MGS Blog

Counting and Clapping Rhythms

Practice Challenge Week 2 Counting and Clapping Rhythms This week’s practice challenge will help you learn how to read and play common rhythms written in standard music notation. There are several important concepts to get familiar with so that you can be a successful...

Practice Challenges 9–16

The home stretch! Now that we're in concert prep mode for the next several weeks, I thought I would condense the Practice Challenges into one post. I've been assigning the first few on the list below in lessons, but here's the entire list. Good luck!   The following...

Practice Challenge 9

Practice Challenge 9: Routine Re-Charge! Welcome back to the blog! We've had a few weeks off from the song challenges to give everyone a chance to regroup and get caught up. After eight weeks of song challenges, and more than a dozen songs presented, it's time we...

Song Challenge 8

Oh Danny Boy (Londonderry Air) Welcome back to the blog for Song Challenge 8, the last one for a little while–we'll pick back up with our weekly song challenges after spring break! In honor of St. Patrick's Day on March 17, 2016, I thought we'd explore a very old and...

Song Challenge 7

Fun with Video Game Music... Guess what...the two biggest song requests this semester are both Nintendo video games: Super Mario Bros. and Pokémon. I have to admit that until 5 minutes ago I didn't know that Pokémon originated as a video game. Now this post ties...

Song Challenge Week 6

Happy Birthday, George (and George)... Hey everybody knows it's George's birthday this week, right? Happy Birthday to You Happy Birthday to You is the most recognized song in the English language. Let's sing happy to Washington, the USA's first president, and...

Song Challenge Week 5

Happy Valentine's Day! This week's song challenges are in honor of St. Valentine's Day. I'm going to keep it brief so I'm not late to dinner with my special someone... One Love Bob Marley's music has always held a special place in my heart. His music grooves and...

Song Challenge Week 4

Mardi Gras in New Orleans This week we turn our attention to New Orleans as people from around the world gather to celebrate Carnival culminating in Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday). Mardi Gras is much more than a just a party, it's an important part of American...

Song Challenge Week 3

Lions & Tigers... The Lion Sleeps Tonight Easy Song Challenge Task: This week we continue our focus on rhythm and counting! The Lion Sleeps Tonight is a catchy tune with a fun rhythmic feeling and lots of notes on the up-beats! We'll talk in our lessons about...

Song Challenge Week 2

Amazing Grace This week's song challenge, both easy and advanced, is Amazing Grace. This song first appeared as an English Hymn with a different tune than the one we're most familiar with today. It was written by Jon Newton a former slave trader turned church clerk...

Song Challenge Week 1

Hi Everyone! This semester there will be an easy and an advanced song challenge each week. I'll explain the rules in more detail in your lesson but basically every week come to the blog to find the latest song challenge post. Advanced students are not eligible to earn...

Summer 2015 Adult Guitar Classes

Guitar Classes for Adults This summer Montavilla Guitar Studio presents: Guitar Foundations: A Practical Course for Adult Beginners. Guitar Foundations is the first in a series of adult guitar classes taught by Neil Mattson. Guitar Foundations meets once per for 6...

Guitar care basics in a few simple steps

Now that you've set up your ideal practice space (#MyPracticeSpace), let's make sure you have the right guitar care habits to keep your guitar looking and sounding great. One of my favorite things to do on a rainy afternoon—aside from strumming a favorite tune—is to...

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Neil Mattson of Montavilla Guitar Studio is the most patient, positive, and skilled instructor! I had little previous experience, other than loving music. In just 10 weeks I have learned more than I had ever thought possible!  I am resurrecting a long neglected dream and loving every minute of it!

Mary B.

Portland, OR

Let's Play!

Follow the link to schedule your Guitar Awesomeness Kickstart Session, a free 45 minute lesson where we play, chat, and find out if we’re a great fit.

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