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Tim Quinn Testimonials



As a teacher, I have guided many students to successfully advance their skills on the guitar. I love the way teaching was described by master trumpeter and longtime teacher William Vacchiano (teacher to Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis, among many others). He said...䴯 me, teaching is like what a painter does. As a teacher, I see each student as a great piece of art. Each student comes in, more or less raw or green. In each student I can reproduce myself, you might say, and create great artists.䠠That is what a master teacher does. Here are what some of my students have to say to you...


''The world of music is filled with hype HOWEVER Tim is the real deal. He markets his guitar instruction as the best in San Diego. I believe he is the very best teacher in Southern California...and probably one of the best musicians as well. He likes to teach and he has the patience and knowledge to do so with great expertise. Tim challenges your skill set and intelligence in a patient manner. He is enthusiastic and motivating. I am certain that guitarist at any level of most musical styles and genres could learn from Tim. Your time and money invested in Tim's tutelage is probably the shortest road to improving your musicianship. It's working for me and I have been around the block a few times.
Louis Scafuri
''Tim Quinn is the best guitar teacher that I have studied with. I have taken lessons from a few others, but Tim is by far the most knowledgeable, the most organized, and the best teacher. He can teach any style of music with expertise. I think that his best attributes are that he is really caring and has a very systematic approach to teaching. Based on my experience when looking for a guitar teacher, it is important to not only learn from a master player such as Tim, but also to learn from someone who knows how to transmit that knowledge to you. Tim has advanced my playing in many, many ways. He is worth every penny.
Mike Marabeas
'Tim, your lessons did more for me than studying out of the Julliard book in college for two years straight and taking tons of private lessons from other teachers before that. I got so much out of our time together; thanks for being so dedicated and helping me reach my goals. After I stopped taking lessons with you, I got into Eek-A-Mouse, a pretty big headlining reggae band. First show we played: Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Vegas - sold out, and we rocked it too! Later, we headlined in Long Beach in front of 4,000 heads; Del Mar Fair in front of 10,000; then headlined a big reggae fest in central CA in front of 12,000 people! I have you to thank for so much of that Tim. I dedicated a ton of time to learning, and having the right teacher really made a difference. I have nothing but good things to say about the excellent service you have to offer. No one touches your expertise in San Diego.
Joe Price, touring guitarist with Eek-A-Mouse
'I would never have believed the speed at which I am learning. Tim is enthusiastic at each and every lesson and shows interest in how I am progressing. He will put more on your plate than any other guitar instructor, and you will learn it faster than with any other guitar instructor. I am always looking forward to my next lesson.
Matt Ward
'Tim Quinn is simply the best guitar/music teacher in San Diego, maybe in California! When I began to take lessons from him I had already been playing at the guitar for 10 years. I was working as a carpenter, and only playing music on the weekends. I studied with Tim for 3 years. In that time, I learned everything I would ever need to become a professional musician and teacher. I do believe that if I had not studied with Tim, I would not have had a career in music. After studying with Tim, I went to Guitar Institute of Technology. GIT is a great school, but in all honesty you dont need to go to GIT for a great guitar teacher. Tim can offer you the techniques that all the big boys use and more. He will custom tailor a lesson plan for you that will include, but will not be limited to a detailed practice schedule of exercises, scales, and arpeggios. Get ready to SHRED!!! After GIT I went to San Diego State University, and there I studied classical guitar with Fred Benedetti. I graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance. But again, Tim was a huge influence in my classical guitar studies, and without his guidance I dont think I would have had the techniques needed to study with Fred. Today, I am the head of the guitar department at a music school in Norway. I return to San Diego once a year, and to this day, Tim still inspirers and challenges me to become a better musician.
