, blues & rock styles of playing.

I have always loved the classical guitar and I am especially interested in good technique and tonal quality.

Photos and Videos

Jesse plays Cavatina by the pool


Guitar & Ukulele Teacher Nov 2011 - Present

Teaching beginning through advanced guitar and ukulele.

Chief Financial Officer, musician / singer Sep 1982 - Present
The Mar Dels Band, Inc.

I have held my position with The Mar Dels, Inc. for over thirty years which is an unusually long time be a top performer in the music business.

In addition to playing guitar and singing during Mar Dels performances my responsibilities include, contracting events, holding deposits, banking, keeping calendars up to date, paying the performers and keeping books and financial records, filing all quarterly payroll tax returns and end of the year corporate tax returns and filing our annual statement of domestic stock. I am also involved in producing all of the promotional recordings, videos, website information and e-mail blasts about public events. Somewhere in this big mess I need to find time to practice my own music and increase my own skill level. I also need to practice to learn my parts as the band adds new songs.


Music Sep 1982 - Jun 1986
Music Sep 1982 - Jun 1985

Languages Spoken

Spanish Limited Proficiency
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25 Reviews on Jesse H.

Madison A. Aug 22, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Jesse's approach to music really fit my learning style.
Kristin G. Aug 15, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Jesse is so patient and encouraging. My granddaughter loves her guitar lessons and he makes it real, by accompanying her and applauding her songs. Jesse offers a great balance of exercises on the guitar and songs she likes. She is learning so fast we are amazed! She got to hear his band play this week and that motivated her even more. We give Jesse a 10!
Brett R. Aug 15, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Very nice and easy to work with
Canace L. Aug 9, 2015
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
When my son started Ukelele lesson, he was only 5 years old. Jesse has been very patient and taught him all the kids' songs. Ever since then, my son has increased interest in learning more and has memorized his finger positions really well. Jesse is very professional and always pleasant. We highly recommend him.
Scott Jul 30, 2015
Guitar · In home
Jesse has done amazing things with our son, age 12. Jesse's relaxed, low-pressure approach has worked really well to keep him interested without any resistance. In the process he has become quite an accomplished guitarist! Jesse truly has a gift for teaching.
Pam Jul 27, 2015
Ukulele · In home
Jesse has been a great guitar/ukulele teacher for our daughter. He keeps the lessons interesting by introducing new and hip music. He is patient and always punctual. Da Best! :)
Irene R. Jul 21, 2015
Classical Guitar · In home
Jessie has taught my daughter classical and regular guitar for a couple of years. There are many, many thing I like about Jesse's teaching. One of the things that I like most is that he asks my daughter what she wants to learn and then teaches it to her. He mixes up the theory and it's application with what she wants to learn keeping interest and motivation at a high. Another thing that I like is the breadth of material he brings. His students end up well versed in all types of music and are able to play well known pieces in many different genres. Yet another thing that I like is his creditability. He walks the walk. His group plays regularly. Any doubts that your teenager may have about him can be quickly and easily put to rest just by going to hear him perform. Jesse is a good teacher and I highly recommend him.
Chris/Jane Q. Jul 16, 2015
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Jesse has been teaching our 10 year old daughter ukulele for the past year and she's loving it! He's a wonderful teacher with a kind demeanor. Jesse is always encouraging and patient. He always finds songs that my daughter is excited to play. We highly recommend Jesse!
Richard Y. Jul 16, 2015
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Jesse is a wonderful teacher. Kind, patient, and most of all passionate about music and teaching it. I would highly recommend him to anyone old or young who wants to learn a new instrument. I have learned Ukelele from Jesse since November 2014 and look forward to many more happy sessions with him. You won't regret it!
Gail Jul 15, 2015
Guitar · In home
Jesse has been a great teacher for the last two years for our 12 year old son who with just one lesson a week has progressed to an advanced level on the guitar and is consistently energized and enthusiastic after each lesson. Jesse is a professional and a fabulous musician and we feel fortunate to have him come to our home to teach our son. Jesse arrives on time, is dedicated and inspirational, and makes sure to schedule make up lessons when needed.