Private Lessons

Our List of Incomparable Instructors


Jimi Cabeza De Vaca
(310) 972-9469


Kit Alderson
(310) 838-5636

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.'


John Rosen
(818) 590-5691

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

Zac Sokolow
(310) 678-6434

Beginners and intermediate players in all styles


Denny Croy
(310) 720-5326

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


Tania Magidin
(818) 634-2232

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 Mizrahi
Tel/whatsapp: +39 3884968228

Skype: moniquehoneybird

Availability via Skype

Monique encountered the charango in Bolivia in 2003 and has been playing it ever since, including numerous tours on acoustic and electric charango. Collaborator with the “Noche de Charanguistas”, a cultural network of charango players and teachers worldwide. This 10-string Andean instrument creates a sonic landscape unlike any other. Beginners and first-timers welcome too!

Joellen Lapidus
(310) 474-1123
Traditional and contemporary styles of dulcimer

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


Kit Alderson
(310) 838-5636

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

Jimi Cabeza De Vaca
(310) 972-9469

David Ellis
(424) 603-4042

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 McCabe’s Guitar Shop® in Santa Monica for the past twenty-something years. His students have been accepted into music programs at USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach and the Berklee College 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
Fridays 3-6pm
Saturdays 10am-6pm
Sundays 10am-6pm

Vicki Hill
(323) 286-8163

Beginning guitar for kids and adults, with some theory and singing

Available afternoons and evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Paula McMath
o: (310) 394-4640
c: (310) 625-8586

* Specializes in teaching guitar to children
* Believes in allowing interest to drive material selection, and strives to have kids “feel” music as well as hear and see it
* Emphasizes: fingerboard knowledge, use of music notation, chord vocabulary, fingerpicking, right-hand rhythm techniques, scales, scale tone chords, and songwriting
* Extensive training and experience in ORFF Schulwerk — a system of teaching music which utilizes singing, speech, movement, body percussion, and small pitched and unpitched percussion instruments
* Works professionally as a singer/guitarist/songwriter in the Los Angeles area — and in her native Canada
* Launching a children’s project:
* Available Monday evenings at McCabe’s

Joel Morrison
(310) 483-3235

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.

Harry Orlove
(661) 312-5803

Specializes in:

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 guitar legends like James Burton, Jimmy Bryant and Thumbs Carlisle

Has performed and recorded with everyone from Vassar Clements to Lucinda Williams, Leann Rimes to Big Jay McNeely, Michelle Shocked to David Grisman and Steve Wariner to Odetta

Available Thursday evenings only

Steve Rose
(310) 890-4017

Pop, jazz, rock, folk

Guitar arranging for singers and songwriters

Theory and improvisation

Cheryl Saunders
(310) 721-2357

Cheryl teaches blues, jazz, pop, and rock, and the only bossa nova class at McCabes. She has opened for Johnny Cash and June Carter, played in the Andy Bey Jazz Quartet, and in the orchestra of the late composer Elmer Bernstein. In addition to music degrees from California State University Northridge and the Musicians Institute of Los Angeles, she finely honed her skills during 15 years of private study with renowned guitar-legend Ted Greene. She has been a highly respected, recognized, and valued member of the LA music scene for many years.

She’s an excellent teacher because she’s empathetic, and can quickly see how to improve your guitar skills. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, Cheryl will help you evolve your playing, technique, and musicianship before you know it. She excels at arranging and teaching chord melodies and improvisation.

Group classes and private lessons available.

Pete Snell
(310) 387-0930

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

Fred Sokolow
(310) 838-4215

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

Pete Steinberg
(310) 367-2220

“First: I’m not teaching music – I’m teaching people. I can get anyone playing alternating bass style guitar. My job is to see that you learn how to play and how your guitar works. I can make this fun and easy and get you playing a finger style blues tune in one lesson. There is a way to do this and If you want to learn this, I’ll show you how in an atmosphere of unconditional positive support. I’m in your corner. I want you to be the one at the parties that can figure out how to play all the songs without needing a songbook. I want other performers to feel fear when you come on stage.”

