Rancho Santa Fe Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers Near Rancho Santa Fe

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Rancho Santa Fe including Del Mar, Solana Beach, Vista, Cardiff by the Sea and Encinitas.

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Cristopher E.

San Diego, CA

I can help you learn music theory from the basics to advanced harmony. Whether you are just looking to learn the basics of how songs are constructed or you want to advance your knowledge and grasp of complex chords and how to figure out the harmonic possibilities of any scale, I can help you apply music theory to any instrument, although my expertise is in the guitar.

About Cristopher

I began taking piano lessons when I was six years old, but switched to guitar lessons at age ten. Ever since then, my passion has been playing guitar and songwriting. I am a music composition honors major at UCSD.

Whether you want to learn to be a guitar virtuoso or you just want to be able to play some songs for your friends and family, I want to provide you with the best information and tools to help you accomplish your goals. I believe in trying to get the most out of the minimum - I want you to get the most benefit out of the time you spend, regardless if you are practicing for thirty
minutes or for eight hours.

My background focuses mostly on classical, rock/metal, and jazz, and my specialty is the electric guitar. I can also help you learn classical guitar on a nylon string guitar if you prefer, including some flamenco.

*** Lesson Details ***
I want the student to have fun with music, and rather than focusing on scales and tedious exercises, I have my students learn technique and music theory more from the actual music (Not to say that learning and practicing scales isn't important, but it is much more useful in the long run to have actual musical melodies and riffs that you can play, and that you know how to take them and use in different musical situations).

I try and be as flexible with the student as possible, as I know we all have different goals and amounts of time that we can dedicate, but I believe that even if someone just wants to learn some basic guitar playing, that a little understanding music theory will help them go a lot further.

Regardless, the student should be able to learn the music they want to play, and I will go out of my way to try and find/learn the music you want. I will even transcribe or write my own arrangement if I can't find a suitable one, or to make a simpler version that the student can learn. I believe the student should be able to access and interact with the type of music they want to learn early on, as this will help keep the student interested while at the same time teaching him/her the elements of music and guitar.

As I want the students to be able to interact with the music as early as possible, I will always try and find ways that we can play together, and I will even make recordings so they can practice playing with someone even when they are at home. I also will periodically record the student so that they can not only get the experience playing and recording, but so that they can also look back on their progress, as well as having something they can show their friends/family.

While I mostly play classical, rock/metal, and jazz, I can help students with a large variety of styles, including blues, r & b, and pop music. I also believe that learning different styles and how to take the elements from each that you like and make them your own will lead to a greater mastery of the instrument, regardless of which style you prefer to actually play.

I recommend that my students practice at least thirty minutes a day if they want to see consistent progress, although in the beginning they may not be able to practice that much until they develop calluses on the fingertips. Of course, if they can practice more, that would be great, but I understand that with everything else going on, it isn't always possible to practice every day or for everyone to put the same time into it.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitars, guitar amplifiers, music stands, computer/audio workstation for recording and notating/printing music, microphones, mixer, studio monitors, etc.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Guitar, amp when needed, music/paper, possibly a music stand
...

Reviews

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Jason S. October 30, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Its been a pleasure taking lessons from Cristopher! He is a very passionate teacher and gifted musician/songwriter. He really cares about his students. He will do what ever is necessary to help you learn and understand what he is teaching you. Very kind and fun to be around. A+ all the way for Cris!
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Christopher N. July 18, 2014
Songwriting · In home
I have had the pleasure of playing, and practicing, with Mr. Cris over the last few years. We actually took guitar class together in high school, and even then, I could tell that he was exceptionally talented. Given his family background in music, and his desire to create wonderful compositions, it was no surprise that he chose to pursue music in his life. Recently I have needed assistance with my songwriting and I have had no hesitation in bringing my work to Cris in order to gain insight into what I may need o do in order to successfully finish my composition(s). He is well educated in music, has learned from many accomplished professionals, and is extremely hard working in his craft. And finally, Cris is very patient, insightful, and motivated, when working, and/or teaching, individuals. I would highly recommend him to anyone of all ages.
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Ryan A. July 18, 2014
Guitar · In studio
One of the problems with musicians these days is a lack of formal training. Cris has spent the last 20+ years perfecting his abilities to teach music. In my opinion, Part of what makes Cris stand out from other instructors is his knowledge and open minded view of different styles of music. A teacher with a diverse musical background is ideal for a student who wants to create a good basis or reach the next level in their abilities. Cris is able to help you learn guitar the right way and set a path that will advance your abilities quicker than most other teachers.
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Cristopher E.

Cristopher E.

San Diego, CA 92130
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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John S.

Encinitas, CA

About John

Born in Omaha, NE, I have played bass for 25 years - and began teaching bass 15 years ago. I play and teach many contemporary musical styles, and have lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas, and currently reside in San Diego, California.

