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Blues Guitar Lessons Rockville | Jazz, Classical, Rock, Folk
For lessons or bookings, please call : 301-875-5085
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For lessons or bookings, please call : 301-875-5085

Types of Guitar Lessons

Whether your dream is to become a professional musician or you’re just looking to start a new hobby, guitar lessons from Blue Raccoon Tunes will provide you with more than a solid technical foundation to build your skills. Additionally, we also hope to foster a lifelong love of music that will make continued learning and practice fun. Master guitar instructor, Carey Smith, has been playing, teaching and performing professionally on the guitar for over 20 years. His passion for art and instruction are unmatched. Class space is limited, so if you’re ready to start on the path to mastering a musical instrument, call us today at 301-875-5085 or click here to contact us online!

We offer guitar lessons in many styles of music, including:

Jazz guitar lessons

Jazz guitar is our specialty. Beginning students are introduced to the melodic and harmonic concepts essential for improvising in the jazz idiom. All scales and chords are presented systematically according to the CAGED method. Most importantly, scales and chords are not addressed as means unto themselves, rather as tools necessary for making music, that is, playing tunes!

Blues, both the chord progression and the aesthetic that has accompanied its development through the 20th century, are treated thoroughly as the starting point for learning jazz. As students internalize the formulas of blues, we move on to the standards of the mid-20th century, including Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael et al. These songs, though borrowing much from the blues idiom, involve several harmonic tropes with which the successful jazz musician must become fluent.

All concepts are reinforced with musical examples from the masters. Listening is the essence of playing jazz, and our students learn not only the technical details of the craft but also the diverse approaches developed by jazz improvisers (including horn and piano players) over the years.

Technique matters! Our teacher is versed in most styles of left-hand and, far more importantly, right-hand techniques. Given that strength is the key to technical fluency, exercises that rapidly increase the power of the hands are engineered for the needs of individual students, whether he/she wishes to develop fingerstyle or pick technique. We specialize in the Manouche Gypsy right-hand picking method made famous by the great Django Reinhardt.

As with the study of any style of music, repertory work develops the student’s ability to “hear” the intended phrases before they are played. Such “ear training” is invaluable to the improvising musician who must sing what he plays and play what he sings.

Blues guitar lessons

While blues is simple in that it constitutes a regular harmonic progression of chords, its complexity lies in the malleability of its practice. Robert Johnson, after all, was playing over the same 12-bar form as Charlie Parker, and yet how different they sound! In fact, blues arguably constitutes the harmonic and aesthetic foundation of all popular American music.

Blues students begin by internalizing the chords and scales of the simplest rendering of the form. Then next deciding what type of blues he/she wishes to pursue, whether acoustic (Delta, Piedmont) or electric (Chicago style). Those interested in the blues of jazz music will naturally follow the jazz course of study described above.

Technique again is a primary concern. Strong left- and right-hand technique are the means by which the masters effect the nuance of their respective styles.

As with the study of any style of music, repertory work develops the student’s ability to “hear” the intended phrases before they are played. Such “ear training” is invaluable to the improvising musician who must sing what he plays and play what he sings.

Classical guitar lessons

Reading and sound fingerstyle technique constitute the rudiments of the classical guitarist. Pieces are learned, practiced and analyzed in order to establish the relationship between the melodic lines and the harmony implied.

As with the study of any style of music, repertory work develops the student’s ability to “hear” the intended phrases before they are played. Such “ear training” is invaluable to the musician who must sing what he reads and plays.

Bach is the cornerstone of all studies here.

Bluegrass guitar lessons

Given the elemental harmonic relationship between blues and bluegrass, the aspiring bluegrass guitar player follows a course of study similar to that of blues players. Furthermore, bluegrass players improvise just as jazz and blues musicians.

Given the rhythmic drive and brisk tempos of bluegrass music, technique is as important as ever. As always, the right-hand is key, and the student is introduced to the types of manual motion that generate the most speed and strongest attack of the strings.

As with the study of any style of music, repertory work develops the student’s ability to “hear” the intended phrases before they are played. Such “ear training” is invaluable to the improvising musician who must sing what he plays and play what he sings.

Old-time fiddle tunes are the cornerstone of bluegrass studies.

Rock/folk guitar lessons

Modern rock and folk music have derived from all of the aforementioned styles, and thus require studies of the elements of each. Students are introduced to such varied sources in order to understand the nature of the development of rock and folk. Most importantly, the harmonic and melodic tropes of blues must be mastered.

Given the various types of rock and folk, a system of study suited to individual’s stylistic intention is devised. Much rock music requires sound technique, especially in the right-hand. The solos of admired players are learned and harmonically analyzed so that the student may begin to improvise solos based on the tropes of the genre.

As with the study of any style of music, repertory work develops the student’s ability to “hear” the intended phrases before they are played. Such “ear training” is invaluable to the improvising musician who must sing what he plays and play what he sings.

We offer guitar lessons in our Bethesda, Maryland guitar studio, conveniently located right off the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Cedar Lane. We also offer lesson online via Skype, Google Hangouts, or your preferred video conferencing tool.

Guitar instruction fees:

  • Individual in-studio 60-minute guitar lesson: $80
  • Individual Skype 60-minute guitar lesson: $85
  • Group in-studio 60-minute guitar lesson: $60

Come discover your own passion for the making music — call Blue Raccoon Tunes at 

301-875-5085 or click here to contact us online!

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