Teaches all levels and loves beginners. First lesson is free! Teaches everything from the Mississippi Delta, East Texas, Georgia and north through Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky. Finger style guitar champion: 1st place 1999 Southwestern guitar championship, 1st Place 2008 Utah State championship, 1st place 2010 Wyoming State Championship, 1st place Topanga Banjo & Fiddle contest: 1998, 2001, 2007, 2016. Learned country blues guitar from Mississippi John Hurt, Fred Mcdowell, Rev. Gary Davis, Lightnin’ Hopkins. Learned slide guitar from Son House. Learned “Ramblin” from Johnny Shines as did Robert Johnson. Teaches acoustic, electric, blues, folk, jazz, country blues, slide (bottleneck) guitar, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Merle Travis, moving bass styles and many others and can teach music theory to a chimpanzee. He is also the only instructor to have wrestled a bear. Rumors that he has tasted human flesh are unsubstantiated.


Dave Gage

All levels and styles, including standard 10-hole diatonic and chromatic

Available Tuesdays 4-10pm

Contact Dave for current rates


Fred Sokolow
(310) 838-4215

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


Fred Sokolow
(310) 838-4215

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

Zac Sokolow
(310) 678-6434

Zac teaches here when he is not on tour with his band The Americans.


Rose Brant
(310) 922-8572

All ages, styles and levels – – beginners welcome.

Many years experience teaching successful practice and performance techniques.

Flexible availability.

Available at McCabe’s on Wednesdays, 10am-3pm.

Please inquire about rates as they differ from those of other teachers

Julie Ingram
(512) 567-4870

Adult Beginners, all styles

BA from UC Berkeley, Masters in Music from University of Texas at Austin

Specialist in the history of French music


Danny Moynahan

Is that a real saw? Are those teeth sharp? Is it easy to play? The answer is yes, yes, and yes, if you learn from a pro like Danny Moynahan. Originally a saxophonist in ska, reggae, afrofunk, soul and jazz settings, Danny fell in love with the musical saw upon hearing the legendary sawyer Charlie Blacklock perform in Santa Monica, CA in the late 1990s. He began playing the very next day, and has since become a highly sought-after recording artist, performer, and teacher of the musical saw. All levels welcome.


Steve Rose
(310) 890-4017

All levels
Vintage jazz and Hawaiian
Chord and solo playing

Major fun!


Tom McEvilley
(310) 968-5647

Attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.
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.


Tom McEvilley
(310) 968-5647

Twenty- one years of international touring with Mantovani including extensive tours throughout Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, and the US, and 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.


Lawrence Lebo
(818) 606-5326

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

Specializes in:
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

Tom Zehnder
(310) 415-0902

Tom enjoys engaging students at all levels and is thrilled to recently join the accomplished team of music teachers at McCabe’s Guitar Shop. Drawing from decades of experience composing, songwriting, producing original scores and songs for video games, TV and Film, as well as performing in several bands regularly, Tom teaches songwriting, voice and guitar, sometimes all three in one lesson. Tom holds a bachelor of arts degree in music composition from UCLA, graduating summa cum laude and grew up in the living room of his dad, the late John Zehnder, who encouraged the whole family to sing and play “by ear” together – and it was fun!

More info and credits on his website
Flexible availability.
Private Lessons
McCabe's® private lessons are sold in 1/2-hour increments. The cost is $40* for each 1/2-hour ticket or $140 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.

Rental Policy
1. We only rent to students currently taking lessons at McCabe's.
2. We rent for a minimum of three months.
3. We rent anything that retails for $500.00 or less (with some occasional exceptions).
4. 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.)
5. The first three months' payment can apply toward purchase on that instrument or one of higher value.
6. 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.
7. One must have a credit card valid for at least 12 months.