I began studying Bass in 1987 under guidance of David Valentine and Jim Vaughn (both Principal Bassists with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra), and quickly began performing with the Colorado Springs Community Jazz Big Band, and other local artists and jazz swing small groups.

In the early 1990's and after moving to Denver,
Colorado, I joined the Neil Haverstick Band which often featured popular area vocalists such as Charla Bevan and others. While with the group, I played the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and opened for Coco Montoya and Maria Muldaur. The band was versatile enough to perform a dizzying array of styles - afro-cuban, blues, country, funk, jazz, metal, and rock - and often featured a 45-minute set of original microtonal music, performed on custom built instruments (guitar and bass) fretted with 19-divisions (frets) per octave or 19-tone (equal tempered scale).

When not exploring alternate musical realities, I toured with one of the region's most popular Top 40 Country Cover Bands - Ty Taylor & The Powder River Band. I also performed and recorded with Australian born singer/songwriter Leighton B. Watts as well as other local groups.

I moved from Denver to Austin, Texas in the mid 1990's, and upon arriving met up with singer/songwriter Jim Stricklan and performed at the Austin Music Hall - sharing the stage with Toni Price and Joe Ely. Also while in Austin, I performed and recorded with the Dave Sebree Band, Laffing Sam, John Ussery, Lee Person, and many other local groups...

In the fall of 2000, I relocated to San Diego, California where I currently live and enjoy a busy schedule of performing, recording, and teaching. While in San Diego, I've performed and recorded a variety of music with local and regionally touring bands (cover and original material) with styles ranging from Acoustic, Blues, Contemporary Christian, Country, Flamenco, Funk, Fusion, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Improvisational, Instrumental, Jazz, Latin, Motown, R&B, Rock, and many Singer/Songwriters... these bands have opened for Elvin Bishop, Chris Botti, Tommy Castro, David Sanborn, Earl Thomas, and Walter Trout.

I've been blessed to have the opportunity to perform with Blues/Soul Singer Songwriter John Nemeth, Harmonica Wizard Rob Paparozzi, and Legendary Drummer Bernard Purdie.

I've also been very fortunate to play on many local recording projects and to work with recording engineers/producers Alan Sanderson, and Ray Peterssen.

*** Lesson Details ***
Like most teachers, I enjoy seeing and hearing students’ progress. I have found that students progress faster by not only learning mechanics, technique, songs, styles, and music theory, but also understanding how to modify their thought processes with respect to overcoming physical and conceptual barriers; in other words, and musically speaking: learning how to learn.

This involves breaking down and isolating every aspect of playing the bass - instrument stability, left & right hand placement, finger positioning, rhythmic concepts, fret-board familiarity, reading skills, patterns, and choice of notes. It also involves honing other important aspects of playing music such as concentration, determination, observation, patience, problem solving, and repetition. I have been applying this approach since I began teaching electric bass in 1998.

I teach classical & jazz music theory (scales, arpeggios, chords), improvisation, meter, rhythmic patterns, sight-reading, and ear training. Specifically, I help students learn to read music (notes), develop left and right hand finger strength/independence/dexterity, and provide transcriptions of pizzicato, & slap bass-lines as exercises; for all musical styles. I encourage students to create and play their own bass lines - conveying as a skill set a fundamental understanding/interpretation of chord progressions and composition. I also help students learn specific songs and styles they request.

I try to split each lesson roughly 50/50 as far as structured aspects (exercises, reading, technique building, etc.) and working through song requests. I also highly recommend students be open to acquiring a fundamental skill set for playing a variety of generic styles and forms - for example: 12-bar blues, I-IV-V rock, shuffle, 2 beat, waltz, walking jazz/blues swing bass lines, funk pizzicato technique, and funk/slap technique. These are simply guidelines though - ultimately it's up to you how we spend our meeting time.

Essential Items:
Most people get started with the obvious basic items (listed in order of importance):

- a bass, strap, tuner, instrument cable, and small practice amplifier/speaker combo.
There are a few other items that will facilitate faster progress (again listed in order of importance):

- a metronome*, music stand, bass method books and/or other exercise and bass clef reading material.

For learning songs, having access to an audio playback device with enhanced bass response and easy, well designed mechanism for fast-forward and rewind within a specific song is very helpful. Your computer, phone, or .mp3 player, by themselves may or may not be ideal for picking out and hearing the bass part unless combined with an significantly upgraded audio system (i.e., sub-woofer, stereo, docking station, etc.).

*The one item that will immediately challenge and push you to a higher level of musicianship is a metronome. Listening to, playing with, and counting with a metronome will facilitate development of your internal sense of time. Learning to become comfortable with the metronome will have a direct impact on how well you are able to synchronize with other musicians when playing together. This is especially true for bassists and drummers as they are responsible for maintaining the tempo/groove of a tune.

