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Los Angeles, CA
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- Teaching since 1996
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"Amazing. After only five lessons, my son not only loves the guitar, but is playing songs....and LOVES Janis! Couldn't be happier."
Took Guitar lessons with Janis V.
"It has been a long-time wish of mine to take guitar, and learning with Janis, my passion for it continues to grow. She has recently taken on my sister for piano lessons as well, and helps us play song..."
Took Guitar lessons with Janis V.
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Took Guitar lessons with Dyce K.
"It is a pleasure to learn guitar from someone like Dyce. He is a great player a great teacher and most of all he is extremely passionate about his craft and his students. He takes the time to expla..."
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Popular Guitar Articles from our Blog
Pink Floyd Guitar Lesson | How to Play Like David Gilmour
When it comes to incredible guitar players, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd takes the cake. In this article, teacher Bernard M. shows you how to play the guitar just like the legend himself... Many musicians strive to sound like their heroes. They want to get that special something that makes those legends stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways you can do this is to learn their parts -- beat for beat, note for note. While this can be difficult and time consuming, it's on
Guitar for Kids: 5 Best Childrens' Guitar Books
Guitar books can be a great help for kids who are interested in guitar lessons. Guitar teacher Matthew K. shares five of his favorite guitar books for younger students... The guitar is an instrument that has to be learned by doing. During my experience as a guitar teacher, I've found it essential to use a book for kids ages six to ten. Books can keep the student on track, but should not be the only teaching method used. It's important to keep lessons fun and interesting with songs and riffs t
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Taking Video Guitar Lessons
A quick search for “video guitar lessons” will reveal thousands of results on how to play the guitar. For many students it can be overwhelming to sort through countless video lessons to find the one with the information they’re looking for. As a beginner, it can also be difficult to determine when you are or aren’t getting accurate information. Although there certainly isn’t a shortage of video guitar lessons out there, you shouldn’t rely on pre-recorded lessons alone to lear
Introduction to Proper Guitar Posture
As a beginner, proper guitar posture is one of the most important beginning steps before you learn about chords, picking, and strumming. Sadly, learning proper guitar posture is often an afterthought to learning to play. Although whether you choose to sit or stand has little effect on your tone or technique, proper guitar posture is important for many other reasons. Why Is Proper Posture Important? Proper guitar posture makes the work of your hands and fingers easier, conserving your energy.
How to Practice Guitar in 15 Minutes [Video]
When you're learning guitar, you know how important it is to practice. Sometimes, however, you just don't have time for a full practice session. This doesn't mean you need to skip practice altogether. In this video, Austin, TX. guitar instructor Aimee B. teaches you how to practice guitar in 15 minutes... If you want to boost your guitar skills, you need to increase your knowledge of chord voicings. There's more than one way to play the same chord on the guitar. The good news is that the
The Best YouTube Videos to Learn Country Guitar
When you're learning guitar, it's fun to explore different types of music. Playing country guitar is fun and relatively easy to learn when you focus on easy country songs. Great county songs generally have a slow, easy pace and a memorable melody and chorus. This makes it easy for you to understand how the songs are supposed to sound, and helps you to play them correctly. Basic Song Structure Whether you're playing country music or another style of music, you will learn the same basic song str
For Beginning Guitarists: Right and Left Hand Basics
Want to improve your coordination and guitar technique? Here, Goodyear, AZ guitar teacher David A. shares two simple guitar exercises to try out... Do you love listening to guitar music and do you want to learn how to play? Well, in addition to having a passion for guitar, it is important for you as the aspiring guitarist to maintain a consistent practice routine that incorporates guitar exercises to improve your right and left hand coordination and timing, which will, in turn,
DIY: Homemade Capo Tutorial in 4 Easy Steps [Video]
If you want to learn how to make your very own homemade capo from scratch, keep reading. In this article, we’ll share four simple steps to put together a DIY capo on the fly - with just two materials! When you’re jamming with friends and there’s a new vocalist in the mix, you might find yourself having to play in unfamiliar keys. If you left your trusty capo at home, no problem! Follow this easy guide and you’ll learn how to make a capo in no time. DIY Homemade Capo Tutorial Yo
From Amateur to Professional: How to Turn Guitar Playing Into a Career
So you want to turn your hobby into a gig that pays the bills? Music can be a hard career but it is doable. You may never headline Madison Square Garden but with enough work and dedication you can build a career that keeps you fed both spiritually and creatively. Here are ten tips for making the transition. 1. Practice Practice Practice Before anyone is going to pay you to play music you need to be good at music. This might seem obvious, but I’m not talking about natural talent, creativi
