Contact me here to set up a lesson
I teach lessons on the guitar and the ukulele. I teach all ages (I've taught people from 4 1/2 to 70). Lessons are at my apartment in Greenpoint. For an additional fee, I am also happy to make house calls to other parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
I have been playing music since 1993, teaching since around 2000, and teaching as a full-time job since 2007. I am happy to teach all styles and skill levels. Folk, Jazz, Classical, Rock and Roll, Blues, Roots, Country, Ragtime, Bossa Nova, Hawaiian, Pop, Funk, etc. Lesson plans are developed around the interests of individual students. Some students come to me wishing to learn to play in a specific style. Students seeking a more general approach can expect to be introduced to many different worlds of guitar-playing. Those who are interested are welcome to participate in occasional informal recitals.
I teach every day except Saturday. It is generally easiest for me to fit people in if they are available in the morning or early afternoon as my evenings are usually full. But if that doesn't work for you, we may still be able to find a time to meet. Click here for more info about policies and current rates.
I also teach group guitar classes at the Jalopy in Brooklyn. Visit their website to see what's being offered in the next session. Some of the classes I've taught there in the past:
Guitar I, II, III, IV, and V
The Great American Songbook with Easy Chords
Western Swing Guitar
Songs of Christmas
Songs of Bob Dylan
Songs from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music
Jalopy Jr. (A Folk Music Ensemble Class for Kids)
I have written down many arrangements for guitar. I hope to get them up online at some point, but in the meantime, please contact me if you might be interested in purchasing some. I am also hoping to publish a book at some point. Please let me know if you would like to be notified when such a book becomes available.
I've been studying fingerstyle acoustic guitar with Chris for a little over a year now and have learned so many great songs! He is a super knowledgeable and supportive teacher who is somehow able to turn a "weakness" into a strength. He really wants you to enjoy music and playing. Anyway, you really can't go wrong with Chris as your teacher. He's awesome and the lessons are always fun and inspiring. It definitely shows how much he loves music and teaching.
When I started with Chris, I was doubtful that I would ever really be able to play the guitar. I'd taken some lessons before and could still barely switch between C and G. But with his patient instruction, I was able to build the foundation I needed and now I can play all the music that I want to sing! It's rare to find such a talented musician who is also a great teacher and has a deep love and knowledge of music across so many genres. I can't recommend Chris highly enough.
I searched Craigslist for affordable guitar lessons and found Chris' posting and youtube links. I immediately thought 'I'd like to play like that... maybe not sing like that, but play like that for sure!' Chris was very approachable and eager to share his knowledge and answer any and all questions that I could come up with. Chris has the patience of a man with a lot of patience (couldn't think of anything) and never made me feel stupid for asking about the basics. If you want to learn finger picking, he's your man! You want to play the standards? He'll teach them to you. Can't get that 3 chord pop song out of your head and into your instrument? This man can. I guarantee that you will not regret taking lessons with Chris.
Chris is amazing. Our son PJ is now 6 years old. He has been taking lessons with Chris since he was 4. Chris has been brilliant at motivating PJ and steadily increasing the complexity of the lessons. After a couple of years of lessons with Chris, PJ is able to do mostly self-directed practice and is getting a tremendous amount of personal fulfillment from his guitar playing. I've included a link here of PJ playing a song. Please do watch, as it says more about Chris's instruction than any number of words possibly can. Please also feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Chris will happily give you my email address. PJ plays "Fire and Rain": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHZoSUcXf2Q
Chris is a real find! He's a natural-born teacher; he suits the music to my son's tastes, he is infinitely patient, and he gives him lots of practical advice. My son has given up on private lessons in the past (piano and boxing for example), but he's happily sticking with Chris!!
I was very lucky to cross paths with Chris. He's an incredibly patient and dedicated teacher, and he sings like a Disney prince. I don't think I'll find someone in California who compares.
