Guitar Lessons for Adults
Berkeley Parents Network >
Classes & Lessons >
Guitar Lessons for Adults
Adult beginner guitar lessons
I am interested in learning how to play the guitar. I am a total beginner, so I'm
looking for someone who is very patient! Any recommendations in Berkeley? Thanks!
May I recommend Caren Armstrong. She teaches out of the Village of Montclair
and is absolutely wonderful.
Adrienne Shamszad is a patient, kind, and skilled teacher. She is also an incredible
musician. She teaches out of her home in the Glenview area of Oakland but may travel to
I recommend Joaquim Chikiro.
Joaquim is a wonderful guitar teacher and musician!
He can teach beginning guitar and address different style interests.
His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete Madsen [email@example.com]
he teaches private and occasionally group lessons. highly recommended! -oren
I took lessons from Barry Solomon for a few years and he is a great teacher. He
teaches in Alameda at the Alameda music School at High and Encinal. As a teacher he
is very clear and patient, does not waste your precious time by showing of his music
skills (he is a very skilled musician) or with lots of chatter, and he can teach many
musical styles well, jazz, folk, pop, bluegrass, old time, etc. He is not on an ego
trip but there to teach and he has taught for many years! You can email me with any
Our family has taken guitar lessons from Michael Goldberg. His studio is on
Ward Street, Berkeley. His clients are young children, teens and adults. My 15
year old daughter can read music and has a new appreciation for all types of
music due to Michael's excellent instruction. Michael also teaches through the
UC system (Berkeley and Davis) and also performs. He can be reached at
Guitar teacher for adults, North-Berkeley-ish
I would love to take beginning guitar lessons from someone meeting the following
-- nice, patient, systematic
-- more focussed on folk than on rock and roll
-- preferably female
-- lessons in El Cerrito/Albany/North Berkeley/Kensington
-- excellent teacher!
It's been a few years since anyone posted a review for adult guitar lessons, so I would
love any updated recommendations! Thanks.
I just met a wonderful man Joaquim Chikiro who recently moved back to Berkeley
with his wife Aurelia (a wonderful artist!).
Joaquim is a lovely guitar teacher who in just a short time showed me how I can
use pentatonic scales to improve my fledgling guitar skills.
He can help you develop basic skills that can be applied to different styles
whether folk, rock or other. I found him to be very easy going, warm and clear.
He also teaches a wide range of ages, is in the Berkeley area near the Gourmet
His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can highly recommend Mori Achen as a guitar teacher, both for adults and children. I
take private lessons out of his home studio in north Berkeley right next to the Crowden
Music School, and my 8 year old daughter takes group lessons from him at Crowden. Mori
is great and can really push you at just the right level regardless of whether you're a
beginner or more advanced (and his rates are very affordable). He is also a
sought-after performer at weddings and other events. He can be reached at
email@example.com and has a website: http://www.guitarmusicartist.com.
happy guitar student
Guitar teacher for beginner mom and son
I'm looking for a guitar teacher who will teach my son (7) and I together but also me
separately. I have a background (long ago and not in guitar) in music and he is a fresh,
excited beginner. He's on electric, I'm on acoustic. Prefer lessons in our home, but open.
Thank you. anonymous
Excellent Guitar Teacher : Pete Madsen. He is organized, flexible, really nice
guy. He does private lessons, organizes excellent group lessons (also really
His email: Pete Madsen firstname.lastname@example.org
his website: www.learnbluesguitarnow.com But, he is way more than just blues!
He has a son so could likely relate to yours.
I highly recommend Lisa Zeiler as a guitar teacher for you and your son. My
son took lessons from her for 6 years and loved it! She's great at engaging
kids by choosing songs they really want to learn and she has a knack for
teaching basic skills and even a little music theory while keeping it fun. She
has lots of experience teaching parents and kids together and is also a really
talented musician herself. Her phone number is (415)377-8588. Have fun!