Joe Rodgerson, Guitar Instructor
'I was referred to Tim by a reliable source, and Tim has more than met my expectations for guitar instruction. It's one thing to be capable of playing most any style of guitar, and it's another to be a good teacher and mentor; the two are just not one and the same. Fortunately, Tim is both. Tim breaks things down for you into parts and pieces that are easy to digest and then helps you to see how that is going to fit into the bigger picture later. Whatever your interests are, (shredding, finger-picking, jazz, etc.) Tim is going to get you going in the direction that you need to achieve those ends. If you've been spending years trying to learn it all by ear or from magazines and DVDs (as I have), I can assure you that your time and money would be far better invested in having Tim instruct you. Magazines and DVDs don't allow you to ask them questions on the spot, and they don't motivate you to get up off your butt and get ready for your next appointment (not that Tim would yell at you). But just like a good personal trainer would, Tim notes your progress (or lack there of), and if you've got any self-respect you get prepared and you learn something before the next appointment. Enough said, the universe doesn't reward the lazy, go see Tim, get green and grow!
Rannie Lee
'Tim is an excellent player and teacher. I would highly recommend him. I have been playing diverse styles for over 13 years and he still shows me something new every time.
Bryan Donlevy
'Tim is by far the very best guitar instructor I have ever encountered. His knowledge and technical skills are amazing, and he puts in many extra hours (at no charge) preparing for his lessons. As an example, Tim has transcribed numerous songs upon request for me. His transcriptions are accurate and easy to read. Thanks to Tim, I can now play several songs that I never thought I would be able to play. Tim can teach any style of guitar playing, and has an excellent understanding of music theory. Tim is also a very nice guy.
Guy McRoskey
'I was reluctant at first when choosing a guitar teacher, because I was looking for one who knew his stuff and at the same knew how to convey knowledge to his students. Tim is that and much more. I am really grateful to have found him, because in him, I have found not only a teacher, but really, a music mentor, who I could talk about any aspect of music that was on my mind, and he would be able to add to it nicely. He shows an expertise in all styles of music and is one of the most organized teachers I've ever had. His use of technology to make learning more dynamic and more pragmatic is phenomenal. I not only recommend him, but I encourage all who have a desire to expand their musical horizons and to grow in appreciation of music to give Tim a call today!
Tito Balbino
'I have been playing the acoustic guitar for 20 years now and still find myself somewhere between basic and intermediate skill levels. Over the years I have briefly tried many teachers for a few lessons here and there, but never found anyone that sparked my interest in becoming a better player; that is until I met Tim. Tim always seems to know exactly what I need; whether it is work on the fundamentals, music theory, learning new styles, vocals, or new tunes. Tim's patience, organized approach to learning, and database of materials are allowing me to become the guitarist that I've always wanted to be. Tim's experience and skill level is amazing and I'm convinced he can play anything in any style.
Jerry Posey
'Im getting a late start in life with the guitar (Im 58), with no legitimate playing experience. Fortunately, I met Tim, and Im having a great time learning to play. I am surely slower than most, with minimal rhythm and less than flexible digitsbut Tim always supports my efforts with unlimited patience, understanding, and enthusiasm. My buddies cant believe my accomplishments in a few short months! Not only is Tim a great instructor; he is also a very decent guy. If I could have begun these lessons with Tim when I was a young man, I assure you that by now you would have heard several of my CDs. I would recommend Tim Quinn to any level of talent that wants to improve. Tim will show you the way.
Jim O'Neill
'Tim Quinn, of Quinn Guitar Instruction, is a very competent and patient guitar instructor. While Tim teaches just about every style of guitar playing, my requirement was nylon string guitar with an emphasis on classical pieces. Not only is Tim very accomplished at this style, he also had a wealth of written music and instruction for me. Regardless of your skill level or musical taste, Tim can provide you with quality, customized instruction. Plus, Tims a really nice guy.
