Guitar Chicago


"I have been taking weekly lessons with Jim for over 1 year. In that time I have learned more from Jim than from any previous instructor over the past 10 years. Jim is not only an excellent guitarist he is a very good teacher who is able to push me to extend my comfort zone with the guitar while also recognizing that a busy professional life and other commitments sometimes don’t allow for as much practice time as we would like. I am learning a lot about the things that interest me (music theory, scales, etc.), but at my own pace without feeling the pressure of having to pass a “test” each week. On top of that, the convenience of Guitar Chicago’s downtown location, the fact I don’t have to lug my guitar to the lesson and that I can play and try out any one of several outstanding guitars while learning is tough to beat. I highly recommend Guitar Chicago." -- Jim F.
"It's a refreshing break. I appreciate their ability to adjust to my situation whether I practiced or not. They cater the lessons to my needs. I always get something out of lessons." -- Bob T.
"I've been working with Jim for more than two years and the experience has been terrific. Jim has been and continues to be a great teacher in developing my lesson plan to reflect my musical preferences and abilities. I might never give up the "real job" of attorney that I've had for nearly 30 years to pursue a musical career, but I can say this without hesitation - for all of you professionals out there who still have "guitar god" aspirations, Guitar Chicago is the place to come." -- Frank P.
"In one year, I went from never having any musical background or having played guitar to learning over TWENTY songs. I was able to surprise my friends and family at a recent destination wedding. I strummed and everybody was a blast! I couldn't have ever done this without Troy's guidance and advice at Guitar Chicago. If your thinking about taking up guitar, you won't be disappointed with Guitar Chicago." -- Leigh G.
"Jim is so encouraging and patient while navigating the lesson through all the complexities and beauty of the guitar. One does not have to have a musical background to study with him. The Guitar Chicago style of teaching allows the student to have a practical learning experience first. I highly recommend Guitar Chicago." -- Catherine Z.
"Jason has been a great guitar teacher, at all times genuine, encouraging and refreshingly non-pretentious. I'm a 32-year-old father of two with no musical background, and he has been absolutely flexible with my schedule, pace and many botched chords. Most importantly, he understands what the student's goals are and works in tandem to help me reach them. Most important, I'm having a great time." -- Seamus O.
"I've been studying classical guitar with Andrew Trim for more than a year now. As a trained musician (in other instruments) I came to Andrew with certain proficiency and a lot of deficiencies. Having no facility on the guitar, I find Andrew's teaching methods and pedagogy sound and complete for any adult learner. Our lessons comprise of theory, technique and general fun--all, when combined have given me the confidence to pick up a piece of music and work through it toward performance level. Andrew is a firm, yet fun, teacher and I look forward to gaining more technique while increasing my repertoire in guitar." -- Ahazi D.
“Forrest is an awesome guitarist. He has been teaching me for about a year now and I have learned a lot. I can now go and play songs by myself or with my friends and he has helped my playing improve enough to be a really fun hobby.” -- Jason H.
"I'm not cool, I'm not hip, and all I know about guitars is that they look cool, sound cool and if you can play one...YOU'RE cool. Mostly, I love the SOUND of an acoustic guitar, and after years of listening I decided to learn to play in an effort to divert some of my stress accumulated from my career. If you are interested in guitar in any way, this is the place to learn how to play! I am now a beginner student at Guitar Chicago, and I am lucky enough to work with the man himself, Jim Lenger. Jim has an uncanny ability to crawl inside my brain and understand how I learn, and he uses a great balance of technique, style, music references theory and demonstration, as well as understanding the instrument itself. Why can't we all be this cool???
Initially I bought a package of lessons at Guitar Cities - Chicago because it is 2 blocks from my office in downtown Chicago. I had no expectations walking into my first lesson, and In only a month we are moving from basic chords and progressions into practical applications, improvisation and writing. In fact, my office is now relocating to the dreaded suburbs...about 25 miles away from my current office! I can't stand the idea of NOT taking lessons from Jim, so I'm going to attempt the commute. I have a feeling it will be worth the effort! I never knew that I would love playing the guitar this much, and I can't wait to continue learning!!! Jim cares about his students, and only hires the best instructors so no matter who you work with you will be in great hands. What are you waiting for???" -- Kelli A.
"I grew up with a father that played guitar and was always impressed and interested to take up the skill myself. I borrowed a guitar and took lessons two prior times in my life and never stuck with it. I started taking lessons at Guitar Chicago around 4 months ago and have no plans of turning back. I've improved every week, am playing a number of songs and enjoy the easy going and well thought out instruction. Thanks!" -- Brandon R.
"It took me a long time to find a guitar teacher that could really keep me interested and motivated enough to practice consistently, but then I finally found Andrew Trim. You can immediately tell how much he enjoys both playing and teaching, and all of the little changes in technique he's taught me have really helped me play better. I look forward to our classes every week and would recommend him to anyone trying to learn or get better with guitar, from beginner to expert." -- Elias
"My 8 months of studying guitar with Troy was time well-spent. His instructions were always encouraging & geared to my pace & "skill level". He was very generous with his time in making up a couple of my sick days. I just hope my next instructor will be nearly as proficient & personable as Troy." -- Mike C.
"As a suburban commuter to my job in the loop, finding Jim has made it possible to continue my interest in learning guitar. He has been flexible and accommodating in rearranging lessons based on my schedule. Also, I like Jim's laid back, yet cerebral, teaching style." -- Robert B.
"The location was really convenient for me and the hours were flexible -- they're open late for people who have to work during the week and they even have Saturday and Sunday hours which was key for me. I work extremely long hours so it was important that I'd be able to make it to the lessons every week. I chose lessons on Sundays with Dan Larson, one of the veteran teachers at the school.

