Meet Cole Tate

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Genres: All Genres
Instrument: Guitar & Ukulele
Specialties: Rock & Blues
Available Days: Mondays, Thursdays and Fri in San Rafael
at his Home Studio in Terralinda OR Virtual Online lessons

See Cole's bio or check the available schedule below. 

Schedule a Lesson (Lessons at Cole's Home Studio or Virtual)

Lesson Rates

30 min : $45
45 min : $60
60 min : $80

Meet Cole Tate

How did you get started in music?

“I come from a musical family, both of my older brothers and my father played guitar! There was always sangin’ and pickin’ goin’ on at our house! My mother would make us bust out the guitars and perform for friends and other family at every get together. So I’ve been playing and performing since I was a kid. As a professional I got in my first “real” band in music school, I was studying Music Theory/ Composition and classical piano (they didn’t have a guitar program!). We started gigging at frat parties, pizza joints and Colorado ski towns and ended up being on the road for several years, playing all over the Western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.

What artists inspired you when you were first learning to play?

“Well, a bunch! But most notably The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and I loved the Allman Brothers especially Dickie Betts. I graduated high school in 1974, so you get the idea! British Invasion, Blues Rock and Southern Rock. Throw in some Country Rock (Eagles etc.) and some R&B/Soul/Funk... and Viola! Oh! and don’t forget acoustic rock like James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young!”

How long have you been playing?

“My brother showed me the basic chords when I was in 7th grade and I had a hard time putting it down pretty much ever since. I just turned 60 so… do the math!”

What is your favorite genre to play and why?

“Man, of course I love classic rock and the blues and love when young students bring me a great old Zep or AC/DC song to teach them, but I also love a lot of the current pop and rock, Ed Sheeran comes to mind. I love working with girl students on songs by Taylor Swift, Cobbie Caillet and Ingrid Michaelson (boys love these songs too!). And because I teach ukulele, I’ve been having a blast with 21 Pilots and Meghan Trainor.”

What is your favorite song to play right now?

Guitar-Ed Sheeran- The Shape of You, that’s partly due to the vocals, I have a young student who can absolutely nail it! Timing, phrasing, everything! Really exciting! One of my favorite things to do is to work with students to play and sing at the same time and to get over their fear of singing. On Uke- We Don’t Believe What’s On T.V. by 21 Pilots, great chord progression, great strum pattern and faster than a speeding bullet!”

What made you decide to start teaching?

“Probably like a lot of other teachers, someone saw you playing a gig somewhere and asked if you gave lessons and you said sure! Suddenly you were a guitar teacher!! So, I guess I’ve always had a student or two, but somewhere around 2003 a friend of mine, who was a teacher at Bananas, was moving away and gave me 10 students and I’ve been teaching at Bananas and all over Marin County ever since and loving it.”

Are you in any bands? 

“I’ve been the leader/guitarist/vocalist/frontman/producer/booker/
manager/soundman (you get the idea) for The Cole Tate Band.

What tidbits would you like to share?

“A while ago one of my students was good a friend of Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. One day he says to me, “Bobby would like to take a lesson from you!” Of course I was like, “haha, very funny”, he said, “no really, here’s his phone number!” Long story short, I actually did give Bob Weir a guitar lesson!

What is the best advice you can give to a beginning player who is just starting? 

“Be consistent, playing 15 minutes a day is better than 1 hour right before your next lesson! And have fun, remember it’s called 'playing'.”

What is the best advice you would give to an established player? 

“Keep challenging yourself to keep learning, there is always some technique or style you haven’t mastered! An example of that for me is slide guitar, I have had a blast adding bottleneck slide to my skill set.

Need help booking a lesson? Email or call us at (415) 457-7600 x 104 
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