The Crew

A MUSIC STORE STAFFED BY MUSICIANS

Curbside Pickup Available

Pittsburgh Guitars is a music store that’s staffed by musicians. We understand your love of music, especially guitars, and we’re here to help, show, teach, or just talk about guitars and gear with you. We know guitars!

JOHN

Current BandThe Occasionals
Name of First Band: The Metal Rainbow
First Live Gig: Carrick High Talent Show—I played my ’76 Les Paul through an Ampeg V4 full stack. Thought that it would be cool to turn the amp to 10. I was wrong…I DID buy both at Pittsburgh Guitars!
Main Live Rig: `58 Gibson Les Paul Historic Reissue through Vox AC15
Favorite Bands: Oh so many, but a couple on the list are: Beatles, Zeppelin, Badfinger, Tom Petty, XTC, Tommy Keene, The Jam, Crowded House, World Party, Marty Wilson-Piper, Miles Davis, The Kinks, Neil Young, Big Star, Grip Weeds, Syd Barrett, Roky Erickson, Wilco, The Byrds, Beck, Jeff Beck, Rush….it’s a long list! Let me go through my record collection.
Musician would most like to Meet: Jimmy Page
First Concert: Aerosmith with Golden Earing
First Car: 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was $900.
Humor Influences: Monty Python, King Of Queens, The Office, Austin Powers, Peter Sellers
Who Would Play Him in a Movie: Rick Springfield! Lol!
Play The Kevin Bacon Game: Nick Nolte shopped at Pittsburgh Guitars, Nick Nolte is in Cape Fear with Robert DeNiro, Robert DeNiro is in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon

SCOTT

Scott got his first guitar (an Airline archtop) as a junior high school student in Ft. Worth, Texas. Influenced by The Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion, as well as the Beach Boys, he sold his comic book collection to buy his first electric guitar. After moving to Pennsylvania, he switched to bass (a Hofner Beatle Bass). Not destined for the corporate world after graduating from college, Scott began repairing guitars to supplement his musician’s pay. The rest, as they say, is history.

Name of Current Band: I’m a bassist at large
Name of First Band: Raspberry Jam
Live Rig: GK 800RB & 410 cabinet/ Rickenbacker 4001
Favorite Bands: The Beatles, ZZ Top, the list is long
Or Musical Influences: I like good songs by anyone
Humor Influences: Monty Python, Daniel Tosh
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: Billy Gibbons- love the attitude
First Concert: Yardbirds w/ Jeff Beck
First Car: 1961 Chevy station wagon
Favorite Beer: There’s so many–what day is it?
Favorite Food: Grilled meat

SAM

Although he doesn’t remember it, Sam’s parents told him he saw the Beatles play on the Sullivan Show at age 5. But Sam often refers to the Monkees, with their TV show being his first musical memories, as his “gateway drug to rock and roll.” In 8th grade Sam decided to learn guitar, and “borrowed” his first instrument, a Harmony Stella acoustic, from his Junior High music department. Fascinated by instruments, Sam plays guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, some drums and keyboards and records music in his spare time. Even though he’s a child of punk rock, Sam has studied guitar with the likes of Ernie Hawkins, John Renbourn, Woody Mann and John Cephus. Favorite quote: “It’s a guitar. There are no rules.”

Name of Current Band: Ancient Skvlls
Name of First Band: The Whereabouts
Live Rig: Gibson Les Paul Special with P-90’s ,Marshcaster Tele, Gibson EB-3 or Rick 4001
Favorite Bands: Too Many to count. Sonic Youth, Zeppelin, the Stones (Everything up to “Some Girls”), Sabbath (“The first 4 LPs are perfect”), Bowie (“everything up to “Scary Monsters”), Mott the Hoople, the Velvets, John Coltrane Quartet, Neil Young (on electric guitar), Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Clash. Should I keep going?
Musicians I Would Most Like to Meet: Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, Neil Young
First Concert: Humble Pie/REO Speedwagon, Civic Arena ‘74
First Car: $600 Mazda Hatchback with 160,000 miles on it.
Favorite Beer: Too many to list. But Dancing Gnome is our “local bar.”
Favorite Food: Grilled flesh, sushi, but I never met a pizza I didn’t like, either.
Humor Influences: Monty Python

ROB

– Rejected K-Pop backup dancer
– Found refuge in Pittsburgh in 2014 afterwards

Name of First Band: Dolorous
First Gig:
 An Irish pub in Westchester, NY (I forget the name)
Live Rig: Sommatone OD-35 amp, ES-335, Sommatone El-Toro (bass amp), Fender P-Bass
First Concert: AC/DC
Favorite Bands: “Currently Spinning” – Rich Robinson, The Magpie Salute, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Samantha Fish, Larkin Poe, Big Wreck, Band-Maid . . .
Musicians I Would Like to Meet: Jimmy Page, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Rich Robinson, Bonnie Raitt, Luther Dickinson, the guys in Pearl Jam
First Car: `92 Saturn SL-21
Favorite Beer: IPAs
Favorite Food: Not picky/ open-minded
Humor Influences: Films: Police Academy series, Mel Brooks films
Favorite TV Shows: NewsRadio, Seinfeld, Friends, Ash vs. Evil Dead
Who Would Play You in a Movie: Fozzie Bear from The Muppets

