Guitar Instruction by Phil Westfall

Colorado Springs, CO

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

There are as many ways to learn to play modern popular music on guitar, bass or vocals as there are people wanting to do so. That's why I broke away from the "old school," the traditional, the factory-style, "one size fits all" approaches still typical in the industry today. I emphasize a Fun Style way of learning, first by helping people learn to play THEIR Music of Choice, second by breaking it down to a level of simplicity. Everyone I work with starts playing something from the very first lesson. They're excited to go home and play the new things they've just learned. I strive to keep it fun; after all, there's always something new and cool to play!

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I love watching my players' eyes light up when they discover that they too can play their favorite music. Many find that becoming a Musician is a thrilling, life-transforming process, bringing confidence and healing. This is what makes teaching music my "dream job come true."
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Location

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Background check

Complete

Years in business

12

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

71

Reviews

36 Reviews
  • Rachel W. Sep 17, 2017
    Guitar Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Phil is great! My son loves jamming with him. He has a convenient location down town and is very flexible!
    Phil W. Sep 17, 2017

    Rachel, thank you. Your son is awesome :)

  • Candice D. Sep 16, 2017
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    He has a very calming personality which has worked very well with my 16 year old son.
    Phil W. Sep 16, 2017

    Thank you, Candice. He's a great young player, and I really enjoy playing guitar with him.

  • Jordan P. Sep 16, 2017
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Phil W. Sep 16, 2017

    Thank you very much, Jordan. It's a pleasure singing with you!