Andrew Harris, email@example.com, 510-847-3098, has been teaching kids and adults since he
was a student at Berkeley High. He graduated with a music degree a few years ago and is teaching
music locally. Highly recommended by kids, parents and his JCC kids! Mom
I highly recommend Billy Ribak of Three O'Clock Rock. Billy started teaching my
son guitar when he was 7, and now teaches him drums, bass, and piano/music
theory (my son just turned 12 and is quite a musician, thanks to Billy). He is
an excellent musician himself and an extremely gifted teacher for both kids and
adults. He plays guitar and drums professionally, but is trained in viola and
piano as well. Billy has a studio in downtown Oakland but also visits people's
homes for lessons, if you're more comfortable with that. You can email Billy at
firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his web site at www.threeoclockrock.com. LB
Guitar Lessons for Adult
My husband wanted a guitar as a birthday gift and now we need lessons! Looking for
either private or small group lessons within the Berkeley area. Many thanks in advance
for recommendations! Jennifer
Robbie Dunbar is a patient, creative, well educated (Masters in Music Comp.)
guitar (& piano and other instruments) teacher in Berkeley and Lamorinda
areas. He travels to your home so that makes it easy for you and works
weekends too. He's very flexible. He calls his business ''From Bach to
Beattles and beyond...'' His number is: (925) 323-9706. He teaches adults and
children, beginners and advanced, songwriters, composers, and ...
My husband has been taking lessons from the best guitar teacher ever--Matthew
Heulitt. He is patient, kind hearted and extremely gifted. Not only is he a
fantastic guitar player, but he is also an incredible teacher. It takes a very
special person to be able to do both successfully. I just wish we had started
working with him earlier! http://matthewcharlesheulitt.com/
Happy wife of a MH guitar student
For adult guitar lessons, I can't recommend Hale Fulton enough. I have an
8-month old who is enchanted with the guitar (thanks to many musician friends
and Music Together). I decided to borrow a friend's guitar and take some
lessons, enough to play a few things with my son (I have a background in piano
and violin, but zero guitar). I started from scratch with Hale - He quickly
read my experience level (like I said, zero), and talked to me about what I
wanted to learn, goals, etc. Hale is very experienced as a musician, as well,
and clearly loves what he does. As a teacher, he brings this joy to the
process of learning. He's easy to talk to and provides a helpful structure and
basics curriculum (chords, technique, hand-outs with diagrams, strum
patterns). I also love the fact that he works with children. I intend to work
with him for the long run. You can contact him at email@example.com or
I am taking lessons from Kerry Yates. He is fantastic. He teaches out of Subway Guitars
on Cedar and Grant on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. He will teach you
anything and he is patient and fun. My 13 year-
old is taking bass lessons from him also. 415-531-2595
Guitar and singing lessons for beginner
I am in my early 40s and want to learn to play the guitar
and improve my singing. Essentially trying to pick up
enough skills so I can participate when others are playing
and singing at family events, camping, Strawberry Music
Festival, etc. I am looking for an instructor who might be
able to help me in both (learning to play and sing a book of
songs, etc). I am not super folky -- more alternative/rock
and roll. And am imagining someone who is talented, but is
also fun/lowkey and encourages people who simply want to
participate musically in the world because it makes them
happy! Ideally Rockridge or Elmwood, but I could travel.
Its never too late!
I highly recommend Robin Flower. She teaches guitar,
mandolin, and fiddle, to kids and adults. I found her to be
fun, engaging, and patient. Mostly, she just seems to LOVE
music. Check out her web site: http://robinflower.net ,
send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org , or give her a
Inexpensive Guitar teacher for advanced beginner
My wife really wants to get better at guitar. Looking for a teacher in
fingerpicking/folk styles who isnt too pricey and close to N Oakland. Thanks!
Roger is a wonderful teacher for all ages and levels. His
number is 510-599-6788. I am not only a parent who has watched
him teach, but also an instrumental music teacher and can tell you he really
teaches well and with a friendly lovely demeanor.
My husband and I have been helping out at Acme Music at 3715 MacArthur Blvd
(Laurel District) and there is an amazing guitar player and teacher there
named Dave Creamer--some of his former students include Tuck Andress, Rory
Stuart, Joe Satriani, etc.
Dave has played with Miles Davis, among others. He can teach any style.