50 Simple Things You Can Do To Get More From Your Guitar Practice Time
Does guitar practice ever feel overwhelming, too hard, or like a chore? Take a tip or 50 from guitar teacher Jerry W. and you'll have enough material to work with to keep practice fun for the rest of your life. As an added bonus, we've peppered in extra resources for you so you can learn even more about each guitar practice tip. Ready Freddie? Let's get started! What Is a Good Guitar Practice Routine? If you’re on a mission to figure out how to practice guitar while having fun with it, her
Session Guitarist Survival Guide
So you want to be a session guitarist? Maybe you’re wanting to make a few extra bucks. Maybe you want this as a career? In my music career, I’ve worked with artists such as Khalid, John Karpowich (Santana), Jamie Merrill, Eric Boseman, and many others. I will share with you what I think of as a basic session guitarist survival guide. A disclaimer… I don’t do much session work anymore. I am using my time to write and record my own music. However, I have learned a lot, and what works fo
3 Alternate Tunings Every Guitarist Should Try
Did you know tuning your guitar a different way can open up tons of new possibilities in your playing? Guitar teacher James W. shares three of the most popular alternate guitar tunings you'll want to explore... There are many alternate guitar tunings that can be used to create new sounds and styles on the guitar. In this blog post, we will discuss three alternate tunings that every guitarist should try. Each of these tunings offers a unique sound and playing experience that is worth expl
4 Alternate Guitar Tunings for Beginners
Whether you just started guitar lessons or you've been playing for a while, you may be itching to learn some new songs and take on some new challenges. You might be wondering: where can I go from here? That's where alternate guitar tunings come in! With this guide from Michael L., you'll learn how alternate guitar tunings can take your playing to the next level... Are you tired of the same old guitar tuning? Are you looking for a new way to challenge yourself and explore your creativity?
5 Guitar Moves That Sound Hard But Are Actually Easy
Have you ever heard a guitar lick that sounded crazy complicated? Guitar teacher Christopher S. explains how some of the hardest sounding techniques can actually be easy once you try them... When taking up the challenge of learning to play the guitar, I strongly recommend finding the skills and techniques that you are best at and using them to create the music you love. There is an endless amount of sounds which you can create with the guitar, and if you have the skills to produce
35 Easy Guitar Songs for Beginners
Many students want to learn how to play guitar, but they don't know where to start. Easy guitar songs for beginners are great for new players because they are relatively simple, and they sound great when played with accompaniment. Are you a beginner guitar player looking for easy songs to learn? You've come to the right place! In this blog post, we will share some of our favorite easy guitar songs for beginners. Whether you're a fan of rock, country, or pop music, there's something f
Guitar Playing Tips | Eliminating Bad Habits & Reducing Injury
As far as guitar playing tips go, understanding proper form should be at the top of the list! Here, North Wales, PA guitar teacher Nathan D. shares the basics... As a multi-instrumental musician, I am constantly checking my form to prevent strain or injury. Hours of improperly played guitar, piano, violin, and even clarinet can make one's fingers and elbows throb, and the impact of playing drums too hard with poor form can cause major injury to wrists all the way to your shoulders.
10 Must Know Rock Guitar Riffs | TakeLessons Blog
Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate guitarist, you probably have a few guitar riffs and songs on your must-learn list. Well, it's time to get to work! No matter which type of music you're into, when you learn guitar, you're entering a new, sometimes cult-like world. Like any pursuit in life, the more you know about that skill, the more you have to say about it. The cult aspect of guitar is that you have to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk. Electric guitar is what m
How to Play a G Chord on Guitar | TakeLessons Blog
Learning any instrument can be a fun and engaging process but mastering the guitar can be especially exciting for several reasons. The guitar is used in many different genres and music styles, making guitar playing extremely useful when learning your favorite songs on your own or making music with friends. Additionally, the guitar is relatively small and portable, making it easy to take anywhere with you. If you’re just starting to learn to play guitar, congratulations! You’ll
5 Country Guitar Licks Every Guitarist Should Know
With it's distinct style and signature sound, many guitarists want to learn to play country music. Here, Katy, TX guitar instructor Zachary A. shares the five country guitar licks you need to know... Whether you’re trying to emulate you favorite country guitarist or you just enjoy the twang of country songs, these five guitar licks will help you establish a solid foundation. The majority of country music licks are derived from blues and major pentatonic scales. In this article, I will p
Learning the Guitar Fretboard Notes [BONUS: Guitar Notes Chart]
Memorizing the guitar fretboard notes is something every beginning guitarist should work toward. Here, we'll share a quick exercise and guitar notes chart to help you get started. If the guitar had only one string, it would be quite easy to understand the mechanics of the guitar fretboard. It would be laid out just like a piano, where the further to the right you go, the higher the pitch and vice versa. It's not that easy when it comes to understanding a traditional six-string guitar.
