Current Group Lessons
These classes are a lot of fun and a great way to start! They're paced just right for beginners, and offer a complete introduction in just six to eight weeks. Learn famous songs, useful techniques, basic styles, and easy theory. Great for brush-up, too.
Cheryl Saunders 8:00-9:30 PM Tuesdays, Coming Soon
Pete Steinberg 12:30-2:00 PM Saturdays, Coming Soon
Kit Alderson 8:00-9:30 PM Thursdays Coming Soon
You'll have a marvelous time making music with this remarkably easy to play miniature guitar. You'll learn simple chords, strums, and songs from Mr. Ukulele himself, Steve Rose. Bring your own instrument, or play one of ours, if you don't have one yet. It's easy! It's fun! Come!
Is mandolin just for bluegrass and Italian songs? No way! It's also heard in rock, country, folk, jazz, and swing. You'll learn songs in all these styles from Fred, as well as how to get around the instrument in several keys, and even how to improvise, so you can (gasp!) play with other people. The mando may be small, but there's a world of music in there, and this is a great way to get started. As a bonus, you're invited to bring in tunes you'd like to play, and Fred will try to include them in the class.
CLASSIC COUNTRY JAM
Whatever instrument you play, here's your chance to learn to jam with other players, or hone your chops if you already know how, in the most supportive environment imaginable. Learn to play the real country songs of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Ernest Tubb, Buck Owens, Roy Acuff and others. They are mostly simple, 3- or 4-chord tunes! Fred spells out the progressions and you take turns playing backup and soloing (only if you want to) on the best country music there is.
GUITAR 2.5: MORE GUITAR WITH CHERYL
This is the class that naturally follows Cheryl's "Guitar 2" class, and is just a little more challenging (hence the 2½-guitar rating). Delve into more advanced songs and a bit of theory. Learn bass runs, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Become friendly with barre chords. Start to sound like a professional.
Whether you play blues, jazz, rock, country, bluegrass or you-name-it, the strategies Fred shows you will enable you to ad-lib solos all over the fretboard, in any key, and (get this) actually know what you're doing! Lots of jamming as well as theory, licks, scales, and chord-based solo techniques. Learn how to express yourself! Bring recordings of your favorite solos and find out what the player was thinking.
Electric guitars and acoustic guitars are welcome, as well as blues harp, bass, and anything else you like to play (sax, banjo, mandolin, uke, you name it). We'll explore the repertoire of BB, Albert and Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Clapton, Stevie, T-Bone Walker and all the blues greats (from the late '40s to the present). Fred can help you with chord progressions, soloing techniques, etc., but mostly it's a chance to jam and get used to playing great blues tunes with other people.
BOTTLE NECK/SLIDE GUITAR
Learn to play slide in open tunings (E, D, A, G) and standard tuning in the styles of Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Elmore James, Duane Allman, and all the great acoustic and electric players. Classic slide licks sound great in blues, rock and country music. Even if you've never played slide before, this will get you off on the right foot.
DOBRO/LAP STEEL GUITAR
Grab your steel and join renowned multi-instrumentalist and instructor Fred Sokolow in a study of lap steel guitar and its acoustic cousin, dobro. Learn common blues and country licks, movable scale patterns, and exercise playing lead and rhythm all around the fretboard!
1-DAY SHAMISEN WORKSHOP
Ayame Vest and Mike Penny will present the Japanese instruments known koto, sanshin and shamisen. A short history of its origins in China, migration to Okinawa, and development in mainland Japan will be followed by performances of an Okinawan song accompanied by sanshin, a Japanese song in the most ancient style of shamisen music known as "Jiuta," and a few instrumental pieces in the more modern and lively folk-style of Tsugaru shamisen. In addition, there will be an introduction on classical ensemble music where shamisen and voice are accompanied by koto. Koto is sometimes called the harp of Japan and often accompanies shamisen and voice, playing a similar role to the piano in Western music. Following the performance there will be an opportunity to try out the koto, sanshin and shamisen in a short lesson!
Get started on the right foot with David Ellis, an accomplished classical guitarist who is also fluent in folk, blues, flamenco, and rock. He's taught hundreds of students over the last two decades, and he can teach you, too!
BEGINNING GUITAR, CONT.
Learn new techniques, patterns, and chords, along with lots of new (and old) songs in this new class open to anyone who has taken a beginning-level class, or has played for six months or more. Bring in your requests! Let's have some fun!
UNDERSTANDING CHORD PROGRESSIONS
It's easier to learn new songs, pop, rock, jazz or whatever, if you understand progressions. Yes, there is sense to it all and Fred will explain chord movement and song structure, the circle of 5ths, progressions, scale-wise patterns and more! Bring your favorite tunes to analyze, and learn to play 'em in any key. An excellent workshop.
BOSSA NOVA GUITAR
Learn to play some of your favorites from 1960s Brazil. Along the way, you'll develop a better understanding of chord forms, improve your rhythmic sensibilities, and gain new possibilities for your arranging and composing. If you've taken this course before, you'll be happy to add some new songs to your collection.
