Rick Vandivier


Rick has enjoyed teaching at Gryphon Stringed Instruments since 1995. Rick teaches Jazz, Rock, Blues and Contemporary guitar styles to adults and kids. He is also on faculty as a Jazz guitar instructor at Stanford University and San Jose State.

Rick Vandivier is a guitarist who has found inspiration in influences that stretch from Andres Segovia to Pat Metheny to Jimi Hendrix. As well as teaching, Rick has been performing and recording in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 30 years. His performances are daring, soulful, and evocative. In a recent concert review, Jean Bartlett (Pacifica Tribune) wrote: “the amazing guitar licks provided by Vandivier cultivated a whole new threshold of wow… Vandivier opened the show with a piece which galloped the triumphant poetry of Madrid while caressing the edges of Segovia, Feliciano and Montoya. Extraordinary musicianship with plenty of sweets…”. In addition to his work with Nate Pruitt in Primary Colors, Rick has been active in numerous other projects as a guitarist and composer, including leading his own ensemble.

Other artists Rick has performed with include Smith Dobson, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Bruce Forman, John Handy, Mose Allison, David Grisman, Richie Cole and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Rick has also worked with the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of the American Musical Theater of San Jose, Opera San Jose, and Theaterworks.

Rick’s performing career has been highlighted by performances in: The Hague, Berlin, Abidjan (Ivory Coast, Africa), the Chicago Opera House, the Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles, the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, the Great American Music Hall and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, the Seattle Opera House and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall, both in New York City.

Born in Lima, Ohio, Rick is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston and San Jose State. In addition to private studies with Pat Metheny and Mick Goodrick, Mr. Vandivier has taken master classes with Christopher Parkening, Ray de la Torre, Michael Lorimer, Michael Hedges, Tuck Andress and Manuel Barreuco.

A devoted husband and father, he lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife, Kristi, and their sons, Preston and Kai.

To find out more about Rick’s ensemble and his recent CD’s, please visit www.RickVandivier.com.


Rick’s Guitar Program

Rick’s lessons are designed to make learning music enjoyable and maximize progress and growth. Core instruction, such as technique, reading music, improvising, learning music from recordings, rhythm styles, chord vocabulary, arranging for guitar, and harmony/theory are developed using the types of music that the student wants to play.

We will establish your goals together at the first lesson. Progress is reviewed and new goals are developed collaboratively the first week of January, April, July and October. Quarterly check-ins help to make sure that the learning experience continues to be fun and fruitful for you.

Helpful Hints:

  • Go to concerts and enjoy the music while observing HOW the guitarist plays.
  • Adopt the idea that you are now a musician.
  • Celebrate your progress. Invite Rick to the party.
  • Be patient – playing is more challenging than it sounds or looks.
  • Play music with other people & play music for other people. Often!
  • Splurge , Live large and go to concerts/gigs, including Rick’s.
  • Research & experience show that consistent practice yields fastest progress.
  • Listen for music that you would like to play and keep a list of favorites.
  • If possible, warm-up and tune prior to your lesson time.
  • Make playing guitar a part of your life, as regular as eating and sleeping.

Pricing and payment options available upon request.


email: Rick@RickVandivier.com
phone:(650) 714-3323

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