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Top 5 Instructors for Guitar Lessons in Portland

Top 5 Instructors for Guitar Lessons in Portland

How We Picked

Teaching abilities

Based on the range of lessons, specialization, and styles in music.

Type of lesson

Based on the mode of teaching such as private, group lessons, and one-on-one.

Availability

Based on teaching formats such as online and in-person teaching.

Reputation

Based on the years of experience, certification, and level of professionalism from instructions.

Affordability

Based on the pricing system of the school.

1. Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews Homepage

Services: Music instructor, guitar program

Website: http://www.allenmathews.com/

Address: 3880 SE Brooklyn St, Portland, OR 97202

Contact Details: +1 503-891-9878

Operating Hours: Monday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Google Reviews4/5
Yelp5/5
Total reviews3/5
Score consistency4/5
Teaching abilities4/5
Range of lessons5/5
Specialization5/5
Style in music4/5
Reputation 4/5
Years of experience4/5
Certification5/5
Type of lessons5/5
Private lessons4/5
Group lessons4/5
Availability5/5
Affordability3/5

Pros

  • Teaches guitar lessons at Reed College and Oregon Episcopal School in Portland
  • Specializes in classical, Spanish, and Brazilian music
  • Access to a classical guitar tutorial site and an online classical guitar program
  • Guitar courses available for any level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced)
  • Experienced teacher with B.A in Guitar Performance
  • Offers membership in an online guitar program 

Cons

  • Videos are not available to download (even for members)
  • Undisclosed pricing system

In our opinion, if you want to learn how to play classical music on the guitar, it’s best to hire someone if they’re both an instructor and performer. Good thing we found Allen Matthews who did meet a lot of our standards for this review.

First and foremost, we chose him because we find his musical specialization and range sufficient as an experience. Well, aside from classical, he also teaches Spanish and Brazilian music on the guitar, giving him a good range.

Matthews is also very accessible and having him as a guitar teacher will bring convenience to his students, which is another positive point in our book. For instance, he has an online classical guitar program (The Woodshed) as well as a guitar tutorial site (Classical Guitar Shed).

Students can choose among many guitar courses he offers from said platforms. But what stands out the most for us is the fact that he has everything for everyone – think about courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced levels.

A bit of good news for those who plan to purchase Classical Guitar Shred courses, you can get lifetime access to all the videos and materials they have online. However, such things are not available to download which kind of kills a lot of the buzz for us. 

Finally, as many satisfied students affirm his knowledge and skills, we do think he’s worth every penny. Unfortunately, we’re afraid we can’t give details regarding their price system, as you’d have to reach out to him yourself.

2. Jonathan Barker Guitar Lessons

Jonathan Barker Guitar Lessons Homepage

Services: Guitar instructor

Website: https://www.jonathanbarkerguitarlessons.com/

Address: 4335 NE 69th Ave, Portland, OR 97218

Contact Details: +1 503-893-2525 | jonathanbarkerguitarlessons@gmail.com

Operating Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00 NN – 7:00 PM | Sunday: 12:00 NN – 6:00 PM

Google Reviews5/5
Yelp5/5
Total reviews3/5
Score consistency5/5
Teaching abilities4/5
Range of lessons5/5
Specialization5/5
Style in music4/5
Reputation 5/5
Years of experience5/5
Certification5/5
Type of lessons4/5
Private lessons5/5
Group lessons3/5
Availability3/5
Affordability4/5

Pros

  • Private instruction to students of acoustic and electric guitar 
  • Over 20 years of one-on-one teaching experience
  • 35,000+ individual lessons given 
  • Over 2,000 pages of original lesson material
  • All written, audio, and video material online are included with lessons
  • Prioritizes beginners

Cons

  • Minor inconsistencies in the lessons for advanced players

For more than 20 years, Jonathan Barker Guitar Lessons has been teaching one-on-one lessons to every student that avails of their service. With that said, we think he’s ideal for students who want to learn in a more private setting minus the pressure of a group.

