Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Music, Music Theory, UkuleleBanjo, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Music, Music Theory, Ukulele
Where are Lessons Offered
In Teacher Studio
Virtual / Online
My Musical Education Background
Genres and Subjects Taught
-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar)
-acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar
- jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres.
- tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music)
-5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country])
-baritone resonator (slide)
$40 half hour
$65 forty five minutes
$85 an hour
Ages / Skill Levels Taught
All Ages (4 years old and older) and All levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional.
My Certifications and Awards
-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.
San Diego Troubadour
Sarah M 12/14/2018
I highly recommend Nick as a teacher for all ages and levels of experience.
Also, he is an amazing musician himself who plays regularly on the scene, so a great source of inspiration as well!
Nick is so nice and welcoming. He is so knowledgeable, he can teach people by several different methods and styles to fit any student. Even if you can't read music, he can teach you to play an instrument!
Oct 12, 2013
Exceptional, musically rich learning
Nick is a terrific, terrific teacher whose main goal is to nurture my son's love of music and instill the idea that learning to play guitar or drums is not hard, it's unfamiliar and my son has been learning from Nick since he was 7 years old. I love watching Nick balance solid technique with fun. Like taking a contemporary song that my son loves and teaching him to play a portion of it. Or inviting another student (or sometimes even a professional musician) to sit in on a lesson and jam with my son. Nick is teaching the whole person, not just their fingers on the guitar. He really cares and I would recommend him to anyone!
Jan 2, 2015
Exceptional musician. Skilled and patient teacher.
I have been taking weekly guitar lessons with Nick for nearly four months now and it has been all I hoped for and more. As a recent retiree and amateur musician one of my goals is to rapidly improve my novice guitar skills. I was looking for a teacher who would push me hard but was willing to work with the particular songs and musical questions that I might bring to him each week. I could not be more pleased. Nick is able to immediately bring his knowledge and experience to any material that I bring to a lesson and he uses it as the basis for a wide range of teaching moments - whether it be technique, harmony, or improvisational approach. What I didn't anticipate was the extent to which his holistic, listening (and singing) based approach to playing an instrument has challenged me. Nick is making me a better musician not just a better guitar player. (And it is very helpful that he types out notes on all that we discuss and sends an email following each lesson.)
Dec 24, 2014
Mr. Nick R. is an absolutely great guitar player and music instructor. I'm a young professional jazz guitarist and instructor and have been taking jazz guitar lessons with Nick R. weekly since September of 2014. Every lesson, I receive a lot of information that I didn't know before and Nick always give me proper quantity and quality of task
Many ideas, information from his suggestions, including how to practice myself and instruction that goes beyond musical and guitar technique, also including psychological and philosophical concepts from Nick's experience and knowledge. His explanations are incredibly clear and easily to follow.
I've been playing guitar over 15 years. In my experience, it's very, very difficult to find a mentor like Nick Russo.
I truly appreciate meeting him and have tremendous respect for Professor Russo.
Thanks as always Nick!!
Koji Yoneyama (professional jazz guitarist and instructor), Dec. 23, 2014
-Shimun (Sam) A.
Nov 23, 2014
You can say that I'm a rookie when it comes to playing guitar. So, I decided to do something about it. I'm taking 45 minutes sessions with Nick and I have to say that he is a really talented a teacher as well as he is a musician. While having fun during the lessons, I rake in so many new tricks up my sleeve. I love his individual approach, flexibility, and creativity just to outline a couple. For the short while that I've known Nick, he's been all, a patient teacher, a talented musician, but most of all he's been an inspiration to me. My goal was to learn to read music and learn how to play the instrument more fluently. But now, the whole world of new and fascinating opportunities opened up to me because of his mentoring and support. Thank you Nick! I wish I could take longer sessions with you on a more regular basis.
Feb 8, 2014
I've taken classes with Nick in a group setting (at Jalopy) and privately, and while I studied guitar as a kid and trombone in school, and I've never had a better music teacher. And I do mean music teacher, not just guitar teacher - Nick's approach is to start with the MUSIC you want to play, not just the guitar as a collection of strings and frets or a series of fingerings to memorize. He's realistic about where people are starting and how much time and energy they have to devote to the instrument with all else happening in their lives (school, work, family, whatever), but he really wants all his students to get better, to learn and progress and love the music like he does, and leads by example of his own musicianship and dedication to the art form. Highly recommended for all levels, all styles.
Aug 11, 2014
Finally found a guitar teacher who provides individualized instruction based on what I know and don't know. I previously depended on my guitar to make music. Nick showed me how to make the music yourself in your head and then find it on the guitar. He has great patience and also answers every question . And, most important for me, he writes out the lesson notes at the end and sends them. Every previous teacher told me 20 things in a lesson and I remembered two. Nick makes sure that every minute of my lesson is given proper attention.
Jan 21, 2016
Nick took me on as a banjo student and did an amazing job of quickly finding out how much I already knew and then ran with it, pushing me further while letting me direct us into areas that I wanted to pursue. He's very patient and insanely knowledgable. Every lesson has been packed with a ton of information, practice, instruction and music theory. (He's also a very nice guy to have a conversation with.) I couldn't recommend Nick highly enough as an instructor.
Dec 26, 2015
I've been taking lessons with Nick for a few months now and it's been a really positive experience! I have no guitar experience at all so I'm coming in as a true guitar novice. Nick takes time to explain techniques and encourages you to "listen" to the notes and to hear how the music comes together. He's very patient and definitely has a wealth of guitar knowledge. If you're looking to learn guitar, then I'd definitely recommend Nick!
Jan 21, 2015
I started my lessons with Nick just one month. I know I am inquisitive, intense, overly involved and very detail oriented with my interests in general and I treat guitar the same way. I enjoy and immerse myself into it. I think Nick has a very broad knowledge of guitar playing and comes across as a very conscientious instructor in the way he handles my overachieving demands. I would surely recommend him.
Oct 8, 2016
At just my 1st lesson with Mr. Russo -- HE'S THE MAN!!! Very concerned with getting the most out teaching/reaching the student!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Feb 3, 2016
Nick was a terrific teacher -- very enthusiastic and encouraging. He knows what he's talking about as well. He definitely breaks things down so even beginners like me can follow along and understand.
Oct 3, 2016
Great musician, great instructor. Learned more than I ever thought I would be able to at this age. Very patient.
May 24, 2016
Nick was quick to assess my ability and direction and we made immediate progress
at a comfortable pace.
Jan 30, 2016
Nick has been a great teacher so far. He's patient and takes the time to adapt to my current strengths and weaknesses in order to tailor the lesson to fit my needs. Highly recommended.
Jan 18, 2017
He does a great job cater the lessons to your needs
Jan 4, 2016
Nick is very talented, knowledgeable and patient. He communicates material extremely well and is a pleasure to work with.
My Musical Influences
I have so many musical influences from an eclectic mix of genres, including world musics such as North Indian Classical Music, African music, Gullah-Geechee, classical, jazz, blues, roots, R & B, country, global folk and many others.
I love everything from Bach to Stravinsky to John Coltrane to The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix and endless other great artists.
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