Mark Banning

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA

About Mark B.

Mark teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: December 1978
Last sign in: 3 days ago


I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I can explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed and well-equipped to teach many styles: Rock (including all sub-genres...Tribal Ambient Doom neo Punk, etc), Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Country, R& B, New Age, Ambient, Electronic, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Ear Training, Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which get major radio airplay in Europe.

Photos and Videos

This is me playing an instrumental song written by Stevie Wonder and recorded by Jeff Beck


Music teacher
Jan 1978 - Present
Self employed

I have been successfully teaching music lessons since 1978. It is my passion, along with recording and live performance.


No degree
Sep 1982 - Jun 1986
University Of The Pacific

Languages Spoken

Fluent / Native Proficiency


Feb 2008
Hayward Battle Of The Bands

I was a judge at the world's longest running battle of the bands.


King Of The Blues
Oct 2009
Guitar Center

15 Reviews on Mark B.

Write a Review
Paul M. Oct 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
Michael P. Jul 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
Scott Jun 8, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
Ray A. Jul 8, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
I think Mark is a good guitar player and the best guitar instructor i ever had. Igive him 5 star rating.
Todd R. Feb 15, 2015
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Mark is very patient and very talented! I never feel like he is rushing through my lesson. He makes learning fun!
Marc M. Dec 18, 2013
· Guitar ·
Everything a music teacher should be

My worst nightmare was that taking guitar lessons as an adult would be similar to my forced and short-lived piano lessons as a youth. Mark quickly set my fears aside the first lesson by outlining what I would need to learn to reach my goals. He is very adaptive to the student based on music preferences and skill progression. Each week we focus on progressively harder songs.

Aside from guitar knowledge and teaching skills, Mark is also very flexible around your schedule. He really makes an effort to communicate and to reschedule when needed.

I'd recommend Mark to anyone looking for guitar lessons. I feel lucky to have found Mark as a teacher.
Mike E. Nov 12, 2013
· Guitar ·
Very good teacher

Helps you out when in need doesn't get frustrated . Will take the time to teach you how to play rather than to assign you something and except for you to understand. Very good teacher
Christian H. Apr 29, 2013
· Guitar ·
Mark is an outstanding teacher - Highly Recommended

I contacted take lessons in hopes to better my soloing abilities and improve upon my theory. Mark Banning is the real deal. The man can play like no other and is undeniably knowledgeable in the realm of guitar. I have been playing since elementary and was once taught by Mark. It's great to have stumbled upon his profile on the take lessons site to be reunited with such an awesome teacher.

Teaching Skill:
-Extremely knowledgeable in countless styles of guitar
-A varied and highly organized curriculum that keeps things interesting
-I have applied everything that Mark has shown me thus far.

-Apart from his goofy delivery of information it is clear that Mark has a professional side to him as well. Don't get me wrong. The guy is hilarious.
-Mark tracks every player's status in a binder so he knows exactly where they left off. I can feel and see my progression after every lesson.
-Mark will motivate you. He is not there to simply collect funds. The man genuinely cares about your playing ability.

-The information is always clear
-Allows time for questions each lesson
-Responds accurately

-I have only needed to reschedule once with Mark because he had a gig down south.

Teaching environment:
-In-house studio with a number of amps/guitars to choose from

Get lessons from Mark Banning. You WONT regret it.
MikeE2 Jun 4, 2012
· ·
very caring and understanding. takes positive teaching skills to positively enhance learning experience. Awesome experienced musician
RickP3 Jan 19, 2012
· ·
I have received more theory and practical knowledge than I thought possible. His approach makes a lot of sense to me and it's interesting and fun. He took two songs off my phone, played them back nearly perfectly, wrote them down for me, gave me blues lesson and all of a sudden I knew more about the bar cords than I did over 30 years goofing off. I got a smile.
Mark Banning
Mark B.

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