One thing that drew our attention to them is the fact that they have an impressive track record. They have taught over 35,000 personal guitar lessons through the course of their years in service – pretty impressive if you ask us!

Not only that, but the student reviews they have all reflect their solid service and teaching skills. All in all, this to us is a sign of satisfactory service and we always listen to past clients first whenever assessing this matter.

Speaking of which, students confirmed receiving informative lessons from Jonathan, even making basic instructions seem interesting. However, advanced players sometimes argue about feeling confined to one area since they find a lack of potential to grow.

On the plus side, they truly prioritize newcomers. There’s an exciting part where they allow their beginner students to start learning the key fundamentals and techniques of the guitar by listening to songs by their favorite artists.

Finally, they received a convenience bonus from us since they provide insightful materials online. This includes a custom play-along track, as well as audio of the lesson with a video of Jonathan performing the material at a slower tempo.

3. Portland Guitar Lessons with Kenny Lavitz

Portland Guitar Lessons with Kenny Lavitz Homepage

Services: Guitar instructor

Website: https://kennylavitz.com

Address: 55 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Contact Details: (503) 657-7726 | kenny@kennylavitz.com

Operating Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM

Google Reviews5/5
Yelp5/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency5/5
Teaching abilities5/5
Range of lessons5/5
Specialization5/5
Style in music4/5
Reputation 5/5
Years of experience5/5
Certification4/5
Type of lessons5/5
Private lessons5/5
Group lessons3/5
Availability4/5
Affordability4/5

Pros

  • Plays and teaches guitar for almost 20 years
  • Teaches acoustic and electric guitar at 3 different locations 
  • Helps students develop the ability to transcribe and read musical notation
  • Teaches special styles like sweep-picking, slide guitar, and finger-tapping
  • Free online guitar lessons available
  • Students will participate in a jamming session

Cons

  • No group guitar lessons available

Actually, Kenny Lavitz is quite the popular figure in the Portland music scene and learning from him might be a true honor. But of course, there is still a lot more than the glory and pride that made him land on our list. 

Teaching in a group setting isn’t his forte, so you’ll most likely be getting one-on-one lessons from him at one of his three Portland metro area locations. Nevertheless, remote lessons are now available so that’s a plus point for convenience.

If you’re interested in specifics about his instruction, we’ve heard that he helps students develop music reading and transcribing skills. Although it is possible to learn to play the guitar without reading music, Lavitz believes that it’s an essential skill for any true musician.

Another great thing to mention is that he teaches his unique guitar playing style. This includes acoustic and electric guitar sweep-picking, slide guitar, finger-tapping, and one of his specialties – the blue/jazz to rock to delta slide.

Now, unlike other guitar lessons available online, which require a membership and payments, he offers free lessons on his YouTube channel. This makes it highly accessible for anyone anywhere in the world, but of course, these are only supplementary materials

Being a guitar performer is a plus, but we also took into account his experience in guitar teaching. Lavitz certainly exceeded our expectations in this regard, as he has been teaching for over 20 years in Portland.

4. Learn Guitar PDX

Learn Guitar PDX Homepage

Services: Music school, guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons

Website: https://learnguitarpdx.com/

Address: 11241 SE Flavel St, Portland, OR 97266

Contact Details: +1 928-710-3770

Operating Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:00 NN – 8:00 PM

Google Reviews5/5
Yelp5/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency5/5
Teaching abilities5/5
Range of lessons5/5
Specialization5/5
Style in music5/5
Reputation 5/5
Years of experience4/5
Certification4/5
Type of lessons5/5
Private lessons4/5
Group lessons4/5
Availability4/5
Affordability5/5

Pros

  • More than a decade of experience teaching guitar lessons
  • Teaches all styles: rock, blues, folk, country, pop, funk
  • Customized lessons for each level
  • Guitar lessons for all ages
  • In-person and online guitar lessons available
  • Free guitar first lesson
  • Reasonable pricing system
  • Benefits for referrals

Cons

  • Strict policy for late arrivals and cancellations

The best thing about Learn Guitar PDX (and the reason they made our list) is that your first guitar lesson with them is free. They believe that this phase is important for getting to know the student’s interests, so why charge them? (makes sense, actually!)

