Mike Karnes Guitar Instruction Reviews ☆☆☆☆☆


5 STAR Google Reviews by Mike Karnes’ Actual Guitar Students

(and no, they were not written by his mom)

  Ruth Schmidt

I’m so glad I found Mike Karnes! I had previously taken guitar lessons from other teachers at different times and can honestly say that Mike is the person who really turned me into a true guitar player. Before, it just felt like work and practice. But Mike makes it so much fun. He will teach you whatever you want to know; and the way he puts the arrangements together for you is spot-on. What I play now sounds exactly like the recordings. We’ve explored a variety of styles and techniques, both acoustic and electric, and he is a master of them all. I have a whole arsenal of tunes I can play now. His patience is ceaseless and his sense of humor makes our time together fly by. My guitar lesson is the best night of my week. I leave every lesson smiling and with a sense of accomplishment. Thanks Mike!


To say that Mike Karnes is a great guitar teacher is an understatement, for in all of his understanding of the guitar and his expertise in the instrument, I think he is a true genius in his craft. Oftentimes when one wishes to learn a new instrument, it is so easy to tell oneself that it is an unachievable dream--but Mike shows you that that dream can be achieved. I have been taking lessons with Mike for about two years now and while I still consider myself to be a beginner, I have enjoyed every lesson partaken with him to the full. I learn something new—musically and philosophically—with every lesson gained. It’s a joy to watch Mike listen to every song you request for him and search the chords on his guitar, because it’s like watching him communicate in a secret language that only he and the guitar understand alone. And by the end of every lesson, I find myself excited to practice the language for myself. Some people are intimidated by the idea of learning guitar, no doubt discouraged by the “one size fits all” lessons that are out there. Most tune in to YouTube to learn instead, but I think those people are missing out. Mike is different in that he makes the instrument fun and achievable, and goes more in depth than any video online. Mike shows you that the guitar is not merely a stringed instrument, but also an embodiment of hidden knowledge that can be discovered if only you would just listen and practice. If anyone is inspired to learn guitar, I highly recommend Mike Karnes. Before I started my guitar lessons with Mike, I could never even strum a chord. Now I know more than I ever thought I could hope to learn and am eager to learn more as time goes on, and I never thought that was possible. Mike has made it a possibility for me, and I think he can open the door for anyone out there who also dreams and make it a possibility for them as well.—C.M.

  Dr. Erin and Mrs. Megan Palmer

My son is 13 and has been taking lessons with Mike Karnes for over two years now. He came to Mike as a beginning student who didn't like to practice or go to lessons and now his practice time and lessons are the best part of his week. Instead of playing video games he wants to pick up his guitar and jam. As a musician myself, I can attest to Mike's musical abilities as well as his pattern of teaching. He is positive, patient, and encouraging. He is a true musical genius! If I could give more than 5 stars I would!

Kristin Gumpert

I was at Ted Brown Music the other day and the manager and I were talking. He asked if [my son] was taking guitar lessons. I told him we’re taking guitar lessons from Mike Karnes and he said: “Mike is the best around.”

Dr. Ron Quenzer

Mike Karnes 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 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.

A Google User

No one size fits all. Mike Karnes is a student's dream. He tailors each lesson to fit a student's individual needs and learning style. Mike listens and takes the time to assess your level of skill and then he tailors his teaching to compliment your style of learning. He is always patient and understanding of where we come from and understands what we need to help us progress. I had taken lessons in the past and gotten to the point of such frustration that I was ready to just give up when I met Mike. Suddenly I am learning and having fun. I look forward to my lesson each week. In just two months I have learned and progressed more than I did in an entire year...Things are falling into place and I am so glad that I didn't give up.  Mike is a terrific teacher!

  zumbaZ Amaral

Mr. Mike Karnes es el mejor instructor del área! Mi hijo disfruta mucho sus lecciones de guitarra. Mike siempre es muy positivo con sus comentarios y permite que el estudiante haga la elección para tocar la canción que quiera. Y si no tienes nada en mente el té da ideas. Mi hijo está muy feliz, aprendiendo de alguien tan profesional y con mucha experiencia!


I play guitar professionally, I build archtop guitars, I teach music and also am 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 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 teenaged 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 of 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. —Pat

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

Please contact Mike Karnes for current openings:

1 (360) 509-7659


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*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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