Hi. We’re Rick Klaras and Joel Bocek, and we want to be your Portland guitar teachers.
We offer guitar lessons customized to your individual musical goals and interests. Take lessons with us, and you’ll be surprised at how easy and fun learning the guitar can be.
Between the two of us, we’ve been playing guitar for more than 40 years, and we have nearly two decades of teaching experience. We are now accepting students of all ages and skill levels.
We teach all styles of Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, Pop, Reggae, Funk, Music Theory, Improvisation, Songwriting, Standard Notation, Arrangement, and more.
Get in Touch for a Free Intro Lesson!
Take a Look at Our Google Reviews!
Rick is a gifted teacher, offering structure to the student's musical interest with a relaxed approach and genuine enthusiasm for the craft. He allows the student to feel comfortable with the learning process from the beginning, enabling them to grow the confidence needed to truly enjoy it. I'm listening to my son practice right now- it brings joy to my heart to hear him learning songs he always wanted to play and creating the sounds he always wanted to hear. The gift of music is a gift for life. Priceless.1/03/2016
I've been working with Rick for about 6 months now and I couldn't speak more highly of him as a teacher. I had wanted to learn guitar for years, but couldn't get over the fear of possibly not being good enough (so why bother?). He assured me that many people felt and overcame not only that fear but several other handicaps. In addition to learning how to read music, I'm learning chords, strumming patterns and techniques. Rick makes each lesson varied and enjoyable. We have a lot of laughs and I look forward to each session. His approach to teaching comprises patience, compassion and structure -- three things I needed for this goal to become a reality. I feel that he is as invested in helping me learn as I am in wanting to learn! Thank you for everything, Rick!1/03/2015
I'm 41 years old and just decided this year that I wanted to learn guitar. I had no musical training whatsoever, other than some recorder lessons in grade school. Rick has been a fantastic teacher, and I'm very glad that I found him. Not only has he been very patient, he's been encouraging and a pleasure to talk to. I'll be continuing to take lessons with Rick, and if you're looking for lessons yourself, I highly recommend you give him a try!1/03/2018
I took lessons from Rick for a couple of years. Rick was always very patient, knowledgeable, and fun! What I loved most was that he would teach technique through conventional methods but also throw in some rad songs that kept it fun. I would highly recommend him as a teacher for both children and adults.1/03/2018Abigail Susik1/03/2018
Rick is a rad teacher!
After a few months of failing to teach myself guitar, I started taking lessons from Rick. As an adult with absolutely no musical experience at all, Rick made any nervousness about being "too old to learn" dissipate immediately. He's hilarious, so kind, and his encouragement and support is unwavering. His belief in his students is unmatched.
He really cares about his students and takes interest in catering musical selections to be based on your favorite bands and songs. He's great at gauging musical taste and coming up with songs to play within your skill level.
I give Rick 5 stars and a high-five!10/10/2017
Taking guitar lessons from Rick has been a great experience. His lessons are a highlight of my week, as he is an incredibly patient and knowledgeable teacher. I've been able to start learning how to play some of my favorite songs, which is awesome and something that felt so frustrating attempting to do on my own. I would highly recommend anyone looking to learn to play guitar, to do so through learn guitar pdx. Also, his dog is ridiculously cute.7/02/2018
My daughter is 11 and takes lessons with Rick. We could not be happier with the lessons! His communication style is perfect with kids, authentic, kind, direct and funny. My daughter loves the lessons and talks about how much she loves them with her friends. The lessons themselves a a good balance of theory, music literacy and creative invention. I also love the consistency of the lessons and how my daughter is able to work on a project from beginning to end over a a series of many lessons and to feel the success of pulling off a difficult piece completely. Rick is the best!7/05/2017
Rick is an amazing guitar teacher. He crafts lessons to suit your style and experience, and does an excellent job of combining theory and practice to make you not just a better guitar player, but a better musician. He is affable, organized, and very devoted to his students, even putting out a monthly newsletter for them in which he provides tips, links, advice, etc. I highly recommend.1/04/2018
Rick is an extremely knowledgeable, patient and helpful guitar teacher. He breaks down the theory in a way that makes it easy to grasp and keeps the material directed towards what you are interested in. Highly recommend for any skill level.3/07/2018
Rick had been teaching our 11 year old daughter for over a year. She has made a lot of progress as a beginner--Rick is so patient with her. Beyond the fundamentals she is learning, Rick also works with her on pop songs in which she has interest. Rick is flexible and a good communicator. He also gives very good feedback to keep my daughter on track. I highly recommend Rick and learnguitarpdx!!10/31/2017
My 12 year old has been learning guitar from Rick for over a year now and he has learned quite a bit during this time. We are very pleased with Rick and with my son's achievement. Rick is an awesome teacher, vocalist, and guitarist and we highly recommend him. Our son is excited to learn from Rick and practices at home without being asked to; we don't have to make him do it anymore 🙂 Rick has helped him learn some songs of his choice and any kid would love that kind of tutoring and encouragement. Thank you, Rick!1/03/2018
Rick is clear, attentive and goal oriented. I'm an adult student with a busy life. And on those weeks when my practice does not match our goals he adjusts and works to keep me moving forward. Which I appreciate. Also, I very much appreciate that RIck is an active musician. His passion comes through in his teaching.10/18/2017