Paul Catano
'I have played guitar for over 20 years, and I have been a student of Tim's (on and off) for the last 10 years. Tim was recommended to me by a friend and fellow guitar enthusiast, about 10 years ago when my previous instructor left San Diego. Tim is just simply a fine man and a genuinely nice guy with a special gift; he possesses the musical expertise and all the right people skills that make for an exceptional instructor. He is very patient, he has state of the art tools, and he makes the experience fun and knows how to keep you motivated. I have had several fine instructors over the years, and I would rate Tim way up there in his craft among the top instructors in the region, and beyond. I would highly recommended Tim Quinn to any guitarist, at any skill level. Keep playing,and all the best!
Nelson Hubbell
'My name is Carlos A. Alvarez. I'm a 29 year old, Mexican guy, with an accent. This is my experience with Tim Quinn. Tim: Your patience and profound diligence toward the guitar student is second to none. I always felt as if you took us by the hand and led us to a road of enlightenment. After a few lessons with you, I could already see how you would easily direct my path in conquering the guitar. I never thought I could memorize the different scale patterns and play all over the fretboard, let alone improvise. I am still progressing in guitar playing and I owe it all to you. I have decided to definitely drop all I have in my life to pursue guitar study. I am moving abroad after saving all I could and I'm beginning, at my age (29) a pursuit I have long posponed. Thank you for your belief in us (My brother Emilio and I) and for guiding us all along. You are indeed very freaking knowledgeable. Your mastery of jazz improvisation, the modes, the blues and the rock is indeed inspiring. You made me realize how possible this venture of mastering the guitar would be to me. You made me believe that no matter how late, we can tame the guitar, as one can tame a bull. I owe you a lot, Tim. I was lucky to have found such a well-educated Guitar Instructor in San Diego. I always thought I needed to go to L.A., Nashville, New York or other huge cities to find a world-class professional guitarist. I now know I was very wrong. Please keep guitar teaching going, Tim. You are re excellent at it! Your desire to bring technology together into the guitar learning experience is truly needed in today's ever-changing society. The ease of obtaining mp3 of our lessons, the availability of VideoConferencing with you for lessons as we are studying abroad... Man... where do you find that?? Only with you, Amigo mio. I will keep you posted of my progress as I am abroad. You keep on keeping on, Maestro!! Mi respeto para usted, Tim Quinn. Con cario y afecto!
Carlos Arturo Alvarez (The Alvarez Brothers)
'Tim Quinn is San Diegos own Guitar Guru! I am a serious guitar player, and even play professionally sometimes. I studied guitar with four other teachers before I met Tim. Now, after studying with Tim for two years, those previous teachers seem like amateurs in comparison. Tim seems to be a master of all guitar styles, a professional performer with serious chops (jazz, rock, shred, blues, country, acoustic fingerstyle, etc.), and a master teacher on the level of a college professor. I needed a personal guitar coach of the highest caliber to get me on a program of real accomplishment and change, and I found that with Tim Quinn. He is the man to see. If you want to study with someone who knows exactly what you should practice, someone with a masters insight, someone who knows how to lay out a great program for development, and who follows through on every detail, then go see Tim. His use of computer and recording technology in the lessons is awesome, too. This guy knows what he is doing. He is my teacher.