Lessons at Acme are $24/30 minutes. You can call the store and arrange to
talk with Dave 510.530.7234 annette
I would like to recommend my son's music teacher, Ernie Mansfield, (510)
524-2055 of Mansfield Music,
who teaches guitar (acoustic and electric) as well as piano, flute, clarinet and
saxophone. My son has been
a student of his for over 2 years and has taken both piano and guitar with him.
Ernie is an extremely kind
and patient teacher who seems to know exactly how to keep students of all ages and
levels engaged, and
who is especially good at finding music and ways to meet each student's
musical interests. The bi-annual
recitals at the old Freight and Salvage are always fun. Many students play duets
with Ernie and some of the
older students play their own compositions. It is not a pressured performance
environment that is not
Ernie's style, but rather a relaxed one-hour of music. I highly recommend
you call Ernie and discuss
your interests, I'm sure he'll be able to accommodate you.
I'm looking for a beginning guitar teacher who can come to our
home to give me and my husband lessons. We want to learn kids
songs to play for our 2.5 year old daughter and friends.
My son and I have been lucky enough to work with Dave Willocks, who
has just moved to the East Bay from Manhattan where he had a
thriving practice teaching guitar. He is a graduate of the
University of Miami's prestigious jazz program and is very
knowledgeable about all aspects of guitar. He plays beautifully and
makes learning fun--I would say he is a gifted musician and teacher.
He is just beginning to build his new base of students--as he just
moved here several weeks ago. You can reach him through his website
www.davewillocks.com. I believe he teaches anyone from the age of 9
Hi. I live in North Oakland and am looking for a
recommendation for a guitar teacher who has a studio near me
or can come to my house to give lessons. I have two kids
under 3 so going more than 10 minutes away isn't really an
I want to learn Bonnie Raitt songs and some lullabies, so I
don't need an expert. Just someone to help me with these two
tasks. I have about 10 years experience and two guitars (baby
Taylor and a Gibson) but a terrible ear.
Barry Olivier is a fabulous folk guitar teacher with years of teaching
experience for all levels, beginner to advanced. His studio is near
Alcatraz & Regent (probably within your 10 min. travel time, as
requested), a cozy and inspiring place (filled with pics of
guitarists, etc). His teaching method is song-based - let him know
what you want to learn and he'll go with it and have some great
suggestions of his own. He's warm, nurturing (offering juice, tea,
snacks), has a great laugh and is well-organized. You'll go home from
a lesson feeling well taken care of and with a CD of the songs plus
his tips as well as easy to read song sheets. Enjoy!
Hi, About the guitar teacher for adults, my husband has been taking
lessons from Julia Lau and he really is enjoying it. He started from
an absolute beginner level and he is playing several songs already,
just a few months into it. She has private lessons at her house in
Oakland. I met her and think she is down to earth, professional and
talented. Her main webpage is http://www.julialau.net/_nav/index.html
It doesn't mention a link for her private lessons there. She had a
craigslist ad for private lessons. Perhaps you can contact her either
through her website or find the craigslist ad now that you know her
name. I hope you pursue it. My husband is having fun and actually
singing around the house, which I love to hear.
Can anyone recommend a good guitar teacher for an adult in
Berkeley? I am an advanced beginner and I'd like to learn
folk, rock n roll, blues, and fingerpicking.
My son had taken guitar lessons from Michael Goldberg for
several years until he went to college some 3 years ago. He was
very happy with the lessons. Michael lived in Berkeley
I would like to recommend Scott Beynon for guitar lessons or
even bass lessons. We have been taking lessons weekly from Scott
for quite a while now. He's really patient and nice and has been
playing for 30 years so he knows what he's doing. He's great
with both bass and guitar. I like him because he puts the
lessons together around whatever kind of music you like and want
to learn. He's located in Castro Valley but maybe he travels
I'm not sure, but give him a call. He's just a nice guy and a
great teacher. His cell is 925/895-4266 Tell him Laura sent ya.
Hands down excellent guitar teacher is Barry Olivier. I'll bet
I'm not the only one who recommends him here. He has been
teaching for about 50 years, and is the quintessential Berkeley
folk music guy. He's also a warm and lovely person. His phone
number is 530-5525. Good luck.
