Satisfaction Guaranteed! For any question, E-mail Carrie or Call 415-305-8494

The Best Group Lessons in SF

In my years of teaching experience, I’ve found that students in group classes progress more quickly and have more fun! In a group, you face challenges together­­. There is camaraderie, as well as the motivation to not get left behind. Group classes provide accountability and consistency­­ even if you have weeks where you are unable to practice at home, having a weekly group class means you can play for an hour during class time, and reminds you that you love music. Ultimately music is meant to be shared. It’s fun to play with others and it’s a wonderful way to meet new people who share a common interest. My classes allow for personalized attention, and I leave lots of time for questions.

  • Fundamentals: I’ll make sure you know the right way to hold and play your guitar. Students who learn to play from online videos often develop bad habits, because they have no one to actually look at their fingers and give them feedback. Every person and every guitar is different­­ I will help you build good habits that make it easy for you to enjoy playing.
  • Useful Frameworks: Learning to play songs by memorizing shapes is like learning to speak a language by memorizing sounds --­­ you can’t have a conversation! This is where my method is different. I incorporate bite­ sized pieces of music theory so that you can understand WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. This helps you learn much faster and gives you the freedom to own your guitar playing. If you’ve been playing for a while and feel “stuck”, discovering these frameworks can move you forward.
  • A Clear Path Forward: I will offer you clear and focused goals that build on each other. With so much information online, it’s easy to get distracted and spend a lot of time on truly ineffective practice. My job is to aggregate and contextualize the information for you and offer a clear path. You will complete each level with a set of concrete skills. This sense of accomplishment makes guitar playing even more fun!
  • Exclusive Practice Videos: All classes are supported by a password protected webpage where I post a video for each lesson. You can practice with me all week long, and if you miss a class, you can catch up with the video.
  • Passionate Encouragement: Not only will I help you to get to where you want to go with music, I will also be your personal cheerleader every step of the way! I’m passionate about teaching… not about showing off. My focus is on YOU, meeting you where you are, and helping you get the most joy out of your guitar.

Finding Your Perfect Class

Take a look at the class descriptions to see what is involved with each level. Email me at carrie[at]sfguitarlessons.com or call me at 1-415-305-8494 anytime to discuss the level that’s right for you. You are always welcome to try a class for the single class rate to see if the level feels like a good fit.

Carrie According to Her Students

“Carrie teaches you how to play guitar (acoustic or electric) in a supportive group environment. In just 6 weeks I now have a repertoire of 12 songs...all awesome and classic.”

Yvonne M.

Level 1

“Guitar class is easily my favorite part of the week. Everyone's really cool and supportive and we always have lots of laughs.”

Matthew E.

Level 3

Carrie has consistently been rated the top guitar teacher in the Bay Area on Yelp. Click here to see her great reviews!

Yelp

Over 45 Five-Star Reviews (Top-Rated on Yelp)

Classes for Any Level!

Each in-person class is accompanied by an online course where each lesson has an instructional video that is posted with any accompanying handouts after the live class takes place. This gives you the opportunity to review what happened in class, and if you miss a class you will be able to catch up with the video.
*All Classes are also available to be taken "online only". This is great if you are not able to join us is person. All online classes are 50% off the class cost.

