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Home>Search>Sam Davis Guitar and Bass Lessons

Sam Davis Guitar and Bass Lessons

393 Broadway, Apt. B.S. Cambridge, MA
Cambridge, MA 02139
(857) 998-8561
The hardest working guitar teacher in New England!
Based on 19 reviews.

General Information
Levels: Beginner through Professional.

Styles: Jazz, Blues, Rock, Folk, Funk.

Specializing in the practical application of improvisational theory: an artful and systematic framework for a thorough fretographic realization of the fundamental musical materials. You won't find a more committed and engaging teacher!

And, all major credit cards accepted!

Products & Services
Teaching Style: Friendly, patient, coherent, responsible and responsive, occasionally entertaining...

Cost: The basic rate is $50 an hour. For the special "Commitment to Excellence" discount, just pay for 10 lessons in advance and receive two f
    Based on 19 reviews.
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Sam Davis is a wonderful guitar teacher and a very nice guy. I've
enjoyed every lesson I've had with him. It had been over 35 years
since I had taken guitar lessons as a teenager and I was a bit anxious
to find a teacher who would help me restart my fretboard explorations.
Sam was the perfect teacher for this. He introduced me to a host of
new concepts, exercises, and ideas. I particularly appreciate the
quality of the written materials he gave me each lesson. These charts
and diagrams will be a rich resource for me to draw from for years to
come. I feel lucky to have found Sam and sat in the student's chair. I
also feel quite privileged to have been introduced to Darla.
66 Months Ago by JayC|Report Abuse
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I have been taking guitar lessons with Sam Davis for a year, and he is a great teacher. Not only has he taught me a lot, he is also very friendly, funny, and nice. He has taught me all sorts of chords, songs, and music theory. He figures out each individual's needs and customizes the lessons accordingly.
His underground lair is an enchanting setting.
During my lesson, my mom likes to relax on the extremely comfortable couch and listen to Sam and me play music.
If you are looking for an amazing guitar teacher, call Sam Davis.

Age 11
76 Months Ago by jonah|Report Abuse
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Sam is an incredibly qualified and personable teacher who conducts lessons out of his tidy, colorful, and centrally located apartment in Cambridge and offers very flexible hours. I have been taking acoustic guitar lessons from Sam for almost ten years now. Sam is very interesting and eccentric but unlike many people who fit that description, he is very organized and reliable. This ability to offer the best of both worlds really sums up why Sam is so special as a person and as a teacher. He is brilliant but able to tailor his knowledge to each student's particular level of ability and interest. He is happy to go with the flow of where you want to take your learning or can custom design a course of study for you. Either way, you will leave with either a pre-printed sheet of music or one that Sam has instantly rendered and precisely annotated with what you have just covered. Save them and you've got a great reference guide for future learning. I have learned tons and have had a really good time doing it.
86 Months Ago by Allison|Report Abuse
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I've taken acoustic guitar lessons from Sam Davis for the past four years and it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. When I came in, I "knew" four open-position chords (but I couldn't tell you how to construct any other chords!) and could barely play "Smells Like Teen Spirit,". Now I can play and sing at the same time, I actually practice and I know James Taylor and can improvise blues and folk guitar. That's like waking up one day and knowing Kung Fu. TRUE STORY.

Sam doesn't care how much you do or don't know, he always tailors lessons to you. He is a mystic musicality guru who knows all the gaps in knowledge, bad habits and failure to practice that stand in the way of the guitar player you are today and the guitar player you want to be.

Sam Davis is not a lesson manager or slave driver. He's one of the best people you will know, masquerading as the best guitar teacher you'll ever have. Be you 8 or 80, a novice or a virtoso. Sam Davis is appropriate for all ages.
87 Months Ago by w0z|Report Abuse
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I have been taking guitar lessons from Sam from many years, and I have learned so much from him! Sam is eclectic and extremely intelligent. He has a holistic understanding of the instrument and of how to teach it - both for song playing and theory. Taking lessons in his apartment instead of a little music room is far more comfortable and fun, too.

I often bring ideas for new songs to learn, and Sam can easily and quickly learn the song (if he doesn't already know by heart, which he often does), and then prepare the chord progressions and strumming on the spot, and within a few minutes we are playing it together.

Sam is very active around Cambridge/Somerville music scene, playing with different bands, including lots of gigs at Johnny D's. It is always a blast to hear him play.

Sam is truly a unique person and a great teacher, and I am happy to count him as a teacher and friend.
89 Months Ago by guitargirl|Report Abuse
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Taking guitar lessons from Sam is a completely different experience than any other guitar teacher I have ever had. Sam is nowhere near your average guitar instructor teaching out of a back in room in a cheesy music store. He teaches out of his apartment in Cambridge and he has a cow themed decor that really adds to the surreal experience. Sam is a wonderful guitar teacher and his understanding of music and his ability to communicate it is on par with any instruction you would get in a formal music program at a university. He is a bit of a local celebrity and he has the whole cow thing going on but don't let that take away from the fact that you will get really good musical instruction here.
89 Months Ago by Ritchie Rich|Report Abuse
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Our son has a passion for guitar. He has been strumming guitars, books, brooms, tennis rackets since age 3. He first expressed his desire to take guitar lessons when he was 4. My wife and I then started to ask our friends in Cambridge and Boston, if a guitar teacher would be crazy enough to teach a 4y old. We thought that person did not exist, until we found Sam.