For adults advancing into their guitar expertise, I'd like to
recommend Pete Madsen. Pete's a great communicator with a sense
of humor, and an amazing musician too. Look him up at:
My daugher and a couple friends of hers as well, LOVE her guitar
teacher, Regina Pontillo. SHe is located in Berkeley near Cedar
Rose Park. She is very flexible, talented, also throws in some
singing lessons sometimes which is more fun because it makes the
whole experience better, she is hip and over all, really making it
fun for my 12 years old.
Her number is 331-7061
Maybe it's a midlife crisis, but I just decided I really want to learn to
play the guitar (folk). I think a group class would be more social, not
to mention cheaper. I looked in the archives, but the last recommendation
for group adult guitar classes was from 7/03. I checked the Berkeley
Adult School website and they are not offering any guitar classes this
season. Any suggestions? Berkeley or Albany would be most convenient for
me; El Cerrito, Oakland, or Emeryville less convenient but probably
Wanna play the guitar
I took the guitar class at Laney. It was great.
Looking for a good jazz guitar teacher who is easy to
understand and who teaches intermediate students. Also,
someone who is not too expensive.
music lessons wanted
Somebody posted today looking for a jazz guitar teacher. Call
Wayne Anderson at (510) 534-6516. He is extremely talented and
a very kind and patient individual. Tell him I sent you!
Ernie Mansfield is a great guitar teacher, is very versatile,
and works with lots of different styles of music, and students
of all ages. You can reach him at 510-524-2055 or
ernie AT mansfieldmusic.com
I'd like to give my husband acoustic guitar lessons for
Christmas. I've checked the site and found a few names and some
old phone numbers. Does anyone have a current phone number for
Steve Gibson and/or a recommendation for a great guitar teacher?
Check with 5th String music store (near Ashby BART) to see if
they can track down Steve Gibson and/or recommend another
teacher. A long time ago, I took lessons there from Cindy Lowe
and liked her a lot.
The best acoustical guitarist around, recommended by the
Conservatory, and the son of a famous composer, is Gyan Riley
who is available for teaching. His e-mail address is
email@example.com. He will be performing on December 14th
at the Berkeley Art Center. If you want to be transported into
another, beautiful world, you can hear him play.
I have been taking acoustic guitar lessons with Caren Armstrong
for over a year now, and I wish I had met her a long time ago!
Caren is a local singer/songwriter/performer. She is very
knowledgeable, intelligent and a terrific guitar player and
teacher. I have been consistently impressed with her ability to
tailor the lessons to my interests and needs. She can be reached
by phone (510-339-9649) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Guitar Teacher: I can strongly recommend my teacher, Jeffrey
Rugato, for all levels of guitar from beginner to advanced. He
is an excellent, gifted teacher who excels at not only
developing your skills but also your understanding and intuition
about the guitar. He also helps you quickly move into developing
your sty and musicality. He has a large knowledge base about
various styles of music and guitar and so can customize the
lessons to student interest. He is friendly and flexible and can
work well with children through adults. My husband and I have
been taking lessons with him for several months and not only
love improving our guitar playing but also have a great time in
the lessons. Jeffrey can be reached at 510-652-5432. His rates
are negotiable and all are under $30/hr.
Affordable weekend lessons?
My Husband loves to play, just needs more instruction to move
forward. It would be great if lessons were on the weekends or
weeknights. And on the affordable side since we just had a
baby. We live in Berkeley so something in the area is best. If
anyone has any recommendations I would appreciate it. I have
browsed the old posts, but would love some current offerings.
I have been taking classical guitar lessons for about 1.5 years
from Ron Galen, who teaches at Tupper and Reed on Shattuck,
south of University in Berkeley. His rates are reasonable
($30/30 min., or $60/60 min.), and I find him to be an
excellent adult teacher: patient yet exacting, great sense of
humor yet serious about playing well. He is well-trained,
plays in a Brazilian band, and continues to push himself as
well as his students. I find that he is understanding about my
desire to play, yet can't always manage to practice as much as
I (or he) would like. Good luck to your husband!
Does anyone have experience with group guitar lessons, such as those
at the Piedmont Piano Co. or Piedmont Adult School? I'd really like to
learn guitar, but find the cost of private lessons rather daunting. Do
group lessons give enough individual attention so that rank beginners
such as myself can make some progress?