It is unique to find a good teacher, much less a person like Chris, who far surpassed all my expectations. He is deeply talented, professional, and kind. I always had so much fun in my guitar lessons and his supportive nature makes it easy to learn. He is my mentor and has become my friend. Our time playing guitar and laughing is invaluable. Sadly I've recently moved out of state and had to stop taking lessons. Chris and I continue to communicate and he assured me that I can always call him with any guitar questions. He's just awesome like that! There's no way I'll ever find an instructor that compares. Chris is one of a kind! You don't come across people like this often and when you do, you know you've stumbled onto something very special.
As an adult trying to learn guitar between work and a million other things it's important to find a teacher that, in addition to being technically proficient, knows how to engage with you and keep it fun. Chris was able to get me playing songs that we both enjoyed and indulge me when what I needed after work was to rock out for an hour while still making sure we were progressing. Chris's own love for music of all kinds really makes the lessons worthwhile.
Chris is the best teacher ever! I originally heard him playing out and when I learned he gave lessons excitedly signed up. My playing has improved by leaps and bounds under his instruction, and I would recommend no one else higher to teach just about any instrument you want to learn. Chris definitely molds the lessons to your interests; when I decided to concentrate on the bass for a month or two Chris was game! It is easy to practice and stick with an instrument when you have a great teacher like Chris.
YouTube is a wealth of information for almost anything. And when it comes to playing guitar jazz standards, Chris White is my go-to resource. Simply put, Chris demystifies the guitar playing process on many tunes that seemingly look too challenging to play. After contacting Chris, he agreed to work with me over Skype since I live in Virginia. Chris was kind enough to tab out a few of his arrangements and he additionally walked me through the pieces so I'd understand the fingering and chord changes. Now, several lessons later, my playing technique and newly acquired arsenal of chords, have made me a much better and more dynamic guitar player. And Chris is a super nice guy to boot.
I'm a self-taught guitar player. Started when I got to college at age 18. Took my first lesson with Chris when I was 30. Why did I wait 12 years before taking a lesson? The really short answer is: Chris. The less short answer is: by the end of high school, I wanted to learn guitar bad enough that I had enough motivation to teach myself the basics (having no money also played a part in being self-taught). I actually got pretty good if I do say so myself (pause for pat on the back). But, I don't consider myself a guitarist or guitar player. I learn songs and try to get them as polished as possible. But that's a far cry from really learning the instrument and theory. Still, that's what most of us want, no? So, anyway, if you're a pretty good player already and you've got the motivation, the internet makes it easy to learn most songs. Find the tab with a quick Google search or better yet a find a free YouTube video. That worked for many years. But, in around 2007, I became obsessed with a more obscure musician (in the US) whose music was difficult to figure out and few correct tabs were available online. I needed help and was now ready to pay for it. I searched on craigslist for a few weeks. My posting was very specific, as in, "I can play pretty well but I need someone to transcribe and show me how to play "X" -- a complicated song, who's up for it?" Only two people responded. The first flaked. And the second was Chris. I was simply amazed at how well he transcribed the song. He is the consummate professional who really knows his music yet has such an easy style. I had found a treasure. Over the past 5 years, I've only seen Chris about ten times, if that. But if I won the lottery I'd see him at least once a week. What a guy. Man. First rate teacher. Fun. Bright. And did you see what he did with little PJ in two years, holy shit?! I wish he was my teacher starting at age 4, that kid's going to be awesome! Now, for some evidence of some of the amazing stuff Chris can do: I sent Chris this link to a Stephen Colbert video, asking if he could transcribe it for guitar: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/211037/november-23-2008/a-colbert-christmas--colbert-costello-duet Here is me playing the song following Chris's transcription and lesson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W92h6oTTqH8 So anyway, I don't know how to draft a more glowing testimonial to a more deserving teacher. He. Is. The. Best.
I love Chris! When he first came over for a lesson I had picked up a guitar in my hands exactly one time. He always brings me songs that I'm excited to play and he has an unfathomable depth of patience. I've been taking lessons for a year, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I also enjoy his youtube vids and live performances. Also one time he killed a very large bug for me.