It’s nice to know that they openly disclose their pricing structure so that guitar enthusiasts can plan accordingly. They’re reasonably priced (in our opinion) at $140 per month for a 30-minute weekly guitar lesson and $260 per month for a 60-minute weekly.

More positive news, if you make someone sign up for guitar lessons, you’ll likely get half off your next month’s lessons. So, as you help the business grow, you will benefit as well, which is something to be thankful for if you’re a financially troubled guitar enthusiast.

Most of their students are beginners and intermediates who are into styles like rock, blues, folk, country, pop, and funk, which the music studio specializes in. Take note, their guitar lessons are for all ages (a plus factor), and parents can sit in and learn with their kids.

They can also entertain advanced students by covering topics that are not addressed at other levels. This just demonstrates their versatility in this field, as they can teach music theory, improvisation, songwriting, and the most difficult of all, musical arrangement.

There’s just one thing you should keep in mind: they have a very strict late and cancellation policy. Late arrivals forfeit the missed portion of their lessons, and no-show lessons will not be refunded or rescheduled, unless for emergencies.

5. Robbie Laws Music

Robbie Laws Music Homepage

Services: Music schools, guitar lessons

Website: https://robbielawsmusic.com/

Address: 1535 SE 9th Ave #105, Portland, OR 97214

Contact Details: 503-309-2784

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 12:00 NN – 8:00 PM | Saturday: 12:00 NN – 5:30 PM | Sunday: 12:00 NN – 3:00 PM

Expertise.com5/5
Yelp5/5
Total reviews1/5
Score consistency4/5
Teaching abilities4/5
⮕Range of lessons4/5
⮕Specialization4/5
⮕Style in music5/5
Reputation 5/5
⮕Years of experience5/5
⮕Certification5/5
Type of lesson4/5
⮕Private lesson5/5
⮕Group lesson4/5
Availability4/5
Affordability5/5

Pros

  • 25 years of teaching experience
  • Teaching all skill levels with a wide range of musical styles
  • Online Educator at Truefire.com
  • Reasonable price
  • Offers pre-paid packages for a discount
  • Offers guitar workshops and a summer music camp for children

Cons

  • Makeup lessons are rescheduled and limited to one per month

If experience is the basis of the best guitar lesson provider in Portland, Robbie Laws Music truly delivers. Well, Robbie himself is a nine-time winner of the Pacific NW ‘Best Electric Guitarist’ Award as well as the guitar instructor at Portland Waldorf High School.

His style conveys a thrilling set of rockin’ blues, jump swing, traditional country blues, Piedmont, and Delta, which you will most likely learn during your private guitar lessons with him. If learning with other guitarists is more of your style, he also offers group lessons.

But then, private lessons are the most popular type of lesson picked by his students. Well, we can’t argue with his students since we’ve heard he’s great at tailoring lessons to each student’s specific goals and skill level.

Not to mention the reasonable private lesson prices, which is fantastic given the high cost of personalized service. Their one-hour guitar lesson is priced at $55, while half an hour is available for $35.

They also offer a discount on pre-paid packages, which is a certain plus point in our book. So, if you purchase eight one-hour weekly lessons, you’ll get an automatic 15% off, making you save less than a hundred bucks.

On the other hand, students in guitar group lessons always jam on a Wednesday night –  talk about fun! In addition to guitar lessons and performance training, Robbie Laws Music also offers guitar workshops and a summer music camp for children. 

FAQs About Guitar Lessons in Portland

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