Richard Wagstaff

Richard W.

Salt Lake City, UT
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
I began playing the guitar when I was 8 years old. I took private lessons for 7 years and decided to try and further my skills privately. I practiced along with many albums to perfect certain skills.
When I attended the University of Utah, I had no idea how little I knew about Music Theory.
I try to teach the fundamentals of music and allow a student to express themselves with this new found language.

About Richard W.

I began playing music at the age of six. I started with the piano and saxophone but found my true passion, by age eight, in the guitar. I took private lessons from a great teacher for the first seven consecutive years of my study and further developed my knowledge and skills through self-directed study. I received my Undergraduate degree in Music Theory from the University of Utah. The pursuit of this degree allowed me to study many different musical aspects, including: composition, music history, ear training, sight reading and music technology, along with classical and jazz guitar studies. Over the years, through my education and practice, I have learned a great deal, not just about the guitar, but also ways to teach music and engage students in their pursuit of musical knowledge.

I played in my first music group when I was 17 and started composing and arranging music at that time. I have performed at numerous events and venues, eventually touring in the western U.S. I have a true passion for music and I love sharing this passion and teaching others.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid back instructor and teach in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. I offer private and small group lessons to students ages 6 and up. I like to joke around but I do expect my students to take their instrument seriously. Students are expected to practice the techniques and music outside of lesson time. I allow students to learn music they are interested in and teach them scales, chords, popular tunes and important performance techniques. Typically, after three months, a student will be able to play more proficient by themselves and in a group. He/she will be more confident about his/her guitar playing ability and overall music knowledge. For most students, after six months of regular lessons, they are able to begin composing simple pieces and have a good understanding of music composition.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I will teach in my living room, I have a piano, plenty of room for a parent to sit in on a lesson and a very comfortable environment.

*** Specialties ***
I enjoy approaching any instrument from a theoretical base. This allows the student to understand the fundamentals of music and helps them explore the instrument of their choice to the fullest extent.


Write a Review
2 Reviews
Garrett Gunderson
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very patient and attentive.

Posted Sep 22, 2015
Brian B.

Rich is an excellent guitar & music teacher

Starting to study music and learn the guitar in my late 40's was pretty tough. After trying a community education class, and a different private instructor, I found Rich here on Take Lessons. After the first lesson I knew that I was going to learn a lot from him, and that I would enjoy the journey.

Rich is very knowledgeable about music, and he takes the time to teach it in a connected and practical way. As he says in his bio, he is laid back, but that does not mean that he is not serious about music and about teaching. For me his teaching approach is perfect, as he blends a deep understanding of all aspects of music with learning, and enjoying, the guitar.

My previous experience was focused mostly on learning chords, songs, and how to read tablature. On my own I discovered the Hal Leonard Method beginner book series, and started to teach myself to read music from it.

As I started my lessons with Rich he immediately did 3 things that impressed me. First he assessed what I knew, and what my goals were. He reviewed my progress in the Hal Leonard book and encouraged me to keep using it, making some key observations and suggestions during the first lesson that immediately helped me. And the most impressive thing was that he started teaching music theory from the very first lesson, showing me scales, introducing the Circle of Fifths, and demonstrating the application of understanding the principles, patterns, and theory. This made me very hungry to learn.

I don't want to just learn how to play songs on the guitar, rather I want to learn to make music with this instrument. That is what Rich is teaching. And his approach is very comfortable and fun. He adapted himself to my learning style and my needs from the beginning, and I can see myself continuing to learn from him for many years.

Posted Nov 23, 2013

Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos


Aug 1999 - Present

our dub inc.

I was the main songwriter for our band 'r. dub'. My obligations were to write the musical material focused on the guitar and allow the drums and bass lines to fall into place for themselves. For the majority of the tunes, I wrote the lyrics with some help from other band members. I was also in charge of booking shows (in and out of town) and also managing promotion (posters, flyers, etc.)


I received my Bachelor's degree in Music Theory
Aug 2007 - May 2011

The University of Utah


Music Theory
May 2011

University of Utah

I received my Bachelor's degree in Music Theory in 2011. The Music Theory degree was an all-encompassing degree which helped me learn, musicianship, music theory, music history, instrumentation and orchestration. I also performed in Classical Guitar ensembles and Jazz combos.

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