Fran Banish
Fran Banish

Fran Banish

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Introduction: Learn guitar with the best. With the guitar coach to the stars. Now in Chicago. Guitar coach to Bob Dylan and family, Keb Mo, Jackson Browne, Will Ferrell, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Weezer and many more*. Hi, I'm Fran Banish, guitarist, singer-songwriter, recording engineer, producer, and instructor. Former lead guitarist with The Keb Mo Band and Duncan Sheik. I have Gold Record writing and playing credits (with Duncan Sheik on Atlantic Records**), and a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University. I've been teaching guitar, music theory for guitarists, and doing songwriting coaching since the late-'80's. I was on the teaching staff of McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA from 1989-2015. McCabe's, founded in 1958, is one of the oldest and coolest guitar shops in the US. I recently relocated back to the Chicago area after 27 years of live gigs, touring, playing on TV and film soundtracks, and teaching in Los Angeles, and I have time available for private music instruction, songwriting coaching, recording engineering and live music performance tailored to your needs. My teaching specialties are: Beginning guitar: Getting people off to a great start. The history of Blues and Rock guitar, all the styles over the years: classic songs and solos. Acoustic and Electric guitar. Pick and fingerstyle guitar. Slide guitar. Organizing your practice and developing good technique. Music Theory for guitarists Ear training and playing what you hear. Improvisation Songwriting Reading tab and standard notation Introduction to Jazz guitar Introduction to Classical guitar Guitar set-up and maintenance Vintage guitar and gear appraisal Recording engineering and Pro Tools I teach at my recording studio space at Music Garage Chicago (60607), and online at JamKazam (a free app with great features, much better than Skype). I teach with a guitar, a laptop, and a printer, and can pull up about 2,500 documents stored; song charts and transcriptions, music theory reference sheets, explanations, and more. The lessons are tailored to the student's interests & needs. I often write charts and transcriptions of students' song requests, and explain the process, so they can see it done. I also use, and can teach you how to use Garageband, and Transcribe software during a lesson. Also, I've been involved with recording since I was a teenager; first with tape, then digital, and have been working with Digital Audio Workstations for almost 20 years, and with Pro Tools for 10 years. For folks interested in recording, my studio at Music Garage has a Mac Pro/ProTools rig clocked by an Apogee Big Ben and it sounds great. It's loaded with a selection of classic plug-ins by Bomb Factory, Digidesign, Waves, and McDSP. Mics include a Korby convertible tube mic with Neumann U47 and AKG C12 style capsules, two AKG C414's, three 451E's , and a C1000. Electro Voice RE15's, RE20, 666, and 635. Beyer M88, Altec 639a, and a selection of Shure mics: 545, 546, SM56, SM57, and SM58. Mic pre amps are two Telefunken V72S, two channel Chandler EMI TG2, and four Digidesign high res. 003. Monitors are Tannoy System 800 and Yamaha NS-10M, powered by a Haffler 500. There's a bunch of fantastic guitar amps, and a drum set mic'ed up and ready to go as well. Feel free to contact me with any questions. ". . .some of the most incredible, sizzling six-string play around." LA Weekly ". . .wicked slide guitar." LA Weekly ". . .the best young blues player in LA, Fran Banish." Los Angeles Magazine *Lead guitar and co-writes on Duncan Sheik's debut album on Atlantic Records that includes the hit, "Barely Breathing" and the radio tracks, "She Runs Away" and "Serena." Guitar instruction clients have included: Doug Ardito (Puddle Of Mudd) Christian Bale Brian Bell (of Weezer and Space Twins) Benjamin Bratt Jackson Browne Nick Carter (of The Backstreet Boys) Josh Charles Michael Chaves (Sarah McLachlan, John Mayer, Five For Fighting) Eduardo Cruz Jr. Julie Delpy Bob Dylan Jake Dylan Sam Dylan Tim Ferguson (of The Cousin Lovers) Will Ferrell Ethan Hawke Peter Himmelman Emile Hirsch Jason Lee John Lithgow Michael Lockwood (Aimee Mann, Lisa Marie Presley) Tomo Milicevic (of 30 Seconds To Mars) Keb’ Mo’ Shameik Moore Paul Phillips (Puddle Of Mudd) Brad Pitt Dan Rossen (Grizzly Bear) Syd Straw I'm a 24/7 music lover, guitar freak and audio freak. I enjoy helping people make music, and play better guitar.

Hired 10 times

10 similar jobs done near you

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1 employee

35 years in business

Payment methods

Cash, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle

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Customers rated this pro highly for work quality, professionalism, and responsiveness.

Exceptional 5.0

12 reviews


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Martin L.

Guitar Lessons

Taking lessons now with Fran for more than a year and my playing has improved quite significantly. Fran is a fantastic teacher who immediately can adapt to your current wishes without loosing the overall path you've agreed on. Total recommendation, very flexible too.
Mar 17, 2020
Cheryle T.

Fran can PLAY, he's got a degree in music, and he makes the lessons a fun exploration of whatever genre takes your fancy. I was an anxious adult novice and my experience with Fran was always great: encouraging, comfortable, and geared to the music and theory of interest to me. I couldn't speak more highly of Fran as a great guitar teacher for both for acoustic and electric for any skill level.
Mar 5, 2017
Jim V.

I've taken guitar lessons over the years and Fran is the best instructor, I have ever met. He has the ability to teach and convey theory in a very concise and organized manner. His blueprint process helps you become a better player.
Mar 5, 2017
Gayle M.

I took guitar lessons from Fran. He is a very soulful and talented person. As a teacher, he is knowledgeable and helped me accelerate in my journey to learn guitar. You can't go wrong with Fran. He is one of the best!
Mar 3, 2017
Marcia d.

Absolutely the best guitar teacher I've ever taken lessons from. I wanted to learn: Beatles, Stones, Neil, Dylan, Joni, R&B, and a whole slew of songs I'd heard & loved from my teens. Fran not only knew them, he was able to teach them to a beginner. All ya gotta do is practice. He was one of the best kept secrets in L.A. I remember that not only Bob Dylan, but also Jackson Browne asked him for consultation on specific artists. Chicago is lucky to have him.
Mar 4, 2017
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Fran Banish


  • What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?

    I accept cash, Venmo, and PayPal payment. I teach mostly 60 min. lessons. Sometimes total beginners want a 30 min. lesson weekly, but often prefer a 60 min. lesson bi-monthly, once they get going. I'm generally $50/hr, however I discount 20% off 2 prepaid 60 min lessons. For instance: Two 60 min. lessons for $80 down. ($40/hr prepaid)

  • What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

    See above.

  • What types of customers have you worked with?

    All levels, from age 6 to folks in their 60's. From total beginners to famous pro musicians looking to expand their playing. (See client list above)

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