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Music touches all our lives here at 518 Guitar, and we want to help you experience the same passion and joy we have experienced through music. We are proud to be a top choice for guitar lessons here in Albany, and we love being a part of your journey as a musician.

I loved guitar lessons with Andrew! Andrew is a kind, patient, flexible, passionate and extremely talented guitar teacher. He really worked to understand my goals and learning style. I look forward to every single lesson. You can’t go wrong with Andrew!

I cannot say enough good things about Andrew as a teacher. I just started playing guitar. After just a few lessons, I have learned so much from him. You can tell he is passionate about teaching and music. He is extremely attentive with his students, and goes the extra mile to give each one a personalized experience.

Our son took lessons from Andrew for over 3 years. Andrew was an excellent instructor. He kept it fun and interesting while learning the basics and progressing into more advanced material. I would highly recommend Andrew for guitar lessons.

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Albany’s Best Guitar Instructor

Our founder, Andrew Wheeler, has been a private guitar instructor for over fifteen years in Albany and beyond, and we have experience working with young children all the way up to older adults. We can help you, no matter your desired musical genre or playing style, to reach your own greatness.

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Guitar Lessons For Any Age or Skill Level

Here at 518 Guitar, music is important to us and we truly believe that anyone can learn to play. Whether you are just starting out on guitar or are an experienced player looking to grow, we can help you on your path to greatness.

Our founder, Andrew Wheeler, has had more than fifteen years experience in teaching guitar to all ages and skill levels, from child to adult, beginner or old-timer. Need to fine tune your skills in preparation for an audition or a college application? Come to us! Or maybe your experience only extends to playing guitar in video games. We can teach you how to play your favorite songs on a real guitar!

So many of our students are surprised at the difference our private guitar lessons have made in their skill level and confidence. With private lessons from a professional musician and skilled guitar instructor, you can learn to play the way you always dreamed you could. All styles, levels, ages, and genres welcome.

About Our Guitar Instructors

518 Guitar offers lessons from the absolute best guitar instructors in Albany. With their education and combined experience, we can help you get started playing guitar no matter what your current level of expertise is.

Andrew Wheeler, founder of 518 Guitar, has been providing guitar lessons for more than fifteen years. He received a master's degree from the University at Albany, and also become certified by the Berklee College of Music, one of the top music conservatories in the country. With his background, you can trust that he has what it takes to teach you the skills you'll need to thrive. Andrew also plays with an award-winning Blues & Rock Band, a Jazz duo, an Irish band, and more. He has won several awards for his talent and musicianship, including the 2015 and 2016 Solo Blues Challenges.

Peter Keller is also an experienced and passionate guitar instructor. With the ability to play many instruments at an expert level, the guitar is his primary mode of musical expression. Peter graduated from Hobart and William Smith colleges in 2015 with a double-major in music and history. He's studied and teaches jazz, blues, country, and rockabilly styles, among others.

Guitar Lesson Options & Services

We offer the beginner and advanced guitar lessons you are looking for, with expert guitar instructors, flexible schedules, and affordable options. We offer our private guitar lessons in-person, on-site, in our studio, or even online.

Essentially, we try to provide your guitar lessons when and how you need them, giving you the best chance to succeed and reach your guitar-playing dreams. While founder Andrew avoids a cookie-cutter approach to teaching, his musical teaching experience, field experience, and extensive education means he focuses on practices that are not only customized to your needs but also are tried and true in their effectiveness, helping you grow as a musician and guitarist.

In addition to lessons, 518 Guitar offers advice on guitar types, help with shopping for guitars, and minor guitar repairs and setup services, all at an affordable price. We even occasionally have quality used equipment for sale, which you can find on our online store.

Years of experience allow us to handle your guitars with care and help you know how best to care for and maintain these instruments.

Our Teaching Style

We believe in making guitar lessons fun and engaging while also offering the guidance you need. The guitar is a beautiful instrument, the music we make is important to us, and it is an honor to teach and perform the music and instrument that has such a shared history across so many times and places.

Founder Andrew has done it all, from performing at wedding ceremonies to the hot blues of Beale Street in Memphis. His combination of education and real-world experience provide the atmosphere you need to meet your guitar goals while having a great time. Andrew works with each student to achieve their own personal goals, while also encouraging them to stretch beyond their comfort zone.

Peter’s teaching style puts a heavy focus on learning songs that you actually want to play, but he also emphasizes reading, music theory, and improvisation. Peter tailors each lessons to help you, no matter your age or experience level, achieve your musical goals.

Different Music & Playing Styles

Andrew has had a life-long love of music, including classical, American roots, jazz, country, and blues music. No matter which genre you love or want to play, we can help you learn the secrets and guitar playing skills you need to be the best guitar player you can be, without trying to bend you to a certain style.

Not sure which playing style or picking/fingering style you prefer? Choosing may depend on a few different factors (such as nut and spring spacing); there are also drawbacks and benefits to each picking style, and many musicians switch between finger style, pick style, or even hybrid style depending on the song.

Whichever style you are experimenting with, stick with one style for each task, and give yourself plenty of time to get used to a new style before deciding. We can help you find the right style for you and your music, and help you learn new picking styles as you need.

Common Learning Pitfalls

As you begin to learn the guitar, you may fall prey to some common mistakes or pitfalls. We are happy to help you avoid these pitfalls or even correct them during our private guitar lessons, but it is important to be aware of them from the start.

First, be sure to care of your own body as well as the guitar: have good posture, take breaks and be sure to stretch, and find the right guitar for you that is comfortable to play. Other difficulties common to new guitarists include lack of clear goals, not challenging yourself to learn new chords and techniques, and practicing incorrect techniques. These incorrect techniques can range anywhere from how you’re holding the guitar to strumming the wrong way.

You can avoid a lot of these downfalls simply by learning and practicing the techniques correctly with your guitar instructor from the start, and also setting clear goals for your own advancement.

Meet Our Guitar Instructors

Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler received his MA degree from the University at Albany, and he’s certified by the Berklee College of Music, so you can trust that he has the experience, talent, and teaching skills to help you thrive.

Andrew has been a guitar instructor for over fifteen years. He plays with an award-winning Blues & Rock Band, a Jazz duo, an Irish band, and has won several awards for his talent and musicianship, including the 2015 and 2016 Solo Blues Challenges.

Peter Keller

Peter Keller

Peter Keller is an experienced and passionate guitar instructor. Peter can expertly play many instruments, though guitar is his primary mode of expression.

He graduated with high honors from Hobart and William Smith colleges in 2015 with a double-major in music and history. He studied and teaches jazz, blues, country, and rockabilly styles, among others.

Trent Bickerstaff

Trent Bickerstaff

Teaching Residence | Summer 2019


Trent has performed with various artists like Jerry Cantrell and Mike Inez (Alice in Chains), Robert and Dean Delo (Stone Temple Pilots), Judas Priest, Steven Adler (Guns'n'Roses), and Nancy Wilson (Heart).

Trent has played venues around the country including The Whisky A-Go-Go (Hollywood) and the Luckystrike (Los Angeles), and has recorded at NRG studios with Mike Clink (Producer for Whitesnake, Triumph, Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth, Jefferson Starship, Heart, Eddie Money and more).

While new in the teaching field, Trent has a natural ability for breaking down some of guitar's most technically challenging and beautiful aspects into bite-sized chunks to foster your mastery.



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Premier Guitar Lessons in Albany & Online


So, don’t wait. Contact us today. We can’t wait to hear from you and help you on your way to becoming the musician you always wanted to be! We can answer your questions and get you started with us today, whether you are looking for beginning guitar lessons or advanced.