Jimmy Davino
'My son, Max, and I have had the privilege of studying guitar under Tim Quinn for the past 14 months, having previously taken lessons together for five years. Following a rigorous and thorough approach to identifying the ideal guitar teacher, I consulted Fred at the Repair Zone as I valued his professional opinion based on his experience interacting with countless guitarists. Fred unequivocally recommended Tim and, after interviewing Tim and carefully scrutinizing his comprehensive website, I made the right choice. To effectively present why I believe Tim is the ultimate instructor, I'll identify three areas: musicianship, teaching skills, and mentoring. Tim's ability to play the musical spectrum from acoustic classical guitar to electric metallic shredding, at an astonishing level of competency and expression, is of utmost benefit to an open-minded student. Equally impressive is Tim's solid theoretical foundation, backed by academic credentials, and his ability to utilize music theory in a pragmatic manner. Having interacted with Tim as both a student and as the parent of a young student, I'm particularly impressed with Tim's flexible teaching style, which he adapts based on the student's competency and level of motivation. Tim devotes considerable time to crafting an individually tailored plan that addresses disciplines including soloing, rhythm guitar, theory, and repertoire development. Tim embraces and utilizes technology both during, and as a supplement to, his lessons; we find his .mp3 lesson files, backing tracks, and audio demonstrations to be invaluable resources when practicing. Finally, Tim is far more than a highly skilled musician and instructor: hes a role model citizen. His patience, calm demeanor, and organizational skills are complemented by his high expectations and contagious enthusiasm. In conclusion, by taking the time read this testimonial, I sense that youre motivated and serious in your guitar quest...Tim is your guide to new frontiers.
Brad Scurlock
'I have been taking guitar lessons from Tim for over a year now. My previous teacher was also an excellent teacher, but his first priority was performing. With Tim, I feel that he loves to teach, is dedicated to teaching guitar, and that Im more than just a financial necessity for his night job. Two things that I really like about working with Tim are: 1) His use of technology to enhance my learning and practice; and 2) His flexibility to change gears, as I learn more about what I like in music. By using technology, he provides complete edited audio mp3s of each lesson, by email. It includes instruction, my guitar, his guitar, multiple versions of the songs that we work on and practice materials. This allows me to go back and review the lesson and change the tempo and keys or focus in on particular parts of the song. Also, now Im recording multiple track compositions using Apples GarageBand software. This has been great because it enables me to re-record, edit and improve my songs on the Mac as we progress. In terms of flexibility, I have learned and practiced scales, reading music, music theory, fingering exercises and many, many songs from all genres. We use both electric and acoustic guitars, depending on the type of music that were working on. We have even downloaded iTunes songs that I like (some of which are country western songs that hes never heard of) and he then composes the music for me as the artist actually performed them. All this makes it extremely easy to learn and record the songs that I most enjoy. Last but not least, hes now even helping me with my singing. Amazing.
Steve Bowden
'Tim is a great guitar player but more importantly to me he's a great teacher. I've been playing for a long time and had hit a long-term plateau. Tim organized my goals and established a lesson plans specifically designed to meet those goals. He taught me exactly what I wanted to learn. He loaded my up with tons of material; a few months of material from Tim will easily keep me busy for a year. Hearing Tim play and record the material right there in his teaching studio is so motivating. His use of technology rocks, such as recorded examples, backing tracks etc. His teaching studio is state of the art. Bottom lineTim makes me a better guitarist.
Frank Pratte
'I have benefited greatly from lessons with Tim. I have been playing for many years and his ability to break down techniques and theory into easily understandable basics has made learning much easier. His patience and ability to help me improve have been great and the rest is up to me. There is always much to learn on the guitar. I highly recommend Tim for students at any level.
Ron Horvitz
'Hello Future guitarists. I first picked up the guitar a year ago with the hopes of an attempt to teach myself the basics through CD's and how-to guides and at times felt a little progress, but with time knew I needed a mentor, so I wrote out a list of characteristics I felt a qualified teacher should posses, to say the least my list was long and demanding. I'm in the military and details are my business. Through trail and error, I found Tim Quinn's website, and in that were my answers and more. After a little talk we met and I had my first lesson and in that I finally found the element I needed"DIRECTION"but not just any direction. My lessons are based on what I want and what he knows I need and how to get there. He mixes just enough lesson, playing and inspiration, through well developed masterfully planned, rehearsed and formulated steps to teach, derived from a lifetime of real gig experiences. When I leave after a lesson I have no problem with the money I have invested in the greatest gift a person can give them selves; "the gift of music". At first I was a little concerned about money, but I do understand "you get what you pay for". Tim Quinn is generous with more than his experience and attention to detail, but also with his time; he tends to get lost in your needs and goes long on lessonshe doesn't just rush you out the door. From a philosophical stand point his student are his opus.