BETSY

Desperately wanting to be a Beatle, Betsy gave up the trombone and got her first guitar when she was 8 years old. It was plastic, and wouldn’t stay in tune, so she cried until her mom took it back and brought home the yellow Stella. On the heels of buying her first Martin guitar from Carl at Pittsburgh Guitars in Bloomfield (many years later!), she took off for Los Angeles where in 1989 she was signed to Vanguard Records with Andy Robinson and their folk-pop band, Different World. Their self-titled CD (she was sad that they didn’t press an actual LP!) met with critical acclaim, but still The Beatles paid no notice. Back in Pittsburgh in the early 90s, she hung around the store so much that she was put to work!

Current Musical Project: Rising Moon
First Live Performance:  I sang Ragtime Cowboy Joe at a talent show when I was about 8. I didn’t win, but I still sing it once in a while!
Main Live Gear: Martin D-18V, Lowden 0-25, Flatiron mandolin, Fishman Loudbox Artist
Some Favorite Bands & Musical Influences: The British Invasion bands and the US bands that answered them, the Southern California singer/songwriters, The Sophisticated Ladies
First Car: A Ford Pinto . . . the exploding kind!
Humor Influences: The Smothers Brothers, Christopher Guest, Tina Fey, Robert Mondavi
Favorite Beer: Can’t beat a good California cabernet or a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: Lyle Lovett

HANNA

Hanna has been working at the guitar shop part-time since she was a puppy. She enjoys greeting customers and playing with kids. One of her favorite things to do is howl when someone plays the harmonica! She typically comes in to work when she is not sleeping.

Favorite bands: Three Dog Night, Temple Of The Dog, Wolfmother, Steppenwolf, and Fleet Foxes

Musician you would most like to meet: Howlin’ Wolf

First Concert: Good Brother Earl at Narcisi Winery

First Car Ride: Suburu Legacy

Favorite Ice Cream: Frosty Paws

Favorite Food: Everything except celery

Favorite TV Shows: Scooby Doo

Who would play you in a movie: Molly from Air Bud

Our Instructors

SPENCER

Spencer’s first musical instruments were the viola and clarinet, but as he discovered rock n’ roll he began to develop his own musical taste and started playing guitar around age 12.  His musical pursuits have led him to study Jazz Guitar at Duquesne University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Guitar Performance. Spencer plays around town in various groups, playing primarily funk, jazz, and rock music, but enjoys all genres.  

Spencer has experience teaching:

  • Rock Guitar
  • Blues Guitar
  • Jazz
  • R&B
  • Folk and Acoustic
  • Lead & Rhythm techniques
  • Songwriting
  • Music Theory
  • Bass
  • Ukulele

Current Band: Duration Band, and a few different side projects
Name of First Band: Discontinued
First Live Gig: I played the Hard Rock Cafe through a school of rock-type program.
Main Live Rig: Fender American Standard Stratocaster or an Eastman 810ce through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Favorite bands: Soulive, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Wes Montgomery, I always found it hard to say who my favorites are though…
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: If I could bring him back to life, that’d be pretty cool to hang with Wes Montgomery
First Concert: Mickey Hart with Zakir Hussain and some other World percussionists
Favorite Beer: Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
Favorite Food: Indian Food
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad!!!!
Humor Influences: Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, and George Carlin
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Bruce Willis with a huge beard

GREG

Greg is the first musician in his family and started playing the guitar at 13. In high school, he became dedicated to learning about different styles of music, as well as theory, and decided to make a career of it. That decision led him to Duquesne University for a bachelor’s and now a master’s degree.

Greg recently moved to Nashville to expand his musical horizons but we are excited to announce that he will continue to teach remote lessons for Pittsburgh Guitars.

From beginner to advanced students, Greg can help you with:

  • Rock Guitar – From The Beatles to Zeppelin to the Dead and everything in between
  • Jazz Guitar – From Pat Martino to Grant Green
  • Blues Guitar
  • R&B
  • Country
  • Pop
  • Music Theory & Harmony
  • Improvising and soloing
  • Intro Bass Guitar
  • Intro Ukulele

First Live Gig: High School Talent Show
Main Live Rig: Vox AC-15HW, 1989 Fender American Strat or Gibson ES-335
Favorite Bands: Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Miles Davis, Pat Martino
Musicians I Would Most Like to Meet: Jimmy Page, Grant Green
First Concert: Lynyrd Skynyrd
First Car: Ford Explorer
Favorite Beer: Oskar Blues Old Chub
Favorite Food: Meat
Favorite TV Shows: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Entourage
Humor Influences: Rodney Dangerfield, Chris Farley, Chevy Chase, Louis CK
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Stallone

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