More Praise from My Students

Meeting Brad Barnes and taking guitar lessons from him was ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I’VE EVER DONE. Not only did I befriend a fantastic person, but I learned a lot about the guitar, as well. I’ve wanted to play acoustic guitar since I was little. I was looking for a good instructor and was referred by a mutual friend and former student of Brad’s. I was definitely a beginner, but Brad never made me feel that way. He was very encouraging and that helped to keep me motivated. I ALWAYS LOOKED FORWARD TO MY LESSONS. He’s an amazing guitarist and seeing him perform live is always a phenomenal show. He’s an excellent instructor for any level of guitar playing, and I highly recommend him. Brad is one of the best people I know, and his love of music is very apparent on both a performance and instructional level. IT JUST DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER!!
— Jama Plotts
I DON’T BELIEVE I WAS EVER SUPPOSED TO PLAY GUITAR. My fingers are short and stubby, and they don’t move particularly fast. However, Brad Barnes was able to teach me the true value of hard work when it comes to playing this wonderful instrument. Brad showed me what it takes to OVERCOME THE MENTAL BLOCK in improving your playing. His sheer dedication to his own scale work during his warm-ups should have been convincing enough, but I believe I was a little more stubborn than the rest. I needed a little more persuasion to believe that I wanted to put in the necessary work to legitimately play the guitar.
Brad BUILT UP MY CONFIDENCE AND MY SKILL SET each week for five years. I wasn’t interested in learning other people’s songs; I had always wanted my own songs to write, record, and perform. He made it so easy for me to learn the CAGED system as well as modes. After each lesson I would go home and write a new song based on what I had just learned. With Brad’s patience and amazing teaching ability, I AM NOW A COMPLETE GUITARIST and feel I can effectively communicate my ideas both verbally and with my playing. I AM NOW A BELIEVER.
I attribute all the success I’ve had in music to Brad. In high school, my band won a battle of the bands competition put on by NAMM and our prize was to play a show at Musik Messe in Frankfurt, Germany. Since high school, I’ve been playing in a band called Gum and Ketchup. We recently finished our first album Friends of Friends, and Brad’s lessons are densely packed within each song. When I listen to my songs it takes me right back to the lessons where I had honed these techniques. I am forever grateful, and I encourage anyone who reads this to BELIEVE IN BRAD.
— David Galstyan

Bassist for Gum and Ketchup

Oh Brad Barnes ! About a year ago I decided to take some guitar lessons to clean up my playing. I asked around for a few suggestions on who I should go to and they all said, “Go to Brad Barnes”. After my first lesson with him it was clear to me why HE’S THE ONLY NAME I HEARD ANYONE SAY. He understands guitar playing from the inside out, the under, the over and the in between. When it comes to the mental aspect of playing, practicing and performing, he is also a master. A good teacher not only needs to have the knowledge and understanding of what they are teaching, but also the ability to deliver that knowledge to their student. BRAD IS A NATURAL TEACHER. When I play and perform these days I am constantly using things I learned from him. Whether it’s to relax my hand, remember to breathe or to add accents to the chords, I’M HEARING HIS WORDS AS I PLAY. He is a badass in every way, talented and warm-hearted, and I RECOMMEND LEARNING GUITAR FROM HIM ABOVE ANYONE ELSE!
— Katie Carroll

Dallas Singer-Songwriter. Learn more about Katie.

I was looking for guitar lessons in the spring of 2000, and Brad’s website was the one that came up first in the Google search for “Dallas guitar lessons.” Most would immediately assume upon seeing his site that Brad was a pro, and that he knew what he was talking about – and they’d be right. I took private lessons with Brad for years and since doing so, the guitar has become an integral part of my life and career as a professional musician.
Brad was able to break down guitar concepts in a way immediately applicable to me, and instantly useful in any musical situation. Even though I had a classical background playing brass instruments and piano, the guitar quickly became the central instrument in my career. I’ve since won 2 Emmy awards, scored films, played in countless sessions, done hundreds of shows a year, and am currently a full time record producer/songwriter – all built on the foundation of being able to pick up a guitar, and play.
Brad’s innovative methods directly contributed to the successes I have had in my career as a musician, which is why I always recommend him to anyone who needs lessons or wants to improve their skills at guitar. I never known anyone more passionate about teaching the guitar, period. Brad is the absolute best!!
— Josh Goode

Emmy-winning artist. Visit

When I started guitar lessons, my main goal was to learn music theory and to improve my playing because I HAD BEEN STUCK IN A RUT FOR YEARS. At my first lesson, I had no clue how to tell what the key signature was, how to build chords, what a “real” major scale was (not a major pentatonic scale), arpeggios, and I can go on and on. We started slow and just constantly built on what I had learned the prior week. Now, I can look at a key signature and immediately know what key it’s in. I can play all of my major scales, minor scales, and know all the different modes, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc. I can also play different arpeggios, major, minor, minor 7, and so on, which I can use to play over chords as well as use during solos, especially in jazz.
But one of the things I am most grateful about learning, is how to build chords. This is not only good to know for playing the guitar, but it can also use it with any instrument. I found myself sitting at a piano this last week trying to play a song and could immediately play it because I knew the chords and what notes made up those chords. IT WAS A GREAT FEELING TO BE ABLE TO TAKE WHAT I LEARNED ON ONE INSTRUMENT AND APPLY IT TO ANOTHER.
I would recommend Brad Barnes as a music teacher. He’s funny, goofy, and RELATES WHAT YOU’RE LEARNING TO SOMETHING YOU CAN IDENTIFY WITH to make it easier to learn and remember. But most of all, the guy is smart. He really knows his music theory, and everything dealing with it, backwards, forwards, and every direction in-between.
— Jeremy Wendel