Blues Singers Who Use Classical Technique
Blues singing seems very far from the kind of vocal styles you’d think would need classical training -- opera, art song, musical theater -- but you’d be surprised at how much basic vocal techniques overlap! I strongly believe good singing technique is useful for every style, not just classical singing. Proper vocal technique is all about health, efficiency, and sustainability. Singing with healthy vocal technique can ensure you can keep singing your entire life and is likely what contrib
20 Different Types of Guitars & The Legends Who Played Them [Infographic]
While certain types of guitars are standard in modern culture, the instrument has a wide variety of expressions that is nearly impossible to tame. From the ancient Greek kithara to the guitar-like lute from pre-modern Spain, the many different types of guitars vary just as much as the people who play them. Some types of acoustic and electric guitars are more common than others. Steel string dreadnought acoustics and Stratocaster-style electrics are likely to be the first thing that pops i
The Storytelling of Flamenco Music | TakeLessons
Folk music has been around since the beginning of time, and it continues to be a driving force behind many cultures around the world. Folk music is usually classified as traditional music from a particular culture that has no true author and is passed down orally from generation to generation. Folk music is also known to have many meanings inside the music such as telling stories, describing a landscape, or teaching a moral lesson. One of the best examples of folk music that I have dedicated
5 Popular Guitar Chord Progressions You'll Instantly Recognize
What's the fastest way to learn songs on the guitar? Learn the guitar chord progressions involved! Below, Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. shares a quick refresher lesson and what you'll need to know to play songs by Lorde, Pearl Jam, the Beatles, and more! For this lesson, you'll learn the specific chords used in one song for each progression. To play other songs that use the same progression only in other keys, it’ll be important that you have a basic understanding of how Roman nu
5 Ways to Balance the Cost of Guitar Lessons
Thinking of learning to play guitar but put off by the price of lessons? It's possible to get great results without dropping tons of cash, just follow this guide from guitar teacher Derrick C.... Price is one of the big determinations in people’s decision on whether or not to take guitar lessons. It can be a significant expense, but there are ways to lower the costs without sacrificing the quality of lessons. 1. Take guitar lessons on a bi-weekly or monthly basis The standard for private
13 Effective Strategies for Natural Stress Relief | TakeLessons
Life can be overwhelming. In fact, 70 percent of adults in the U.S. say they feel stress or anxiety on a daily basis. Let's join together and discover the best stress relief remedies. Here at TakeLessons, we’re interested in the relationship between learning and stress. While learning can be fun and rewarding, it can also be challenging to fit lessons into a busy schedule, coordinate with teachers, and manage the ups and downs of your learning journey. We also know that experiencing str
Tips for Open Mic: 3 Ways Guitarists Can Shine
Guitarists, are you ready to hit the stage at a local open mic? Polish your performance with these tips from guitar teacher Samuel B.... Performing (like songwriting) is a craft at which any dedicated musician can excel. It requires no prerequisites – only the desire to share your talent and creations. My high school music teacher once said Thomas Edison misappropriated the original purpose of music by inventing machinery to record it – that nothing can replace your experience of seein
Learning to Play Guitar: How Long Should My Lessons Be?
Not sure how long your guitar lessons should be? Take some advice from guitar teacher David G. and you'll be on the road to success... When prospective students are looking for a potential music teacher they are searching for a number of different aspects to their lessons. Most private teachers have a range of options for lesson times that they offer their students, the most common being 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes in length. There are a number of things to consider when choosing
Kids' Guitar Lessons: How Often Should My Child Practice?
