Amanda Turen, Actress & Singer – Clawhammer Banjo Student

When I walk into a lesson with Chris, all I have to do sing a song in whatever key is comfortable for me, and within a SECOND he is writing a banjo arrangement – from scratch – for me to learn THAT DAY during the lesson.

As of this week, I have officially been studying banjo with Chris for one year. To say I am satisfied would be a gross understatement.

When I started learning the banjo, I was brimming with thousands of disorganized ideas for songs I liked to sing and wanted to accompany myself on as a professional singer.

Together, we have learned traditional styles like clawhammer & bluegrass, but we’ve also adapted many other contemporary songs from classic rock, to 70’s folk, 80’s pop and Broadway musicals to the instrument.

We’ve learned all this while incorporating banjo techniques like slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and different open tunings like double C, and open D into our repertoire.

I am always motivated to practice because I get to play songs I actually like on a wonderful, uniquely American instrument. But, when life gets crazy and I can’t devote the time I want to to my practice, Chris is never judgmental or impatient.

Chris has enriched my abilities not just as a banjo player, but also as a more confident singer & musician. My sonic range, appreciation, and comprehension of music have expanded greatly.

I could not be happier with the skills Chris has imparted to me on the banjo!


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Alex J. Mann, Filmmaker – Blues/Rock Guitar Student

Chris is a multi-disciplined guitar teacher, player and sideman who — in a relatively short period of time — has helped me reach many of my guitar-playing goals. He is patient, and is always willing to answer my “Wait — what’s that guy playing there?” questions, even if it’s irrelevant to the current lesson. He’s fluent in different styles, and has a way of looping in music theory into his song lessons.

An example:

I told Chris I wanted to learn the classic blues track “All Your Love” by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton. Chris pointed out which part of Clapton’s solo were triads, which became its own lesson (and subsequent lessons as I learn the rest of the triads). For the same song, we focused on learning Clapton’s soloing technique and style: bends, pull-offs, hammer-ons, double-stops, etc.

Whatever your guitar-playing goals are, Chris will break it into digestible parts to help you reach them.


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Rachel Ladd, Actress – Musical Theatre Guitar Student

I’ve always wanted to play guitar, and decided today is the day that I buy a guitar and sign up for lessons!

I found Chris’ studio online and decided to give it a shot, and man am I glad I did.

Always fun & informative, I leave feeling more confident in my guitar playing. Chris is an incredible teacher and I always feel at ease, even if I feel unaccomplished in my current “guitar situation”.

He will work with you to help define your goals & the style you want to play.

Whether you want to be a studio musician, a singer/songwriter, or sit in on some local jam sessions, Chris will help you get there.

He inspires me as a student, and holds me accountable, which are the most valuable benefits of working with a private teacher, versus just learning from YouTube videos and free tabs online.

I’ve come quite a long way with with Chris’s help, and I can’t wait to see how much I’ve improved in a year. I’ve always had a dream to be a musician, and Chris helped me achieve that dream!

~ Rachel L.


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