Practice:
You will need to practice between lessons...

How much? The most important first step is to try to get the bass into your hands every day - 15 minutes every day is a great starting point for new students, with the goal of eventually reaching 30-60 minutes daily.

Try to find a quiet place where you can focus and concentrate without being interrupted or distracted by family, friends, neighbors, room-mates, phone, television, etc.

For practice time spent in the seated position, find a sturdy straight-back chair (without arms) - stay away from couches, recliners, beds, etc. Standing during a portion of your practice sessions is also a good way.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Gallien-Krueger GK800RB, SWR Goliath Jr. (2x10)
Gallien-Krueger MB150E-III

*** Travel Equipment ***
Fender American Standard Deluxe Jazz 4 String Bass

*** Specialties ***
Electric bass, Upright Bass, Bass Guitar, Music Theory
Fretted & Fretless 4-5-6-7-String. All musical styles including, but not limited to: Afro-Cuban, Acoustic Singer/Songwriter, Blues, Country, Flamenco, Funk (Specialty: Pizzicato & Slap Styles), Jazz, Instrumental, Latin, Pop, R&B, Rock (Classic, Hard, Metal).
...

Reviews

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Marcie S. June 4, 2014
Upright Bass · In studio
Verified Student
John is a phenomenal instructor, coach and mentor. He met my son at his level and patiently encouraged him to grow as a musician. His easy-going manner makes him approachable and his vast knowledge, as well as experience, helps the student to expand their musical skills. We like John:)
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SusanS March 27, 2011
John has been great for Cameron (our son) Cameron had to take a break for reahearsals for a musical that he was performing in.
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DanielK January 21, 2011
exactly what I wanted

Great teacher. Tailored the lesson to my wants and needs. Explanations are easy to understand. Just a very relaxed and cool guy. I left my lesson very inspired to practice and meet again.
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John S.

John S.

Encinitas, CA 92024
(7)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Kayla G.

San Diego, CA

Music Theory is the written language of music. Music came before notation, and I teach with that in mind. I provide listening examples for each concept so students can understand the real application of the theory.

About Kayla

For the past 6 years, I have taught students in classical voice, musical theater, piano, and music theory. I am happy to accept students of all ages, levels, and interests. I recently graduated with my Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from San Diego State University. I am a member of the National Association of Teacher of Singing (NATS), and serve as the Music Director for Folklore Guild. As a classically trained musician, I perform locally in San Diego as a soloist and a choral singer. Although my true love is opera, I have performed three solo art song recitals in high school and colle
ge. I have performed in both musical theater and opera productions, with roles including Suor Genovieffa from Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Spirit from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach a holistic approach to singing, which means my students will learn the entire system of the voice through vocal exercises, ear training, diction, song, and performance techniques. I am a yoga enthusiast, and integrate yoga into lessons, connecting the body to breath. Yoga gives students a path to good posture and a tool to relax under the pressure of performance.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio has a keyboard,
music books, and room to move. There is a couch available for parents to observe lessons, or a convenient shopping center nearby to run errands during
the lesson.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have a keyboard to travel with, but would prefer a keyboard or piano in the student's home for lessons and personal practice.

*** Specialties ***
I am a yoga enthusiast. I use yoga techniques to address posture and performance anxiety. As an active performer, I encourage and facilitate students performing outside of private lessons. The opportunity to compete in NATS competitions is an option for all students who fulfill the requirements.
...

Reviews

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Bethany K. May 2, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
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Meredith W. November 17, 2014
Singing · In studio
So happy with Kayla. She is working with my 12 yrs. old daughter and we have seen such improvements in her singing ability and her self-esteem!
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Ann C. October 29, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I should say Kayla has different teaching styles for different students depending on their abilities. I am 27 years old who sings without knowing how to read music whatsoever, so I was quite nervous when started. Being a non-English speaker made me even more nervous because I have been singing in Vietnamese my whole life. With Kayla's coaching, I am a lot more confident now even though it has only been a month. I am ready for the next step, learning proper singing techniques, after my fear for learning how to read music is now over thanks to Kayla.
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Kayla G.

Kayla G.

San Diego, CA 92129
(10)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Dillon C.

Carlsbad, CA

About Dillon

Dillon C., a San Diego native, has been studying guitar since age 11. He began gigging professionally with local rock groups at age 14 and became interested in jazz while in high school where he played in the La Costa Canyon High School Jazz Band. In 2009, his rock group, The New Archaic, won Best New Artist at the San Diego Music Awards and were nominated for Best Alternative Album in 2010.

