Guitar Lessons with Susan Palmer

Beginning Guitar Lessons:
Most people who take guitar lessons want to learn how to play their favorite songs, but first they need to learn the basics. I help students develop their skills quickly and effectively so that they can play a lot of songs in a short amount of time. I use a clear system and I simplify challenging concepts by breaking them down into smaller parts that are easier to understand and play. This approach helps students develop confidence in their abilities, which leads to better playing. The Jam Classes give students the opportunity to meet and play with others on a regular basis, and that's where they really have fun and get good!

Intermediate & Advanced Guitar Lessons:
The guitar is a fun instrument because you can sound good even if you don’t know a lot about theory or the design of the guitar. But after a while, a lot of guitarists want to take their playing to the next level; they just don’t know how to do that. I use a clear system that fills in the gaps that students may have, and then I take them step by step through a practical course covering music theory and the design of the guitar. Students can then create more melodic and harmonically interesting music in a variety of styles.

Level: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced, Ages 10 and up
Lesson Structure: Private or Group Lessons and Jam Classes
Location: Seattle or Webcam
Fundamental Skills: Jazz, Blues Rock & Folk Styles | Acoustic or Electric

Contact Information: leadcatpress@gmail.com or (206) 349-3226

Susan Palmer is the guitar instructor at Seattle University. She teaches "The Rock Project" at Cornish College of the Arts, and is the author of "The Guitar Lesson Companion,” Volumes One and Two. Susan maintains an active private studio, and has spent the past fifteen years teaching adults and children how to play the guitar. She is proud to have many students now actively performing across the United States. Thanks, in part, to her extensive collection of YouTube lesson videos, Susan has developed an international following, and recently began offering private lessons via webcam. Her books have been adopted by teachers and students in over 10 countries, including faculty at Berklee College of Music.

Student Testimonials

Nancy - 2011
I’ve been playing and studying jazz guitar on and off for many, many years, and Susan is by far the best teacher I have ever had. On our first meeting, I described the kind of music that I played, what I wanted to accomplish with our lessons, and Susan came up with a plan to help me reach my goals. She picked out specific portions from her most excellent book, "The Guitar Lesson Companion,” for me to work on, along with a couple of tunes from the “Real Book” that were perfectly suited for what I wanted to learn. If you’re thinking about taking guitar lessons, I highly recommend that you contact Susan.

Christine - 2010
Susan is an extraordinary teacher, musician and Renaissance woman. Her patience, insight, knowledge and talent know no bounds. Aside from a keenly intelligent approach to teaching, Susan has a way of helping her students discover a true passion for music. She has immense respect for her students, and she wants them to succeed. She manages to help them understand the fundamentals while allowing them to explore their creativity and realize their potential. My son spent only a couple of years training with Susan, and he still regards her as one of the most influential people in his life. She taught him, she listened to him, she believed in him, and she contributed to his lifelong dedication to music. Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished musician, learning from this amazing woman is the best thing you can do for your pursuit of music!

Tim - 2011
I engaged Susan as a guitar instructor for my 13-year old son. She is nothing short of fantastic. Susan is focused, demonstrates deep passion for the art, and is committed to the student learning to play. Susan also developed a great working relationship with the student. I highly recommend her work.

Paul Huddleston - 2010
I am happy to write a recommendation for Susan Palmer. Susan served as my son's guitar instructor for three years, and has most recently organized and led a very successful music seminar called The Rock Project at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Along with her highly knowledgeable and competent colleague, BC Campbell, Susan harnessed the collective talents of about 15 teenagers during a week in the summer and provided a very unique and rewarding experience for them. Each day presented different styles of guitar performance along with preparation for a concert, which was fun-filled and enjoyed by all. This camp served as a major highlight of my son's summer experiences, and he is eager to participate again.

