Jazz, Rock, Blues, Folk, Improvisation


start right with a great teacher...

I've been working with Jonathan for about 6 + months ...‎‎

...and am VERY satisfied with the results. My overall musicianship has increased more in the last 6 months than it had in years. I finally feeling like I'm progressing! He challenges me weekly to expand my guitar knowledge with excellent tips and exercises. Thanks Jonathan!

Spencer S. - (July 13, 2010)

Patient, and knowledgeable...

... Jonathan brings a lot of experience to the lessons. And he is in a really cool band. I was looking for a serious and experienced teacher working in an all-original alternative rock band, and I found that with Jonathan. Looking back, I am struck by how much we have covered in a relatively short time. He can also help you with composing, band and sound know-how, and has a gift at making you feel great after the smallest amount of improvement. He is also a whiz at math: just ask him about factorials! ;) If you are looking for guitar lessons, give him a call. You cannot go wrong.

Greg D. - (January 10, 2010)

Jonathan is a great teacher....

I have improved a great deal on my guitar playing and knowledge of music theory in just a few weeks. Jonathan was quick to realize my limitations as a guitarist and frequently challenges me to improvise during lessons. I feel my guitar skills are expanding and I am much more confident with my guitar playing. Other than being a great teacher he is a great person. I feel comfortable when I am at lessons, he will take time to answer any of my questions and doesn't make me feel silly even if I ask dumbest of questions. I highly recommend Jonathan (I drive about 40 mins one way to get to lessons :-) ).

Kunal T. - (February 16, 2010)

Learn the whole neck...

Jonathan will teach you to be a real guitar player--a player who knows the whole neck and understands how to use it. He provides a great blend of theory with practical techniques and songs to practice on. His academic music background combined with tons of stage and recording experience gives you a great well-rounded experience. One of his big premises is that you should only change positions on the neck if you want to, not because you have to due to lack of knowledge. Thankfully Jonathan is extremely patient and easy to work with. I've learned a ton and am planning to keep taking lessons with him for quite a while.

Jeff S. - (June 4, 2010)

Fantastic Teacher‎...

Jonathan is a great guitarist, and even more importantly an incredibly talented teacher. He is patient and understanding, and also pushes you to the level at which he believes you can be. He has been teaching for a long time, and has lots of exercises and songs that are truly helpful for developing as a guitarist, and a musician. I highly highly recommend him!

Darcy M. - (November 19, 2009)


What do my students have to say?

(recent reviews from Google Reviews)

I've spent about the last 10 years trying to get into guitar...

I would start, play for a few months, then would quit after not making any progress. Finally, after the last start up, I decided to try lessons to see if it would give me the focus I needed to stick with it. Good news for me, it worked.

I've been taking lessons from Jonathan for about three months and have been very impressed by his ability to continually build upon the lesson before, each week giving me a broader understanding and connection with the guitar. Jonathan really puts the direction of the lesson in my hands, which is fantastic, because my goals may change from week to week. Some days are composed entirely of playing through songs or working on exercises, while other weeks I may spend 2/3 of the lesson asking questions about the theory of the guitar and how different ideas relate to each other. Jonathan is very easy to talk to and seems genuinely excited by seeing his students progress from week to week.

Perhaps the most valuable piece of information I have for prospective students is that Jonathan really seems to have a tremendous knowledge base and is comfortable with many different styles of music. I generally arrive a minute or two before the prior student's lesson ends and, what I am always amazed by, is that each student's lesson plan seems to be very different from the plans of other students. While I'm sure there are a few common ideas that all students work on, Jonathan really seems to focus on the individual goals of each student and tailors their lessons based on the type of music that they want to play.

Cole A. - (January 30, 2010)

I'm an Intermediate player...

...who like many, picked up my guitar again after too many years. I've taken lessons from different instructors, only to be disappointed with just learning licks - I can do that myself. Jonathan has a unique talent for recognizing what's missing, and providing study material that fills in the blanks. I've found many "aha!! " moments, whereby I can apply what I've learned to my music preferences. If you are in a rut with your playing - give Jonathan a call.

Pete R. - (June 30, 2010)

What a great teacher!‎

I've worked with Jonathan for a short time but I've played a few instruments and been around quite a few professional musicians and teachers. I'm so impressed not only with his teaching but with his professionalism and skill. I walked in with nothing and in less than 2 months I am playing the guitar. And somehow Jonathan has put me totally at ease about the process of learning this instrument which can seem so daunting at times. He is really a skilled teacher and I would refer anyone looking to learn guitar to him. I hope he will still be around town when my kids are old enough to take lessons.

