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Our Teachers

Samantha Russell     

Co-founder/Guitar & Bass Instructor


Samantha Russell first began playing the guitar over 20 years ago in her hometown of Gillingham, Kent in the United Kingdom. She began her journey as a self-taught but extremely dedicated student. Her roots began with rock, punk, blues, and metal music. She formed her first band within a few years of playing and this gave her the motivation she needed to get serious about becoming the virtuoso she always dreamed of becoming. While serving in the U.S. Air Force, she sought out and eventually found the perfect mentor to help guide her to that next level. This ultimately became the fuel that drew her to becoming an instructor and a mentor herself. In addition to studying under several influential metal/rock guitarists and instructors, Sam also studied Jazz Guitar/Bass Performance at Portland State University as well as Classical Guitar Performance at the University of Arizona where she competed and became a finalist for the Schaeffer Competition in April 2019. Her diversified background across multiple genres has strongly influenced her own songwriting and teaching approach and has given her a unique skill set to help many types of students.

Sam began teaching electric/acoustic guitar and bass over a decade ago and since then has dedicated every year to bettering herself in her craft. She has been a long-term member of an exclusive international guitar instructor community and attends conferences and workshops throughout the year to continue to refine her teaching methods. In 2019, she won the THMC Guitar Player of the Year award and was the first woman to do so in the history of THMC events. Outside of teaching, Samantha is also involved in several bands of which she is the lead guitarist and songwriter: Vela Pulsar and Thirsting Altar. Other projects: Tanagra.

Vela Pulsar - Memoirs of Unbecoming Released December 2020

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Amber Russell       

Co-founder/Acoustic Fingerstyle Instructor 


If you are a fan of Fingerstyle guitar, you may know Amber Russell. She has a strong presence in the Fingerstyle guitar world. In December of 2019, she released her solo album "Metanoia" through the most prominent fingerstyle label in the industry, Candyrat Records. In January, she performed at the Anaheim House of Blues for the International Women of Fingerstyle Guitar night with headliners Kaki King and Muriel Andersen. Outside of performing, Amber has participated in the Thomas Leeb percussive guitar bootcamp to further her education of fingerstyle guitar and has made a tremendous impact in her community over the years. Amber has decided to take a step back from traveling and performing to focus on teaching fingerstyle guitar and connecting with and inspiring her community.

Amber is the co-founder of Rose City Guitar Company and is involved with, and teaching in a full-time capacity, with her partner in Portland, OR. Amber is also involved with prolific online-learning platforms Jamplay and Truefire and has released fingerstyle-specific courses through those platforms. Amber created a 30 lesson course through Jamplay in 2019 through 6 months of hard work and has continued to be involved in their Livestream series throughout the 2020 pandemic.

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