The Alameda Community Multicultural Center offers some wonderful music
classes on a donation basis. An acoustic guitar program is offered for
teenagers and adults with little, some or no experience. Drop in or continuous
students are welcome. The class meets every Tuesday from 6pm-9pm.
ACMCC also offers a Latin Ensemble Class that focuses on Latin American
instrumental pieces. Learn how to compose and arrange songs in various Latin
American music in a small group environment. This class meets every Thursday
from 6-9 pm.
For more information on the ACMCC offerings call 510-521-9405.
About five years ago, I took a group guitar lesson through
Berkeley Adult Education. I thought the teacher was excellent,
and your experience will most likely depend on the instructor
and not the group aspect. My instructor made beginning guitar
doable and homework was fun. I would suggest that if you are
not prepared to practice outside of class, that you might not
get the most of your lessons. Also, people tend not to follow
up on these classes, so that by the end of the session, we were
down to two students (including me), so I felt as if I was
getting a private lesson.
You could try calling ALMA in Orinda (just off Hwy 24). We go
there for music lessons 3 times a week and it is only about 8
minutes from Rockridge (when traffic is light). They only
charge $18/30 minute lesson -- that's for private lesson, but
they also just charge $18/hour per individual for groups. The
groups they currently have going are more like ''band'' or
ensemble, but you could contact them and see if they know of
anyone else that they could pair you up with.
Sorry, I don't know the number but they are in the phone book.
I don't think there has been a recent posting for a guitar
teacher so thought I'd post this since I just recommended my
brother-in-law to a parent whose child was intereseted in guitar
lessons. I often see people recommending family members and
since my brother-in-law has brought so much music into my
childrens' lives I feel proud to recommend him:
David Cohen is an experienced classroom teacher who loves working
with kids and teaching music. He is building a vibrant business
giving children the gift of creating their own unique musical
expression through the guitar. He really enjoys teaching songs
the kids really want to play, as well as giving them a solid
foundation to become a well-rounded guitarist. Very reasonable
rates. He is now accepting students during the summer and for
the fall. His number is (510) 845-0199.
I'd like to put in a plug for a great guitar teacher for both
kids and adults. If you are looking for someone who is not only
patient but effective, contact Steve Inglis at 510-843-1874. He
teaches out of his house in Berkeley. He is an incredible
guitarist but more importantly, he is a fabulous teacher!
guitar teacher for an adult beginner
I am looking for a guitar teacher for an adult beginner.
Re: a guitar teacher for an adult beginner, I recommend Robin Flower,
510-482-9479. She teaches out of her home in the Glenview neighborhood of
Oakland. She teaches all styles and all ages and is a truly gifted and
experienced instructor. She and her partner perform locally as the singing
duo "Flower and MacLaren."
You didn't say what kind of guitar you are interested in studying -- but if
you are interested in acoustic, and interested in folk music with an
emphasis on finger picking, Barry Olivier is your guy. He's been teaching
for over 40 years, and was a key figure in the Berkeley folk music scene.
I've studied with him for a few years he's wonderful - patient, kind, and
knowledgeable. For Barry, it's all about the joy of making music. He has a
funky studio in Rockridge, and can be reached at 510-530-5525.
My friend STEVE GIBSON is an excellent guitar teacher who works with
both adults and children, at all levels of experience. Steve teaches private
lessons at his house in Oakland, near Piedmont Ave./Mountain View Cemetary. He
specializes in teaching rock and jazz styles.
He and his partner Jeremy Steinkohler (drum instructor) run group
classes through Band Works, and they produce student concerts about every two
months at Ashkanaz, which are very very fun community events. Both have taught
for several years at Cazadero Family Music Camp in summer.
I've known Steve since we were 18 (we're now in our mid-30s) -- he is a
wonderful, funny, warm guy, an excellent musician, and gets very high praise
from his students.
He might not be taking any new students at the moment, but he could
probably reccommend other teachers, or put you on a waiting list. In any case, I
would start with Steve for information about taking lessons from him or
information about other teachers and classes. His number is (510) 420-1895.
this page was last updated: Dec 7, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network