Kathy Y. - (August 19, 2010)

You’re serious about learning how to play?

My friend Ben suggested Jonathan to me. He said, check this guy out, he's great. Ben is a musician and I know him as being extremely critical about his passion. So I did it …. What a great suggestion. I'm in my mid thirties, have a time consuming and very stressful job and started playing 1½ years ago. I never touched an instrument before, but always had this endless passion for Rock Music since I was thirteen years old. After roughly 6 months working with Jonathan, I'm currently practicing a Joe Satriani song. Seriously, this would have never occurred to me even in my wildest dreams. This man made it happen. As a teacher he is inspiring (watch this dude hit the strings, he is amazing), motivating (after a ten hour work day and half and hour with Jonathan I can't wait to get home and practice), critical (honest feedback guaranteed) and challenging (he never seems to run out of ideas how to push you to the next level). Rock, Pop, Metal, Blues… he's got it all. And if this is not enough, he definitely is the guy you want to hang out with after a stressful day to chat about the most amazing thing in this world: guitar music. Bottom line, if you are serious about mastering the guitar, if you want to do it, he is the man who takes you there. Thank you Jonathan!

Nils W. - (October 23, 2010)

Initially I scheduled lessons with Jonathan because...

...I was planning on enrolling at a music school in southern California. It had been about ten years since I had taken private lessons while in high school and for the most part, my playing had plateaued. I needed a recommendation to round out my application. Needless to say things didn't work out in terms of moving to California. Instead I'm planning on majoring in music education at Portland State University. Nevertheless, I am still taking lessons with Jonathan and getting a whole lot out of the experience. While Jonathan certainly hears from you in terms of why you're playing the instrument, what you seek to accomplish, and what genres you're into, he pushes you to be a versatile and disciplined (that is, prepared) player. And it's obvious, unlike some teachers, he truly cares about whether you're improving to the best of your ability. If you're looking for a teacher who will impart an understanding of music theory and help lay a solid foundation for playing and songwriting, Jonathan is the way to go. I'm finally moving forward as a player again and making plenty of headway without relocating yet again. I don't need to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on a music school, although for some students that may be the next step. Ultimately the most notable aspect of Jonathan's teaching style is how he strikes that balance between encouragement and accountability. You'll definitely need to put in adequate practice time, but the thing is you'll want to. As more and more things come together week after week it'll be clear how important music theory and increased knowledge of the fretboard are to becoming a player who isn't restricted to memorized lines, locked-in positions, or one area of the neck. I highly recommend Jonathan-- as a teacher and as a person-- and know that I for one have no plans to stop taking lessons anytime soon!

Andrew C. - (November 28, 2010)

At age 50 I began taking guitar lessons...

...with another guitar instructor. I enjoyed him but felt the lessons were scattered. We'd memorize songs but I never had an understanding of the complex dynamics involved. My instructor moved out of state and I apprehensively set about to find another teacher. I found Jonathan Barker and have been thrilled with the change. Jonathan is demanding but fair. He wants me to succeed and helps me to be patient with the process. He uses a methodical approach supported by both written and online lesson plans. I have learned more about playing the guitar and about music in the past six months than I had in the two previous years. I eagerly await the next two years and the musical growth it will bring. I highly recommend him as an instructor.

Marc S. - (May 5, 2011)


Degree in music

Over 30,000 lessons given

Over 15 years teaching experience

I had been playing guitar for 10 years...

...mostly self-taught, when I decided I needed to get serious about improving my playing. After 4 weeks of working with Jonathan, I have never been more excited about my progress. He was able to quickly assess the holes in my playing and was printing out scales, patterns, and tabs for me to work on within a few minutes. When I got home I found audio clips to play along with in my inbox (recorded at different speeds to make the process easier), as well as videos of him playing the songs we worked on in our lesson. He is not afraid to challenge me while still setting me up to practice in such a way so I down burn out or bash my guitar against the wall. He is organized, efficient, and an amazing guitarist. He is a teacher who is still a student of the craft, referencing new tricks or tools he's picking up from seminars and lessons he attends. It just so happens that the person before my lesson is just beginning guitar, while the person after me is much more advanced than I am. Having overheard his patience and skill with both of them in addition to my own experience, I can confidently recommend Jonathan to any guitarist looking to make real strides in their playing.