To be honest, I was so nervous about my first lesson, I almost cancelled. But I'm so glad I went through with it. From my first lesson, I could tell right away that Dan was going to be a great teacher and that I would enjoy working with him. Our first meeting included talking over my past musical experiences, how much I knew (or did not know) about guitar, the different types of guitars, as well as what I wanted to get out of my lessons. I knew nothing basically and wasn't sure what kind of guitar I wanted to play, or what style of music I wanted to learn. Dan asked really great, really specific questions and I could tell he was genuinely interested in what I had to say and wanted to make the process as comfortable and nurturing as possible to put me at ease. He played all the different types of guitars for me to give me an idea of what the differences were (classical guitar, regular acoustic, electric, bass) and played samples of a wide range of musical genres to see what would interest me. But it was when he picked up the classical guitar and played some samples of classical Spanish pieces that I was totally blown away. He played so beautifully, it was beyond moving- I literally had a lump in my throat and decided on the spot that I would choose the classical guitar. Dan was pretty pleased as classical guitar is his specialty so it's really an incredible experience to be taught by someone who is amazingly passionate about the music as well as teaching it. And right away he put the guitar into my hands and got me started.

Dan is by far one of the best teachers I've ever had for anything. He's incredibly patient and extremely knowledgeable. He's a great communicator, he makes things very easy to understand. He is always emphasizing the proper technique while at the same time constantly striving to make the lessons fun and enjoyable. I'm amazed at how the hour just flies by! He takes the intimidation out of learning the guitar by breaking everything down and going at your pace. He never rushes you and he'll always take the time to go over something until you feel comfortable and satisfied. He never gets cross or frustrated and he always has positive feedback and encouraging things to say. He never wants you to give up or get discouraged and he truly loves teaching. He always has time for questions and he'll never let you walk out of the lessons if you're confused or unsure about something.

Other places probably herd their students in and out like cattle and you just feel like a number. Or your teacher seems bored or completely disinterested and doesn't really have a plan for how to get you to where you want to be. But not at Guitar Cities and not with Dan. He really cares about my learning experiences and my progress. My lesson plans are always specific to me. He goes at my pace and when I want to do more, he gives me more. If I want to go back and polish up other things, he's constantly supportive. He is always generous with his time and attention, always present and engaged and really enthusiastic. I can't believe I'm saying this but I really enjoy learning guitar and it's been a wonderful experience so far because of Dan.

