Samuel Bean

Samuel B.

Austin, TX
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Lesson Details

Guitar

Levels Taught:
Beginner
I teach guitar lessons face-to-face without sheet music. This is my adaptation of Japanese instruction (involving a call-and-response method). I begin by teaching the student the major scale in first position (the first three frets above the head) in the key of C. Once this has been learned (backwards and forwards), the student is ready to learn first-position chords. Barre chords, the blues scale, as well as jazz-flavored triads are taught once first position chords have been mastered.
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Samuel teaches

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About

Samuel passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Samuel delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5 to 75 and special needs

Teaching since:
January 2014

I've been a performing singer-songwriter since 1993. My influences include Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Richie Havens. I've been teaching private lessons since 2011 and I tailor my lessons according to the individual needs of my students. Everyone learns at a different pace and in a different way. My objective is to provide instruction that both challenges as well as respects your rate of progress.

I'm a primarily self-taught musician. Although I impart knowledge of scales (the major and the blues ones specifically) and the theory behind them (both of which I learned from formal instruction) as a central component of my curriculum, the bulk of my knowledge came from listening to and imitating delta blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt both of whom displayed remarkable intricacies in their art.

We'll begin with the major scale in the key of C (as seen in the video) which you'll hear me indicate as being the white keys on the piano. Afterwards, you'll learn a spiritual and an American standard with just the three major chords comprising that key (C, F, and G7). The key of D will be taught in a very similar manner (a scale and then three chords) before the blues is introduced.

Though you will have learned to play campfire standards in fewer than eight lessons, I'm a believer in imparting the roots of the form and not just its recognizable elements. The blues (particularly the form originating from the Mississippi Delta) is the foundation of ALL American music. Therefore, I consider it essential to the curriculum.

I've always found E to be the most blues-friendly of all the keys. We'll be spending more than twice the amount of time we will have spent in C or D learning multiple progressions and chord formations in E. Afterwards, you'll be introduced to the blues scale and receive the basis for playing lead (solos). You'll learn some rudimentary jazz within this segment of the process as well.

For more information about my curriculum, you may review my published articles on TakeLesson's Teacher Blog:

http://takelessons.com/blog/learning-guitar-without-sheet-music
http://takelessons.com/blog/reasons-to-learn-guitar-scales
http://takelessons.com/blog/beginner-guitars
http://takelessons.com/blog/blues-chord-progressions
http://takelessons.com/blog/best-guitar-solos
http://takelessons.com/blog/guitar-barre-chords
http://takelessons.com/blog/learning-guitar-styles
http://takelessons.com/blog/expand-your-guitar-solos
http://takelessons.com/blog/maximize-acoustic-guitar-lifespan
http://takelessons.com/blog/are-you-ready-to-play-guitar-solos
http://takelessons.com/blog/blues-guitar-exercise
http://takelessons.com/blog/writing-a-song-on-guitar-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/writing-a-song-on-guitar-lyrics-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/guitar-tips-for-open-mic-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/preparing-for-bluegrass-guitar-lessons-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/2-simple-tricks-to-play-country-guitar-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/how-to-write-a-jazz-guitar-song-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/famous-guitar-players-who-are-not-virtuosos-z01
http://takelessons.com/blog/5-jazz-guitar-licks-z01

NOTE: I travel strictly by bicycle and bus. Any in-home lessons must be within a three-mile radius of my home in Zilker/Barton Hills.

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Experience

Classroom Teacher
Sep 2003 - Jun 2004
Thirteenth Avenue School - Newark, New Jersey

During the 2003-2004 school year, I raised standardized fourth-grade exam scores in mathematics 35% (from what they'd been the year prior) by way of implementing kinesthetic multi-sensory instruction. I teach guitar lessons very similarly in that I stress scales before chords in order to provide the student familiarity with relevant fingering.

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Education

Master of Arts - Educational Psychology
Sep 2004 - Jun 2007
New Jersey City University
Bachelor of Arts - History
Sep 1995 - May 1999
Earlham College

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Spanish
Limited Proficiency

Certifications

Elementary Education (K-8)
Jun 2006
The State of New Jersey

Awards

Perfect Attendance
Jun 2004
Thirteenth Avenue School - Newark, New Jersey

Photos & Videos

Here is an introduction to my "do I as I do" style.  The major scale in the key of C is learned before chords are introduced.
Photo by Samuel B.

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Photo by Samuel B.

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Photo by Samuel B.

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Photo by Samuel B.

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Photo by Samuel B.

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6 Reviews

Write a Review
Allan Brandt Apr 5, 2016
Guitar · In home

Samuel has been a top notch teacher and is very patient with my son. My son always tells me that he's inspired after every lesson. So much so that another one of my other sons has observed these lessons and is interested in taking lessons from Samuel as well.

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Ron A. Apr 9, 2015
Guitar · In studio

Over the past 20 years I have taken guitar lessons twice. The episodes were separated by 15 years. I was engaged and even intense about learning. Both times ended in frustration and more important, failure. After only 5 lessons with Samuel Bean, I have learned to strum chords in time, learned several scales, 12 bar and 8 bar patterns and a bit of music theory. The result is playing to a level that provides personal satisfaction. I look forward to playing. So for you beginners and frustrated musicians out there, you know who you are, give it a try. I predict success.

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Ted D. Jan 23, 2015
Guitar · In home

I have had known Sam for many years. I am friends with his parents and his sister Emmy, also a very talented musician.
Although I don't live near him, unfortunately, when he visits NYC I make it a point to check in with him and ask for his his advice on my rather limited guitar skills. I always come away from our sessions feeling much better about my playing and can see what an improvement he has made for me. He is very patient and so eager to help, even a beginner like myself. i just wish he lived closer!

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Erin B. Jan 12, 2015
Healthy Cooking · In studio

When I joined Sasona's housing cooperative community, I didn't know how to do anything. Sam provided an orientation for me that was above and beyond. Whenever I didn't know how to do something I knew I could ask him and he would not only tell me how, he would teach me how. Teaching is an integral part of who he is. He is conscientious, compassionate, and committed to his students. I absolutely recommend him as an instructor for people of all ages.

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Susan J. Aug 9, 2014
Guitar · In studio

Having taken almost a dozen lessons from Sam, I can say with assurance that he is a competent, serious and sensitive instructor. Before the first lesson he inquired as to my purpose in learning the guitar and my goals. He then tailored his instruction accordingly.

As to his competence, he is a talented artist who plays with mastery and teaches with the belief that with time and practice, the student can attain comparable skill. He looks for and provides alternative methods when I have difficulty with a chord. He provides links to artists online so I can work on subtle changes in a tune during my week's practice.

Sam teaches scales which we review at each session. We also review songs/chords with an emphasis on clarity and rhythm (and graciously, not my singing). He is very serious about getting it 'right', but he is also sensitive.

Besides being sensitive in correcting mistakes, he is also sensitive to my preference in music. Without abandoning the basics, he is kindly teaching me more Blues songs than campfire ones since I like the moody melodies.

I'm very pleased and happy with my experience as Sam's student.

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Marina G. Jan 23, 2014
Guitar ·

Great guitar lessons

We tried a few different guitar teachers for our two young daughters, but they learned the most with Sam. He is one of those rare individuals with a gift for working with children, and has made a career for himself in teaching. He has a strong presence in the space that keeps children very focused on the music. I highly recommend.

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