Steve Smyth

Steve S.

San Francisco, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
A guitar and music teacher for over 30 years in the Bay Area, teaching all styles and levels in this time, and fresh back from a 10 year stint in the UK, teaching 1st and 2nd year performance students at BIMM Brighton, ICMP London, and ACM Guildford, Steve can take you from the beginning stages of your playing and help build a lasting foundation. Intermediates and Advanced levels can benefit from Steve’s 30 year performance and recording career, which spans stints with the best of Bay Area Thrash Metal (Testament, Forbidden, Vicious Rumors), to more progressive musical areas, including time with Seattle’s Nevermore (This Godless Endeavor), and his own instrumental band, The EssenEss Project, and countless sessions across many styles of music, including folk, jazz/fusion, blues, country, and more.
Steve can help you to learn what you’d like to learn, while also ensuring that you are learning what you need, to help keep you enjoying playing for a lifetime!

About Steve S.

Steve has been teaching professionally since 1986, a career that has seen him span from private teaching 40-60 students in all styles and levels weekly in the Bay Area for for nearly 20 years (1989-2006), before relocating to London, England, to beginning a music college teaching career that has spanned nearly a decade, and seen Steve receive a PGCE (UK post masters teaching qualification), as well as see his previous experience of preparing students for music college come to fruition in the shape of teaching various classes in 3 different UK music colleges (BIMM Brighton, ICMP London, and ACM Guildford), as well as having a hand in writing coursework. Steve has written and taught several Metal Workshop courses across these colleges that were well received. In addition to this, Steve was one of the first rock guitarists to develop and begin a live internet teaching business, something he has maintained consistently for the last 11 years going, since 2007.

Steve takes a direct approach to teaching one to one lessons, assessing a student’s goals and abilities, and designing a personalized program for them, as well as providing email correspondence between lessons and all material used during the lesson in pdf and audio/video format.

Former lead guitarist for Vicious Rumors (1995-1999), Testament (1999-2004), Dragonlord (2000-2005), Nevermore (2002-2007), and Forbidden (2009-2012), currently busy with his own band One Machine (2014-present), as well as progressive rock fusion duo The EssenEss Project (1993-present), and is STILL a member of the Bay Area’s longest running Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne tribute, Sweet Leaf (1994-present)!

A former columnist for Guitar World Magazine (co-writer of Merchants Of Menace column with Jeff Loomis across 2006), Steve has occasionally written for GuitarWorld, amongst other sites, and also released an instructional series of lessons on JamPlay back in 2011, Steve has returned to the Bay Area to teach once again, and continues to expand his resume in both the performance/recording and educational areas.


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Photos & Videos

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Guitar and Music Teacher
Sep 2015 - Dec 2017

Academy of Contemporary Music Performance (ACM) Guildford, UK

I taught several 1st and 2nd year courses, as well as substituted on occsaional 2nd and 3rd year BA courses, in addition to giving masterclasses and private tuition to ACM students. I also constructed and taught an evening course dedicated to the performance of original heavy metal music as an extra curricular course for students to learn and share knowledge about the style.

Guitar and Music Teacher
Sep 2011 - Jul 2015

Institute for Contemporary Music and Performance (ICMP) London, UK

I taught several 1st and 2nd year courses, as well as substituted on many 2nd and 3rd year BA courses, in addition to giving masterclasses and offering private tuition to ICMP students, I also wrote and taught a course on the history of heavy metal music, which I taught on an evening course there for several years.

Guitar and Music Teacher
Sep 2008 - Aug 2011

British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) Brighton, UK

I taught several 1st and 2nd year courses, as well as substituted on many 2nd and 3rd year BA courses, in addition to giving masterclasses and private tuition to BIMM Brighton students, with the best known student being a singer-songwriter by the name of James Bay. I also worked towards and later received, a PGCE (post graduates certificate in education) in Music Education from Middlesex University in July 2010.

Guitar Teacher
Feb 1999 - Feb 2006

Union Music Company, San Francisco, Ca.

I taught at Union Music in San Francisco from February 1999 until February 2006, maintaining a weekly roster of around 20 students over an 8 year period, while I lived there.

Guitar Teacher
Sep 1989 - Feb 2006

Stanroy Music Center Santa Rosa Ca.

I began teaching at Stanroy music Center back in 1989, but had three years prior experience teaching students in their homes. I took over from my guitar teacher at Stanroy Music Center, building from a base of 6 students, to a level of 50-60 students within a few years time.


PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education)
Sep 2008 - Jul 2010

Middlesex University England

AA Music Major
Sep 1988 - Jun 1991

Santa Rosa Junior College



Fluent / Native Proficiency


PGCE Post Graduate Certificate in Education
Jul 2010

Middlesex University

Post Masters Certificate in Music Education.
Associates Degree Liberal Arts, Music Major
Jul 1991

Santa Rosa Junior College

Associates Degree Liberal Arts, Music Major


Apr 2006
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jun 1988
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

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