  • Natthawut K. May 15, 2017
    Singing Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    He's awesome.
  • Lloyd D. Jan 13, 2017
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Was encouraged by my first lesson with Phil.
    Phil is patient..as a clumsy beginner that is important. He has a nice teaching style, he explains, then demonstrates, and had me follow.
  • Charles B. Nov 2, 2016
    Ukulele Lessons
    Verified Review
    One awesome dude
    The most awesome music teacher ever !
  • Elizabeth C. Oct 17, 2016
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Definitely recommend Phil!
    Guitar lessons with Phil are great. I appreciate his encouragement and patience, and feel I can truly succeed with his training.
  • Delia H. Aug 20, 2016
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    My first lesson was extremely positive and helpful. He put me right at ease. Phil was so cool and made the lesson easy to understand. He is very organized and talented. I can't wait to get rockin' like him.
  • Justin M. Mar 26, 2016
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
  • Gary L. Mar 14, 2016
    Singing Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    I received a quick response and found who I believe will be the right instructor for me.
  • Marc L. Feb 16, 2016
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    First lesson (free) was very informative. Looking forward to learning a lot with Phil.
  • Joseph W. Oct 1, 2015
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Great session! Phil quickly figured out what skill level I was at and what I needed to do to move toward the goals I laid out. He had literature, theory and actual jamming all in one session!
  • Annie A. Sep 27, 2015
    Guitar Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    We've had a wonerful experience with Phil so far. He's very nice and patient with my son.
  • Rob M. Sep 15, 2015
    Guitar Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Phil is a talented musician and an excellent instructor. He listens and really cares about what I want to learn and where I need to focus. I have made more progress these past few weeks than I've ever made before. Thank you, Phil!
  • Sean B. Aug 8, 2015
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Rob M. Feb 28, 2015
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Mary P. Nov 30, 2014
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Phil is the best!!!
  • Brian P. Sep 12, 2014
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Phiil is a very patient guitar instructor. I am looking forward to more lessons with him next week. I would highly recommend this instructor for anyone starting out, or that wants to up thier game!!
  • Fernando C. May 3, 2014
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Great Instructor. Very friendly and knowledgeable. I learned more in one hour than I could have thought I would. If you never played the guitar and you wish to learn, I highlyi might have smirk recommend Mr. Phill.
  • Sean C. Jan 30, 2014
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Phil is an outstanding instructor. Not only did he reply faster than any other service I registered for, but Phil is always professional, helpful, and fun to learn from. I recommend you start practicing with fill TODAY!
  • Patrick U. Oct 29, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Had my first lesson with Phil, a full hour. Best guitar instructor I've had. Smart, funny, but didn't waste time. Taught me something new and important within the first few minutes! Very impressed so far.
  • Bryan B. Oct 20, 2013
    Singing Lessons
    Verified Review
    Phil is fun to work with. He's very knowledgeable and made me feel comfortable. He genuinely cared about my progress. Thanks Phil!
  • Ron L. Oct 19, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    Phil unlocked the secrets of playing bass; as a beginner he gave me the confidence to try more difficult works with his encouragement, I look forward to working again with him!
  • Gene P. Oct 11, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Amy D. Jul 19, 2013
    My daughter has been a student of Phil's for over 3 years and I can say with no hesitation that he is a wonderfully gifted musician and teacher. Additionally, he's a really good person. I'm not musical so I don't understand the nuances but within 3 lessons with Phil, my daughter was playing one of her favorite songs on guitar. He uses a method that is not intimidating or overly technical out the gate. But the more advanced my daughter became, the more technical her lessons could get. My daughter looked forward to every lesson and the easy going comfortable manner that Phil approached their lesson. Phil is encouraging and enthusiastic in a 'cool' way that appealed to my daughter through her pre-teen and teen years. Several years after her first guitar lesson with Phil, she wanted to play keyboard so he began teaching her keyboard too! Eventually we moved to Denver and were sad to have to drop our lessons down to once a month but lessons with Phil have been worth every mile we drive to keep his positive presence and gifted instruction in my daughter's life.
  • David N. May 31, 2013
    I started working with Phil around 3+ years ago. I am retired and decided that I should do something about my interest in playing guitar, something I had just started a looooong time ago. I was NOT interested in CD's and DVD's which are fixed in their approach and sequence. I have found that Phil does a first rate job of tailoring instruction to the skills and interests of the student. Just starting? The songs, which you choose, are worked up and made playable at that level. As you grow, Phil can work with you on about anything. Chord families, pentatonic scales, chord structures, solo work - I have found Phil to be quite knowledgeable about theory as well as being a very capable musician himself. Adult learners are different from kids and teens. I cannot address how Phil does with that group but as an adult student, I have found my work with Phil to be very effective and rewarding.
  • Bill B. May 24, 2013
    Phil is easy to work with, professional and affordable. I have been taking weekly private lessons for over four years. I started knowing nothing and can now play and sing pretty well. Phil never makes you feel dumb and finds a way to teach so you can learn.
  • Seth K. May 19, 2013
    Phil is easy to work with. He was able to customize each lesson to where I was at and what I was interested in. If you are looking for someone who enjoys teaching and playing music Phil is the best teacher in town.
  • Mark (Drew) B. May 19, 2013
    Great Mentor
  • Trey L. May 17, 2013
    A met Phil a bit randomly when I was surfing around for someone to help guide me on my journey with the guitar a couple of years ago. His "fun style" approach keeps it fresh, holds your interest, and really works. There is a ton of information on the internet, but it's hard to make sense of it on your own. Phil was the perfect "sensei". I'm proud to call Phil my teacher, jam partner, band mate, and friend.
  • Ron G. May 16, 2013
    Phil is my guitar instructor because of his dedication and love for the art. He brings a refreshing style to what once (in the past) was boring, boring ...and, in my case, quite difficult. His approach is to teach the songs that I want to play as opposed to learning all the basics of music. The basics can come later, but to keep my interests moving ahead, Phil directs his efforts at what I am more capable of instead of just falling into the pits of humdrum. And, despite that I am mostly thumbs on a stringed instrument, Phil encourages me to get emotional about the songs that I like and shows a level of sincere desire and compassion in every way. He makes me want to be at every appointment for my lessons. What a great package all wrapped up in -- Phil Westfall. I highly recommend him as your guitar instructor of choice. You will be thrilled with the results.
  • Jeff J. May 16, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Dan M. May 15, 2013
    Fun style is the way to go. Phil teaches you to play the songs you want to learn with as much or as little theory as you desire. A dramatic improvement over the factory or book method.
  • Leigh C. May 15, 2013
    I took guitar lessons from Phil from August 2012 - Feb 2013. He was professional and on time and personable and his rates were reasonable. On the one hand, his schedule was busy so that's good for business but because of that, our schedules did not fit together.
  • Tina S. May 15, 2013
    Phil has become part of our family. He has taught my son guitar for four+ years. He has taken him from a beginner to playing lead guitar for the Cheyenne Mountain High School Jazz band. We love Phil!!
  • Andrea J. Apr 6, 2013
    Guitar Lessons
    Verified Review
    I received a response immediately and everything went well setting up instruction. I am pleased with first class and plan to continue indefinitely. Learning songs I like is great.

Q&A

How did you get started doing this type of work?
I saw the need for a more relaxed, yet accelerated approach to playing for today's busy student. I was taught people in bands how to play their repertoires for about 30 years before turning to offer my services to the general public. My calendar is always full. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I can honestly state that I don't have any competition in my field here in Colorado Springs at this time.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Helping people to learn the guitar in a new, fun way. Wrangling virtually any song of your choice to help you play it, while coming to understand and apply the note theory and beat theory behind it. Showing players how to figure out most popular songs, as well as improvise -- groovily and with feeling. Hosting two kinds free jams: Acoustic and the Band Jam. Everyone's welcome! These jams let players experience the thrill of group playing, and are designed to be comfortably easy.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Think about what it is you specifically want to play. Do you just want to be able to strum and sing around the campfire? What styles of music are you into? If you're into Metal or Blues, for instance, will the teacher you are interviewing start you right out on those things? Because they should! For instance, there's no point in learning classical music styles if you're into modern pop.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Most players do not need to learn to read "music" (Standard Notation) to achieve their goals. They do need some form of charting to help them remember how to play the things we cover, back at home. I use several methods of charting, depending on the individual student's needs -- from the very simple, all the way up to some super-cool, advanced tools.