Sam teaches private lessons on guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo, and ukulele.  He teaches in his Mountain Brook, Alabama studio, or by video link, and by special arrangement at other locations. 

Sam teaches ages 10 to adult, from intermediate to advanced, and can cover many different styles: rock, pop, blues, bluegrass, singer-songwriter, Celtic, worship, and others. With each student he works on fundamentals of timing, technique, and musical taste, but beyond that he develops a tailored approach for each student based on their interests. He focuses especially on teaching various styles of popular music “in the real world”: how to play with others, play by ear, and improvise, drawing on music theory and fretboard layout a little at a time to help unlock the magic of music.

Lessons are $70 per 45-minute lesson. Current availability is on Wednesday afternoons.

Sam in his teaching studio.


Some customer testimonials:

“Sam taught guitar and bass to two of my sons for 3-4 years each. He was a great teacher, sharing his knowledge of repertoire, technique, and music theory with them. They have both ended up playing in popular bands at their high school, and in the case of one, also playing during his college years at professional gigs. As a professional musician myself, I would highly recommend Sam.”

“My daughter began ukulele lessons with Sam at the age of 6. For the past several years, he has been very influential in nurturing and developing her love of music. Sam has the unique ability to provide technically sound lessons while allowing the student to play relatable and fun music. My daughter loves playing and singing (another technique developed from Sam) in front of her friends and family.”

“Sam is a fabulous musician and an excellent teacher. He even taught this old dog some new tricks.”

“Sam takes a very professional approach to lessons. We cover a lot of ground, but he is quick to cater his approach to my needs. He provides a great balance between musical theory and practical suggestions. I have studied under many teachers, but Sam is by far the most efficient, organized, and energetic.”

“Sam can keep children on task and focused every minute of the lesson, which can be a small or large miracle, depending on the child. Highly recommend him!”

“My son took guitar lessons from Sam for over 5 years and they proved to be an excellent grounding in music theory, practical lessons, and an offshoot into bass guitar. Sam proved to be a very consistent and flexible educator and could flow with the latest interest, while also instilling some discipline into the actual lesson plan. I appreciated the flexibility most of all, having watched my children also do violin lessons for years. The ability to bend with the latest interest and morph off into jazz or a country angle is huge to maintain the interest and Sam has been adept at managing to pull this off again and again with a versatile knowledge of music background.”

“I think it’s very rare someone can master a subject and then still teach that subject to a novice. The key may be retaining empathy, so that the teacher understands and has the patience for the simplest questions, and most importantly, will take the time to explain a concept in as many ways as needed until the student has a full understanding. That is Sam. I wish I had found him many years ago. Birmingham is lucky to have him sharing his passion and knowledge.”