Jacob Light

Hi, my name is Jacob Light and I’ve been a professional musician and guitar teacher for the past 25 years, helping hundreds of students be the best guitar players they can be. I started offering guitar lessons in Walnut Creek over a decade ago and in 2017 founded my very own music academy, ModernTone Studios, in Lafayette, CA.

Music is my life, my passion and my livelihood – and it shows in the way I teach. I started playing almost 30 years ago, and have been practicing every day since. I had a lot of great teachers along the way, and I incorporate the best in each and every one of them in my lessons. Having been a working guitar player for almost two decades now, I learned a ton of priceless tricks from fellow musicians and artists, that I’d be happy to share with you.

I’m also a huge guitar nerd and gear head. I’m always happy to talk guitars, amps, pedals, cables, accessories – you name it. I’ve used some of the best guitar gear known to man and I keep buying more and more stuff all the time. I can help you find the sound you’re looking for, point you in the right direction when it comes to guitar equipment and accompany you when you pick out new or used gear. Plus, you are free to try guitars and pedals from my private collection.

Whether you just want to play a few songs for your friends, be the guitar player in the band or aspire to be a full time working musician – my team and I can show you the way to get there. We’ll tailor the lessons to your goals, your musical taste and the amount of time you have to practice every week, and create a personalized guitar curriculum that fits you perfectly.

I love teaching guitar, but got frustrated when my teaching schedule got to capacity and I wasn’t able to take on new students. That was one of the reasons I started ModernTone Studios – so I can connect musically with even more aspiring musicians like you.

I have carefully assembled a dream team of top-notch guitar masters to help you become the guitar player you always wanted to be. All of my team members are professional performing musicians who have dedicated their lives to playing the guitar. They have music degrees from some of the best colleges and universities in the nation and have all been personally vetted by me.

While I’m not able to personally teach every student at ModernTone, I’m still very involved with their musical journeys. My team and I have spent countless hours developing curriculums, debating teaching methods and assembling a vast library of music books, charts and educational material. Above all, ModernTone instructors all teach because they absolutely love to share their talent, knowledge and experience with students like you.

Video Guitar Lessons

365 Guitar Licks Project

365 Guitar Licks Project started out as a personal challenge, but evolved into something much bigger than that. As guitar players, we always strive to be original and bring something new to the table. That drive and ambition led me to wonder how many licks I really use when I improvise: 10? 100? 1,000? I couldn’t say for sure. I started thinking about a number that will…

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Guitar Master Class

Check out some of my online lessons at GuitarMasterClass.net – one of the biggest guitar teaching websites in the world. Every lesson includes 9 full HD videos, backing tracks at various tempos, a jam track and full TAB in ASCII, PDF and Guitar Pro formats. Those guys are so great that you can actually get the performance video + TAB for free – no subscription necessary. While…

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Guitar Lessons FAQ

Your guitar, a notebook and a will to rock and roll!

The notebook is going to be your own personal custom fitted guitar learning book. We’ll write down everything we talk about in our lessons and make sure your homework for the week is crystal clear. This way, whenever you need to remember an old subject or concept we already covered, you can just leaf through your notebook and find it. In addition, I have found that people tend to grasp and fully understand certain topics better and faster when they’re explained to them visually.

You can definitely borrow a guitar or use one of the studio’s guitars during your lesson. However, you should look into buying or renting your own guitar as soon as possible so you can practice at home between lessons.

We do and you probably will, but the good news is that with us you’ll never learn theory just for the sake of learning theory. We teach what I like to call “Applicable Theory”, which is a fancy way of saying that whenever we talk about a theoretical concept, we’ll show you how to use it on the guitar and have it contribute to your playing right away. In my experience, this way of learning makes music theory much less “scary” for aspiring guitarists and really helps them to translate their new found theoretical knowledge into better guitar playing. On a side note: when explained correctly and in the right context, music theory is not only easy, but can actually be pretty fun. For real!

If you’re a beginner, we recommend that you get a Classical Guitar, which is sometimes referred to as a Nylon String Acoustic Guitar. You can get a pretty decent one for about $100, and they usually last for years. There are a lot of other advantages to starting out with a Classical Guitar, such as the the nylon strings – which are easier on your fingertips, the wide and easy to reach neck – which better accommodates all hand sizes and the bare simplicity of the instrument – that helps to focus on the actual playing.

You can definitely start learning with either an acoustic or an electric guitar, but you should know it might be a bit harder. On the other hand, you won’t be the first to do that, so feel free to try it out. If we ever feel that you’d be better off switching to a classical guitar, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Unfortunately yes. Long fingernails will get in the way of pressing the strings to the fingerboard, thus not allowing you to produce a proper note. Sorry…

Not only can you play guitar, my friend, but having irregular size hands might actually turn out to be an advantage, allowing you to easily master techniques that others find hard. Besides, there are specially fitted guitars for people with smaller hands, such as 1/2 and 3/4 size guitars. For you bigger handed folks, there are plenty of guitar brands  and models that offer thicker necks and wider fretboards that will make you feel right at home. The bottom line is: don’t worry about it, you’ll be playing guitar in no time!

There’s a direct connection between the amount of time you spend practicing every day, and your ability to play the guitar. However, since playing music is not a competitive sport, you won’t have to practice 2-3 hours a day to be able to play songs and have fun. I usually instruct beginners to start with 10-15 minutes a day, 5 times a week. As we progress, you’ll need to invest more time into your practice routine. Ideally, I’d like our more advanced students to practice for about an hour a day, 5 times a week. However, it is entirely up to you. If for any reason you can’t spend that much time practicing, we can give you a weekly exercise that will fit your timeframe, while incorporating some actual practice time in our weekly lessons. While you might advance a bit slower, at least you’ll be doing it efficiently and have fun in process.

We sure can! Introducing you to new ideas, techniques, methods, scales and musical concepts, will help you break out of your rut and regain that long lost enthusiasm. In addition to that, we will make sure you improve gradually from week to week and help you establish a proper practicing regimen. We’ll teach you how to be meticulous about your playing and maybe even show you a secret trick or two ;)

I always loved Eric Clapton’s playing, ever since I was a kid. Looking back on it, he is probably one of the reasons I ended up picking up a guitar. I was always into Slash, as well. I think he is an amazing guitar player and I love his style, sound and feel.

I got a lot of my blues training by listening to guys like BB King, Albert King and Freddie King, and trying to imitate their style. Other guitar players I really dig are Andy Timmons, Greg Koch, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brad Paisley, Joe Bonamassa, Buddy Guy, Richie Sambora, Angus Young and the list goes on and on…

As far as influences go, I think that The Beatles were my first musical love, and I’m a huge fan to this day. I grew up listening to a lot of Punk Rock and I can usually relate to any song that has loud drums, screaming guitars and a kick ass chorus.

I also listen to Classic Rock, a ton of Blues, good ‘ole Country, some Jazz and if I’m in the right mood – some classical music, too. To be honest, I like good music – regardless of the genre. If the song is good and well performed, I’ll like it more often than not.