Student Reviews


We are beyond happy with lessons! Lessons are adjusted based on progress. My daughter always asks about checking if her play-along video has been sent and it helps her know what the rhythm should sound like. My son has made significant progress this year and is excited that he gets to have input on the songs that he learns.”
Cindy Larson – Mother of Vinnie and Calista


Roger has been a wonderful and inspirational teacher.  Deciding to learn to play guitar as an adult with very little experience and no formal training has been a great journey. Roger has a unique ability to convey concepts, techniques and the whole gamut of music and playing in a very accessible way.  My interest vary and I never really know what I will throw at Roger when we have our lesson.  He never fails to understand what I want and finds a way to get me there. No small thing to note, he is a great guy and makes learning more fun. When  can I have my next lesson?”
Larry Hartman – Guitar


Roger has helped me understand the puzzle we know as “guitar’.  Roger’s mastery of the guitar (and many other stringed instruments) has helped a simple drummer like me to understand the theory and practice of “front porch playing” which is the extent of my playing aspirations on guitar.  As I continue this lifelong endeavor, Roger’s lessons continue to serve me as a solid foundation as I progress.  The time I spent with Roger, has made me a better student of the guitar and I continually progress and enjoy the guitar.  Thanks Roger, success to you.”
Andy Olson – Guitar


I like that he is down-to-earth & approachable. I also liked that he gave me the opportunity to choose the music that fit my personal style and that he was encouraging even when I felt like I wasn’t getting it. Roger respected my time & where I was in life, and was patient with me.
Janese Coleman – Guitar


I appreciate the flexibility of setting a personal goal and Roger’s support acquiring this new language to achieve that goal. Video with audio was quite good. My interaction was one on one. On several occasions he made provision for additional time to make a point.”
Jay Spearman – Guitar


I would probably pay just to sit and talk music with Roger even if the strings never got plucked”.
Todd Fosberg – Singer Songwriter


If you are a student do what you can to get into the hands of a master teacher…  that would be Roger Ferguson.”
Rhodene  Schauer – Bluegrass/Swing Fiddle/Mandolin/Guitar


Roger is a walking fakebook (and then some) and a walking lick book too for many different stringed instruments and for many different genres – jazz, gypsy jazz, swing, bluegrass, rock and roll, blues – you name it. If you want to learn a song he doesn’t know, he’ll figure it out and teach you during a lesson.”   I’ve been taking lessons from Roger for a number of years and never take for granted the unassuming way he uses his amazing musical talent to pass on his knowledge of music, theory, and technique while building your confidence that you can do it too with practice
Melody Allen – Mandolin


I am a life-long jazz player and have always been a bit lame with blues.  Since blues underpins and grounds jazz, I wanted to work more into my playing and asked Roger for help .  As a teacher, Roger listens, thinks and then gives you exactly what you need (but didn’t know you needed it!). It is rare to find a teacher like Roger, with great playing and teaching chops. You won’t find anyone with less ego or more ability to see what you need. It has been a real pleasure working with Roger.”
Allen Johnson Jr. – Jazz/Blues Guitar


Roger is an amazing musician and instructor  Listen to him play guitar or mandolin ( or fiddle) and you will think – My God! –  What an honor and privilege to have someone like this as my instructor.  Lessons with Roger for me have been somewhat loosely constructed, but I feel he has it that way so he can be responsive to my interests and needs as a student and musician.  Though I originally thought I was interested in playing mandolin in the Bluegrass style, I currently find myself being drawn more towards classical styles and it seems easily within Roger’s scope of expertise to help me learn the nuances and techniques of the classical pieces I choose. Because I came to him knowing how to read music fairly easily, he has pushed me to develop and rely on my ear.  For another student it might be different.
Another thing that should be mentioned is Roger’s very thorough knowledge of music theory.  I personally have struggled with learning chords. While showing the various chords, Roger explains the predictable nature of music and why there are certain chords within certain keys.  At first, I’d have to say, not all of this was sinking in, but now that I’m further down the line in learning, I’m finding it’s all starting to make sense and is sinking in. If you are looking for a guitar, mandolin or fiddle instructor and live within driving distance of  Bainbridge Island, you should consider yourself fortunate to have an instructor of Roger’s caliber available to you.”

