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Southwest Guitar Instruction

Cornville, AZ 86325 (map)

Lessons Offered

Guitar, Music

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home

About Me

With over 30 years of full time professional private guitar teaching experience (about twenty years in San Jose, California, two years in Colorado Springs, Colorado and ten years in and around Sedona, Arizona).

Over my 30 years of teaching private guitar lessons I have refined and developed a step-by-step program that's practical and easy to follow.

My guitar teaching program offers not only locally one-on-one private lessons, but also, by using a webcam via Skype (a free PC to PC service) , you can still receive live private one-on-one instruction in the comfort of your own home virtually anywhere in the world where there is a good high speed internet connection.

I have taught students all across the United States from Boston, Massachusetts down to Atlanta, Georgia across to Austin Texas, San Diego, California up to Seattle, Washington and numerous places in between, including as far out as Hong kong, China.

I really enjoy teaching a variety of styles and witnessing each students musical growth.

It gives me great pleasure in helping each student to bring their own desire of becoming a guitar player into reality.

My Musical Education Background

I've studied under some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest guitarists, including world-renowned Windham Hill jazz recording artist Tuck Andress and flamenco guitarist Mariano Cordoba of Capitol Records.

Genres and Subjects Taught

The styles of music I have taught extensively are Rock, Blues, Folk, Classical and Flamenco.

Lesson Rates

The monthly tuition rate (4 lessons per month) for weekly half hour, or bi-weekly 1 hour lessons is $80.00. The rate for weekly one-hour lessons is $140.00 per month, or if you prefer just one hour lessons whenever you feel like it, the rate is $40.00 per one-hour session.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

I have successfully taught students of all ages and levels ranging from 5 to 80 years of age. From beginners to performers.

My Certifications and Awards

I worked in Collaboration with Five Star Music, located in Sunnyvale, California, in writing an instructional blues guitar package, which received a four star rating from Guitar World Magazine and a “Bravo” review in Guitar School Magazine.

My Musical Influences

My musical influences are anyone whose songs I have spent time with which are too numerous to mention but, for example, range from all the classic rock greats such as Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Beatles, Eagles etc. to modern Rock from REM to Metallica. The folk greats James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, etc. The Classical Masters Francisco Tarrega, Fernando Sor, Segovia, John Williams etc., Flamenco Masters Mariano Cordoba, Juan Serrano, Sabicas etc.

Service Area

Student Reviews

Woodland Park, CO

I have been a student of George’s for almost twelve years. I have done a majority of my lessons over the phone and now on the internet. Besides being an excellent guitarist, George is an excellent instructor. I have studied flamenco style a majority of the time. This style is extremely difficult and requires a tremendous amount of patience and perseverance. George has always displayed patience and flexibility with me. He has always given me the encouragement I needed to learn new techniques. He is a marvelous instructor and I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for an instructor who is in many ways a partner.

Sedona, AZ

George is great! A better guitar teacher would be impossible to find. He works very hard to individualize lessons, and does a great job of making them fun and interesting. It's every student's dream to be able to learn something and have it be fun along the way, and still come out feeling like they've gained all of the skills they wanted to at the end. George does a great job making that possible.

Sedona, AZ

"It was an absolute pleasure be a student of George's! He really knows how to break the lessons down in a easy-to-follow and comprehensive way... a master at decoding the language of music. He is extremely knowledgeable, attentive, patient and has an huge heart. With his proficient and professional manner, he really makes sure you are getting the most out of each lesson. His passion for music is contagious... I definitely recommend working with him."

Austin, TX

I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It’s such a convenient and portable instrument and a great asset for a singer/songwriter musician like me. I attempted to learn how to play the guitar several times in the past. I tried teaching myself, I tried to pick it up from my boyfriend that played in a punk rock band, but I never got beyond learning the G major chord. I thought it would be easy to learn especially since I already had musical experience, but the instrument always seemed so elusive, awkward, and uncomfortable to me that I never stuck with it. One day I decided to take the matter seriously and find a real guitar teacher. I looked in the yellow pages (ask your grandmother what the yellow pages are) and I found George. George became my first guitar teacher and I’ve been playing ever since. George has not only been a former student to some of the top musicians and instructors, he’s also been a performer, and has years of teaching experience under his belt making him a well-rounded instructor. As a professional musician and teacher myself, I appreciate his diverse approach which includes guitar theory, understanding rhythm, chords, scales, tablature reading, finger picking, as well as classical and contemporary approaches to playing the guitar. Over the years he has accumulated a vast library of music spanning over many genres making it easy to find song selections that are appropriate to each individual. For the beginning guitar player who doesn’t necessarily know what direction to take, this comprehensive approach covers all the bases and gives the student the power of choice down the road when they have a better sense of what most inspires them. In my case the inspiration has been teaching and song writing and my lessons with George have prepared me well for the task. Thanks to George and his knowledgeable background I am now performing as a singer/guitar player and confidently teaching both group and private guitar lessons. Aside from all of the technical qualifications that make George a great teacher, he’s also just a down right nice guy who cares about his students. I highly recommend George Schmidt as a teacher to any beginning guitar players, and anyone who desires to take their guitar playing to the next level

