Mike Karnes Guitar Instruction Reviews ☆☆☆☆☆


★★★★★ Mike is an Amazing Guitar Instructor!

Mike’s methods have kept my daughter practicing nearly every day with enthusiasm and hardly ever any prompting! I highly recommend Mike to anyone looking to learn to play or advance their current skills.  — Tim Moen

★★★★★ Mike is Awesome!

Mike is a unique person who shares his love for life through playing and teaching guitar. I am a baby boomer and always wanted to play the guitar, thinking when I retired I might start. I am glad I did not wait to retire to meet up with Mike. Nine months ago I took my first lesson and now I play 22 of my favorite songs along with James Taylor, Eagles, Neil Diamond and others on my IPOD. One of the questions Mike asked me at my first lesson was "What do you want play?" I am doing it now! We all know that to get better at something it requires "practice, practice, practice" and it’s easy to do when you are having fun. My best day of the week is the day of my guitar lesson. I have often thought if I ever move away from this area I would still fly back to Silverdale to take lessons because I love his style.  — Dr. Ron Quenzer

★★★★★ You will always, ALWAYS get your money’s worth!

I started taking lessons with Mike back when I was in junior high, and those sessions had such a profound effect on me that I’m still inspired to play even now after I’ve graduated from college. When you are in the studio, Mike throws all the standard rules out the window. You won’t be forced to start from the very beginning, with learning names of notes, key signatures, enharmonics and all of that jazz (unless of course you really want to, I’m sure he’d be glad to teach you). From day one, your time is just that, your time. You do exactly what you want to do, and play exactly what you want to play. Want to learn how to play Pachelbel’s Canon? Mike will show you how. How about the solo to Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”? He’ll tab that out for you too. Pop in any song, and after listening to it once or twice, Mike will transcribe what you hear into tablature that you can start playing on the spot. What he does is amazing, and it makes playing guitar fun. Whether you are just starting out, or have been playing all your life, there is always something to learn from Mike Karnes, and you will always, ALWAYS get your money’s worth. There is no one better in the area (trust me, I’ve looked).  — J.R.

★★★★★ Mike Karnes Guitar Instruction

You cannot do any better for guitar lessons than Mike Karnes. I started taking lessons from him almost 15 years ago and each week I am still amazed at how much I have learned from him. Mike has a wealth of information and experience and he personalizes each lesson to fit the needs and interests of the student. Other instructors can teach you what they know but Mike can teach you what you want to know. This is very important when building a desire to play the guitar. Within the past 15 years I have brought in just about every type of music imaginable and Mike has surpassed my expectations for what I could get my guitar to sound like. When my students ask me for a good guitar teacher I always recommend Mike Karnes. Thanks Mike!  — Marcus Kitley, Science Teacher

★★★★★  30+ years later, I am still thankful

I play guitar professionally, I build archtop guitars, I teach music and am also a public school teacher. Most of those successes I can attribute directly to Mr. Mike Karnes. Most teenagers are awkward and have little direction in life. I loved music and the guitar and had recently been left teacherless. One of the last things my guitar teacher had left me was a suggestion that I take guitar lessons from Mike Karnes. I started taking lessons from Mike and I began to believe that I could become a real guitarist. I wanted to go in-depth and study Jazz guitar. Not only did Mike have the chops to teach advanced music, but he made me feel like what I was producing on my instrument was special. He gave me the kind of encouragement I needed to bring me out of my teenage angst, and to make me want to expand in every musical way possible. Mike created the kind of safe environment that every student needs in which to succeed. It was positive, humorous, and most importantly, musically fertile. From music theory and ear-training, to improvisation and freedom within music’s structure, it seemed that there were inexhaustible directions to pursue. I remember that every lesson was customized to my needs as a budding player. Mike is a very intuitive teacher who has the gift to assess a student and to focus on areas of concern. I have seen that many guitar teachers teach students like they are painting by numbers, with a one size fits all approach. As a guitar teacher myself, I have found that to be incredibly frustrating to see. Mike is not one of those teachers. I can see by all the reviews that this is still true. He draws out the talent that students have naturally, and he develops it. My memory of leaving EVERY lesson with a smile and feeling like I couldn’t wait to get home to practice remains with me after over 30 years. Thank you, Mike, I owe you more than you know.   — Patrick

★★★★★  Learn from the best!