Sam is undoubtedly unique. He is enthusiastic and warm, amazingly patient, funny, extremely knowledgeable. He is very creative in finding ways to teach while maintaining the joy of playing. Our son always looks forward to seeing Sam. Besides, we have the genuine feeling that Sam is happy to teach our son. Sam is a fabulous teacher.

We are so thankful to have been able to connect our son with him.
91 Months Ago by romain|Report Abuse
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From the kid: I have been studying with Sam since I was six or seven, and I'm 12 now, so you might guess that i like him. he teaches music great, and he's a nice guy, too. i study songs that i like, songs that are challenging, and music theory as well.

From the parent: Sam is an excellent teacher and plays a mean guitar. My son has grown in skill, happily, for years. I've had a few lessons with Sam, too, and what impressed me most was his ability to meet me where I was at while provide real, solid, original instruction.

Go see this guy!
93 Months Ago by peregrinehill|Report Abuse
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Sam is a very excellent personality, with very excellent teaching technique. I highly recommend him. I've been working with him for 2 years and I always look forward to seeing him. Call is funky a** and make an appointment!
93 Months Ago by DP|Report Abuse
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Generally speaking, I’m not one for teachers, but I quickly discovered that Sam is not your average guitar teacher (or player, for that matter). Not only is his knowledge of music extensive and seemingly endless, it is also without pretense--a rare virtue in the guitar world.
However, what truly sets Sam apart from the scads of other teachers is his unique ability to convey complex information in a manner that is understandable to beginners, working professionals, and those of us stuck somewhere in between. He is especially gifted at transforming the theoretical into the practical: he actually shows you how to integrate and apply modes, scales (the triads within the scales…), chord structures, etc., to your own music, thus enabling you to become more creative. He is beyond patient, never, ever makes you feel stupid for asking questions, and is one of the funniest guys around, not to mention one of the smartest.
Aside from all of that, Sam has been extremely flexible with scheduling and understanding that not everyone can afford to come every week. I usually go two or three times a month, budget permitting. He is easy to get a hold of, and always replies to texts/calls/emails quickly. I also love that he writes out all of the stuff you’ve gone over, so that you have material you can refer back to throughout the week, month, year, etc. You know the guy loves to teach when he tells you to call him if you find you don’t understand something or have additional questions. And he means it, too.
I have found Sam’s knowledge to be invaluable, and his teaching style second to none. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
93 Months Ago by stupid_girl|Report Abuse
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Music is a new field of knowledge for me, and Sam was a perfect person to introduce me to it. He is everything anyone could imagine an inspiring music instructor to be: informative and cool.

Sam is a passionate player, as well as a very sophisticated theoretician, and great instructor,
who knows how to find the individual approach to each student, and make the experience enjoyable
and informative at the same time, condensing complex, intricate material to accessible bits in seconds.

You would be taken by his fluency with diverse music styles, from Blues to Jazz to Rock, and
knowledge of its history.

I would recommend him to anyone with any levels of experience: beginners to advanced. Sam has magical surprises in his toolbox for everyone!
93 Months Ago by KP|Report Abuse
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Sam is great! I've been taking bass lessons from Sam for over a year. I was originally referred by my brother Whitney, who has taken guitar lessons with Sam since 2005. Sam is a great teacher, awesome to play with, and a blast to hang out with. Perfect for all ages, and all skill levels.

An hour never seems like enough, and you'll always leave with a smile on your face, guaranteed!!
93 Months Ago by phillips84|Report Abuse
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I have been taking bass guitar lessons with Sam Davis for almost a year now. Having had some previous experience taking lessons, i really feel that in a short amount of time not only has my learning rate accelerated but my enthusiasm for playing has increased greatly. Shortly after starting lessons with Sam he connected me to other students, encouraging us to play together which of course was a big confidence boost. He regularly facilitates jam sessions which allows us to practically apply the theory and technique that he imparts during lessons. This class environment has demonstrated his skills in nurturing group collaboration which i think is essential in learning to play with others! He is always encouraging and is clearly attentive to different learning styles. I have on several occasions seen him perform professionally which further attests to his versatility and talent as a performer as well as teacher. I am a full-time dance teacher and continually draw inspiration from his creative and always professional approach to teaching. And of course, his sense of humour, charisma and kindness add to the overall lesson experience. I would happily recommend him and frequently do to anyone interested in taking lessons.
94 Months Ago by melodie|Report Abuse
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Sam has been my guitar teacher for several years now. It has been a great experience. He is a very skilled guitar player, a fantastic teacher, and someone I consider a good friend. I had taken some lessons in the past, but never connected with a teacher like I have with Sam.