Adam P. - (November 11, 2011)

Jonathan has a wealth of knowledge...

...that he brings to the table. I have been taking lessons with him for about two months now and couldn't be more pleased. His methods are clear and concise, as every lesson builds off of the last one. I'm diving into new music and new sounds that I wouldn't discover on my own. He keeps the lines of communication open, and answers any questions you have through e-mail during the week. I am very excited to continue to learn from Jonathan.

Ross C. - (February 4, 2012)

I had never touched a guitar...

...and always wanted to learn. Jonathan is an incredible teacher from the basics of guitar to teaching you song by song to give you the confidence to feel good about playing. From lesson one; Jonathan has given me the tools to build my basic skills. I have only done lessons for a month and am already starting to get through songs. I highly recommend him to any beginner or experienced player.

Doug H. - (March 8, 2012)

Jonathan is absolutely PHENOMENAL!!!

He is a positive, patient, and encouraging teacher and I have loved the opportunity of learning from him. His passion for the guitar is contagious and he is truly a master of his craft. I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone who wants to take their guitar playing to the next level--he is FANTASTIC!!! If you're looking for a great guitar teacher...you've found him!!! :)

Christine W. - (March 29, 2012)

I have been working with Jonathan...

...as a guitar teacher for a little over a year now and am astounded by my progress. I recommend him to anyone at any level who wants to learn guitar or build on their existing skills. I have always loved music but knew nothing about the guitar or music theory when I began. Over the course of a year I am now able to play all open chords and most barre chords with and now have a basic understanding of the theory behind music. I have also learned skills that create intricate sounds such as hammers, pull-offs, finger tapping, soloing and improvising through scales. Rhythm is highly emphasized in lessons as well as all around proper technique. Jonathan is patient, encouraging and highly skilled as a guitarist. If you are looking for a teacher, look no further!

Meghan E. - (April 4, 2012)

I'm a self-taught guitarist...

...and have been playing off and on for about 15 years. I was referred to Jonathan by a friend and am so glad I took her advice - after just two lessons I feel like I've learned more about guitar than I have since the first year I played. Jonathan has a wonderful, easy manner, and quickly figures out where to focus in order to get real results quickly. He was able to identify the areas where I need to work almost immediately and push me into the zone of "uncomfortable but making clear progress" -- the zone where learning happens. I recommend him highly to anyone who wants to play better -- whether a first timer (its clear to me his approach is perfect for beginners too) or someone with some experience looking to learn some new things, Jonathan is that rare teacher that knows the subject matter inside out AND has the gift for imparting that knowledge to his students. I look forward to many, many more insights and a-ha moments with Jonathan.

John G. - (June 23, 2012)

I've had Jonathan as a guitar teacher for 4 or so years...

...and I have to say he's wonderful. He really knows how to play, but he also understands that when you're starting out, small things can be very difficult. More importantly, he'll listen to those difficulties, no matter how small and teach you through them. The quality I find the best is that he's really genuine. He knows how to play a guitar, be in a band, balance all that with life, and how hard it can be because he's gone through it. He'll also tell you what you need help with, and help you; but he won't be mean, or make you feel bad, he'll just be honest. Another thing is that he will answer questions, about anything musical, that almost seem absurd. For me, I like to ask questions about how songs sound for me, and how that makes the song good. Even though my questions are very opinionated, he understands, and can answer them very well.

Bobby R. - (August 2, 2012)

Jonathan provided excellent and customized material...

... in a professional manner. It was the perfect blend of technical reminders about technique blended with the enjoyment of playing guitar. As a novice and an adult I was nervous about taking lessons even though it was clearly time to get them. Jonathan made me feel comfortable while pushing me in the right direction. Did I mention it was a lot of fun? Thanks Jonathan.

Ben L. - (March 6, 2013)

When I decided to get back into playing guitar...

...I did a lot of research on local guitar teachers, but Jonathan kept standing out. I have to say, taking lessons from Jonathan was definitely money well spent. Playing guitar has always been hard for me, but Jonathan has been extremely patient. What makes him a standout instructor is that he knows how to adapt his teaching style to meet the student's needs. Whenever I was struggling with something, instead of getting frustrated, he would find a different way of explaining it. He knows how to motivate his students and keeps you accountable, which is great. No wishy-washy instruction here! And aside from being a laid-back and fun guy to work with, Jonathan is always there for help outside of class. Whenever I needed help with something, either playing or gear related, Jonathan always responded within a day. In the 9 months of working with Jonathan, I've progressed further than I ever thought I would. Who's got two thumbs and thinks Jonathan is the best guitar instructor in town? This guy!

