Other Great Guitar Teachers in Seattle

Right now I have a waiting list around five years long.  I’m sorry–I wish I could take everybody right away.

Perhaps you’d like to study with another teacher, at least until I can teach you.  Here are some of my favorite guitar teachers in Seattle.

Joe Walker

I met Joe shortly after he’d started his teaching business, Deft Digits Guitar Lessons, in Seattle in 2011. I quickly discovered we saw eye-to-eye, and this is been confirmed as we’ve become both collaborators and friends over the last few years.

He has a strong background in jazz, blues, classic rock, music theory, and improvisation, he loves working with beginners as well as advanced players, and he’s fantastic with kids.

With his structured but flexible approach, Joe addresses each student differently, customizing his curriculum for your own musical ambitions, whether you’re eager to play your favorite songs around a campfire, ready to master the fretboard after many years on the guitar, or just intent on becoming the next guitar god. Be sure to check out all the free articles and videos on his website.

Styles: All skill levels for rock, blues, jazz, folk, pop. Beginners on bass, ukulele.

Ages: 6 to adult

Location: Laurelhurst, next to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Also available for Skype lessons.

Availability: Weekday afternoons and evenings

Email Joe
Deft Digits Guitar Lessons

Quinn Fitzpatrick

Quinn is a thorough, encouraging and patient instructor who teaches all styles, ages and levels. His intent for every student is to have a solid foundation, be inspired and play the music they love. Quinn is committed to every student’s creative potential and his instruction/lessons encourage every player to go to the next level.

Styles: All levels- beginners to advanced. Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip-hop, Folk, Pop, Rock, Bluegrass, Country, Celtic and Latin styles. Fingerstyle and flatpicking. Music theory as it applies to guitar. Fretboard navigation and mastery.

Ages: Adults and kids 8+.
Location: Whidbey Island, Everett, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mukilteo and North Seattle. Will travel to students’ homes. Teaching studio(s) on Whidbey Island and in Everett. Online lessons available via Skype, Google Chat, etc.

Availability: Flexible. Group classes and private lessons.


Matt Lefler

If you’re looking for a guitar teacher for your child, Matt is a good bet.  He gets rave reviews from parents of former students. He also shares my philosophy for teaching–get students playing music they love ASAP–and clearly loves teaching as much as he loves music.

Styles: Introductory through intermediate guitar techniques in a variety of styles.
Ages: Kids and adults, ages 6 and up. Teaches ukulele to kids 4-5.
Location: Redmond. Will travel to students’ homes.
Availability: flexible


Julie Sakahara and Joe Vinikow

Joe and Julie are fun, friendly, and patient–wonderful teachers and wonderful people. They only teach adult group lessons. Here’s some information from their website:

Rusty picker? First time player? Have fun, meet other players in Seattle’s most successful small group guitar classes for adults.

Styles: Folk Country and Contemporary; Roots, Rock and R&B; Swing to Jazz.

Ages: Adults only.

Location: Roosevelt High School near Green Lake.

Availability: Tuesday evenings.

Seattle Guitar Classes

Linda Waterfall

Linda is a well-loved and critically-acclaimed artist who currently teaches songwriting at Cornish College of the Arts.  I met her a few years ago at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and took an excellent songwriting class from her recently.  She is a great source of inspiration and wisdom, and her music is absolutely gorgeous.  I give her my highest recommendation.

Styles: Songwriting, basic guitar skills (both fingerstyle & flatpick), guitar-based music theory, advanced fingerstyle.

Ages: Mostly high school and up, but also younger students, if they’re motivated

Location: Wallingford

Availability: Flexible

Email Linda
Linda’s Website

Orville Johnson

Orville is not only a world-class musician–he’s played on hundreds of albums, and appeared on Prarie Home Companion–he’s also a generous and dedicated teacher.  He even performed at a recent Coffee Shop Jam.  What a treat!

I took lessons from Orville in 2006 to get some help with my country and blues technique, and I enjoyed his patient teaching style and wealth of knowledge.  And you must see him perform with Mark Graham in the hilarious Kings of Mongrel Folk.  I love their song “Neighbor of the Beast,” about the disgruntled next-door neighbor of the Devil.

Styles: Dobro, Bottleneck Slide, Fingerstyle both blues and other, Flatpicking both bluegrass and other, Improvising and soloing, Music Theory applied to guitar, General guitar applicable to many styles.

Ages: Older teens and adults

Location: Dusty Strings

Availability: Tuesdays and occasional weekend appointments

Orville’s Website

Val D’Alessio

I found out about Val through the parent of one of her students, who gave her high praise. I now teach one of her former students and am blown away with the quick progress he made with her.

Val believes that there’s music in everyone. It is her joy and passion, as a guitar teacher and songwriting coach, to help people discover their music and develop their abilities in a fun, inspiring environment. She loves to make learning meaningful for students by teaching them the songs they love, the music that “lights them up”.

Lessons are individualized and she has a practical, homespun approach to teaching. Skills and techniques are mostly taught through song, emphasizing ear training with simple tablature notation.

Styles: Rock, folk, and blues, beginners to intermediate.

Ages: Adults and kids 9 and up.

Location: Ravenna/Wedgewood neighborhood

Email Val at valeried63@hotmail.com

John Calvin

John teaches through Dusty Strings, the acoustic instrument paradise in downtown Fremont, so I know him from accompanying my students when they go guitar shopping.   He’s also taught several of my students and they have lots of good things to say.

Styles: Folk, Blues, Acoustic Rock, Celtic, Jazz, Classical, Fingerpicking and Flatpicking.

Ages: Kids 7 and up are welcome, as are adults at all skill levels. Adult beginners are especially encouraged.

Location: His home in Ballard, or at Dusty Strings.

Availability: Daytime and evening appointments.

John’s Website
or call Dusty Strings: (206) 634-1662

Will Vukin

Will teaches a friend of mine, who likes his friendly, encouraging approach.  He also teaches bass and banjo.

Styles: Fingerpicking; Flatpicking and Combination Styles; Rhythm and Lead Guitar; American Roots Music; Blues; Classic Folk and Folk Rock; Modern Rock and Pop; Country; Classical Guitar; World Music Styles; Instrumental Melody Picking; Songwriting and Arranging; Alternate Tunings; Improvising; Music Theory; How to visualize and navigate the guitar fingerboard and much more.

Ages: Adults and kids 6 and up.

Location: Ballard

Availability: Monday-Thursday afternoons and evenings, Saturday mornings.

Phone: 206-784-9670
Email Will