South Easton, MA

I've been lucky to work with George for a number of years, both in person and now via Skype. He’s fluent in many styles of play (classical, Flamenco, blues, classic rock, metal) and what I appreciate the most is his ability to make every song (from beginner to advanced) achievable. It’s kept me motivated as well as excited to learn, practice, and grow as a guitarist. On top of that, you will not find a nicer, more enthusiastic, more supportive, or better person than George.

Sedona, AZ

"I have taken numerous guitar lessons with different guitar instructors over the past 20 years and I can say without hesitation that George is by far the most attentive, most patient and hardest working instructor I have had! George has a very easy going style and has a tremendous knowledge of all the different styles of guitar playing. I highly recommend George for the beginning guitar player all the way to the expert guitar player. He will make you better!"

Las Vegas, NV

I am a huge fan of George Schmidt AND his style of teaching. I have tried to learn to play guitar over the years but was always intimidated by having to learn how to read music. I had my first lesson with George and by the end of it I was able to play a complete song. His approach to reading music is painless and and amazingly effective. George is a wonderful person, with great humor and an easy manner. How many times have we given up on something because a teacher has been more tyrant than human? Having George as a teacher is a cakewalk! I have been studying classical & acoustic guitar simultaneously, with very little effort and great success. Being able to learn via SKYPE is an added bonus, since I live a few states away from George. Oh and did I mention that he is a BRILLIANT musician? Truly an inspiration to the novitiate and veteran.

Sedona, AZ

I have been taking guitar lessons from George for over 8 years. My experience with him as a teacher and as a mentor has been a major part of my life. I started taking lessons from George at the age of 10 as a student who had been taught out of a lesson book for a year. His method was very different; there was no learning song after song in a beginner’s book. He instructs his students how to read music and then allows them to choose their musical path. He’s helped me with composing my own music, preparing me for auditions and concerts. He offers his students a wide selection of genres that allows for individualization and creativity. If you don’t live in the area, he also teaches through Skype. This was useful for me when we lived apart for several years and I didn’t want to switch teachers. Over the years, George has become a close friend as well as an outstanding music teacher. If you want to choose what you play, have creative leeway, and look forward to your lessons, all while learning to become a skilled musician, get in touch with George!

San Jose, CA

I had the pleasure of having George as my guitar teacher as a beginning student. He started off teaching me theory and some easy songs, which built my confidence and ability to move on to the next level. He paid very close attention to me to point out how to improve my playing and my technique. I was very pleased with the progress I made as his student. George has a huge library of songs of all styles, meaning the student can decide what musical direction to take. For me it was blues, rock and some finger picking styles. He also is very accomplished as a player and teacher in jazz, classical and flamenco. (He learned flamenco from one of the real masters of the genre.) When arriving for and leaving my lessons, I would often hear other students playing for him, some of which were already very advanced. It meant a lot to me that he showed such patience with novices when he was also teaching people way beyond my level. I saw students of his from around the age of 10 to others that were touring with bands. George is extremely kind, patient, dedicated and professional. I wholeheartedly recommend him to guitar players of any level or musical interest.

Sedona, AZ

Here’s what I would say to someone who was considering guitar lessons from George: “I am a 66-year old man who began guitar lessons with George 7 years ago. I suffered a debilitating brain injury 9 years before I attempted lessons. Despite my being left-handed and having failed with self-teaching CD’s and video lessons, George managed to help me learn to play well enough to be booking paying gigs at art galleries and poetry events within 5 years. George has a flexible, personal approach that enables him to work with my limitations while following a goal-oriented path towards playing music that I enjoy. He is personable, extremely knowledgeable, innovative and very patient. He has a lot of heart and takes a personal interest in his students. I have taken lessons from him in person, via speakerphone and with Skype on the Internet. He is able to sense fingering errors even using just a speakerphone. His vast experience and extensive playing with many styles of acoustic and electric instruments is without parallel. George has seen it all and understands the process of learning to play guitar. Of course, you have to put in the practice hours but, if you can hear the music you like, he can get you playing it.”

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