Robert A. - (August 14, 2013)

I highly recommend guitarist Jonathan Baker as an instructor

His sensitivity to music detail and expression, solid understanding of guitar technique, likable personality and clear communication style, make his students lucky to have him as an instructor. From the first time you talk to Jonathan, you hear the pure passion and enthusiasm he has for music....you find out he is one of the rare individuals who not only plays guitar exceptionally well, but is also able to synthesize his knowledge to his students with great enthusiasm.

Scott D. - (September 24, 2013)

Completely blown away by the clarity & level of understanding...

...for which Jonathan is able explain music on the guitar. Music has been truly difficult for me to understand over the years but Jonathan's method for teaching has given me a level of understanding that I never thought possible. I had been playing the guitar for many years on my own but had reached a plateau and was stuck at the same level for quite some time. When I decided to find an instructor I knew I needed help from a professional, I did a lot of research & checked out as many instructors as possible before deciding to learn from Jonathan Barker. He is great at tailoring lessons to suit individual needs and I began making personal breakthroughs very soon after beginning to work with Jonathan. He is such a great guy and an amazing musician, I am beyond grateful to have him as a teacher.

Devin M. - (September 28, 2013)

I asked friends for recommendations for an instructor...

...to teach me how to play my newly acquired guitar. Luckily, Jonathan's name came up from a friend whose son had taken lessons from him, they both gave rave reviews about the experience. Since I may well be the oldest student Jonathan currently is teaching, I especially appreciate Jonathan's patience with me. Instead of an "eye-roll" or just moving on to something else less painful to our ears, Jonathan persists with encouragement, positive reinforcement and again, an immense amount of patience. I am honestly astounded at the amount I have learned from Jonathan in just 6 weeks. He is not just an awesome guitar player, Jonathan is a gifted teacher. I highly recommend him for all levels of ability.

Joseph D. - (October 23, 2013)

I started from scratch with Jonathan three years ago...

...and we are making fast progress. Jonathan is a great guitar teacher. I'm in my 40s and, except for a few weeks of trumpet in middle school and a little (very little) piano in high school, I had not played a note of music before beginning lessons with Jonathan three years ago. If I do my part, I have every confidence that Jonathan can take me as far as I want to go as a guitarist. I really can't imagine having a better teacher and he really cares about his students and their progress. The materials he uses are awesome and he is very responsive to questions between lessons. Starting guitar at my point in life seems like a tall mountain to climb sometimes, but Jonathan creates a teaching environment that is always motivating, interesting and fun. And, last but not least, I have always been impressed by Jonathan's professionalism and work ethic. Seems like he always brings his best to lessons and makes them feel very personal at the same time.

Nick V. - (October 28, 2013)

I’ve been taking lessons with Jonathan for nearly 2 years...

...and have loved it. Jonathan has an amazing ability to identify how you’re doing and adjust the lesson. The lessons are meant to stretch your playing and they always do. It’s fun to go back to some of the early lessons and it’s amazing how much easier it is. I’ve had conversations with people who have taken lessons from other teachers and have seen some of their lessons. It’s great to know how organized and structured Jonathan is with his approach. When I say structured I mean that he has a clearly identified path of learning but at the same time he is very flexible in meeting your needs. He’s very patient and understands that people have different strengths. I’ve had times where I struggled with something and he has told me that everybody struggles along they way but what you find easy someone else may not and what they find easy you may struggle with. Anyway, its good to know he’s understanding and will patiently help you through. He has lots of handouts and material and if I have a question outside of class, I can send him an email and he is always quick to respond. We've covered many genres (jazz, blues, rock) and many players (both classic and modern). We’ve moved forward with improvising, chord vocabulary, technique, and theory. I really feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and it’s definitely been worth it. I highly recommend taking lessons from Jonathan! A little about my journey. I had tried using online lessons and youtube and learned some basic stuff but wasn’t great. If I had the chance to do it over I would have started right off with lessons. I wasted a lot of time trying save a few bucks. My fiancée would always want me to play in another room because my playing was annoying. Now, I play all the time with her in the room and quite often she comments on how nice it sounds. That is pretty awesome. I am now able to create my own background chords and solo over them or make a song and it sounds really good. I never thought I’d ever be able to do that when I first started. I originally just wanted to be able to play some camp fire songs and have them sound nice. I can do that now and much, much more. Cheers!

