Sam Marvin

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Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Loog Certified Guitar, Blues Guitar, Guitar, Lead Guitar, Music Theory, Improvisation
(145 reviews)
4200+ lessons booked on Lessonface

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from $35.00 / 30 Minutes

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2020 Acoustic Guitar Teacher of the Year - Lessonface

An active musician for over two decades, Sam has been teaching Guitar and Music Theory privately since 2014. After earning a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago, Sam moved to Colorado to manage a small music shop and teach. Over those 5 years in Colorado, Sam honed his craft and further cultivated his passion for performing, teaching, and learning. Now based in Adams, Massachusetts, Sam has performed for many years as a solo guitarist as well as a lead and rhythm guitarist for a variety of bands in different styles. Sam has an in-depth knowledge of Music Theory and Improvisation (The focus of his BA in Music from Boston College, along with Composition) as they relate to guitar and harmonic analysis. Sam teaches privately, performs, and records music from his music studio, and is happy to consider any teaching or composition requests. Though his focus is the Guitar, Sam is a multi-instrumentalist and teaches, performs, and records a variety of instruments.

You can listen to any of Sam's music on major streaming platforms, or find more original music, art, and cartoons by Sam at

Sam is an extremely patient and thorough teacher that works with students of any age/level to identify and maximize their inherent musical strengths while creating strategies for improving areas that need attention. His students tend to stick with him for years because of his holistic approach to music education and well-rounded musical background.  By focusing on the essential elements of music as they relate to guitar (Mechanics, Theory, Repertoire, and Improvisation), Sam is able to help students achieve their own musical goals by giving them the tools to teach themselves for years to come. This approach fits any style/genre of music for beginners to advanced students, but the lesson time is always tailored to the student's specific desires/needs.

Sam is adept at using what he is given in the moment as a source of inspiration, and he uses these skills to create a unique lesson environment where the student can learn, absorb, and grow based on their personal interests. Sam uses his own fabricated templates, as well as readily available source material to expand on more detailed subjects, but is willing to work with any external material as well. Sam is also skilled at constructing practice schedules and finger exercises with the goal to transform the idea of practice as a "chore" to that of a "lifestyle."

2020 Acoustic Guitar Teacher of the Year - Lessonface 2017 Outstanding Business Ally (Jensen Guitar Company) - PFLAG Boulder County MA 2013 - University of Chicago - Master of Arts Program in Humanities, focus on Ethnomusicology; Dual BA 2012 - Boston College - Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; 10+ Years of Private Instruction - Robert Engleman (BA-Berklee), Eric Kniffin (BA-Berklee)

Mechanics: Covers all proper positions and posture; pick holding and placement; angles of attack; open chords; bar chords; drop voicings; finger exercises for developing speed, accuracy, and fluency; genre specific mechanics (such as tremolo picking, sweep picking, etc.); basic to advanced overall guitar method

Theory: Basic building blocks of general music theory; rules and conventions; chord construction; intervals; scales; modes; inversions; secondary functions; substitutions; modulation; understanding theoretical history through physical, philosophical, evolutionary, and social-psychological lenses

Repertoire: Depends on the student's tastes, but most conversations of popular and independent styles of music eventually lead to discussions of blues, folk, and jazz. Within whatever genre you are interested, Sam will help establish your knowledge of the "should-be-known" repertoire, and give you further listening suggestions to help build your overall musical knowledge.

Improvisation: Practical application of Theory, Mechanics, and Repertoire develops into Improvisation; basic to advanced improvisation riffs and techniques in blues, rock, country, bluegrass, folk, jazz (to an early advanced level); modal mixing; rig set-up (for electric players); sound system and recording approaches

Reviews of lessons with Sam Marvin

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