An inspired student - Todd R. Hastings
'Before writing this testimonial about Tim Quinn, I decided to read others already posted on Tims website. If you are not already a student of Tims, the superlatives might sound like exaggerated comments from enthusiastic students. They are not. I have played guitar on-and-off for a number of years. Focus on family and work had kept me from seriously pursuing this passion of mine. I now have the best of all worlds, free time and the finest guitar teacher in San Diego or perhaps southern California. Tim offers a unique blend of talents rarely found in the music field or any other field for that matter. He is an exceptionally gifted musician in virtually all styles of guitar, combined with a true passion for music. What really sets Tim apart from others is his teaching ability. He patiently adapts each lesson to the students areas of interests and abilities. It matters to Tim that you understand what is being taught. And you leave each lesson feeling stimulated, excited about music and anxious to experiment with what you just learned. Each lesson is recorded and emailed to you along with any supporting songs and music covered in the lesson. His level of professionalism is without peer. If you want to experience the best in guitar instruction that San Diego has to offer, look no further. Tim Quinn is the real deal.
Sam Peca
'This testimonial might only be insightful to guitar novices. As of this writing, Ive played guitar for just under 10 months. I had a teacher when I first started, but switched to Tim after one month of total confusion. I am very glad I switched otherwise I probably would have thrown in the towel early on. Tims teaching style is very effective for me and would be great for any beginner in my opinion. He helps you build your skill set in guitar by coming at it from several different angles at exactly the right time in your development. Songs, finger exercises, scales, licks, rhythm studies, theory, singing, open and moveable chords and transitions, and development of your general musicianship round out the tools that Tim uses. Each of these aspects of developing as a novice guitarist are taught clearly and seem to challenge the student in the appropriate way at each stage of development. I would say Tim excels in all aspects of teaching the guitar, but his obvious strengths (again for the novice) are: clear communication; use of technology to aid in the learning of guitar; a ridiculously large database of hundreds, if not thousands of song transcriptions, skill and lesson mp3s, licks, and rhythm studies, all of which he has developed for students over his 20 plus years as a teacher. All the teaching support materials are already documented and provided to the student in mp3, paper copy, or .pdf, so that there is no wasted time in the lesson. And, if he doesnt have it, hell put it together. His ability to deconstruct a song, and teach the student how to transcribe not just the tab, but the rhythm, and singing, are pretty phenomenal. Tim also carves out time in the lesson, to teach theory. Ive tried to learn theory out of books and had no clue after the circle of fifths. Tims method of teaching theory is outstanding, interesting, and easy to understand. Tim also helps you get the most out of your lesson. The amount of material you cover in the lesson is related directly to how much practice time and/ the stage of development you are in. In my case, I have a lot of time to practice, but it takes me longer to learn certain things. So for each lesson, in general I usually have about 2-3 songs that I am learning, as well as various exercises, licks, melodies, jamming or improvising, and theory that supplement. At the lesson, typically Ill play the things that I learned and Tim will help out with areas of difficulty. Then, for most of the lesson we focus on the new material for the following week. Tim demonstrates the new material, records it in your lesson mp3, and emails it to you after the lesson. I then go home, use the amazing slow downer software to learn the new material measure-by-measure, or sometimes note-by-note. I also will often practice jamming/improvising over backing tracks that Tim provides, wrestle with pesky exercises and blues licks, review theory, continue with rhythm studies, or sometimes only one or two of these things. The pace is up to you, but the most important thing for me is constantly finding the balance of hard work to pure enjoyment aspects of the guitar. Last note, Ive heard that everyone goes through burnout at some point or several points along the journey. I am no exception; Tim is great at helping the student through this inevitability, by giving a heavier dose of more fun and lighter fare when needed. With Tim it always seems to be, just what the doctor ordered. Couldnt recommend him more highly.