Brian P. - (October 30, 2013)

I have been taking lessons from Jonathan for almost 3 years...

I had some experience playing drums and piano when I was younger, but neither stuck. A few years back, I started listening to music differently... songs I'd heard a half million times were sounding different to me. I began listening very intently to the guitars on tracks, trying to isolate them from the rest of the music. I found I had a new respect and admiration for a lot of different players and, as you might expect, got very interested in the idea of learning how to play. I would always tell my wife that I was interested, but that I'd probably never get off my butt and do it. Three years ago, at Christmas, she bought me a guitar and a month of lessons with Jonathan, who I had never met before. I figured I was screwed... no going back now, right? She told me that she had shopped around for a guitar teacher that she thought would be a good fit for me. Deciding on Jonathan was the best decision she could have made. I came into lessons not knowing the slightest thing about guitar, and I have seen myself progress over the last three years under Jonathan's teaching. There are a number of reasons why I like him, the most important of which is for his patience - especially with me. Starting at nearly 40 years of age automatically puts me behind the eight ball, and Jonathan is always willing and able to explain theory in a way I can understand and progress from it. He is a talented guitar player and an all around good guy. I've had some great conversations with him about favorite artists, concerts, all things guitar. He is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. He is well organized, with great learning materials and play along tracks at the ready. Getting into guitar for the first time, I had much loftier expectations than to learn from someone that was just going to teach me how to play "Freebird" or something like that. I wanted to understand why I am doing what I'm doing when I play the instrument. This is a great strength of Jonathan's, which I appreciate. Lessons are in his studio which is pretty easy for me to get to... and I probably owe him about 3-4 bags of the candy he always puts out in the waiting area. Whether you're serious about learning guitar, or wanting to take your playing to the next level, I highly recommend Jonathan Barker Guitar Lessons... I think his reviews pretty much say it all. You won't be disappointed.

Mark S. - (November 20, 2013)

I have been playing mediocre folk-rock style guitar for over forty years...

...since I was 16 -- strumming stuff like Neil Young or the Beatles. I realized I hadn't improved at all over the years and probably needed to take some lessons. I searched the web in Portland for teachers, saw the positive reviews for Jonathan, and decided to give him a try. Four months later, I am more than delighted with his teaching and the progress I have made. I am actually amazed. As I college prof in my professional life, I am really impressed with his ability to assess exactly what skill or knowledge is missing and to suggest forms of practice and study that will address the gaps. During my lessons, he does a fresh assessment, makes encouraging suggestions for improvement, in a gentle non-humiliating manner, and cooks up practice assignments for the next week, complete with clear charts and handy play-along tracks he emails to me. I haven't practiced as much as I hoped to, but I have already moved from being a total klutz with guitar solos to sounding enough like Hendrix, Clapton or BB King to be totally delighted. Treat yourself to lessons with Jonathan Barker!

Tod S. - (December 3, 2013)

I’m not a complete beginner but I would consider myself a novice guitarist...

I had a difficult time getting any recommendations for a good guitar instructor via word of mouth so I went with Jonathan based on his online reviews. He was quick to respond to my initial inquiries and we were up and running within a week.

I’m not a complete beginner but I would consider myself a novice guitarist. I must say I was a little nervous going in. I’ve never had any kind of music lessons. I’m also in my mid-thirties so I felt vulnerable and slightly ridiculous. Age shouldn’t really be a factor but for some reason it was for me. Pride I guess. Well, all of that went away once I met Jonathan. He’s an excellent guitarist but he wasn’t intimidating, and he certainly didn’t come across as arrogant and showy. He was very humble, friendly, and well spoken.

So the first session was discovery. The second I learned a song and went over some scales. After that the lessons started feeling very natural and improvisational. Jonathan would play rhythm while I played lead, and vice versa. He took things slow, which I needed, but he also started giving me some challenging pieces like Clapton’s “Lonely Stranger.” To make things easier he provided his own video tutorials of the songs I was working on. After only four weeks of practice I significantly improved in my chord transitions, finger picking, and timing. My wife noticed a big improvement as well. I guess I was expecting progress to be much slower for a relatively old dog such as myself.

