Learn to play guitar easily and quickly with a patient teacher and performing musician in a scenic setting of the San Francisco bay area. Absolute beginners to intermediate guitarists. Acoustic and/or electric guitar.
Styles include folk, rock, blues, rock and roll, reggae, ragtime, bluegrass, finger-picking, and more. Learn how to play by ear, improvise, play and sing at the same time. Learn valuable insight on musicanship, playing in a band, songwriting and recording. Learn how to practice effectively and efficiently.
Printed handouts with chord shapes and fingerings, strum patterns, tablature of main hooks and riffs, along with a digital audio file of the song will be provided for each lesson.
My approach is to teach the roots of most popular music by showing the essential open chords, strums, bar chords, guitar runs, picking technique, and progressions of folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, and popular music.
Learn songs from the Beatles, the Lumineers, Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Green Day, the Grateful Dead, Elizabeth Cotten, Black Keys, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia and much more.
your instructor - joe rizzo
I customize the lessons to teach the styles and songs from bands you like and are interested in learning.
Check my musical history for my musical background.
I perform approximately 75 live shows per year with This Old Band as well as live acoustic solo performances and another 52-100 live solo live broadcasts.
In person lessons are taught private one on one at Cosmic Circuit Studio in El Cerrito, California.
Online lessons via Skype, Messages, and other video services are also being offered (see FAQ below for details).
view of golden gate bridge from studio
Discount Pricing on Pre-paid Blocks
Pre-paid blocks are only if lessons are taken every week!
4 Lessons - $185.00
8 Lessons - $360.00
How Do I Sign Up for Lessons?
Please email first and include your current experience level (absolute beginner, intermediate, etc) and the style of music you want to learn as well as some of your favorite musical artists. Also include days or date(s) and times you are would prefer.
Purchase lessons online direct from Cosmic Circuit Studio web site or pay in person.
Lessons normally offered weekdays and weekends in my private studio. I am currently accepting students.
Cosmic Circuit Studio, El Cerrito, California. Easy, free, on street parking available.
Your own guitar is recommended for lessons; however you can use our Martin LX1E Acoustic-Electric Guitar for a $10 fee per lesson.
Optional: I recommend purchasing a tuner, a metronome and a capo.
We accept cash or credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover , Paypal or Square).
There is no refund if you pay for a block of lessons in advance. Be sure you are happy with the lessons and willing to commit if you pay for a block of lessons. If you are unsure I recommend you pay for a single lesson.
If you can not make a lesson you must notify me by e-mail or phone at least 24 hours in advance to reschedule with no cancellation fee. Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice (or not showing up for a lesson) results in the loss of the full payment for the lesson (or the deduction of 1 lesson from your pre-paid block of lessons).
If you cancel two scheduled lessons consecutively without good reason you will be dropped as a student and no longer eligible to take lessons.
daisuke & joe taking a break during lesson - july 2009
first strums - dec 2013
matt learning a new song - 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I purchase lessons for a friend as a gift for someone?
A. Yes. First send an email first to confirm the lesson date/time then pay for the number of lessons via the web form. You will receive a nicely formatted color customized gift certificate with the number of lessons as a pdf document that can be printed or emailed. The certificate is good for one year from the time of purchase.
Q. Do you have a guitar I can use for the lesson?
A. Yes, we have a Martin LX1E Acoustic-Electric Guitar.
There is a $10 additional charge per lesson.
Q. Do you offer online lessons via video chat?
A. Yes, live lessons are now being offered via Skype, iChat, Apple's Messages, Facetime and other video chat services. The pricing is the same as private in person lessons. Email for more details and how to set up for a video lesson.
Q. Do you have an guitar amp I can use for the lesson?
A. Yes, if you are learning electric guitar I have an amp you can use for the lesson at no charge. You are also welcome to bring your own.