Guitar teachers

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Ben Haag - Guitar

Ben Haag is a guitar player, guitar instructor, and band leader who lives in Oakland, California. Ben has been teaching guitar for over 5 years and has a passion for music instruction. Ben has a wealth of experience gained from his previous work performing as a hired guitar player, lead instrumentalist and supporting musician for a variety of artists and producers in the Bay Area and Nashville, Tennessee. With an unparalleled level of playing experience ranging from blues, roots, rock, country, jazz, and neo-soul, Ben is your go-to guitar instructor for whatever get’s your heart beating fast and inspires you. Ben has played in every kind of venue, from small clubs to festivals with 3000+ attendees, including Yoshi’s Oakland. With his fun and exciting real-world player-centric approach to playing, Ben is here to help you reach your wildest dreams as a guitar player, musician, and performer. So whether you're looking to pick up the guitar for the first time, learn your favorite song, rip your first solo, or break out of your first plateau and shoot to the next level, Ben is the guiding hand that will help you get to whatever level of experience you aspire. With an approach that emphasizes a “we’re in this together” attitude, Ben is nothing more than the guitar instructor you have been longing to meet. Ben also serves as an ambassador and associate coordinator for outreach for Notes For Change, Notes Music Academy’s non-profit seeking to provide resources and music education for disadvantaged youth in Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area. 

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Andrew snyder - guitar, trumpet, piano

Andrew Snyder is a performing trumpeter, guitarist, and pianist. He completed a PhD in ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley in 2018 focused on the brass music of Rio de Janeiro's carnival. He is co-founder of San Francisco's Mission Delirium Brass Band, a group that has toured to Brazil, France, Spain, and around the United States.


ian lamson - guitar

Ian Lamson is a multi-talented guitarist specializing in Blues, Funk, R&B, Zydeco, Rock, Country, Reggae, and Americana. Ian started his musical journey playing acoustic guitar at 14 and moved on to mastering electric guitar. He continued taking lessons and studied Music at Santa Rosa Jr. College with an emphasis on Jazz and Music Theory. Ian actively performs with many bands and has over 25 years of experience playing with many notable artists such as Elvin Bishop, George Thorogood, Steve Miller, Robben Ford, Rick Stevens (of Tower Of Power fame), Charlie Musselwhite, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, and many other local legends. Ian has taught individual lessons for over 10 years. His teaching philosophy allows students to learn at their own pace, exploring multiple musical possibilities. His patient and considerate manner makes him a natural teacher, combined with an effective communication style enabling each of his students to progress individually while receiving a thorough music education. Teaching emphasis on learning and mastering: basic strumming & fingering; chords (triads to embellished chords); rhythms; progressions; scales & modes; comping & accompaniment; soloing; dynamics; freedom of improvising; and tablature as well as traditional music notation.

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moises d chavez - guitar

Moises studied classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he received instruction from Marc Teicholz, Larry Ferrara, David Tannenbaum, and Sergio Assad.  He received his B.A. Cum Laude and M.A. in classical guitar performance from Cal State East Bay under the direction of Marc Teicholz. Currently Moises works for Berkeley Unified School District as a music teacher ranging from grades 3rd through 12th, teaching general music, middle school jazz band, several guitar classes, and directing a choir. Moises' teaching focuses on learning music through the guitar.  Songs and exercises from jazz, classical, folk, rock, and flamenco genres are used to improve music, fretboard, and technical knowledge.  His emphasis is to teach beyond a number of songs and instead leave students with a true understanding of the composition of the instrument. With a passion for teaching and over 10 years experience he feels art and music are basic human needs and takes pride and satisfaction in showing people the skill set and information needed to make it possible for anybody to create their own beautiful music for themselves and for others to enjoy.


roland sayn - guitar

Roland has had success using a methodical approach in his guitar/piano teaching. Pulling out short sections of music, he encourages students to learn how to play these small sections on every string and on several different places on the fret. This makes for encouraging lessons because the student is able to accomplish something new every lesson, and quickly gets a feel for all areas of the instrument. Roland has been playing and teaching music for 10 + years, with students ranging in age from kindergarten to adults. His insatiable desire to learn everything he hears has contributed to his vast knowledge and ability to play just about any type of music. His performance credits include venues such as Yoshi’s, Great American Music Hall, the Fillmore San Francisco, Berkeley Playhouse, and Pinole Playhouse. He has recorded with several artists as the session guitarist for their CDs, and became the go-to recording artist for David Mikael, the songwriter/vocal coach for the famous T.V. show Glee.


whitt vicena - guitar

Whitt is a guitarist based out of the Bay Area in Northern California. He is well versed in many different genres of music including Blues, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Country and Rock and Roll. From an early age, Whitt had a very deep connection with music as it was always around him. His mother was a sound engineer and his father a bass player. In elementary school he saved his lunch money and would buy records and CD's. With an unusual interest in older music such as Chuck Berry, BB King, The Meters and The Rolling Stones, Whitt knew he wanted to play an instrument, but nothing clicked until his sister taught him a few open chords on an acoustic guitar.Whitt started playing guitar at the age of 13. By age 15 he was sitting in at jams and by 16 he was playing paid gigs. At 20 years old he moved to St. Thomas in the Caribbean where he played 5 to 7 nights a week with many different bands, playing a multitude of styles of music. He was also teaching guitar in the daytime at G-Clef Music Academy as well as teaching private lessons. It was in the Caribbean where Whitt had the honor of opening up for Esperanza Spalding. He has since moved back to the Bay Area where he currently plays and teaches.