Chris Phelps How may I help you?

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much do you charge? I charge $15 for a half hour on-line lesson.
Do I need my own guitar? Yes. You will need to provide a guitar.
When can we start? Get in touch with me, and we will set something up.


Pricing as of 6/24/20

$7.50 for a 15 minute online lesson

$15 for a 30 minute online lesson

What is included in a 30 minute lesson?

Students will leave every lesson with a practice plan, and music they look forward to practicing. All necessary lesson materials including a notebook and sheet music are provided. To make a list of favorite songs, artists, and styles you want to learn in advance is a great idea! We will develop a plan, and set reasonable goals together. With a large library of sheet music and many popular guitar methods to draw from, we are able to quickly and efficiently answer questions with specific musical examples from famous songs. Students leave the lesson with sheet music in-hand, excited about the new music they will be learning, and well aware of a few easily achievable goals for the week that are designed to build to long term success as a guitarist and as a musician. An expert at transcribing to tablature and sheet music, Chris can show you how to use Capo and Guitar Pro for those impossible to transcribe songs. Everything you need to have a productive week of practice is included.

What Equipment do you use for Guitar Lessons:

Portable teaching rig:
Ibanez acoustic and electric guitars
Larrivee Acoustic
Fernandez Classical guitar
Laptop with Garage Band, Logic, Guitar Pro, Capo etc…
Line 6 Spider

Studio rig:
Fender, Gibson, and Ibanez acoustic and electric guitars for students to use in the lesson.
Line 6 Spider, Pod guitar effects pedals galore for exploring tones.
Software for transcribing includes Capo, and Guitar Pro.
Vocal mics, monitors and outboard effects for “Open Mic” type rehearsals.
MESA Boogie for recording, and matching the tones of top touring pros.
Logic Audio - 24 channels for recording jam sessions.
Piano, keyboard, and drum machines for theory lessons.
20 years of GuitarWorld, Guitar One, and Guitar Player magazines with a searchable song sheet music database.

What education and or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a Commercial Music/Jazz Studies Degree with a guitar performance focus from Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC), with honors. I attended Berklee School of Music Summer Session on a scholarship in 1994 for Guitar Performance and tested out of their guitar program. I have BA in Music Merchandising from Eastern Washington University (1996), with honors. I studied Composition at EWU at the post graduate level.

What advice would you give new guitar students?

A first lesson can be very exciting! Make the most of it by considering what you want to learn in advance. Write down any questions you have, songs you want to learn, or bands or styles you like. Consider who and what you what to sound like. Think about where you want to play music, and who for. That way you can make the most of your time.

My approach, or typical process for working with a new student:

My teaching philosophy is student focused. I prefer to be flexible, and teach to the student’s needs rather than a rigid plan. I do have structured lessons that I have developed, and we can go to them when helpful. I have a large library of sheet music available, and a curriculum I developed for a local private school for more advanced students. Working on rhythms, chords, and progressions is recommended for all players at all levels. For those that prefer books, I have many favorite methods depending on which style you are interested in. I can sight read sheet music, so we can also use your favorite method. I have tests for those that prefer to move as quickly as possible. One of my favorite tricks is I have created small lists, or menus of songs that address specific needs. For example, when we need to learn a specific technique students can pick a favorite song from the list that addresses that specific problem. That speeds things up immensely.

We can be flexible, but I do have plans for us to draw from. The most important things are that your questions are answered quickly and efficiently, and that you have fun learning about music, and the guitar.

Preferred Methods:
Best for Most Students - The National Guitar Workshop Method
Personal Favorite - The Berklee Method
Classical - The Carcassi Method or The Parkening Method

How does your service stand out?

Experience - Education - Patience

I have taught guitar lessons since 1992, and full time since 1996. Guitar is my main instrument, and I have played for well over 30 years. In that time I have built a huge library of guitar sheet music, and my own teaching materials. I utilize my experience and library to quickly answer questions, and send the student home with materials to reinforce that information. Further, I track what each student does from week to week to help them stay on track to reaching their goals. My experience helps me to do that quickly and effectively.

I have also studied voice, piano, and composition, and performed professionally in many different styles on stages large and small. I draw from that education and experience to help my students grow across all horizons of their music, and to find avenues to perform their own music for the people they care about because that’s what makes it rewarding.

Most of all, I'm a father to two wonderful young ladies who challenge me to grow in ways I could never have imagined. They give me the patience to keep trying because they never give up.

What types of customers have you worked with?

After over 25 years of teaching I've worked with all ages, skill levels, and many styles. Right now the youngest student I have is 5 years of age, and the oldest is over sixty. My favorite part of teaching is seeing my students succeed. Though it’s become a cliche, I have had many students with ADD and ADHD that guitar lessons have helped. My former students run open mics, and are members of many bands in Spokane, Seattle, and Colorado. We have an online community where we connect, set up jams, and share updates about our new songs and gigs. One of them just graduated from college with a guitar performance degree, and is now a fellow full-time guitar teacher. Some of my former student’s are currently recording and touring at the nationwide level. You can hear their work on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes.

My main goal as a teacher is to help my students realize their long term goals for music, and it’s very rewarding to see it work long term. My experience has given me the perspective that everyone is different, and patience is the key to helping students reach their potential.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Things have to click. I've studied with a lot of teachers, and I've learned from teachers even when it didn't click. But when it does click, it's worth it. Be willing to meet people, and even take a few lessons to see if it's a good fit. Learn to read music , and study with teachers who do. That’s DEFINITELY worth it.

Describe a recent project you were fond of. How long did it take?

Recently I've been able to watch my students perform gigs. They are all grown up, and perform regularly. Watching them is pretty amazing. This summer three of them played concerts at The Bartlett, a local live music venue, in different bands, and that completely blew my mind. They are on Spotify, and YouTube. More than one of them is currently touring professionally. Honestly, that took a lot more than a decade to see completion, but it's been well worth it for all of us. Are you next?

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What do you want to learn? What drew you to guitar in the first place? Who do you want to sound like? What bothers you about your guitar playing? What is difficult that you wish was easier? Do you have specific questions about technique? Write them down before the lesson.

What are some of your favorite bands and styles

Classic Rock, Blues, Funk, Jazz, Metal, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen, Randy Rhonds, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Allman Brothers, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Pantera, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead, Tool, John Lowry (John5), Mastodon, Baroness, School of Rock, and Foo Fighters.

What are your favorite local sources of inspiration for learning guitar in Spokane?

We have many venues in Spokane that feature local musicians, and they are an inspiration to me. Even the grocery store I go to has live music on weekend evenings! We are really lucky. The Spokane Library is a fantastic resource offering music to explore, and sometimes even free music lessons! They are a great way to try out a different instrument, and we are incredibly lucky to have it.

How did you get started doing this type of work?

A friend heard me play and asked me to teach him. And then another asked. Eventually, I got a recommendation to teach a guitar class for the local Parks and Recreation department. Then I got a lot more students, and was able to go full time with what I love.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

Seeing people’s eyes light up when they learn something new that they really wanted to learn, but didn’t think they could. Most of all I enjoy seeing my students achieve their goals with music and succeed. I know from experience it enriches every aspect of their lives. And I’ve definitely learned a lot of cool songs!

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$7.50 for a 15 minute online lesson
$15 for a 30 minute online lesson