He graduated from San Diego State University as a Classical Guitar Performance major where he studied under world-famous classical guitarist Celin Romero. He received a scholarship to study in Spain und
er legendary guitarists Manuel Barrueco and David Russell. He studied jazz guitar under local luminaries Peter Sprague and Bob Boss. He plays in many different jazz groups around town, most notably the In Motion Collective which was voted Best Jazz at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards and nominated for the same award in 2013. The group has opened for national and international acts like the Mattson 2, Budos Band, Sierre Leone Refugee All-Stars, and Zongo Junction.

Dillon began teaching while still in high school, where he taught the Magdalena YMCA group guitar classes. He has also been teaching privately since then as well as at the Encinitas School of Music and Electric Ladyland Music School in Ocean Beach. He focuses on learning chords and songs, developing rhythm, proper technique, an understanding of theory and composition, all while making the lessons fun and interesting for the student.

*** Lesson Details ***
All you need to be prepared on our first lesson is your guitar (acoustic or electric) and a folder for lesson materials. If you are doing piano lessons you will need a folder for lesson materials only. I will provide a keyboard for you.
Options for lesson times are 30, 45, or 60 minute lessons.
I start beginner students with some great introductory chords and songs and use these as a platform to develop technique. As you progress, we will get into more challenging songs, learn about music theory (scales, keys, improvisation) and will also learn about composing songs.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Nord Electro Keyboard
Amplifiers
Laptop/Speakers for Education Aid

*** Travel Equipment ***
Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Laptop for Education Aid

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in rock/jazz/blues and folk/fingerstyle. I incorporate my classical training to develop smoother technique in these styles. I also have many years experience in teaching younger students (ages 7-18)
...

Reviews

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Matthew H. January 30, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Dillon is a first rate guitar instructor!

I've taken lessons with Dillon for 5 months, and he has helped me make tremendous progress. I was lucky to find Dillon because my music interests are all over the place. I wanted to learn about fingerstyle, soul, jazz, blues, Latin music, music theory, transcribing for bands. Dillon helped me with all of those. He's the kind of person whose has really studied the guitar and can distill the music from many styles into a few simple ideas for the guitar, and explain those ideas in a memorable way.

I'll continue taking lessons from him, and would recommend him as a teacher to anyone looking for a teacher with charisma.
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Amanda B. January 27, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Dillon is an absolutely amazing teacher. I just started playing the piano a few months ago and he has been instrumental in motivating me and giving me the tools I need to get started. He is always willing to switch it up each lesson depending on how I am feeling that week and I really enjoy working with him. Dillon is extremely talented and dedicated to music which is really great, because starting out can be hard. I would highly recommend Dillon to anyone!
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Chris D. October 28, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Dillon- was not reliable. He no-showed twice and his phone was not active. Not a good start for beginner student!
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Dillon C.

Dillon C.

Carlsbad, CA 92009
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_73998_pi_image

Tonga R.

Encinitas, CA

I have spent the past 25 years learning and sifting through both Classical and Jazz theory in order to maximize my playing abilities and compositions. I specialize in teaching jazz harmony mainly because I believe it is the most useful for anyone who wants to understand any contemporary music forms. I connect how theory directly influences how you approach playing music you want to play, how you hear and experience music, and how it can make it infinitely easier to understand what to play based of the written chords/notes.

About Tonga

Music is a great passion of mine that I share with everything I do, whether it be through teaching, performing, producing, or recording. I have had the opportunity to study, perform, and teach alongside great individuals in music and continue so to this day.

I have been teaching both private lessons and in various classroom settings for the past 7 years, some of which include teaching at The Bishop's School (La Jolla), UCSD, and California State Summer School for the Arts (Los Angeles).

*** Travel Equipment ***

Yamaha AEX 1500 Hollowbody Guitar

Fender 5 String Jazz Bass

Bose
SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III

Manuscript Paper

**I provide charts/material for the student to work on, through print outs and emailing PDF versions of the source material directly to you
...

Reviews

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Lenore June 25, 2015
Guitar · In home
Tonga is an excellent musician and a fantastic music teacher. For the last 2 years he has given my two sons (ages 9 &10) lessons in guitar and ukulele. He has also given several lessons to my husband. His love and talent for music show is his lessons. He is reliable, on time, and has a great sense of humor. I highly recommend him as a music teacher for any age student.
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Brian O. June 25, 2015
Music Theory · In studio
My experience with Tonga has been nothing but great! He is one of those special musicians who can not only play an extremely wide variety of styles, but is equally gifted at teaching them to you. If you are looking for a positive teacher that tailors lessons toward each students individual strengths, weaknesses, and goals then Tonga is your man. I give him my highest recommendation without hesitation!
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Chris D. June 24, 2015
Bass Guitar · In home
Tonga is a great teacher, I have studied with him over three years and my playing has been improving steadily. He is very good at explaining difficult concepts and relating to any student.
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Tonga R.

Tonga R.

Encinitas, CA 92024
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
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