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Best Places For Guitar Lessons

Have you resolved to learn the guitar in 2013? With so many options, prices and locations, you can do better than Guitar Hero. Just pick your style, find a location and choose an instructor at any of the following places.

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Eclipse Music

149 Thompson Ave. E.
West St. Paul, MN 55118
(651) 451-8878
www.eclipsemusic.orgThis music store offers guitar lessons by Jonny Ehresmann, who "graduated with top honors from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He currently teaches, records, writes and performs in numerous bands across the metro area, including Jonny James and the Hall of Fames," and also portrays George Harrison in Rubber Soul, a Beatles tribute band. Local business-oriented Eclipse Music has been around for more than 40 years and attracts students of all ages primarily from the Dakota-Ramsey area.

Music Go Round: Woodbury

1705 Weir Drive #1
Saint Paul, MN 55125
(651) 714-1460

Music Go Round's Woodbury store is highly rated for instrument repair and guitar lessons. This spot took extra care in building practice rooms with six-inch walls for soundproofing that are non-parallel for better sound integrity. Seven instructors, including two women, specialize in different stringed instruments. Instructor Todd Duane was recently named "3rd fastest shredder in the world by Guitar World magazine."

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

Riff Factory
P.O. Box 102
Champlin, MN 55316
(651) 483-3870
www.rifffactory.comA music school of nine instructors, a couple hundred students and studios in Roseville and Maple Grove, the Riff Factory offers a different approach to lessons. Founded in 1999, Todd Bergren and Kurt Mahre had "a vision to create a music school that was simple and fun." That is why the program is "a la carte," with each student picking what he or she wants to learn. Instructors try teaching easy and fun songs to help students develop necessary techniques. Advanced instruction is available when the student is ready for such things as music theory, song writing, soloing, forming and playing in a band.

Related: A Guide To Music Classes For Families And Kids

St. Paul Guitar Studio

308 E. Prince St., Suite 214
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 224-4549

Located downtown, St. Paul Guitar Studio offers lessons for many types of instruments such as acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, banjo and mandolin. Fifteen instructors, each specializing in different styles of music, are selected because they play and perform around the metro area. Owner Rick Stack has studied guitar since age 11, played professionally with an impressive list of performers since age 15 and instructed professionally since age 16. He says he enjoys teaching students of all levels of proficiency and of all ages.

12/1 Nightlife & Music Guitar
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Music Masters Inc
7300 France Ave. S.
Edina, MN 55435
(952) 924-4141
www.music2master.comWith studios in Edina, students come from around the metro for lessons individualized to the student's needs in any instrument including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, classical guitar, ukulele, mandolin and banjo. Some are as young as four or five years old and many are adults. The oldest is 85. Those taking private lessons are eligible to enroll in Rock Band or Blues Band playing with peers one hour each week plus recitals and group home gigs. All Music Masters' instructors have at least a four-year degree in music and 75 percent have masters.

Schmitt Music

2400 Freeway Blvd.
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
(763) 566-4560

Brooklyn Center, Burnsville, Edina, Minnetonka, Rochester and Roseville studios provide both private and group lessons instructed by several dozens of highly qualified guitar instructors. Edina alone has 28 studios for music instruction. Jerry Grote, Schmitt Music executive, explains that guitar instruction is not like learning the clarinet. Most students are not interested in starting with Mel Bay's book one of music fundamentals. Schmitt Music allows the student to pick a style, whether heavy metal or classical, and get into that style from the start. The company has been in Minnesota for more than a century and has been giving lessons for decades.

Related: Best Music Lessons In The Twin Cities

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at

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