Anyway, I’ve never had a music instructor before so I can’t really compare Jonathan to anyone else, but I’ve had dozens of teachers throughout my life and I can honestly say that he’s good at teaching. Overall, it felt more like a mentorship/friendship rather than a formal lesson. Highly recommended.

Unfortunately, financial circumstances forced me to temporarily suspend lessons for awhile. And even though it’s a bit difficult for me to get to Jonathan’s house for lessons, I’ll definitely be returning to him once things stabilize.

Tyler H. - (September 16, 2014)

Took My Playing to the Next Level...

I had been playing guitar for a little over 10 years when I first started to see Jonathan for guitar lessons. I had taken lessons before (about 5 years prior) and felt like I was stuck in a rut. Jonathan was able to quickly asses where I was and how to propel me to new levels in my guitar playing.

Jonathan is a FANTASTIC teacher. He has a PASSION for guitar and is extremely patient and well organized (has all of his own material on everything imaginable). He is an EXCELLENT listener and communicator and is an absolute pleasure to work with. He has the ability to make lessons fun all the while keeping you moving in the direction desired. He is extremely KNOWLEDGEABLE and confident/sure in his craft and yet refreshingly HUMBLE.

I was a little hesitant at first to take lesson with Jonathan due to his prices; I found many other instructors at the $100/month range. From what I have learned in taking lessons (guitar, vocal, golf etc) going to places that have many instructors are merely just in it for the money and do not provide high quality; they burn through students and instructors and are not necessarily concerned with high quality (I worked at a turn and burn facility like this and experienced it first hand). Finding an instructor who teaches independently, and has done so for many years, is a sign that someone is invested in their craft and has the experience/wisdom to handle all kinds of different situations. Jonathan is worth every penny of his fees... if not more!

I would highly recommend Jonathan to any guitar player who wants to get better.

Chace F. - (November 23, 2014)

I Have Been To Many Guitar Teachers...

... but Jonathan is, hands down, the best one. He is a real easy going guy that cares about your progress and makes the whole experience enjoyable. All of the lessons are clearly taught and easy to follow along. 100% recommend to anyone looking to take their skills to the next level.

Drew B. - (March 3, 2015)

Guitar Lessons with Jonathan Barker are...

...a tremendous way to increase your understanding and skills in music and playing the guitar. I have been amazed at his talent in both playing and teaching. He is a truly great teacher - very patient and encouraging. As an older student, I wondered whether I could still be taught but Jonathan has made the whole experience enjoyable and my abilities with the guitar have improved much over the past year. I can recommend guitar lessons with Jonathan Barker to anyone who desires to become a better musician. Do yourself a favor and learn from a master!

Jack J. - (March 14, 2015)

Jonathan is a true teacher...

...he has deep musical knowledge that spans genres and play styles, and will adapt his lessons to the interests of the student. But more importantly, he's just a great person - kind, patient, and passionate about music. The lessons are fun, spontaneous, and challenging. I would highly recommend Jonathan as a musical instructor and music mentor.

Adam S. - (July 14, 2015)

I owned a guitar but for nearly a decade...

...I never learned to play it.  In my mid-30s, I decided to fix that. I’ve now been taking lessons with Jonathan for over three years.  Jonathan is an extremely patient teacher who has an amazing knowledge of guitar. Jonathan doesn’t just teach you to play guitar, he explains every aspect of the music you are learning to play!  He introduces new material frequently, so the lessons and practice don’t get boring. We return to concepts over and over again, and each time I learn something more.  The take-home materials and play-along tracks he provides are great, too. If there is something you are struggling with, Jonathan always has a practice-technique to remedy it. I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made – he is a highly recommended guitar instructor!

Tom P. - (July 17, 2015)

I started lessons with Jonathan after around two years...

...of self-study on the guitar. I was really stuck and not making much progress. Jonathan was immediately able to see where I needed to go with my practice time and was able to tailor the lessons and material for my needs. He is an excellent teacher. He is really able to connect with his students and guide you towards your goals. He provides interesting and challenging material at each lesson. I'm now making progress faster than I ever thought I could. My motivation to improve my skills has never been higher. I highly recommend Jonathan!

Sean G. - (July 24, 2015)

I’ve been with Jonathan for less than a year...