ONGOING HARMONICA WORKSHOPHere's your chance to better your harmonica skills AND have fun. Lots of jamming, new techniques, theory and more. Come in and watch any time without charge. Please call Dave at (818) 710-7979 BEFORE signing up.
Group Lesson Policy
Come to any full-length class (8 weeks) and don't pay until the 2nd week. Please pay up front for shorter classes and workshops. Save your place by enrolling early. Drop by the shop, or call us at (310) 828-4497. Be aware that classes with very low turnouts may be canceled (but it doesn't happen too often). And don't forget to practice!
1. We rent for a minimum of three months.
2. We rent anything that retails for $500.00 or less (with some occasional exceptions).
3. The rate is 30% of the cost of instrument and case. (We will not rent without a case unless the customer already has a suitable case.)
4. The first three months' payment can apply toward purchase on that instrument or one of higher value.
5. One may continue renting at the rate of 10% per month after the initial three-month period. However, these payments do not apply toward purchase.
6. One must have a Credit card valid for at least 12 months.
McCabe's private lessons are sold in 1/2-hour increments. The cost is $35* for each 1/2-hour ticket or $120 for four 1/2-hour tickets. Tickets should be purchased ahead of time, and then handed to your teacher at the beginning of each lesson. McCabe's lesson tickets are valid for six months.
All scheduling is done directly with each teacher. Contact info can be found on this page, or by calling the shop. There is a strict 24-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel a lesson less than 24 hours in advance (or don't show up at all), your teacher is entitled to the ticket(s) required to cover the lesson time.
* Please note that this rate does not apply to all instructors. Double check individual instructor rates below.
Our list of incomparable instructors
Jimi Cabeza De Vaca
Also known as "King Autoharp" has been playing the Autoharp for over 40 years. Kit played in the Stone Poneys which was Linda Ronstadt's original back up band. He also taught Reese Witherspoon how to play for her role in 'Walk the Line.'
Specializing in bluegrass banjo, all levels and ages, beginner through advanced
38 years professional experience as a banjo teacher and performer
Teaches Scruggs style, melodic 3-finger style, clawhammer
Has played with the Dropkick Murphys, Ashley Campbell, Scarlet Rivera, Dan Bern, Old Man Markley, Ed Helms, the Get Down Boys, the Dust Bowl Cavaliers, and Burning Heart Bluegrass, among others.
Patient, dedicated, and FUN teacher
Available Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays
Electric or upright, all styles
Teaching since the early '80s
Has played with so many bands you've heard of, it would be tedious to list them all
Specializing in theory, technique, reading, or just plain fun
Available every day but Thursdays and Saturdays
Has been teaching for more than 40 years
Earned a Master Degree in Russia studying under Gregory Pekker (who studied under Julius Klengel)
Teaches all ages, from 4 to 104
Monique encountered the charango in a life-changing experience in Bolivia in 2003 and has been playing the charango ever since. This 10-string Andean lute creates a sonic landscape unlike any other string instrument.
Styles ranging from traditional Andean rhythms to rock, folk and soul.
Explore this instrument still quite uncharted in North America.
Monique has toured throughout Europe over the past 10 years as Honeybird, including performances on national Italian TV, national public radio in Germany and Spain, and a festival tour on electric charango with popular Italian rock band Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti.
Availability is varied and flexible
Any and all types, including trap set, hand drums, xylophone — everything
Graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston
Teaches at outside studio due to McCabe's space limitations
Availability is varied and flexible
Absolute beginners to advanced players
Strumming styles and finger picking styles
We have a dulcimer club: we play all kinds of music, duets, quartets, etc.
Private lessons at my office in Westwood
Folk, pop, rock, some classical and also jazz (mostly fingerstyle)
Can also transcribe many songs from fingerstyle
Does not teach electric guitar, and does not take students under 16
Available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, plus Wednesday mornings
Flamenco, beginning to advanced, focusing on technique and compas (rhythm)
Teaches both traditional and modern styles, but specializes in Jerez
Studied in Spain, and has been playing for 20+ years
Excellent knowledge of accompaniment for baile (dance) and cante (song)
Available Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays
Please bring small cassette or mini-recorder
Beginning (all ages — absolute beginners should have a nylon-string guitar)
Folk, blues, flamenco and rock (beginning to intermediate)
Classical (all levels)
David has been a guitar instructor at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica for the past twenty-six years. His students have been accepted into music programs at USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach and the Berkelee School of Music.
Performance highlights include playing several concerts with the Broadway singer Kristin Chenoweth, playing on the red carpet for the 71st- 74th Academy Awards, performing with the Los Robles Master Chorale, and performing in the garden of the newly opened Disney Hall.
He also has a band called the Attractive Nuisance. Check the calendar for local show dates!
Wednesdays and Thursdays 3-10pm
Specializes in teaching guitar to children
Extensive training and experience in ORFF Schulwerk — a system of teaching music which utilizes speech, movement, singing, body percussion, and small pitched and unpitched percussion instruments
Believes in allowing interest to drive material selection, and strives to have kids "feel" music as well as hear and see it
Works professionally as a singer/guitarist in the Los Angeles area, and is currently completing her second CD
Available Monday evenings
All levels, especially beginners
Rock, Blues, Folk, including Finger Picking and Slide
Specializing in Electric, Acoustic, and Resonator guitar, Theory, and Advanced Technique
BFA in performance from CalArts
Theory for the Working or aspiring Working musician: Everything you need to know presented in a simple straightforward manner with an emphasis on the most important and usable things first.
