Rob Malkin


I’m a baby boomer raised up right here in west San Jose. I started guitar lessons at age 12 from Maple Leaf Music on Saratoga Ave. and have been playing ever since. I went to college twice, once for my parents and once for myself. ; ) The first time I took an economics degree from UC Berkeley. The 2nd time I studied music at De Anza College, Foothill, and San Jose State. I took the courses, played in the bands, and transcribed a lot of music for the various ensembles but didn’t take a degree as I already had one and wanted to get out and play.

I got into the Salsa/Latin Jazz scene where I ultimately started my own band, Latin Lingo. You can visit the band website at:


You can also scroll down on this page and click on the band’s audio track Lagrimas Negras for a clear example of my guitar playing in this genre.


I tailor guitar lessons to fit the student. Are you in one of the following categories?


Complete beginner:


Then you get what I call my “fundamental skills” curriculum. This includes tuning, open chords, power chords, reading tablature, strumming, and fingerpicking. And lots of songs. Songs you pick. Songs I pick.


Already have some skills?


Great. We’ll polish up what you already know and move on to what still needs to be developed. If you have some favorite songs bring them in on your iPod, we’ll listen to them and write out the chords.


Have some specific goals?


What do you want to be able to do? Blues? Fingerpicking? Learn songs from recordings? Learn some theory to help your songwriting? Or maybe you’re a singer (lucky you) and want to be better at accompanying yourself, or finding your key, or communicating with the rest of the band. If you already know what you want we can jump right in.

Mom says I have to take lessons.


OK, OK, we can get you through this. ; ) She’s probably going to want you to read some music so we’ll get you sightreading some beginning classical pieces. Not to worry, they sound good, they’re fun, and you’ll be building skills that will be useful regardless of your ultimately preferred genre; nobody was ever a worse musician because they understood rhythm and could read. We’ll pepper this with some of the fundamental skills I mention above and also get you playing some of your own favorites.




I love teaching adults because of their self-motivation and focus. Maybe you used to play and want to revisit it – or you’ve never played before and want to give it a try. No age is too old if you’ve got the time and the interest.