While he does have a system, especially for more advanced guitar, I have always felt that Sam seems to gauge perfectly where I am on the day I have a lesson. I always walk out of the lessons wanting to pick up my guitar again and play, and I can say that other teachers haven't been able to work that same magic.

I would also say, Sam connects to people and students of all ages. My son is 5, my daughter is 2... so long as I am still in the metro Boston area and Sam is still teaching, their first lessons will be with Sam the Cow Man!
94 Months Ago by adamb02155|Report Abuse
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I've been a student of Sam's for a few years now and he's been such a personality since the day I met him. He lives on a hill on Broadway, equidistant from Harvard and Central Square. The first thing to say about Sam is that he knows his stuff. He may not consider himself to be a good guitarist, but he's just being humble. Also, he knows so much about music theory, so he's the perfect guy if you're into that sort of thing. When he writes his master book about the theory of music and everything, you can be proud to know you heard the wisdom firsthand from the guru himself.

He knows a wide variety of songs and will totally roll with whatever works with you. He tailors his lessons to your personality and what makes you happy. Furthermore, he breaks up the monotony of lessons with very lighthearted jokes and will get into a discussion with you about whatever you want. He loves laughing and being just a highly personable guy. It's nearly impossible to hate him.

Also, the dude's got mad connections, so he can get you in touch with people in a whole bunch of fields if you're into that sort of thing. He's such a quirky and crazy man that he'll change your life perspective very quickly. With an awesome cow in his quaint basement lair, you will feel like you are sitting down with a true god in his craft. But don't cross him, or you'll be subjected to the Torture Chamber. And the Torture Chamber is freaky.

Take lessons with this man, and your life will be complete. The eternal path to supreme knowledge will open for you and you will experience an hour of nirvana every week. Thus, Sam Davis is the man.
94 Months Ago by jamesy|Report Abuse
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Getting there: Sam's location on Broadway is fairly easy to get to by T, walking distance from my apartment, or by car (he has guest parking permits).

The space: Sam's pad-cum-studio is a reflection of his personality. Fanciful, eclectic, colorful, and bovine...I don't want to ruin the experience, but I suggest you suspend all disbelief before entering his domain. Oh, and ask him about "the cow." Enjoying surrealism will help you enjoy the space.

The instruction: I've been a student of Sam's for 4 months now, and it has been going very well. Sam and I discuss where I want to focus my learning effort on, and he tailors our time together to help me achieve my goals. In addition to being an excellent guitarist, he can comfortably teach important musical theories, helping me move from "sort of guitar player" to "guitarist" and "musician."

Sam's style: Sam is really friendly and easy to get along with. Given the nature of a one-on-one teacher-student relationship, this is critical. Though he can definitely be, "fanciful, eclectic, colorful, and bovine," he takes his music very seriously. His style naturally puts you at ease, and makes you feel comfortable with trying some new or difficult concept. Sam is a great teacher, no doubt.

Logistics: Sam will schedule lessons any day of the week, from roughly 9AM to 9PM. Lessons are $50/hr. with a discount if you book 10 lessons at a time.

So why 4 stars, and not 5? There are two reasons:
1. I've only been a student for 4 months. In time I might revise my rating - you can rate a restaurant on Yelp having been once, but I feel like this is different.
2. $50 per lesson is a little more than other instructors in the area. However, I believe that in this case you get what you pay for.

If you're looking for a great guitar instructor, I recommend you talk to Sam and schedule a lesson.
94 Months Ago by Varun M|Report Abuse
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Sam is the best teacher my son could have. They both share a wickedly subversive sense of humor which is originally what pulled my son in. On top of that Sam has a deep knowledge of music,music theory etc all of which he is magically somehow painlessly transferring to my son. How does he do it? I don't know but he is amazing. Sam gets all the stars.
94 Months Ago by mother|Report Abuse
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I have had many guitar teachers. Sam is the best. I have been taking lessons from him for 6 years. He is a generous, creative spirit and a talented musician. Whatever your skill level, he will enthusiastically guide your exploration of music--a world he thoroughly inhabits and loves.
94 Months Ago by Tom G|Report Abuse
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What can I say? Sam is the best of the best. I have been going to him for two years and its has been a great investment in myself. Originally I was just frustrated and wanted to learn guitar after years of failure with self teaching. My goal was to play 10 songs well and give up, at least then I could rationalize all my guitar related purchases.

Well things have changed and now I want to learn theory, and I'm getting it because I hear music and can figure out whats going on, or what will happen next and it blows me away. Lucky for both Sam and I he is a very patient teacher, because at times it feels I learn at half the speed of others. But I can now rock out and it feels great.

Little did I know that one day I would meet a bass player who takes lessons from him and we would would one day start a band. Nor did I know my friend would join and also start taking lessons from Sam. Its always fun when he lets us doing a group lesson once in awhile. I've gone from learning songs to learnin
95 Months Ago by DanP|Report Abuse
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