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About Ethan

Ethan teaches guitar, banjo, and mandolin to students of all ages. He combines organized and intuitive approaches to create individualized lesson plans for each of his students based on their unique strengths and interests, helping them to discover the joy of making music while also building their skill. He’s performed with various noteworthy musicians, including Nels Cline, Aoife O'Donovan, Robert Fripp, Adam Levy, Anthony Wilson, Patrick Shiroishi, Jack Kovacs, and Rees Finley. He holds a degree in Studio Guitar from USC (where he attended on scholarship), and has been mentored by musicians such as Bruce Forman, Bryan Sutton, and Julian Lage. He also records and performs as a bandleader and collaborator, with a particular bent towards improvisation, acoustic music, and songs.

Q&A with Ethan

Which musician would you like to play with?

So many! Paul Simon, Bon Iver, Anais Mitchell, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Sam Amidon, Aoife O'Donovan, Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, Andrew Bird, and many more.

Which musician has influenced you the most?

Bill Frisell

What can you teach me better on your instrument than any other teacher?

Fretboard knowledge, flatpicking, fingerpicking, improvising, and learning songs.

How did you learn to play your instrument?

I took a lot of lessons, played with lots of other musicians, and played every day.

What equipment do you play on today?

Acoustic guitars by Martin, Gibson & Bourgeois, electric guitars by Nash, Collings & Old Style.

Which personal trait helped you the most while practicing?

I'm able to break down seemingly complex musical ideas into small, manageable tasks. Also, patience.

What does your instrument have that others don't?

The guitar is a magical instrument because it's like a miniature orchestra: every string is a different voice. It's also deeply tactile in a beautiful way: every person's playing sounds unique and personal to them, simply because of how their hands touch the guitar.

How do you handle children?

I love working with children who love music and are enthusiastic about learning to play. I aim to teach in a way that captivates and motivates the student, helping them continually discover the joy in making music, regardless of their age or skill level.

What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?

Simply getting to live and breathe music every day has been and continues to be the greatest experience I could ever imagine- it's all I ever dreamed of growing up.

What was the biggest stage you played on?

Royce Hall at UCLA, with Nels Cline (of Wilco)

Which record would you take with you to the desert island?

"Hejira" by Joni Mitchell

Besides music, what else is important in your life?

My girlfriend & family

Music style(s)


Level(s) Comfortable Teaching

Advanced-beginner, intermediate, advanced

What languages can you teach in?



Bands, Projects, Notable Performances, Collaborations

I've released 5 recordings as a bandleader or collaborator– the newest is coming spring 2022. I've also backed up indie and Americana songwriters like Harrison Whitford (playing on his latest album "Afraid of Nothing") and Johanna Samuels, performed with trailblazing guitar legends like Nels Cline and Robert Fripp, recorded with free-jazz saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, and even toured with pop starlet Ava Max.

Other Music-related work / goals

Currently working on a book with fellow guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones) titled "String Theories: Tips, Challenges & Reflections for the Lifelong Guitarists" - coming in 2022.


Graduated with honors from USC Thornton School of Music with a B.M. degree in Studio/Jazz Guitar.

Personal Interests

Reading, cooking, hiking, comedy, vintage musical instruments

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