...and my playing has improved significantly along with my overall musicianship. The lesson material is always challenging. If you have reached a plateau in your playing Jonathan will undoubtable push you onward and upward regardless of your level. He is very skilled and knowledgeable along with being very pleasant and patient.

Robert H. - (July 28, 2015)

I've been taking lessons with Jonathan for almost 4 years now...

...and I'm constantly reminded of his knowledge, kindness, and enthusiasm for teaching guitar. If you're searching for a teacher, I cannot recommend him highly enough. I don't know how he stays patient with me when I've had a bad practice week (or month), but he does. Do yourself a favor and check him out!

Danny S. - (August 1, 2015)

Works hard to help you get what you want out of your guitar lessons

Jonathan's great. Always flexible and willing to try a different approach if somethings not quite clicking. Passionate and knowledgable about guitar and theory. Friendly and casual, but not overly so, keeping a great balance with professionalism and desire to get you your money's worth. Enjoyable experience all around and will definitely come back for further instruction.

Alex H. - (December 24, 2015)

Jonathan is a very organized teacher and incredible guitarist...

...with mounds of knowledge and has been very patient with me since I drive almost 2 hours just to take lessons from him. He presents the information in a way that makes me wonder why it was so difficult at first. I only wish I had him as a teacher when I was younger!

Matthew M. - (March 26, 2016)

Jonathan Barker is a TREMENDOUS guitar instructor...

...if he has an opening don’t let anything get in the way of taking lessons from this man. Clear your schedule, and make it happen.

Jonathan is not only an amazingly talented guitarist, what is even more priceless and rare is that he’s an extremely talented teacher. In my experience it's easy to find a talented guitarist who also gives guitar lessons—but finding a versatile, knowledgeable, talented guitarist who’s also a great teacher? Forget about it. Great teachers have something that cannot be taught: a passion for their subject over and above their mastery of it; great skill at listening to their students and communicating the material; resourcefulness in using different methods to get at the subject; and a genuine desire and commitment to helping their students. Jonathan is a great teacher, and he brings all these things into the lesson room.

From a technical, pedagogical standpoint, he’s also got the nuts and bolts part of things all set up and down to a science. As you sit in the lesson with Jonathan going over whatever material you’re working on he has, at his fingertips/laptop, tons of specialized, tailored worksheets and materials and exercises ready to go so everything you could possibly need to learn even more is right there. He tweaks this and adjusts that based on what you’re talking about and what you need, and you’re off to the races.

He also has all the song materials you could possibly need, and jam tracks, so you can work on applying all those technical skills in a musical context. Whatever direction your lesson takes, whatever tangent you decide to follow, he can put more materials and more music into your hands and get you moving in the right direction.

So don’t waste any time—if you can get a slot with Jonathan, take it and keep it.

Jeffrey S. - (May 15, 2016)

Jonathan is an awesome and experienced guitar instructor...

I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for lessons, especially those just starting out. He has a method to his teaching that reveals itself over time, as concepts come together later down the road. I always feel challenged and leave lessons feeling motivated and encouraged. He mentors students that range from beginner to advanced. I can only speak from a beginner’s perspective, but Jonathan has taught me guitar fundamentals that will stick with me for years to come.

Larissa S. - (January 29, 2017)

Jonathan is a true professional, and an unbelievable guitar teacher

I began taking lessons from him several years ago after many years at the Portland School of Rock, and in that time I have grown as a guitarist and musician greatly. Coming from a Rock n Roll style guitar background, I had very limited knowledge of other styles of guitar and especially music theory. Through our lessons, and with a particular focus on jazz music, Jonathan was able to teach me the essential skills and knowledge that have made me a much more well rounded musician. Jonathan is always organized, and puts together great lesson material to take home and obsess over. He is incredibly patient, and the lessons are always a great time. I strongly recommend Jonathan to any guitarist who is looking to hone their skills and grow as a musician.

Ryan R. - (February 8, 2017)

By far, the best way to learn how to play guitar ...

...is with a real life incredible teacher. I have been studying with Jonathan for over a year and a half. He is an amazing teacher. I can’t say that loud enough. He is patient, flexible, organized, highly knowledgeable, highly skilled, still learning too and a great guy! I have been studying and learning Jazz, music theory, modes, chord structures, voicing’s and more. This is a life long journey. Learning music is learning a language. I am a very busy person who owns and operates a woodworking business, has an active family life, friend life and still I am managing to learn music. Jonathan Barker is the key.  He has the Master Plan. Follow it and you too will find your music.