Odds are that if your child is taking guitar lessons, your child chose to play the instrument. Unlike stringed instruments, piano, and classical instruments, kids usually choose to start playing guitar. Kids guitar lessons are a great start, especially when they are geared to your child’s age, but the only way your child will really progress with the guitar is through regular practice. Practicing is a unique challenge when it is an instrument that a child chooses to play. People tend to
Learn Guitar Now | How to Read Tabs
Although learning to read sheet music is a valuable skill for any musician, most guitarists prefer to use a different type of notation known as guitar tablature or guitar tabs. Guitar tabs give a basic visual representation of the neck of your guitar and use numbers to indicate which notes are to be played. Learning how to read tabs is pretty simple, and, once you get the hang of it, you can easily learn new songs or write down compositions of your own. How to Read Tabs Guitar tabs are
5 Basic Guitar Chords & 20 Easy Guitar Songs for Beginners
One of the best things about the guitar is that you only need a handful of chords to unlock an impressive repertoire of songs; you don't actually need to memorize all the guitar chords possible. Open-string basic guitar chords are where everybody starts when they first pick up the instrument, so whether you’re looking to learn classic songs or write material of your own, knowing these guitar chords for beginners is a must. These are the "easy" chords that anyone can play! In this post,
5 Country Strumming Patterns for Beginner Guitarists
The most popular guitar technique is the art of strumming chords. Every style of guitar utilizes various strumming patterns which can determine the sound of a particular style. A genre that uses a lot of unique strums are country and bluegrass styles. In this article, we will discuss the basics of strumming an acoustic guitar, and I will provide you with 5 country strumming patterns beginners can start using right away! Holding a Pick To get started, I recommend learning how to use a pick.
The Benefits of Music Therapy for Depression | TakeLessons
It’s hard to imagine a world without music. Our favorite songs lift us up and help us better understand love, loss, and life. Although most people feel strongly connected to music in some way, not everyone knows that music can be used to heal. From the very first tune ever hummed, music has brought increased physical and mental wellbeing to musicians and listeners alike. Music therapy is the modern world’s application of this ancient wisdom, using evidence-based musical interventions to e
Fingerpicking Patterns for Guitar | TakeLessons Blog
Looking to bring a deeper dimension to your acoustic guitar playing? These fingerpicking patterns are the perfect option to make rich and beautiful music today. Many guitar players focus only on strumming patterns or guitar solo licks and miss out on the beauty of fingerpicking. Becoming a well-rounded guitar player means building up skills in both hands — not just your fretting hand — and basic fingerpicking skills are a must for many guitar styles. Learning how to fingerpick takes t
Easy Guitar Songs: Learn to Play Like David Bowie
The best way to celebrate the life of music legend David Bowie is to remember his impact and play his songs. Here, guitar instructor Matt K. teaches you to play five easy guitar songs that Bowie made famous... The recent passing of rock 'n' roll icon David Bowie sent a shockwave through the world. Bowie’s music and message meant so much to so many people. He had the talent to remain relevant within the entertainment industry since his big break with Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders Fr
Guitar Chord Charts: 11 Easy Tips to Read Fingering Charts on Acoustic Guitars
While it's true that you don't need to read music to play the guitar, you should learn how to read guitar chord charts. A guitar chord chart is a visual representation of a chord. This helpful visual is a little like music-by-numbers; it tells you which finger goes where and on what string, so in case you come across a chord you don't know, you'll be able to play it. Here's an example of a guitar chord chart, also known as a guitar chord diagram: Guitar chord charts are a cinch
Learning to Play Guitar: How Often Should I Take Lessons?
You've chosen a beautiful guitar. You have picks, a capo, a tuner, and a guitar teacher. Congratulations! You've begun your journey to becoming a great guitar player. But how often should you take lessons? Mastering the guitar requires blending many skills together, and using your body and mind in unison to create music. You must perfect your muscle memory and fine motor skills, while remembering many chords, chord progressions, and how to find particular notes on your guitar. Playing elec
Top 10 Online Resources for Learning Guitar Theory
With so much information online about guitar theory, how do you know which sites to trust? Guitar teacher Zachary A. shares his top 10 favorite sites for learning about the guitar... Online resources for guitar theory are extremely helpful. These 10 websites are all incredible tools for guitar players of all levels - beginner, intermediate, and expert. Each of these websites is also free to the public and extremely detailed. 1. TakeLessons Live It can be difficult to learn guitar theory
10 Things Every Great Jazz Guitarist Knows
Be the next great jazz guitarist with these tips from guitar teacher Zachary A.... To quote the late Frank Zappa, “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny”. Jazz may not be as big and popular as it once was but if you learn how to play jazz you will be set up to successfully play any genre of music. The great jazz musicians all have numerous things in common, things that set them apart from the crowd and make them legendary. In this article, I will be going over ten of those most i
The Pros & Cons of Martin Guitars: How to Choose Your Instrument
