Gibson acoustic guitar

Guitar Lessons

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Gibson ES 335

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 and a digital audio file of the song we work on 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.

I cater my lessons to teach the style and songs that you 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 another 52-100 live solo broadcasts.

In person lessons are taught private one on one at Cosmic Circuit Studio in El Cerrito, California.
Online lessons via Skype or iChat are now being offered (see FAQ below for details).

1 Lesson - $50.00 for a 1 hour private one on one session.

Discount Pricing on Pre-paid Blocks for Weekly Lessons:
4 Lessons - $185.00 if paid in advance with lessons taken every week.
8 Lessons - $360.00 if paid in advance with lessons taken every week.

Note: Pre-paid blocks of lessons are only if lessons are taken every week!

Purchase lessons online direct from Cosmic Circuit Studio web site or pay in person. Please email first to confirm date and times available. 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.

Contact Info:
phone 510.868.9323

joe rizzo
your instructor - joe rizzo

Times Available:
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 and a metronome.

Payment Policy:
We accept cash or credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover , Paypal or Square).
VisaMastercardpay pal

Refund Policy:
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.

Cancellation Policy:
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.

Q. Can I purchase lessons for a friend as a gift for someone?
A. Yes. First send an email first to confirm the lesson 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?
Skype iconfacetime iconmessages iconiChat icon
A. Yes, live lessons are now being offered via Skype, iChat, Messages, Facetime and other video chat services. The cost is $55 an hour. Email for more details.

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.




daisuke and joe
daisuke & joe taking a break during lesson - july 2009
view of golden gate bridge
viewof golden gate bridge from studio

teaching how to strum
first strums - dec 2013

matt working on a song
matt learning a new song - 2013

last update January 3, 2014