Chris Huber
'Tim is by far the best teacher I've ever had. He is extremely knowledgeable and diverse in every aspect of music. He has the ability to structure a program specific to each student's individual goals. In addition to his amazing playing ability he's also super cool guy. I highly recommend him for anyone interested in becoming a better musician.
Colin Farnell
'Tim, your knowledge of all types of guitar is amazing. You have taken me from having an interest in playing the guitar, and instilled the desire to become a true musician. For this, I owe you everything. As an instructor, you always gave me musical pieces of progressing difficulty, without any unreal expectations. In one summer, I accomplished more than I thought I would in a few years, which can definitely be attributed to your talent as a teacher and a musician.
Andrew Krause
'My son has taken a mere 6 lessons with Tim and undoubtedly learned more during those lessons than in his previous three years of guitar lessons. As an award-winning, veteran teacher (myself), I recognize good teaching. Tim is a professional and encouraging teacher. He is extremely organized, and the lessons are structured to fit the needs and desires of the student. Tim has high expectations, a tremendous knowledge base and treats his students with respect despite their age or ability. He uses technology to give meaningful practice assignments and even records the entire lesson for reference. Tim is the ultimate professional yet still maintains his "cool" factor, a mighty attraction for a teen guitarist!
Melinda Wollitz
'I feel privileged to have studied with a teacher that has the breadth and depth of musicianship to fully embrace a wide variety of styles, including Rock, Blues, Slide, Jazz, Country, Finger-style, and Classical genres. Tim uses published and original materials, personal transcriptions, and customized studies to convey ideas; his lessons aren't just something "off the shelf" from a music store. He continually worked to find what motivated me, helped shape musical goals, re-awakened an interest in Jazz, and inspired me to dig deeper into all aspects of music. Those studies directly helped with advanced placement at LA Music Academy.
Kevin Sven Berg
'Tim, you are hands-down the best guitar teacher in San Diego. After studying with you for over a year, I can honestly tell you that last month I tried a few other teachers. I did this strictly because of money, as my disposable income is tight right now. After trying 4-5 other teachers there is just no comparison. It wasnt even close! Despite being able to pay less for other teachers, the quality of those lessons was not even worth 1/2 of what you deliver. Tims teaching methods and mastery of the guitar, along with his use of computer technology, and personable attitude, ensure the most effective and efficient lessons. No one out there offers up the total package like Tim.
Dave Weiss
''I had been playing guitar for 9 years before I met Tim and I was in a blues rut. Being mostly self-taught, I only excelled at blues. The idea of learning how to play fluid jazz like my heroes Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino and Kenny Burrell was just a distant dream. That is, until I found Tim. I can still remember the first time I sat in front of him for my first lesson. I knew right away that he possessed the knowledge, skill and patience that I was looking for in a professional guitar instructor. It was a no-brainer. I knew he would be the one to take my guitar playing to the next level and beyond. Tim has always challenged me physically and mentally. His materials and methods are of the highest caliber. Anyone interested in kicking their rut should beat a path to his door! It will significantly improve your playing...it has for me! '
Sergio Villaroel
'Tim, What a fantastic lesson this week. I'm always amazed at how you are so prepared to react when I come to a lesson and change directions on you. I don't know if its because you are so experienced or because you're thinking a few steps ahead of me. Either way, that's what makes your instruction so great. You can gently ( or firmly, if required) correct my errors, lead me where I need to go and adapt so quickly when I make a no-notice turn on you, like this past lesson. What a feast of techniques and possibilities you laid out before me, and with absolutely no advance warning. I am still extracting all the gems from the recorded lesson and probably will be doing so for months. These recorded lessons are a reference I will be referring back to for years. I leave every lesson with a new set of tools and a new dose of enthusiasm. You're simply terrific. Thanks again
Ron Harris