I was so happy with my rapid progress that I signed up for a year's worth of lessons! I can't wait to get home every night and practice, it's such a great way to unwind at the end of a stressful day. And my friends and family are amazed with how much I've learned in such a short period of time. I would definitely encourage anyone, no matter what your situation or circumstance is, if you've ever thought about taking guitar lessons, you should come to Guitar Cities." -- Joyce G.
"I consider myself lucky to have Jason for my teacher. His impressive ability and scholarship are united with infectious enthusiasm and a real desire to help me accomplish my goals as a student. I can hear and feel my progress with every lesson. Jason is flexible and capable; he's willing to guide me down whatever avenues I care to follow. It sounds trite, but he makes learning to play guitar fun and easy. I feel like I'm robbing you guys blind. I hope you don't get wise and start charging $100 a lesson. I'd hate to have to sell my car." -- Stephen C.
"I look forward to lessons. You don't have to start out with songs like 'Mary had a little lamb' (although you can), you can pick what you want to play." -- Will H.
"Troy is absolutely fantastic. He tailors lessons to match whatever your goal is, whether it's playing in a band or just for yourself, and he goes at the pace you want to go. He's flexible, patient and personable, and he has a knack for breaking down musical concepts and relaying them in a way that's easy to understand, which I really appreciate. I highly recommend him as a teacher and Guitar Chicago as a school." -- Danielle N.
"I'd dreamed of playing guitar ever since I was a teenager, but life somehow got in the way and I never seemed to find the time. As a middle-aged woman, part of me doubted that I should pursue that dream again. But my lessons at Guitar Chicago encouraged and inspired me. Jim is such a great teacher that I quickly overcame my fears and discovered that I might have some talent after all. Nowadays, the highlight of my week is going to class. And every time I leave, my passion is further ignited. Not only is my money well-spent, but I feel lucky to have met a mentor who is an outstanding guitarist himself and whose patience and knowledge make the lessons fun!" -- Joanne P.
"Started taking lessons with Troy after 7 months of self-teaching. Now 6 months of lessons later, and about to play live for the 1st time, he has definitely helped me overcome many hurdles, and achieve many milestone in my playing. My playing ability has vastly improved since I started taking lessons. He's a great teacher who tailors lessons to meet your goals and/or musical tastes." -- Dave S.
"Jason is a terrific teacher! This is the third time I've tried to take lessons in the last 5 years, and the first time I'm actually sticking with them. Our class focuses around playing songs I've always wanted to play, which is a great way to stay motivated each week. In addition, Jason also does a great job of explaining the "big picture" about everything we do." -- Jose V.
"I enjoy playing the guitar in my retirement. It's fun going from teacher to student." -- Pete B.
"I just started guitar lessons 2 months ago and Troy has been an excellent teacher. The lessons are very relaxed and the pace is perfect for me. I love coming to the lessons each week and learning that "one more thing" to build upon what I've already learned. I'd wanted to learn guitar for a long time and I'm glad I'm finally getting to it." -- Rob T.
"Jason is a patient, knowledgeable instructor. He's geared the lessons entirely around my goals and has taken the time to fully answer my questions. In the short period of time we've worked together, my playing and my confidence have both improved ....and I'm having more fun playing the guitar now than I have in YEARS! Thank you Jason...and thank you Guitar Chicago!" -- Will P.
"Jim is an excellent teacher at an affordable price. He is very open to suggestions and is very flexible with scheduling. He also provides a very comfortable environment." -- Tony C.
"I like to learn about guitar. It is fun to use that to write my own songs!" -- Michelle O.
"I am on my fifth lesson and I am astounded on how far I've come. I am already learning to play one of my favorite songs. Jason is always relaxed and is very encouraging. I look forward to my lessons." -- Murad S.
"I travel to Chicago each week on business and decided to take advantage of the extra time I have away from home to learn something I always wanted to learn, guitar. Going in I was merely expecting to get linked up with some college student to teach me how to bang out a few chords. What I found instead was professional, working musicians that not only play and produce music for a living but also have an incredible formal music education and ability to teach. Troy Fannin is my instructor and he has been amazing in working with me to achieve the balance I was looking for of not only learning to play, but also learning to read and understand music. Great setup, great people, lucky to stumble upon them." -- Ken R.
"Playing guitar during the work day is hard to beat. I shut down my email, walk down the street, grab a pick and start playing. Jim's approach to teaching is clever, they keep things at an appropriate pace and he sets the lesson plan according to what is most important to the student. His knowledge and talent runs deep, and he's not a bad guy to hang out with in the middle of the day." -- Scott C.
"They make the guitar fun to play, but I also learn many things about how to play it." -- Sean H.
"I was hesitant to take lessons in the past because I wasn't sure I'd get to focus on what I wanted to learn. Troy caters the lesson to his students' desires. For me, personally I just want to learn to play songs and don't care much about music theory. This is great for people that already play but just want to improve on their techniques and skills." -- Ronald S.
"I have been taking guitar lessons for the last 3 months, and I already feel like I have accomplished so much! Jason not only has the proven experience but he also has GREAT teaching skills that have helped me reach my goals at a quicker pace. It's a very collaborative learning environment and it's exciting to know that I can pick a song and be able to work on it and not have to wait years to try it!" -- Monika J.
"I like their program. Even though I have a busy schedule there is plenty of fun things to learn on guitar." -- Taylor W.


What Would You Rather Do, Sit in a Cubicle or Play Guitar? - Chicago Sun Times January 28th 2007

Guitar Lessons Strike a Chord with Busy Workers - Columbia Chronicle December 10th 2007

Seen & Noted: Music lessons play on at work - Crain's Chicago Business

House of Blues Stage Welcomes Guitar Gig by Lawyers, Financial Analysts - Crain's Chicago Business

What's for lunch? Brain food - Chicago Tribune, October, 2011

Best Music Lessons in Chicago - CBS Chicago, January, 2012

Stressed City Staff Become Lunch Break Guitar Heroes - London Evening Standard, January, 2014

6 Reasons Learning An Instrument As An Adult Is Easier Than You Think - Huffington Post, March, 2014

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