It is no wonder that success follows Susan. She possesses an impressive capacity to grapple with musical creativity and focus and fine tune a student's abilities while commanding respect and demanding results in a positive manner. Her passion for guitar and for teaching has helped her produce and publish a highly regarded publication, with another one on the way. My son's introduction to guitar through Susan's instruction can be described with one word: blessed. We are looking forward to The Rock Project 2011.

Eric Sorensen - 2009
Susan is one of the most dedicated people I've seen in any field. She brings a complete passion to her work, conveying a deep appreciation of music, musical technique and the effort required to get better. She is consistently positive, professional and personable. It's all a great formula for the success of her students.

John O'Halloran - 2009
Susan is an extraordinary guitar teacher. For starters, she developed her own very thorough course material - book, MP3, and YoutTube videos - that provides a solid foundation for her lessons. I'm amazed at how detailed and complete this material is. There's nothing else like it! More important, Susan is a great teacher. She always comes up with creative ways for me to learn a new aspect of the guitar. 'If this isn't working, then try this . . . ' Inevitably, she finds a method to help me along this journey of learning the guitar. For me, in particular, Susan has been very patient and supportive. I have to say, learning the guitar at my age (and I won't say what that is) has been difficult and slow. Susan has kept me motivated and helped me to continue the journey. It's only a matter of time before I realize this dream. I know she will help me get there!

Matt Hitchman - 2009
When I started playing guitar I was proud of the fact I was able to play without ever taking lessons. I ending up playing in a few bands and was able to get by as a good guitarist, however the more I played the more I realized I knew very little about the guitar. I could follow a few patterns/scales and knew a lot of chords but didn’t understand why these patterns worked. I became stuck playing the same things over and over and not being able to expand my playing.

I’ve been studying with Susan Palmer for a little under a year and am amazed at the amount of progress I’ve made. In the beginning I was wary of having to learn to read music but Susan made it a very enjoyable process. Within a few of months I was able to sight-read using all 6 strings. Being able to read music is integral to playing and understanding jazz, folk, rock, and blues as well as any other type of music. The Guitar Lesson Companion is a great way to start reading music because it offers very realistic sight-readings Susan has personally written for all levels, each of the readings logically leads to the next adding new elements. This method also involves chords and scale structures so you can begin to play music right away.

I’ve talked to friends who are taking lessons with other teachers who avoid these basic starting points and consequentially avoid a deeper understanding of the guitar. In my experience this type of understanding is vital to anyone who is serious about learning the guitar. I strongly recommend choosing this method of learning the guitar; you’ll be thanking yourself later and will be learning from a teacher who dedicates herself immensely to helping her students learn.

Mark Cote - 2009
Susan is an excellent instructor. She is passionate about helping students of all ages reach their full potential. Her mastery of the guitar and her dedication to teaching make Susan one of the best professional music educators available. She gets my highest recommendation.

Peter C - 2009
I started playing guitar about a year before I started lessons with Susan. My previous teacher taught me the basics, like the note names on the bottom two strings, and the basic chords. Eventually though we just started playing whatever song he felt like teaching that day. It was fun and I learned quite a bit but looking back I could have learned much more.

Lessons with Susan were much more demanding and with time much more rewarding. The note reading exercises aren't the most fun in the world, but they are very effective. The packaged in backing tracks were well produced and made the exercises as fun as possible.During lessons she made sure I played intime. This improved my rhythm alot and made it easier to play in the jazz guitar band she set up for people that have gotten most of the way through her first book, and are taking lessons with her.

The immense amount of information to be learned about jazz techniques can seem incredibly overwhelming at times, but Susan is able to break it up into manageable chunks. She is very passionate about music, and always full of energy and has a positive attitude during every lesson. Every lesson that I prepared for I left feeling like I learned something useful.