When it comes to acoustic guitars, Martin Guitars are one of the best out there. From the Avett Brothers to David Gilmour, many musicians use this brand and they have a solid reputation. Martin Guitars have been around since 1833, so their history goes way back and they have made many great guitars. Pros of Martin Guitars In terms of the pros, Martin guitars provide a nice sound and they have a lot of great quality guitars. Martin guitars are most famous for their acoustic guitar models,
Best Slide Guitar Songs and Beginner Techniques
Slide guitar has become an interesting genre of music that has intrigued many musicians both young and old. This art originally stemming from ancient Polynesia and Africa has greatly influenced blues and country music styles. As a beginner guitarist, it can be confusing wondering where to begin learning about this unique style, and knowing what to listen to can be difficult to come across. In this article, I will share some of the basic techniques in the bottleneck slide guitar arsenal, as well
How to Find the Best Guitar Cable for Your Live Performances
When it comes to live performances, guitarists need a lot of equipment to help project their sounds to the audience. Without amplification equipment, it becomes difficult for the audience to hear our instruments. One of the most important pieces of gear we need besides an amplifier is a guitar cable. A cable is a cord that plugs into our guitar pickup and then into our amps. There are many cords out there by different manufacturers, and each player has different preferences. In this article
7 guitar ear training tips to improve your playing abilities
For guitarists, there is one thing that will bring your playing from just ok to legendary. And you already have all the tools you need for it: your ears! If you'd like to take your guitar playing to the next level, start working on ear training. Guitar ear training helps you identify intervals, pitches, and chords, so you can jam, sight read, and write music more easily. Once you've learned how to put what you hear in your head onto paper, the possibilities are endless. There are several
Where Guitar Picks Really Go When You Lose Them
The life of a guitarist is not all glamour and glory. Mostly, you spend your time looking for a guitar pick, you know, the one you just put down a second ago. Over the years, many explanations have arisen to explain the phenomenon of the disappearing pick, but unfortunately science has yet to give us a definitive answer. So, in the spirit of investigation and with hopes of someday exposing the truth, here are 13 of the leading theories on what happened to your lost guitar pick. 1. It fell
How to Write a Guitar Solo (And Then Play it With Confidence)
Mr. Crowley. Smooth. Sweet Child o Mine. Let it Be. All these songs have something in common. A captivating guitar solo. What makes a great solo? More importantly, how do you write a guitar solo? In this article, we’re going to dive in and discover what makes great solos and some tips on writing a guitar solo. My influences include lots of 80s rockers (Randy Rhoads, EVH, Slash) and Latin players like Sergio Vallin, Carlos Santana, and Al DiMeola. I tend to use very little effects because I
F Chord Guitar Tips: Easy Finger Positions for Beginners
If you follow our blog, then you've already seen the best tips and tricks for learning guitar chords, but what about playing the infamous F chord on guitar? In this blog post, we'll address common myths about the F chord and give you some helpful advice on how to play the F chord on guitar. Misconceptions About the F Chord The six-string F chord is one of the hardest standard chord shape to play on the guitar. When many people try to play the F chord on guitar (and often succeed) it's wit
Pros & Cons of Ovation Guitars
Ovation guitars are some of the most unique acoustic-electrics on the market. Designed by engineer Charles Kaman, who had previously worked designing helicopters, Ovations are hybrid guitars with a number of unconventional features, including shallow plastic backs, a built-in preamp, and (on some models) multiple soundholes. For this reason, they can be extremely polarizing. Guitarists tend to either love or hate them. Here are five reasons an Ovation guitar might be just the right thing for you
4 Common Challenges Faced By New Guitar Students (And How To Overcome Them)
As with any new skill, learning how to play the guitar comes with challenges. Here, Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S. shares his guitar playing tips to help you stay motivated... I've been teaching guitar to students of all ages and skill levels for many years and have gotten quite adept at spotting and remedying the challenges faced by beginners. So I've decided to address them in this article to offer students and their parents some insight on how to get beyond the problems so they ca
Tips for Parents: The 5 Best Guitars for Kids
Figuring out how to find a great first-time guitar can be a challenge in itself, but what to do when you're looking for a child? Have no fear, guitar instructor Matthew K. is here! Read on for some professional insight, purchase recommendations, and how to find the best guitars for kids... Learning to play the guitar can be the most exciting time in a child’s life so it’s important to choose a guitar that fits! Full-size guitars can be too big and bulky for a child’s small hands to wor
How to Write a Song on Guitar Using Just 3 Chords
Even if you just started learning to play guitar, you already have the tools to write your first song. Guitar teacher Aimee B. shares how to get started... You can write a song on guitar as early as after your first lesson or once you’ve learned a few basic chords. Whether you ultimately want to accompany your lead vocal, jam with others, or to be a wailing lead guitarist, you can, at anytime, write your own unique song. So where do you begin? How do you write a song? Here'