  • Level 1:
    This class is for **absolute beginners** - assuming you haven't played at all yet or very little, or a long time ago and you'd like to start over. We start from scratch!
    You will learn and understand:
    • The parts of the guitar
    • How to tune the guitar
    • Proper sitting position and how to hold the guitar
    • Approx 8 chords over 8 weeks while learning 7 songs to practice them with
    • How to play “in time” and change between chords
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration
  • Level 2:
    This class is for people who know a few chords (C, Em, G, D, A, Am and E), can change between these chords (even slowly) and are just starting to strum (there is very little strumming in L1 - we start strumming in level 2). We also begin finger picking and learning to read tablature.
    You will learn and understand:
    • The musical language of time (whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes) and how they apply to guitar
    • Strumming patterns
    • More chords and new songs while being able to change chords with greater clarity and precision
    • Fingerpicking
    • Reading tablature
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration
  • Level 3:
    In this class we continue to work on strumming (adding more complex strumming), and we start to learn about the language of music and how it applies to our playing. Sometimes people take this class for the music theory even if their playing is a bit more advanced.
    You will learn and understand:
    • The individual note names of the guitar
    • The chromatic and major scales
    • Using the chromatic scale and major scale in playing songs
    • Introduction to the concept of how chords are made (harmony)
    • More chords and songs, complex rhythms, and fingerpicking
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration
  • Level 4:
    This class is all about embellishing chords. If you can strum in time and want to kick it up a notch (and understand what you're doing) this is a good level for you. We work with suspended chords and techniques to embellish both strumming and fingerpicking. We also continue our theory knowledge with learning how to harmonize the scale to build chord progressions. Sometimes people take this class for the music theory even if their playing is a bit more advanced.
    You will learn and understand:
    • How to create, use and understand chord embellishments
    • Embellishment techniques such as hammer-ons an pull-offs within picking and strumming songs
    • A deeper understanding of how chords and chord progressions are made (harmony)
    • How to transpose songs into other keys
    • More complex rhythms and fingerpicking
    • How to use your knowledge creatively
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration
  • Level 5::
    This class is all about learning, practicing and understanding barre chords (as well as continuing to utilize all we've learned in previous levels)! This is a big step in unlocking and being able to visualize the rest of the fretboard. Barre chords are physically challenging so we stay steady and intersperse the barre chords with a great fingerpicking song!
    You will learn and understand:
    • An introduction to barre chords
    • How to use and understand barre chords in playing new material
    • How chords and chord progressions work emotionally in a song
    • How to play more complex songs by developing a knowledge of how music works
    • How to use your knowledge creatively
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration
  • Level 6::
    This level focuses on learning the CAGED chords and how we use them as moveable shapes. If you have been playing for a while but don't really understand what you're doing, then this can be an enlightening class!
    You will learn and understand:
    • An introduction to visualizing the fretboard using the CAGED method
    • Blues rhythms and lead playing
    • How to use the CAGED chords to create phrases, melodies and chords in various voicings and positions of the guitar
    • More work with barre chords and their voicings
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration
  • Upper Level:
    The Upper level class offers opportunity to:
    • Continue to work with visualizing the fretboard using the CAGED method
    • Continue working with, using, and deepening your understanding all of your skillsets
    • Study & Explore a wide range of topics: improvisation, chord voicings, using and understanding scales, phrasing techniques, chord progressions, rhythm, playing with other people and more!
    Like all classes, the upper levels offer:
    • Help and guidance with singing and playing
    • A dynamic group experience (lots of cool people!)
    Click Here for Dates and Registration

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How many weeks do sessions run and can I start mid-session?
    All the group classes run in 8-week sessions. You are welcome to join a class at any point in the session, and can catch up with the online videos. If you are starting after week three, the sessions can be prorated based how many are remaining.

    How long is each class and how much does it cost?
    Classes meet once a week for an hour. The cost is $340 for each 8-week session.

    I’m not sure I want to commit to 8 weeks without trying it, is that ok?
    Yes, please come to a class and you can pay just for the single class ($40). At that point you can decide if you want to commit to the whole 8 weeks.

    Do I have to know how to play to take lessons?
    No experience necessary! I am happy to work with beginners of all ages.

    I have been playing for awhile, but still feel I am missing some guitar skills, can you help?
    Absolutely! A lot of people develop many of the physical skills of playing without understanding how music works and how to visualize the guitar to use it creatively. I love to help with this!

    Do I need to have a guitar to take lessons?
    Yes. If it’s a hardship to bring your guitar to class, please let me know and we can discuss. I have a few here to borrow, but you will definitely need one at home to practice.

    Where are the lessons?
    All classes are in my beautiful studio called SoundSpace! located at 3265 17th St Suite 303 (on the corner of 17th and Mission). It’s in the same building as Thrift Town - one block from the 16th St. BART and very close to a ton of places to get food and shop!

    What styles do you teach?
    I focus on skills that apply to all styles of music. In class we do a lot of “classic” rock, pop and folk, basically songs I think most people will know. Ultimately the songs are all about learning and practicing specific skills. It’s a bonus if you enjoy the song, and the skills you learn will enable you to choose and play the songs you do know and love!

    What if I miss a class (or more)?
    As each class has a password-protected webpage, and each lesson has a video which is uploaded with any accompanying handouts after the live class takes place. This gives you the opportunity to review what happened in class, and if you miss a class you will be able to catch up with the video.

    Do you have guitar recommendations?
    Here are the names of a few models/brands that students have had that I've had an opportunity to check and give thumbs up to:
    Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar
    Yamaha F325
    Yamaha APX500
    Yamaha FS720S (smaller body)
    Seagull Entourage
    Taylor GS Mini (smaller body)

    Do you have a mailing list?
    Yes, and it's the best guitar list around - see below!

    Subscribe here for Carrie's free guitar tips & news!

    I look forward to personally guiding you to become the guitar player you've always wanted to be. E-mail me or call me with any questions, please!

     

    Carrie Love