Co-founder/Guitar & Bass Instructor
Samantha Russell, a seasoned guitarist/bassist with two decades of experience, started her musical journey in Gillingham, Kent, U.K. exploring rock, punk, and metal genres. Initially self-taught, her dedication led her to form a band and propelled her musical aspirations. Serving in the U.S. Air Force, Samantha sought mentorship to elevate her skills and pursued jazz performance and classical guitar studies at Portland State University and the University of Arizona, becoming a Schaeffer Competition finalist in 2019.
With a diverse musical background, Samantha's unique teaching approach draws from various genres, influencing both her songwriting and instruction style. Teaching for over a decade, she continually enhances her skills, attending conferences and the NAMM Convention annually to stay abreast of the latest teaching methods.
Despite her proficiency across genres, Samantha's heart lies in metal—specifically black, death, thrash, symphonic, progressive and heavy metal. Actively involved in bands like Thirsting Altar, Tanagra, and Vela Pulsar, she has contributed as a songwriter, lead guitarist, and vocalist.
Influenced by iconic guitarists like Tony Iommi, Marty Friedman, Jeff Loomis, Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan, Brian May, Mikael Akerfeldt, and finally Keith Merrow, whom she has been lucky enough to study under, Samantha brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her students.
Vela Pulsar - Memoirs of Unbecoming Released December 2020
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.
Guitar & Bass Instructor
Nick Arne is a professionally trained guitarist, singer-songwriter, and teacher. He grew up in New Fairfield, CT, and moved to Portland, OR in the fall of 2023. He graduated with Cum Laude Honors from Western Connecticut State University in 2018 with a BM in Jazz Guitar and a minor in Professional Writing.
Nick is a versatile musician who has been influenced by many different genres of music. He started off playing blues with inspiration from John Mayer, Derek Trucks, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Albert King. He then discovered jazz and became influenced by Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Julian Lage. Nick's playing also draws from folk, R&B, country, rock, and hip-hop.
Nick has been teaching professionally for 7 years and has worked with all skill levels and age ranges. He focuses on personalizing each lesson to suit the student’s needs and learning style. He strives to cater to the student’s goals while complimenting it with essential music skills.