Los Angeles-based guitarist, singer, songwriter and band leader Nikki O'Neill has a strong international reputation as a teacher who can inspire and connect with players of all levels.
Nikki's experience of teaching electric and acoustic guitar, ukulele, music theory and songwriting is extensive. It covers a broad range of popular music styles. Her students - adults, teens and kids (ages 5 and up) - include absolute beginners, intermediate players in bands, and touring professionals.
NIKKI'S TEACHING EXPERIENCE:
-author of the rock instruction book "Women's Road to Rock Guitar" (Alfred Music)
-group lessons in rock guitar at The New School in NYC
-staff guitar/ukulele/electric bass instructor at private music schools in LA, including Green Brooms Music Academy.
-guitar lesson articles for She Shreds Magazine
-teaching guitar over Skype to the Girls Rock Camp in Paris, France
-teaching songwriting and guitar workshops for kids and teens at NAMM's Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA
-video guitar instructor for Mahalo (with some of her lessons receiving over 340,000 YouTube views.)
-Regular international guest instructor at the ELLA rock music program in Sweden at Gotlands Folkhogskola.
As a performing guitarist, Nikki's personal style is alternative roots rock like Gary Clark Jr./Alabama Shakes inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Prince, blues and soul. She plays guitar, sings and writes music for an original music group. She also collaborates with other artists as a freelance musician in LA. In the winter of 2016, Nikki performed in Hawaii and California as the substitute guitarist for Mistress of Reality, an all-female Black Sabbath tribute.
The New School, NYC - music theory, fretboard theory, blues, r&b and rock guitar, basic audio engineering, songwriting
Kulturama, Stockholm (Sweden) - 1-year guitar program similar to Musicians Institute's GIT
Sodra Latins musikgymnasium, Stockholm, (Sweden) - 2-year high school music program incl. music theory, ear training, ensemble, jazz guitar, classical guitar, classical voice, choir, music history
Beginners and all ages are welcome! Many students describe Nikki's teaching style as patient and encouraging. She considers every student to have different musical interests and different ways of learning.
Common topics: sight reading, tablature, rhythms & strums, fretboard theory, song structures, fingerpicking, extended chord theory, harmony, inversions, scales, modes, lead playing, textures, soloing, music theory, time signatures, transcribing, ergonomics, and proper hand technique.
What if somebody just wants to learn a favorite song?
Nikki will provide the lyrics; go over the song's structure; chords; strumming patterns. She can also guide them in singing/playing at the same time, or show the song's lead/rhythm parts. She has transcribed hundreds of songs and solos in all kinds of genres: from pop to indie rock, classic rock, folk, R&B, film themes, kids' songs, and more. She frequently transcribes new popular songs and takes student requests.
Students get clear assignments to work on at each lesson. These cover specific fundamentals or performance studies. Each lesson begins with a review of the assignments from the previous lesson, followed by the introduction of new assignments. There's also a brief period where the student can have any specific interests or concerns addressed.
She keep records of what her students are working on (for effective follow-up).
1) "Nikki is a very knowledgeable yet easy going instructor who is very patiently teaching me the nuances of chord structures and strum rhythms for pop and rock guitar. She is affordable, flexible, understandable, personable and giving me instruction at a level and pace that is allowing me to progress at the pace I have time to put into the guitar right now."
Michael B (Yelp, Nikki's Guitar Lessons)
2) "I was lucky enough to find Nikki and have been taking guitar lessons with her for a couple of years. I can't recommend Nikki enough! Nikki is a wonderful guitar teacher. She breaks things down in a way that really works and is easy to understand from playing to theory. She really knows her stuff and is an extremely talented musician and teacher. She is very encouraging and patient. And to all those women out there considering joining Nikki's Women's School of Rock to learn guitar and one day join a band - because of Nikki that dream has come true for me!"
LS (Yelp, Nikki's Guitar Lessons)
3) "My 2 daughters started taking guitar classes with Nikki almost 9 years ago, they learned really fast because Nikki explains and teaches very well. She's also patient and understanding. She plays the guitar great and teaches her students to play it the best they can. When I was looking for a guitar teacher years ago I came across some guitar teachers who said the they were good and had studied here and there but when I met Nikki and after 2 or 3 classes I knew she was one of the best ones (if not the best) around town. I recommend her to any people interested in learning how to play the guitar like a professional."
Alex G (parent)