Lynn Hepler - 2009
Susan “rocks” - literally! She is a phenomenal teacher. I took lessons from Susan for a year and learned more than I ever dreamt possible to learn in such a short period of time. (I am taking the summer off from lessons but will resume in the fall.) First of all – Susan developed her own teaching material – A Guitar Lesson Companion – as well as her own teaching/learning methodology. A Guitar Lesson Companion is a book that one could use on their own; however, working with Susan while working your way through this book is the way to go – in my opinion. She is able to help all of her students to learn and grow – despite the fact that we are all at different junctures in our personal journey. I was brand new to the world of guitar music and knew nothing about the strings or chords or frets or anything. Within three months – I was playing fun tunes. When I struggled with a particular thing (eighth note rests for example) Susan figured out a fun and easy way for me to grasp the “rest” concept. She always finds a way to help you through when you feel stuck. She is personable, professional, interesting, knowledgeable and best of all – always positive. One other thing that is a gift – in addition to learning music – is she helps you – the student – stay positive and to keep the negative thoughts (“oh I can’t do this”) at bay. I always walked away from a lesson feeling better about myself and found that I could apply that to other areas of my life – not just music. I recommend Susan hands-down and can’t wait to get back into the groove of lessons shortly!

Charlotte B. - 2009
Susan is basically the best guitar teacher in the western hemisphere. I've learned more about music from her in a year's worth of lessons than I did from five years in band. Her book is both comprehensive and accessible in addressing beginning to advanced musical concepts, and she's a very patient teacher who also works well with whatever your style is. Through supplemental songs and riffs, she makes the driest aspects of musical theory and rhythm entertaining. No matter what your background is, you'll quickly become a much better musician through taking lessons with her.

Paul Swortz - 2009
I am a hobby musician who was leery of formal instruction -- I am not patient enough to spend three-four months playing "Row Your Boat" while learning scales and chords. Susan got this immediately, and after my first lesson, had me playing a blues riff that made practicing the scales and chords a lot of fun. She is a phenonmenal player herself, and her instructional approach belends just the right amount of "vegetables" (e.g. counting, sight reading, etc) with ample "desserts" (e.g power chords, blues riffs, easy rock numbers/tabs) to keep me motivated, inspired, and practicing. I'm a player for life because of Susan.

Allie Davis - 2009
Susan Palmer’s book “The Guitar Lesson Companion” does an excellent job at teaching beginning guitar with a multitude of useful and helpful material. It provides straightforward sight reading, theory, chords, improvisation - not to mention tons of helpful warm-up exercises. This book is jam-packed with knowledge that can help make any guitar player better. It’s a comprehensive and well written piece of work, complete with a CD. Her free online lessons and instruction only service to compliment this already thorough and awesome tool.

Susan Palmer, as a guitar teacher, is no average bear. She goes way above and beyond in her efforts to transmit her knowledge and obvious love of the instrument to students. Lessons with Susan are demanding, but are well worth it. She embeds every aspect of music in your mind. Insisting that students learn the fundamentals of music, she sets us up for nothing but success later on. Susan wants students to work hard and won’t accept less than a 100% effort. I would be fearful to darken her door without having done my previous week’s assignment. That being said, Susan Palmer serves as a teacher, mentor, and friend. Because of all she offers, you will find that Susan Palmer is one of those few people we run across in life that we will never forget.

Chris - 2008
I have taken lessons with Susan Palmer for twelve months now and I am here to tell you that her book "The Guitar Lesson Companion" is worth every penny. The book itself is very well organized, comprehensive and has enough content to keep an aspiring guitarist engaged for quite a long time. The CD tracks are fun and exciting to play along with and short of having Susan Palmer at your side, her online videos are exactly how she approaches the content in person during private lessons.

If you are in the Seattle area and are interested in getting started, Susan Palmer has my highest recommendation. She holds a high standard for her students but is very supportive during the entire process. Always generous with her compliments and words of encouragement, Susan Palmer is a true ambassador for musicianship.


© Copyright 2014 by Lead Cat Press, LLC - All Rights Reserved