Suzanne Wright – Mandolin/Viola


I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Roger for over 30 years and have always been a great admirer of not only his technical ability but also his musicianship and teaching skill. Roger always knows how to play just the right note or chord at the right time so a lesson from Roger is not just a how-to lesson, it is also a what-to lesson that can stick with you for decades. In my case I’m still using licks that I stole from Roger in 1978. Roger has also adopted technology for the benefit of his own music and for the benefit of his students as well. A good example is the lessons he offers via Skype. You no longer have to live within convenient travel distance of a master like Roger. You can literally be anywhere with an internet connection and a computer and get a great lesson. Finally, I can testify that Roger has a genuinely high level of character who relates well to everyone of any age through a fine sense of humor and pleasant and humble demeanor. Try a lesson, you won’t be sorry and you will learn lessons that really make a difference to your playing.”
Brian Fuller –  Flatpick Guitar


Four years ago I took my very first mandolin lesson from Roger. What I really appreciate about him is his uncanny ability to match instruction to my skill level.  I’ll bring a recorded song to him, that I want to sing at a Bluegrass jam, and have him figure out a break for me.  Roger, who can play the song in an infinite number of ways, works out the best version for my abilities.  I’ve been pretty successful at jams, and get compliments on these great breaks I’m taking.  The breaks push my level of playing, yet aren’t so difficult that I can’t master them.  Roger is intuitive at presenting stepping stones of knowledge, so as to make the technique or skill easier to master.  You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with the knowledge of music theory or the skills, that Roger possesses, in the Puget Sound area.  He is an amazingly talented man!”
Linda Popp – Bluegrass Mandolin


I am a mandolin student with Roger Ferguson and I live in a remote area along Hood Canal.  Being an hour and a half away, we agreed to  try lessons via Skype to save time, money and resources.   Having just  completed my 4th long-distance lesson, I find I’m thrilled with this  arrangement.  I was originally concerned about not being able to see or hear each other clearly, but neither has been a problem.  The only  requirements are a mike, camera and speakers on your computer and a  free Skype account.  Since my laptop was equipped with all three, no  additional equipment was needed, and it took only a minute to register  with Skype.  Skype lessons have been a perfect solution for me and have provided easy, affordable access to an excellent teacher.”
Sandy Plaggerman – Mandolin


I’ve taken guitar lessons from Roger and my friends say I sound good ( good friends ). I prefer his teaching style because I like different styles of music; blues, bluegrass, some rock… any information you ask for is given whether face to face, skype or dropbox. I would and do recommend him to people I care about.”
Greg Screws – Flatpick Guitar/Mandolin


Roger has a great method of breaking down your technique, giving you a better understanding of what you’re doing.  That understanding helped me progress in my playing, and gave me a clearer view of the fretboard. His interpretation of the CAGED system provided lots of insights for all the students, I recall.”
Mike Sadava – Flatpick Guitar


I like acoustic blues guitar and Roger has really helped me progress. I’ve always needed to know why music works and frankly I’m amazed at Roger’s depth of understanding. He can play anything. Roger’s approach to teaching is relaxed and enjoyable. I would recommend him to anyone who seriously wants to learn a stringed instrument. Like I said, he can play anything!”
Patrick Miller – Contemporary/Blues Guitar


 I am a 65 year old who has been taking guitar lessons from Roger for 4 months, on Skype. I have been playing for about 35 years and I never quite understood how the guitar worked and how theory and playing actually relate in a functional way. With the technical changes and practical theory that I am learning from Roger, I am playing better than I thought I ever could, and I feel the best is yet to come.”
Doug Simpson  – Flatpick  Guitar


I received lessons from Roger Ferguson while attending Olympic College. I received these lessons in two settings, first in the classroom, and secondly, private one on one instruction. I am originally a self taught musician who fell in and out of prior lesson plans and instruction through out my life. All of these situations were helpful, but I owe a ton of gratitude to Roger for “filling in the gaps” and helping me understand the theory already in my mind, and for introducing new approaches, playing styles, and techniques.
Having felt I had plateaued musically for a while this was an extremely motivating and enjoyable experience. In the private lessons I really enjoyed the one on one time. I could ask any question and received straight information and wonderful insight to stepping out of the modal, restrictive boxes we can put ourselves into musically. I also found the “drop-box” (record sections of lessons or riffs) material so helpful; being able to take the lesson home to practice and play along with indefinitely is awesome to say the least.
I am still utilizing and sorting through all the information and techniques I attained while learning from Roger, and when the time is right I’ll be picking his brain for more!  One more thing I must say, Roger’s teaching style and demeanor during the lessons were friendly, yet forever professional. Not only did I find a gifted musical mentor, I feel I also found another friend in music.”
Leo Matchem – Guitar


