Email to schedule your first lesson.

Here are a few of the things you could learn. Which ones interest you?


  • bluegrass
  • folk
  • rock
  • country
  • blues
  • easy jazz & swing


  • acoustic guitar
  • electric guitar
  • flatpicking
  • fingerpicking
  • chords and rhythm
  • lead guitar
  • playing up the neck
  • DADGAD tuning


  • bluegrass mandolin
  • folk and rock mandolin
  • fiddle tunes
  • chords and backup
  • leads and soloing


  • beginning piano
  • easy jazz, blues and rock piano

On All Instruments...

  • basic music skills
  • reading music or tablature
  • reading chord charts
  • music theory
  • improvisation
  • playing by ear
  • playing with other people

"My teenager, aged 14, picked up the piano and guitar after not taking lessons for 4 years. Phil has been a perfect teacher for him! He has made tremendous progress in only 4 months and enjoys practicing without reminders. My son requested to increase his weekly lesson from 1/2 hour to one hour and even requests lessons during his holidays and vacations. Phil has concentrated on popular music with my son as well as learning to loosen up and enjoy improvising a bit. I recommend him without reservations. " - E.L.

"I know Iíve said this before but the girls are really enjoying the lessons with you. Thanks for the great work." - R.G.

Play music like you have always wanted to!

Guitar, Piano or Mandolin Lessons with Phil Campbell

Palo Alto, California

Whether you already play an instrument or are just starting out..

I can help you get to the next level. Would you or your child like to play guitar, mandolin or piano? Or do you already play but want to learn some new techniques? Or simply to play better?

You benefit from my experience

Drawing on more than 45 years of experience, I teach you the techniques that really work. The useful shortcuts (where they exist) and most efficient ways to practice - to get you where you want to be. Know also that you can count on clear, thoughtful, articulate explanations and patient answers to all of your questions.

Convenient - I come to your home

Make it easy on yourself! I give you lessons in your own home at a time that fits into your busy schedule.

Take your first lesson at half price

It is very important that you find the right teacher for you. Someone whose teaching style is compatible with your learning style, and who can adapt to your specific needs. Because this is so important, I will let you try it out at half price. If you decide not to continue after the first lesson - no problem.

Is your playing going nowhere? Is your guitar sitting in the closet unplayed?

I can help you get unstuck. Learn a new style, new technique or new approach to take you to the next level. Remember how much fun you used to have? You can have that all again, and more.

A special note to parents, concerning your child

So many adults tell me "I wish my parents had given me music lessons" or "I wish I had started playing when I was a child". It is undeniably easier to start playing music while young, and music remains a lifelong passion. Music helps your child develop important cognitive and social skills and builds confidence at a critcal time in their life. I can help your child express himself or herself through music.

Email to schedule your first lesson.

Who is Phil Campbell?

I have studied and played guitar almost every day of my life for more than 45 years. I started playing piano even before I played guitar, and I started playing mandolin as a teenager. I have learned so much of value over the years - and I want to share this knowledge to the fullest.

I moved to Palo Alto in 1978 to pursue an engineering career. That career was good to me and paid for my house, among other things. In 2006 I retired from engineering to do what I really love, i.e. music.

Perhaps my most significant musical training is the countless jam sessions I have been in with musicians at every level, the bands I have performed with, the recordings I have played on and produced, and especially the lessons I have taught over the years. I first started teaching music in 1974. I have taught children, teenagers and adults at all levels of experience.

I have also studied with some exceptional teachers:

  • Radim Zenkl - one of the world's finest mandolinists and perhaps one of its best teachers, too.
  • Martin Simpson - a truly world-class guitarist and great teacher.
  • Through the California Coast Music Camp and Steve Kaufman Camp, I have taken classes and workshops with such luminaries as Norman Blake, Wayne Henderson, Nina Gerber, Steve Kaufman, John Reischman and several dozen others of similar caliber.
  • In 1977 I attended Karl Berger's legendary Creative Music Studio in Woodstock , NY. The teaching staff was literally a who's who of leading jazz and avant garde musicians. Several of the students went on to become pretty famous, too
  • Over the years, I have taken classes and seminars at the University of Cincinnati, Thomas More College and Stanford University. These have included music theory, music appreciation, computer music, Indian music (with Zakir Hussain) and an in depth study of the works of Bob Dylan.

I perform with my band Hobbyhorse.

I am also an author of music-related articles published in The Fretboard Journal, Acoustic Guitar and Fiddler magazines. The Fretboard Journal, Issue Number 8, Winter 2007 published my feature article on Norman Blake that I am particularly proud of.

Email to schedule your first lesson.