My 13 year old daughter began lessons with Mike last summer, and within two weeks she was playing songs of her choosing all the way through. She was so excited to be learning what she loved that she never let the guitar out of her hands those first few weeks. Mike has a wonderful presence with the kids that stimulates their own enthusiasm. First and foremost he respects every student. He does not judge their taste in music and he is consistently positive and enthusiastic (without pandering). Mike has high standards for his students and they rise to it because they want to, not because someone else is demanding it from them. At each lesson or practice session we or our daughter attend, Mike is consistently PRESENT. We have never felt that he would rather be doing something else. He was a pleasure to be around during all of the practice sessions and the performance of the Beatles project, and his excitement was contagious. Mike worked tirelessly with each member to ensure they were comfortable with their part. In short, we would give Mike the highest recommendation for any level of lessons. Oh yes - it also helps that he is an incredibly TALENTED musician! — sfoxleslie

★★★★★  The answer to your prayers

You want to play music - guitar music! You want to sound like you know what you’re doing! You’re willing to work, but you don’t want to just bang your head against a wall doing drill after drill, scale after scale. Mike Karnes is the answer to your prayers. Whether you want to play rhythm guitar, blend in those deep sounds of your bass, or make that baby sing, Mike can get you there. He hears what you hear. He understands where you want to go. And remarkably, he can take you there. Whatever you bring in to have him listen to, he can take it and turn it into something you can play. I mean it. Something YOU can play. If you want to learn how to play the guitar, or if you want to learn how to play some particular songs that you’ve loved forever, then Mike Karnes is who you need to see. I’ve known Mike for over a dozen years. He knows how to do this, and if you want to play the guitar, you owe it to yourself to give him a try. You won’t regret it.  — Frank ”Frankie Ray” Horton

★★★★★  Mike is an incredible teacher who did not give up on me

Let me give a little background. When I contacted him first I told him I could not play a right-handed guitar because my left hand has arthritis in it and when my wife bought me my guitar I found that I could not do but a few cords on it. But what does Mike do? He told me he could teach me to play left-handed. Due to medication I take my hands shake a little bit but when I sat down with Mike my hands started shaking so bad I could hardly play the scales he showed me. I knew it was some of the medication but also being nervous. This continued through a few lessons but then Mike noticed the shaking was beginning to go away and now there is no shaking. He told me that playing the guitar is therapeutic and I have to agree. No matter how bad a day can be in my life I found the second I strum that first cord all the tension and even some of the pain goes away. Mike was the reason for this. His patience and his positive encouraging settled me down. It is amazing how he teaches because you can understand what he is showing you from the start! His ability to know where you are in the learning process is the reason this makes him such a great teacher. He wants you to get to the next level and in my case he knew exactly when I was ready for the first song. He does not push you through the lesson but he challenges you to go to the next level. I really like his positive attitude and his love to share what he has learned throughout the years with his students. Many teachers are in for the money. Not Mike! When you finish the lesson for that week he doesn't say see you next week. He told me if I were to run into any problem during the week call him. I have on a few occasions and we worked the problem out together. In Mike I have realized that it doesn't matter what age you are, me young age of 57, and in my case learning left-handed and it doesn't matter if you never even held a guitar before, Mike gives 100 percent of himself to you. He not only has taught me on an acoustic guitar but now I am learning on an electric one and there is such a big difference playing the two but with such a great teacher I have the confidence playing either one of them. If someone would have told me 3 years ago that I would be playing songs on a guitar and I would be playing left-handed too I would have laughed and said no way. Thanks Mike for the confidence and patience for if it wasn't for you I would still not be playing a guitar today. — Joe Parks

★★★★★ Mike is AWESOME!

We knew after the first lesson that we stumbled on something special. We felt right at home. He has taught my two teenage boys guitar since the summer. Wow! They go in every week with a song in mind and Mike writes out the music and the magic happens. They have quite a library of songs. One week they showed up with a bass, Mike didn't blink an eye. He obviously loves what he does and it shows. He is at one with the music and the universe. We look forward to our weekly escape and Mike's positive energy. If you are looking for a guitar/bass instructor, look no further. Call Mike. “So take off your shoes, child, and take off your hat. Try on your wings and find out where it's at. Hey Hey, Hey, come right away. Come and join the party every day.” (GD)   — MBS

★★★★★  Mike Totally Rocks!

Learn from experience. As a professional guitar instructor since 1979, Mike Karnes has been passing along his experience to thousands of guitarists. With his unique and highly motivating approach to teaching guitar, Mike will show you how to play your favorite songs right away. Not only is Mike Karnes a bona fide guitar genius, he's also your personal coach, tailoring the lesson to fit your specific needs and at your own pace. With each song you are learning, Mike helps you develop specific skills like proper fingering technique and musical vocabulary. With Mike as your personal guitar guru, achieving musical proficiency is right at your fingertips. What is more, guitar lessons with Mike Karnes gives you that blast of positive energy to help you get through the week! And that's why Mike Totally Rocks! "It's not bragging if you can back it up.” —Jaco Pastorius. It's a fact. Mike can back it up!  — She-Rah     


Guitar Lessons are available on a first come, first served basis.

Please contact Mike for current openings:

(360) 509-7659


*Students also travel from Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Gig Harbor,  Kingston, Kitsap, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Seabeck  and Seattle, Washington to take guitar lessons with Mike Karnes!

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