What makes learning music easier at Five Star Guitars?
Our instructors are not only great players and working musicians but have decades of teaching experience, and will customize the curriculum to your interests and learning style. Live student concerts allow the students to apply their learning beyond the classroom and show off all of their hard work at a real gig in a real venue that we book for you.
Specialties: Tapping, improvising, transcribing, theory & prep for MI, Berklee or other pro schools
Styles: Rock, Funk, Pop, Metal, Fusion
Background: Graduate of Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Performed with Michael Jackson for all of his solo world tours, and with British guitar icon Jeff Beck for 3 years and 2 CD’s, did a residency for Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas. Has released 4 CD’s and several instruction DVD’s
Currently: Launched a local dance band “Jennifer Batten & Full Steam” with Ben Jones (Five Star Guitars bass teacher), Pat Yadon, Kevin Burkhart, and Norm Whitehurst
Specialties: 4, 5, & 6 String Electric Bass Guitar
Styles: Funk, R&B, Soul, Rock, Blues
Background: In 30 years of professional playing, Ben has shared the stage and recorded with a long list of artists, including:The Neville Brothers, Jeff Lorber, Frank McComb, Peter White, Rick Braun, Paul Brown (Grammy Winner), Darren Rahn, Jennifer Batten, Patrick Lamb (Gino Vanelli), Tommy Thayer (KISS), Oregon Symphony, Noel Pointer (Grammy Winner), James Carter, BB King, Robert Cray, Phyllis Hyman, Delbert McClinton, Walter 'Wolfman' Washington, Bernard Allison, Chris Cain, Lloyd Jones, Curtis Salgado, Liv Warfield, Les McCann and David Pack (Ambrosia).
Currently:Performing in the Northwest. Sponsored artist for Carvin Basses, TC Electronic Amps & Effects, Dunlop Strings, MXR Effects,1964 Ears In Ear Monitors, LM Straps, and GruvGear Accessories
Specialties: Beginning-Professional Electric & Acoustic Guitar Technique, Improvisation, Composition, Advanced Lead Guitar, Alternate Tunings, Advanced Right Hand Fingerpicking and Tapping, Music Theory, Ear Training, Extended Range Guitars, Modern Percussive Fingerstyle Guitar, Performance & Note Reading for Guitar
Styles:Electric, Acoustic, Nylon Guitar: Rock, Metal, Fingerstyle, Classical, Prog, Pop, & Blues Bass Guitar: Beginner to intermediate Ukulele: Soprano, Tenor, Concert Uke
Background: Studied Music at American River College under Joe Gilman. Two years perpetually touring all over USA and through Australia promoting debut album release as a solo performer, sharing the stage and opening for acts such as Adrian Bellue, Scott Mulvahill, Joe Kye, Christie Lenee, Van Larkins, Andrew Gorny. Coaching and performing with student bands and helping students prepare for college level music courses since 2013.
Currently: Educating, Performing and Recording based out of Portland, Oregon. Endorsed by Ernie Ball, Cole Clark Guitars, Elite Acoustics Engineering, Furch/Stonebridge Guitars, Rattlesnake Cables, Wilddog Stomps & G7th Capos.
Styles:Guitar: electric, steel string and nylon string acoustic, baritone and lap steel. Rock, blues, funk, soul, classical, folk, country, grunge, metal, pop, improvising, soloing, strumming, fundamentals, fingerpicking, solo guitar, applied theory, reading music for guitar, beginning through advanced slide. Ukulele: Soprano, concert, tenor, baritone.
Background: Studied music at University of Idaho. Designed and taught beginner lesson course for U of I, Pullman, WA Parks & Rec and Hillsboro Parks & Rec/Camp Amp Program (2007-present). Extensive songwriting and recording experience. Lead singer/guitar player of Western Aerial. Geoff has taught music for over 20 years to all age groups.
Specialties:Guitar, Music Theory, Sight Reading, Ear Training, AP Music Theory
Styles:Classical, Metal, Rock, 7 and 8 string guitar, Blues, Pop, Ukulele
Background:Started studying rock and metal guitar at a young age. Began classical guitar studies at California Polytechnic State University under Dr. Craig Russell. Continuing studies under Jesse McCann at Portland State University
Currently:Three years into earning a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University in Classical Guitar performance. Performing locally with the PSU Guitar Orchestra and various chamber ensembles as well as solo performances.
Specialties:Drum Set, Hand Percussion, Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Songwriting, and Ukulele
Styles:Pop, Rock, Swing, Funk, Contemporary Christian
Background: Kevin has spent 10+ combined years teaching students of all ages. He's played in multiple arrangements and church groups ranging from guitar, lead and supporting vocals, and drums. He has been certified as a drum and guitar instructor through Jerry King's 30 year teaching program. This program has become prevalent in multiple public schools in the Portland area including Tigard High School.
Currently: Involved in writing and recording independently with multiple bands based in LA and continues to write original music with a catalog of songs recorded through his home based recording studio.
Styles:Piano & Voice: Classical and most other genres and levels Banjo: bluegrass finger-style Guitar: Beginner to intermediate pop & rock
Background: Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory; studied with Robert Helps, Peggy Salkind, and Mark Westcott; performed music tours of Switzerland, Germany, and Italy; has given premiére performances for San Francisco and the West Coast works by composers Robert Helps, David Del Tredici, William Susman, and many others. Has 30 years of experience teaching privately.
Currently: Arrived in Portland in 2018, and since then has taught, accompanied, musically coached, and performed organ and piano for church services. Additionally he is on Faculty as Professor of piano and theory studies, as well as on Staff as the choral accompanist at PCC Rock Creek.
Specialties:Electric, Acoustic, Classical, & Jazz Guitar, Ukulele, Bass Guitar, Music Theory, Composition & Arranging, Improvisation, Music Reading, Working with young beginners.
Styles:Rock, Blues, Funk, Jazz, Classical, Fingerstyle, Country, Folk, Fusion, and more.
Background: Studied classical guitar at Chapman University, as well as jazz guitar and improvisation at Portland State University. Designed and taught music theory courses for thePortland Youth Philharmonic.
Currently:Performs in the Portland area as a solo jazz and fingerstyle guitarist.
Specialties: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Music Theory
Styles:Guitar: Rock, Blues, Grunge, Classic rock, 70s-80s metal, jazz, folk, pop, improvising, reading music for guitar and more. Ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone.
Background: B.A. in music from Oregon State University, studying with Dana Reason, Sam Kincaid, Bob Brudvig, Angela Carlson, Russ Christensen. Studied jazz guitar with Neal Grandstaff. Has experience and has excelled teaching students of all ages.
Currently:Performing as lead guitarist for Portland rock band Mr. Pink.
Styles:Vocal: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Folk, Improvisation, Spoken word. Piano: Classical, Jazz. Bass: Rock/Pop, Blues, Funk
Background:Ray is an accomplished entertainer, with 40 years of onstage and teaching experience. Starting with studies at Portland State University, he has since worked as a solo songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, saxophonist, keyboardist, instructor/coach, and MC. He was Vocal Performance Coach at Billings Dance and Performing Arts (now BDC), and Valley Catholic Middle School.
Currently: Ray now operates a small home based recording studio, and is co-authoring two books!