Luke Payne

Luke P.

Winston Salem, NC
Available Locations:
Online Online
Studio Studio

I majored in music at Berea College, then went on to The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where I completed a Masters degree in guitar performance and served as the graduate assistant to the guitar department.

For the past ten years I have earned a living performing and teaching guitar. I am a certified Suzuki instructor, and I've held teaching positions at Winston Salem State University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, along with at least half a dozen other schools and institutions. I've been featured on other artists' records, and received a grant to release an album of my own songs. I regularly perform in a wide variety of bands and ensembles.

I love to teach, and over the years I have taught hundreds, maybe even thousands of lessons. Having learned something from each and every one of my students, I am now at a point where I excel at honing in on the individual interests and learning styles of whoever comes to me for help. There are many ways to learn guitar. The best one is the one that engages and inspires you the most. That said, there are also music fundamentals that we all need to know. My joy as a teacher lies in finding a way for you to master the fundamentals while at the same time following your personal bliss and intuition. We plot the course together, combining your curiosity and enthusiasm with my years of experience.

I also love working with kids. While they are having fun jamming, I discretely provide them with the technique and musicianship they'll need to excel in any musical environment, whether it's conservatory study or playing in a great band.

*** Lesson Details ***
Your enthusiasm is the key to your success, so my lessons are tailored to the interests and abilities of each student. That said, my classical background and dedication to effective teaching inform everything I do.

All of my students learn Music Fundamentals:
-Technique (habits of movement)
-Theory (how music works)
-Aural skills (hearing pitches, chords and rhythms clearly)

Many of my students use books. There are hundreds of great books these days, and I will work with students from any book they choose. Listed here are the books I regularly use. They all deliver great results:

-Aaron Shearer "Leaning The Classic Guitar"
-Will Schmidt and Greg Koch "The Hal Leonard Method"
-Joe Pecoraro "Read This First"
-David Oaks "Music Reading For Guitar"
-William Leavitt "A Modern Method For Guitar"
-Mateo Carcassi "Melodic and Progressive Studies, Opus 60"
-Leo Brouwer "Simple Studies"

Many of my students prefer to work without a book, and that is a great option too. These students learn scales, chords and theory and develop a repertoire of songs. I will show you how to play any song you'd like to learn. You can also work on writing your own songs or compositions, or improvising in any context, be it jazz, blues, Indian raga or flamenco.

Singing is also encouraged!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: music stands, extensive library of all kinds of music, great sound system and ability to stream any song, several guitars, recording equipment, footstools, keyboard and percussion instruments.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I'll bring my guitar and books, accessories as needed.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in versatility. I regularly play gigs doing classical, jazz, blues, rock, pop, and world music. All of these genres have a place in my heart, and I've devoted years to learning to play and teach them well.

I am equally polyamorous when it comes to the various things musicians do. I love to sing pop songs, dissect jazz lines, delve into expressive groupings with classical pieces, drill scales and arpeggios, you name it. Reading, improvising, composing and notating, transcribing and playing by ear, memorization, classical technique, blues technique, bluegrass technique, theoretical analysis... hit me up for any of that, or whatever else interests you.

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  • Teaches students 5 and up
  • Teaching since 2003
  • Master of Music from University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Reviews (27)

Write a Review
Morgan Nov 7, 2019
Guitar · Online

Luke is patient with my son and my son is enjoying his lessons.

Trista Oct 1, 2019
Ukulele · Online

My daughter is loving the new approach to her ukelele training.

Michael Aug 20, 2019
Guitar · In studio

Seems like a true teacher. Started with the basics before getting into the fun stuff so I will develop good players habits.

Andrew Jul 11, 2019
Guitar · In home

First music lesson. Luke has a well structured system to help a new player begin learning the fundamentals quickly. He is patient and fun to work with. I'm looking forward to my next lesson.

Nick M. Oct 11, 2018
Guitar · In studio

My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He said Luke was very good at explaining things and was very patient with him1

Yanka C. Aug 30, 2018
Classical Guitar · In home

I've had my very first lesson and I've learned so much of the bad habits that I built over the time that I was self-taught, I am looking forward to learning more and to keep pursuing what I love!

Angela Dec 10, 2017
Guitar · In studio

Great first experience and looking forward to more! Apart from his expertise in many different playing styles, the most important attribute that he has is his patience.

Trevor F. Dec 6, 2017
Guitar · In studio

Great instructor! Luke has helped me progress immensely in only a years time. He’s very knowledgeable about music in general and would be a great teacher for any level of student.

Mason T. Dec 5, 2017
Guitar · In studio

My son is 12 years old and prior to starting lessons with Luke had never played the guitar at all. Luke is a very patient and knowledgeable instructor. He communicates well and tailors each session to the student's learning status. We are 3 lessons in and I'm very impressed so far. Thanks Luke!!!

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matthew J. Nov 21, 2016
Ukulele · Online

What a great teacher. Very kind and patient. Definitely knows his stuff. Highly recommend to all.

Casey Oct 28, 2016
Guitar · In studio

I've learned a lot through my lessons with Luke. He's a great teacher, incredibly talented and an all-around good guy. Very highly recommended.

Casey Sep 11, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Luke is incredibly knowledgeable and a wonderful teacher. I'm only a few lessons in so far but I'm already understanding concepts that eluded me for the last 12 months of teaching myself. Highly recommended.