I really enjoyed the tapes Roger made and sent to the Drop Box. Also his laid back and very patient style of teaching worked well with me – He Rocks, Oh ya, it was great when he took the extra time to come over and set up my computer… don’t know many instructors that would do that.”
Shirley Dickerman – Bluegrass Fiddle


Rog is the go to guy for guitar/fiddle/mandolin. He is an amazing musician, but more importantly he is an excellent teacher.His laid back style and personalized attention to his students needs make for a comfortable learning experience.”
Charlie Dunford – Guitar


I would be happy to provide my unbiased opinion, Roger!  You are a great teacher.”
John de Chadenedes – Brazilian Guitar/Mandolin/Fiddle


This SKYPE thing is fun and you are really helping me a lot – thanks!”
Lawson Drinkard – Flatpick Guitar


Hey Roger!  You are a very talented musician and can play so many different instruments!  All that expertise does not necessarily make you a good teacher!  Many can play/perform with magnificence but to teach and share that knowledge effectively with kindness, patients, humor and skill well that’s not everyone’s calling. You have it mastered! Besides that you are very handsome and that makes the learning process even more enjoyable!”
Carol Menefee – Guitar & Uke


I have taken guitar lessons from Roger for over five years straight. I was seeking a teacher who could understand my musical needs and most importantly help me to hear and feel the music. Roger’s decades of teaching experience combined with his technical skill and blazing picking abilities are inspiring. I felt like I found my groove with Roger as he has helped me tremendously in feeling comfortable with the guitar in the areas I felt I was the weakest – lead solos and and licks and rolls. I’ve never left a lesson not feeling like I learned something or stretched my mind in some new direction. For those who seek a personal approach to feeling the guitar combined with some great advice on how to maximize the fretboard, I think you’ll find Roger a solid choice.  I’m forever indebted.”
Bill Transue – J. Garcia Guitar


I am an advanced flat-picker who has been on a plateau for a while in my playing style and have not found any flat picking instructors in my area that suit me. I have know of Roger’s abilities since the early 1980’s and always wished I could study with him. I asked about seeing him when I get up to his area on business and he suggested doing lessons via Skype on the Internet. I was not aware at the time that something like this was even possible. I started with a certain amount of skepticism about how this was all going to work.
I have been taking lessons from Roger now for about 3 months using this method. I have found this to be a great way to connect with a teacher I’ve always wanted to study with but was too far away physically to do so. This method completely erases the physical distance between us and I can take an hour lesson from a great teacher from the comfort of my home and not have to drive anywhere!
Roger emails me an MP3 file of what we went over so I have a clean audio file to work with the following week and this seems to work out great. The internet connection and video connection we have had has had some problems and has dropped out a few times but overall the technical difficulties are much outweighed by the opportunity to study with a great teacher like Roger.  It is not quite as good as a one-on-one lesson in person but it comes real close!  In short I would not hesitate to recommend this method to anyone who would like to study with a teacher of Roger’s caliber.”
Tony Rocci – Advanced Flatpick Guitar


A complete professional with college level instruction ability is able to tailor lessons to each individual. A performer with virtuoso skills in guitar, fiddle and mandolin provides excellent examples in a non-judgmental, supportive environment. Offers private and group lessons, and is able to get a group to play well and learn well together, even when there are different instruments in the group. When I hit barriers in my learning, Roger is able to provide different approach or an exercise to go around my “block” and help me play better. Theory is applied using a practical approach. Elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and improvisation are worked into many lessons. All in a relaxed and comfortable environment that encourages fun and creativity”
C
hris Heinlein – Bluegrass Mandolin/Guitar


We were looking for a guitar teacher for our 16 year-old son Graham and saw Roger perform. His fast flat picking and accuracy was amazing. After a few lessons Graham realized that Roger could explain theory and get to the how to of playing without sounding like a book. In fact, he has the guitar do the explaining. Roger has the link to the Holy Grail of the fretboard that works for rock, blues, jazz or any genre. Great with ear playing, or tab or notation. Very flexible and accomplished at all three, and if easy to improv with during a lesson. He is flexible about lesson times and changing interest in music. Mostly teaches with, not to, the student.”
Marty Richards – Flatpick Guitar


I have enjoyed Roger’s group classes very much. They are challenging and fun. I have gained a wealth of musical knowledge in addition to increasing my guitar playing skills. Available song sheets, videos, and sound tracks help with the learning experience. I keep going back for more!”
Larry Lushbaugh – Swing and Country Guitar