Guitar Chicago

Learning with Guitar Chicago

Unless otherwise specified, lessons are now taught online during Covid using Zoom and Skype Lessons are taught in a low-stress format, meeting once a week for a half-hour or full-hour lesson, and follow a program developed by Guitar Chicago based on their experiences as instructors and their careers as touring and recording professionals. Lessons are catered to the individual needs and goals of every individual student. You will be getting an instructor that is a career musician and their main goal is to teach you the in the way you will learn the most effectively. Students also have the opportunity to apply their instruction by writing and recording their own songs on professional studio equipment.


Guitar Chicago is located on Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. Perfect for those working downtown, lessons are a short walk from most businesses.

We are located in the Crain Communications building - 28th Floor - 150 North Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60601.

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Guitar Chicago - West Loop is located on Wacker Drive between Monroe and Adams in the Financial District. Perfect for those working downtown, lessons are a short walk from most businesses.

We are located at 150 S Wacker Drive - 24th Floor - Chicago, IL 60606.


Acoustic Guitar/Electric Guitar/Bass/Songwriting

Total Beginners Welcome!
Founder of the Guitar Cities schools and a graduate of Hope College in Psychology and Music, James Lenger has been teaching guitar and bass professionally for 26 years and has given over 75,000 lessons during that time. After touring with his band for a number of years and teaching privately, he founded the Guitar Cities music program in 2006, now located in Chicago, New York, Birmingham, UK, and London.

James instructs rock, blues, acoustic, pop, and jazz guitar privately in Chicago, as well as the electric bass, and will also instruct occasionally in London and New York. He is featured on the popular Instagram site, Fifteen Second Lessons, where he instructs easy guitar lessons to around 14,000 followers, and is currently collaborating with Warner Brothers, HBO, and a number of other artists. James is also active in the Chicago improv scene, has had his shows featured at the Second City, and works with a number of performers on their musical repertoire. He instructs all ages and abilities, and features a specially designed program that focuses on the needs of beginners and advanced, and caters to what they want to learn. Even if you've never picked up an instrument before, he can make you feel comfortable from the very beginning. James can teach you the song you've wanted to learn, dive into the theory you want to go through, or put a program together for you that will make you a well-rounded musician!

James incorporates his knowledge of muscle mechanics/memory as a member of Team USA in his instruction of music, so you can learn quickly and efficiently. James teaches in the morning, so you can "hit the ground strumming" with a lesson before work, and also the rest of the day, if you want to come in during lunch or after work. He provides the instruments for your lessons, so just walk over!

Stressed at work?
James can also instruct a guitar relaxation program that can be a welcome repreive from the daily grind of work. He will take into account your busy lifestyle, and set up something that will suit your needs, but also become a great stress outlet in your life.


Brant Buckley picked up the guitar at age 13 and never looked back. He graduated from Boston's Berklee College of Music with a Bachelors of Music in Songwriting. His music has been featured on The Times of India (India's version of CNN). While in Philadelphia, he created his own guitar-teaching business and taught songwriting clinics at George's Music Studio. He teaches guitar in all styles: Acoustic (Finger picking/Travis picking), Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Slide Guitar emphasizing harmony, melody, and lyric. He also teaches ukulele, bass, mandolin, and gives voice and songwriting lessons. His students range from 5-80 years of age. Brant assesses and sets reachable goals for each student. He is a compassionate teacher who helps students listen and understand music in a new way. Students will also find their "musical voice" through Brant's instruction. In addition, he is tennis pro and is certified by the USPTA. His tennis teaching experience has made him a more in-depth, balanced teacher.

Please note: vocal and mandolin lessons are only available after 6:30pm and on weekends

Beginning Guitar/Bass/Ukulele

Originally from Switzerland, Davide started playing guitar over 20 years ago. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated with degrees in bass performance, arranging & composition, and has been teaching guitar and bass in Chicago for over 10 years. He currently tours nationally with various tribute acts, plays locally with jazz ensembles and performs regularly with many singer/songwriters.

Davide teaches beginning to intermediate guitar and all levels of bass and ukulele. He will design a program fit to your needs, centered around the music that you like and want to learn. Lessons will cover all aspects of playing an instrument, from technique and theory to proper equipment and sound processing. Davide is also fluent in Italian and French.

Davide is one of the instructors leading our "Blues Club", a program that gives you the chance to jam with others in a band setting.

Guitar/Classical Guitar/Ukulele

Daniel Larson is a classically trained guitarist. He received a scholarship to study at the Conservatory in Santiago de Compostela, Spain; a course started by Segovia to promote the performance of Spanish music. He went on to study with guitar virtuoso Denis Azabagic at Roosevelt University where he earned his Masters Degree in Music.

