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Russell Gottlieb

Flemington, NJ 08822 (map)

Lessons Offered

Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Music Theory, Ukulele

Where are Lessons Offered

In Student Home

Virtual / Online

About Me

Russell Gottlieb is an inspired performer whose style is located at the intersection of deep intellectual thought and reckless abandon.  His fearlessly open musical expression is as striking at the front of a stage as it is sitting around the kitchen table, and it has carried him to influential venues all over the United States.

In 2014, Gottlieb graduated Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, where he studied jazz guitar with Vic Juris and a faculty of jazz masters.

By that time, Russell was already a keen performer. From 2010 to 2014, he played over 250 shows, spanning the entire East Coast and points West. It was during this time Russell started also studying with banjo legend Ryan Cavanaugh.

To date, Russell has played hundreds more shows and has had dozens of students of all ages and skill levels. His lessons are infused with his experiences as a performing and recording artist but do not leave behind his formal education.

My Musical Education Background

My goal is to teach you to teach yourself …

I have gained a wealth of advanced playing and listening skills through my experiences earning a Bachelor’s degree at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, touring the country playing shows, and recording with a wide array of artists, including Grammy winners. In our lessons I break these skills down for you.

Teaching has been part of my mission as a musician from early on. I gave my first lesson when I was 15 years old and have had students ever since. I have always followed the adage, “If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for life.” I want to help make playing music a part of your life.

It’s not about learning a song. It’s about learning how to learn a song …

… and what songs to learn. By securing strong fundamentals and understanding, we build techniques for learning and playing music that can be used from beginner playing through to advanced improvisation.

I strive to identify and emphasize the skills and techniques that have turned out to be the most useful and to modify or reject those which have not …

This way, you receive the benefit of my victories and my defeats, shortening the distance between desire and ability. I think practically. Even advanced music concepts shouldn’t be made inaccessible or disparagingly complex. Anyone with a genuine desire to learn, can. My goal is to make the most powerful concepts relatable for everyone willing to work on them.

Genres and Subjects Taught


Rock - Jazz - Country - Folk - Pop 


Improvistation - Soloing - Note Reading - Music Theory - Home Streaming and Recording - How to Set Up a Practice Routine - Fundamentals - Ear Trainging - General Technique - Jam Session Etiquite - Stage Gear and Live Sound - How to Start or Join a Band - How to Perform on Stage

Lesson Rates


Weekly Lessons (RECOMMENDED) 

1 Hour Long - $55 per Lesson - OR - $190 for 4 Lessons (over 15% discount)

*Limited Availability*

Consistency is key - These lessons are right for beginner to intermediate players, learning an instrument in depth, and anyone looking to build lifelong skills

One-Time Lessons

$65 Flat Rate - Up to 2 hours long

Right for one-time consultations such as: Upcoming music theory test or audition, advice choosing and setting up stage gear, developing a practice routine, setting up a live stream, and more

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

All agres 9 and up

Guitar and Banjo - Beginner through Advanced

All other instruments, Beginner - Intermediate

My Certifications and Awards

Bachelor's Degree Magna Cum Laude from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

My Musical Influences

John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Earl Scruggs, The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brotehrs, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Yes, Jaco Pastorious, Wayne Shorter, Yes, Tony Rice, Dire Straits, Doc Watson, Bill Keith, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Art Blakey, Duke Ellington, many many more!

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