Mark Hanson is no longer offering private guitar lessons. He recommends the teachers at Tommy's Guitar Shop in Everett, Washington. Visit for contact information and directions.

Mark has been playing guitar for over 35 years. He received his Associate Arts in Music degree from Yakima Valley College in Yakima, Washington, and spent a year at Berlkee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He has played in several local bands in the Yakima and Seattle area. He is currently on the worship team at Mill Creek Foursquare Church in Lynnwood, Washington.  During the 2007-2008 school year, he was in the Edmonds Community College Jazz Band.


What method and material do you recommend for teaching?

This depends entirely on the student’s interests and abilities. There is a wealth of educational material available – I wish half of it was available when I was just starting! Two books that I often recommend are:

Beginning Acoustic Guitar by Greg Horne, Alfred Publishing

Beginning Rock Guitar by Paul Howard, Alfred Publishing

I recommend the version with the CD.  These can usually be found at or  I often use the amazon marketplace vendor imaginethis.  These books are part of the National Guitar Workshop series.  They have many other excellent books available at

One thing to look for is material that uses standard musical notation, not just tablature. If you have questions, contact me and I can help you pick out something that is right for you! I try to give a student a combination of fun material that they can use right away along with fundamental skills and theory that they can build on for the future.

Should I (or my child) start on acoustic guitar or electric guitar?

The answer is: it depends. There are many good reasons for starting on acoustic guitar – it is more portable since it doesn’t need an amplifier, and tends to be better suited as a solo instrument and for vocal accompaniment. However, studies show that the biggest predictor of success is desire, and if a student really wants to learn electric guitar, that is where they should start. Chances are, if they stick with it, they will eventually want an acoustic guitar too!


Mark T. Hanson is based in Lynnwood, Washington, just north of Seattle,
and is available for guitar performance, guitar lessons, and audio production.