In addition to classical guitar, Daniel has always loved to play rock, blues, and folk music. He has played in a variety of different rock bands over the years, performing frequently in venues across the country. His current band, "Big Syn" is planning to go on tour in 2017.

Daniel has over 12 years of teaching experience. He has developed a proven teaching method that is highly effective, and highlights the pleasure in creating music. He caters to all ages, musical interests, and experience levels.


Chicago pianist/singer-songwriter Liza Micelli is currently the principle keyboardist for Twentieth Century Fox's hit show Empire. She has shared the stage with Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson, Rita Ora, Eddie Gomez, Ignacio Berroa and Carlo's Santana's percussionist, Paoli Mejias among others. Liza studied at Columbia College Chicago under Jazz pianist Peter Saxe and has her bachelor's degree in Jazz and Afro-Caribbean performance from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico (CMPR). She specializes in pop, rock, soul/r&b, blues, Jazz, Latin jazz and song writing among others. For the past 12 years, Liza has taught various workshops, private and group classes at multiple universities and schools; a few of those being Sam Houston State University, Center of the Arts in San Luis Potosi, México and CMPR teaching both in English and Spanish.

Liza believes that developing the student's musical voice is important from day one no matter if you're a beginner or advanced. Depending on the student's goals, lessons will be based on strong ear-training, developing your own musical ideas and studying favorite songs while analyzing and applying basic to advanced musical theory. Each class will finish performing duo to solidify the day's lesson and will be recorded for self-evaluation.

"At the end of the day, the most important for me is that my students feel confident, inspired and are accomplishing their individual goals, while having a great time doing it!"


Robert Palos is a Chicago-based guitarist and composer with a style rooted in the jazz tradition but flavored by his European/Balkan origin. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental performance from Columbia College in Chicago where he studied jazz guitar and theory with Frank Dawson.

As a trained musician with a degree in music as well as a lot of professional playing experience, Robert offers a unique perspective to teaching guitar, both as a guitarist and a passionate educator.
He also teaches ukulele and bass.

Currently Robert is enjoying several exciting musical projects, where he is a member of "ODE". Ode's sound is a mixture of rock, folk, jazz and world music.The ensuing fusion is a trailblazing, energetic brand of rock music. He also wrote the score/soundtrack for two films, Chat (2014), and Roundabout American (2012).


Shane Allen is a guitarist, songwriter, touring artist and aspiring record producer. Like most young guitarists, Shane grew up learning classic rock songs from Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pink Floyd, AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix. He started performing in bands and writing original music by age 15. In 2014 he graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in guitar performance and composition.

Shane’s approach to teaching primarily involves building a curriculum around a student’s musical interests. Through his work as an educator in CPS schools and private lessons, he has found that when students are learning things they're interested in, they actually want to practice and put in the work outside of lessons. Shane’s goal is to make learning guitar fun in a low-pressure environment.

Shane loves seeing students exceed their own expectations about learning a new instrument: “I think people are so surprised at how quickly they go from learning a couple of chords to being able to play guitar solos and understand music theory.” - Shane


  - there is no registration fee for any of the classes at Guitar Chicago!

Register for Private Instruction

Most of the students that take lessons at Guitar Chicago are part of their private instruction program. Lessons are available 7 days a week and are available all day. If you have any questions about private instruction, please email us at If you wish to take our private instruction classes, please go to the schedule page here:

Guitar Chicago Private Instruction Schedule

Choose Your Song

Whether you have never played an instrument before, you have just started "noodling" around with the guitar, bass, piano, or drums, or if you just want to brush up on a song, our instructors can help. Pick any song you would like to learn on the instrument of your choice, if you don't have the music, we can learn the song by ear! Our 5-week "Choose Your Song" private instruction course will focus on proper mechanics in the first lesson; following that, we will cater a program specifically for the song you want to learn. You will meet once weekly with your instructor for a half-hour per week. If you have any questions about availabilities, please email us at To buy a lesson or purchase a gift certificate for our "Choose Your Song" program, visit here:

Guitar Chicago's Choose Your Song Program

Take a lesson "Playcation"

Guitar Chicago's "Playcation" program allows you to book an extended 2-hour lesson (even if you are not a current student of Guitar Chicago). If you want to spend a few hours learning a song, brush up on some technique, or you are new to the instrument and want to dive in to learning, this program is for you! If you have any questions about availabilities, please email us at To buy a lesson or purchase a gift certificate for our Playcation program, visit here:

Guitar Chicago's Playcation Program

Book your lesson now!

Lessons can be booked over the phone at (312)863-8588 or fill out the convenient form below to have us contact you!


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email us directly at

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