Rick has been teaching guitar to our teen son for a couple of years, and I would definitely recommend him. He is patient and kind while also providing enough push and motivation to keep our son continually learning and improving his skills. He has made it fun for our son and has helped him learn a few of his most favorite songs along the way. We look forward to continuing lessons with Rick for the foreseeable future.11/03/2017
Rick is knowledgeable, talented and a natural at teaching. He’s a good listener and knows how to adjust to an individual’s learning style. And, on top of that, he’s fun!1/03/2018
Rick has a rare combination - a highly skilled guitarist AND a special teacher. He truly listens, takes notes, and then prepares for your lesson. When you arrive you feel as if he's been waiting for you all week long. I've learned so much from him. Practice is fun again!1/04/2018
Rick had been teaching our 11 year old daughter for over a year. She has made a lot of progress as a beginner--Rick is so patient with her. Beyond the fundamentals she is learning, Rick also works with her on pop songs in which she has interest. Rick is flexible and a good communicator. He also gives very good feedback to keep my daughter on track. I highly recommend Rick and learnguitarpdx!!11/03/2017
Rick has been an amazing guitar teacher for our teenage daughter, and we're so happy we found him! Each week our daughter leaves her lesson excited about what she learned and practiced with Rick, and wants to share it with us as soon as we get home. Rick strikes a wonderful balance between helping our daughter master the songs she wants to play while also introducing her to new music that expands her knowledge and builds new skills. She feels comfortable sharing her singing and songwriting with him as well which speaks to his patience, kindness, and ability to connect with young people. Rick makes lessons fun and engaging, and we highly recommend him to anyone looking for a guitar teacher.10/16/2017
Rick is an excellent teacher. Scheduling: Prompt responses and flexible regarding scheduling. Lessons: He tailors the lessons and content based on my feedback and his vast experience as a musician. The result is fun, challenging, customized lessons and homework that blends playing songs, learning music theory, and skill development exercises. This customized approach, well rounded approach is extremely beneficial and fun for a beginner like myself. He is also extremely knowledgeable about music equipment (guitars, amps, etc), which has been really helpful, as I purchased a new guitar. I would highly recommend Rick for young and old, beginners or experienced musicians. He is a great teacher. A++++1/03/2018
Rick has been teaching guitar to our teen son for a couple of years, and I would definitely recommend him. He is patient and kind while also providing enough push and motivation to keep our son continually learning and improving his skills. He has made it fun for our son and has helped him learn a few of his most favorite songs along the way. We look forward to continuing lessons with Rick for the foreseeable future.10/10/2017
Rick has been such a wonderful instructor to my daughter, who expressed interest in learning ukulele but who was nervous about whether it would be difficult since she has never studied music before. Rick has made her feel so comfortable every step of the way, and I have been able to listen to them make such lovely music together sitting in on the lessons in his charming studio. Rick has a gentle, encouraging manner with kids, and my daughter has been transformed from someone who was nervous about trying music to someone who is making big plans about joining the band at school. Thank you for everything, Rick!1/03/2018
Howdy, I'm a beginner guitarist who has been taking lessons from Rick for a while now. He's a very relaxed, skilled, and encouraging teacher. I really appreciate the opportunity to give input on what types of music or specific songs I'd like to work on. Rick gives regular instruction on music theory along with technique that is very helpful the more I practice. I'd recommend Rick to anyone wanting to improve their guitar playing.1/04/2018
I have been taking lessons for over a year with Rick and he has been superb! He has always been willing to work with me on whatever I choose--whether it's theory, learning different songs, or anything else (how to properly adjust your strap, changing strings and stretching them afterwards, what to look for in an amp--whatever). I look forward to every week's lesson, and he's just generally a pretty cool guy. Always a pleasure!1/03/2018
I have taken classes with Rick for the last 6 or so months. Going into it I was fully prepared to begin with the most monotonous and grueling songs for the first year at least. While he does incorporate classic beginners songs, he also writes tablature that learners can understand in order for you to play your favorite songs right off the bat. I love playing and I have learned so much faster than I had expected to; and I think that my passion had a lot to do with Rick's teaching styles. He's incredibly patient and helpful, and he works around my schedule as much as he can. Also, his lessons are pretty much the cheapest you can find in the Portland area. All around this guy is a great teacher.1/03/2018
I fully echo the positive reviews others have left. Rick has been nothing but patient and encouraging since I first started guitar lessons seven months ago. I was a complete novice and didn’t know what to expect, but he has always proven to be a great teacher. Even when my chords would make others cringe, he is positive about my progress and emphasizes what I have gotten right. He even gives out stickers! Would definitely recommend him to others.11/03/2017
I've taken lessons from Rick for almost two years now and he is a great guy and an amazing teacher. He is an awesome guitar player and is extremely knowledged in music theory. But the best part is that he is a very patient teacher and is really good at passing on what he knows in a way that is easy to understand. I learned so much from him in regards to theory and technique, both of which are challenging enough to learn let alone teach. Also, If I have a question about something throughout the week he always helps me out in an email or text. I can't recommend him enough, he is great at what he does and will help you learn quickly. Awesome teacher!6/03/2015
Rick is clear, attentive and goal oriented. I'm an adult student with a busy life. And on those weeks when my practice does not match our goals he adjusts and works to keep me moving forward. Which I appreciate. Also, I very much appreciate that RIck is an active musician. His passion comes through in his teaching.1/03/2018