Jacquelyn S. - (February 9, 2017)

Jonathan is a fantastic teacher

He understands the many different aspects of what it means to be a musician, and cultivates them all through his very comprehensive teaching method, a method that encourages the understanding of the nuts and bolts of music theory, but also the play of improvisation. I highly suggest anyone looking to get better at the guitar, no matter what skill level, to consider lessons with Jonathan Barker.

Talon B. - (October 21, 2017)

Jonathan's systematic approach to music...

...could make it easy for anyone. And he cares! I emailed him a question this week and within an hour, he sent me a video explanation! He's a dream teacher and I'm lucky to learn from him.

Theo D. - (November 2, 2017)

Like many, I've always felt the joy and thrall of music...

...especially guitar music: not simply as a listener, but also as one who would be able to play. Life has been full of rich listening, but taking lessons with Jonathan has put me on the path to actually playing the guitar music I have known and loved. Jonathan is an enormously gifted guitarist and an outstanding teacher. He combines an extraordinary talent and understanding of the guitar with a supportive, encouraging, patient, and systematic teaching and learning approach. These talents have taken me in a very short time from a naive and raw beginner (I had never really done more than touch the guitar in my first 69 years - who knew it was so heavy!) to making sounds that were actually musical! His understanding of music, his refined playing abilities, and his expert and progressive teaching and coaching have been enormously effective and beneficial for me. I feel fortunate to have found such a committed and competent master musician and teacher. Whether you're a rank beginner or someone who is more accomplished along the vast spectrum of play and want to continue to improve and learn...get Jonathan!

Dana S. - (November 29, 2017)

Couldn't be happier to have found him for a teacher...

Jonathan is great.  I'm a long time guitar dabbler whose just now taking formal lessons at 41. Jonathan is a whiz on the guitar. But, just as important, he's a great teacher: patient as I slowly unlearn poor habits i formed from my "dabbling" and he can identify quickly what I should be working on next. He blends formal lesson content he has created himself with weekly work on applicable, legendary guitar songs. Couldn't be happier to have found him for a teacher!

Andrew K. - (May 16, 2018)

Jonathan is more than a guitar teacher, he's a one man school of guitar...

I've been studying for three years now, and of my many teachers, Jonathan is by far the most professional, organized and effective. He has invested years into building materials and a curriculum and seems to have a lesson in mind for almost any topic or challenge. I also love that he always meets me where I am each week - whether I've been practicing a ton or totally slacking off, there's never any guilt - just steady guidance to keep me moving forward. Thanks, Jonathan!

Scott S. - (May 17, 2018)

I feel very fortunate to have Jonathan as my teacher...

...and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a guitar teacher. I'm a beginning guitar student and I have progressed rapidly from my lessons with Jonathan. He is positive and enthusiastic and provides a clear set of goals to work on each week using a seemingly endless pool of materials he has created himself. I always leave my lesson motivated and excited to apply what I've learned.

David H. - (June 29, 2018)


I have been taking lessons with Jonathan for the past 6 months and every lesson leaves me inspired to practice and enjoying my instrument more every day. I have played guitar for about 20 years and played the same things over and over to the point of being bored with my playing. Those days have now passed!Jonathan has a wealth of knowledge and presents the material in such an accessible way. His lessons are comfortable and productive and leave me with lots of great things to practice that I can apply to my solo and group playing. I have learned more in the last 6 months than the previous 10 years! Thank you Jonathan! I hope this review is helpful for anyone looking for a guitar teacher. You will not be disappointed.

Jesse F. - (July 5, 2018)

I had been trying to teach myself thru everything you know about...

Cassette tapes and books, DVD's, YouTube etc. on and off for a very long time. I was just not improving, had no motivation and thought I should try lessons but I was also a bit apprehensive about it. I'm very glad I was lucky enough to contact Jonathan. He's a great guy and welcomes you into his studio. He gives me material to work on that is challenging and fun and the way he presents it is informative. You know why what you are doing works. I can honestly say I see myself improving every week and I've never had that. I feel for the first time I'm actually playing after all these years and it's a great pleasure. I can't thank him enough and if you are thinking about lessons I would highly recommend that you contact him.

Keith H. - (December 12, 2018)