Vadim Sep 5, 2016
Ukulele · Online

Great experience as a first lesson! Luke is an amazing teacher, and he can find the right speed and approach for his students. Thank you!

Ricky W. Aug 24, 2016
Ukulele · In studio

Great first lesson. Looking forward to learning more.

Justin Jun 1, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Great first lesson. Made it easy to learn what he was teaching me. Very laid back and patient. Excellent instructor

Chandni S. Apr 25, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Amazing first lesson! Looking forward to following classes.

Steven M. Oct 20, 2015
Guitar · In home

Great first lesson! Looking forward to my next 4 lessons.

Rick L. Aug 20, 2015
Ukulele · In studio

Luke is a very patient and enthusiastic teacher.

Susan O. Apr 4, 2015
Guitar · In studio

Versatile, knowledgeable, listens to the student to set personalized goals

Julian R. Mar 9, 2015
Guitar · In studio

Luke is very good at what he does. He's a patient teacher with an eye for long-term development.

Kyle W. Sep 13, 2014
Guitar · In studio

Luke was a very helpful teacher. He knows what he is talking about and is very receptive to questions and concerns. He will lead you in the right direction whatever aspect of guitar you are willing to delve into. I came to him knowing only a couple of chords and songs and came away after a summer of lessons knowing much more about music theory and feeling much more confident in my playing.

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Grayson,H May 14, 2014

Astoundingly Stupendous

Luke has it all figured out. He can teach anyone, and has a great personality. Great guitar player and an even better teacher. Teaches everything that will help you to master the guitar. He is that teacher that lesson comes to an end, you wish it lasted longer.

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ZachG Mar 6, 2014

Guitar instructor

Luke is an extent teacher over the past few years he has helped me advance my skills with the guitar past what I thought I could achieve. He has show skill in teaching meany of the different branches of guitar along with a talent for the vocals.

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DavidG Mar 6, 2014

Excellent Guitar Teacher

Luke is a very fine guitar teacher. His mastery of the guitar is evident through his teachings, which I am fortunate to experience weekly.
His teaching style is different than those I have previously gone through, but is a style I personally enjoy more. He relies (for me, at least) less on book-work, and more on improvising and learning to use different techniques freely, which in my opinion gives me a better understanding of the instrument. My knowledge of guitar and music theory increases with every lesson, but in a way that is not overwhelming; he teaches the information in such a way that it builds very naturally upon itself lesson after lesson, and through instruction and practice I am aware of my guirar skills constantly improving.
Luke is an excellent guitar teacher, and I would recommend him to anyone.

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AustinS Mar 6, 2014

HIgh-Quality Teacher

He is a very laid back person and is easy going. He is also very responsible and communicates well. I have taken lessons from him for two years and i would highly recommend you take lessons from his as well. He is very knowledgeable about guitar and has helped improve my playing greatly. He himself is very talented which helps because he can demonstrate stuff very well. I like the fact that he can teach me electric acoustic and classical guitar. Overall he is a great teacher and friend.

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Richard N. Mar 6, 2014

Great Teacher

Luke has been great to work with. He is flexible with the schedule, has a strong passion for music and is talented with many instruments. I look forward to the next level of play that he can take me.

BenG Mar 6, 2014

Great Teacher!

Luke is a great teacher. He has taught me so much since February of this year. He is funny and has such a passion for what he does. He strives to be better and make his students better.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

I am an avowed uke aficionado, and believe this little instrument has way more potential than most people give it credit for. It works wonderfully for providing basic chords to accompany songs. For the more ambitious and/or adventures uke players out there, it can also yield amazing results as a melody instrument. Jazz, classical, world music and pop are all great on the uke. I love to help you do whatever you are looking to do with your uke.



Sep 2015 - Present


Working with talented young students on all aspects of artistic development, including technique, repertoire, memorization, interpretation and performance.

Sep 2007 - Present

UNCSA Community Music School

Offering private lessons to the community that honor the legacy of great artistry and arts education associated with UNCSA.

Jul 2005 - Present

UNCSA Summer Session

In this two or one week intensive, students are immersed in the wonderful world of the nylon string guitar. They attend courses and workshops on technique, reading, performing and many other aspects of music. I teach classes, give private lessons, coach ensembles and assist in a variety of other ways to ensure a happy and education experience for all attendees.

Sep 2008 - Jun 2014

Grace Academy of Music

Teaching private guitar lessons to students of all ages.

Sep 2005 - Jul 2008

Winston Salem State University

Creating and teaching a course for non-majors interested in learning to play the guitar. Also, teaching private lessons for majors. Covering all areas of musicianship as related to the guitar.

Sep 2004 - Jul 2006

Suzuki School of the Arts

Teaching students according to the Suzuki method, individually and in groups.


Master of Music
Sep 2003 - Jul 2006

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Bachelor of Arts
Sep 1994 - Jul 1999

Berea College



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Suzuki guitar instructor.
Sep 2006

Suzuki Association of the Americas.

A proven method of music instruction pioneered by violinist Shinichi Suzuki, the Suzuki method is used all around the world to train classical musicians on various instruments. The method emphasizes learning by ear, peer reinforcement through use of standardized repertoire and involving students in groups, enlisting the parents as additional teachers, and many other components.

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Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

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