All classes would include a section on guitar gear and set-up.
Bluegrass, Electric Blues, Jazz, Western Swing, Country, Roots Rock
Proud to have had artist endorsements from The Martin Guitar Company, Eastman Guitars, Danelectro, Fishman Transducers, Elixir Strings and Fender Musical Instruments
Highly experienced in commercial studio work for TV and film
Was touring with Tom Rapp, in the band Pearls Before Swine by the age of 17
Moved to LA in 1979 and landed a job in the house band of the World Famous Palomino Club where he got to work with music legends like James Burton, Jimmy Bryant, Thumbs Carlisle, "Sneaky Pete" Kleinow and Jay Dee Maness
Available Thursday evenings only
Jazz, blues and bossa nova
Chord melody arranging
Theory and improvisation
Many years of teaching and professional performing experience
Group classes and private lessons available
Specializing in theory and improvisation for blues, jazz, pop and rock
Played jazz guitar in New York in early '80s while studying composition at Manhattan School of Music
Landed recording deal with Capitol Records in L.A., writing and producing two albums for the band In Vitro
Joined Lyle Lovett in 1990, and toured with Bonnie Raitt, Sam Phillips, Rickie Lee Jones, Lou Reed, John Denver and many others while playing sessions for TV and films
Private lessons in
Blues (electric and acoustic), Jazz, Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Bottleneck, Fingerpicking, Flatpicking
Lots of theory and improv skills taught, as well as songs
Group class "Introduction to Blues & Ragtime" Thursdays 8-9:30pm
alternating bass finger picking
fundamental music theory
classic blues runs and chords
tunes in the style of Mance Lipscomb, John Hurt, Libba Cotton, Lightin' Hopkins, etc.
also includes a good introduction to the styles of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins
students are required to know A, B7, C, D, E, Em, Am and barred F chords
Private lessons in fingerstyle guitar
same knowledge requirements as above
no pop or rock styles, such as Jackson Browne or Aerosmith and no "Tequila Sunrise"
Availability varies, but evenings are preferred
Lap Steel Guitar
All ages, styles and levels - - beginners welcome.
Many years experience teaching successful practice and performance techniques.
Please inquire about rates as they differ from those of other teachers
Adult Beginners, all styles
Available at McCabe's on Wednesdays, 10am-3pm
BA from UC Berkeley and Masters in Music from UT Austin
Composer, Certified Orff Instructor and trained Remo Drums HealthRHYTHMS® facilitator
Also teaches Xylophone, Marimba & Vibraphone
Vintage jazz and Hawaiian
Chord and solo playing
Born in Cincinnati and raised in Houston, Mexico, Los Angeles and New York City.
Attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where he was the first student accepted for both guitar and violin.
Earned a BM in Violin and Viola Performance from the University of Houston School of Music on a full scholarship, and also studied at Rice University.
Guitar and composition studies with Ralph Towner at Naropa Institute led to playing at master classes for Joe Pass.
Credits include Houston Symphony, New Orleans Symphony, Hollywood Film Orchestra, Los Angeles Baroque, Warner Bros. Orchestra, Disney,
ABC, NBC, NHK, CCTV, Good Morning America, and many others.
Twenty- one years of international touring with Mantovani including extensive tours throughout Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, and the US.
Has also toured to Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi with the Mesto Orchestra of Los Angeles.
Has taught throughout his performing career, and believes in the positive reinforcement method.
A step-by-step technique builds a solid foundation; keeping learning fun is also important.
Students are encouraged to look behind the notes on the page, to find deeper more personal meanings in musical expression.
Also teaches viola.
Professional musican/performer and private vocal coach for over 25 years, with a BA from UCLA
Critically acclaimed indie recording artist whose CDs have appeared on the Blues, Folk and Jazz charts
Currently listed as a Blues educator with The Blues Foundation
Pop, Rock, Roots, Blues, Folk, and Jazz
Developing a strong support foundation
Building performance skills
All ages, all levels
1 hour minimum at $65.00 per hour
Vocal coach for over 25 years, with California teaching credential
Award-winning songwriter and composer with 3 cd releases
Artistic Director/Conductor for Angel City Chorale
Has worked either as a vocal coach or conductor with:
-Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters)
-Mary Chapin Carpenter, Natasha Bedingfield, Stevie Wonder
-Luther Vandross, Diane Reeves, Judith Light, etc.
All levels beginning to professional
Adults and kids 10 and up
Live Piano accompaniment provided, and a CD recording of your session
-all aspects of vocal technique
-performance and style enhancement in all styles from pop, -rock, folk, country, blues, classical, jazz to musical -- theatre
-audition prep and college audition prep
-vocal and song development for songwriters
Group lessons in technique and stage performance taught at McCabe's
Private lessons taught in nearby studio with necessary microphones and recording equipment
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