To Learn more about Pete Madsen's music and performances or about the band Buzzy Frets please check out www.buzzyfrets.com


Bottleneck Slide Guitar

Six Wednesdays 7-8:15pm, $120 starts 7/9/14

Slide playing is personal...it alludes to that quality of the human voice where we slip from note to note with a range of microtones and rhythmic expression. The wail of a blues singer is emulated by the sound of steel or glass slid along steel strings...it haunts us. The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to the sound, techniques, and evocations of slide guitar. We will focus on blues playing, but based on the level of participants and student interest we may venture into other song forms from rock and jazz. We will learn the styles of players like Robert Johnson, Son House, John Fahey, Ry Cooder and others. We will play in several different tunings (e.g. open D and open G), as well as standard tuning (EADGBE). We will play several different rhythm grooves to accompany our slide playing. 

Improvising and Variations for Fingerstyle Blues Guitar

Six Wednesdays 8:30-9:45pm

Starting July 9

Price : $120

Fingerstyle blues guitarists often find themselves locked into positions and patterns related to specific songs. What if we could not only play a song like Mississippi John Hurt’s “Stag-O-Lee,” but improvise over the chord changes without losing the alternating bass pattern? We will use “Stag-o-lee” as our jumping off point, then cover other blues songs in the key of E, A, G and more. The key to our goal of improvising will be learning the CAGED system: a way of mapping out the entire fretboard by using the first position chords of C – A – G – E – D. These chord shapes can be transferred all over the guitar neck to yield great chord voicings that will make our playing come alive with fresh insights and melodic ideas. Participants should have familiarity with alternating bass/fingerpicking patterns.

comfortable playing alternating and monotonic bass patterns.

Surf Guitar 101

Six Thursdays 7-8:15pm – Price: $120, starts 7/10/14

It’s summer time and Surfs UP! Time to learn some classic tunes from the reverb-soaked days of yore. We’re talking Ventures, Dick Dale, the Safaris with classic songs such as: Pipeline, Walk Don’t Run, Wipeout!, Miserlou and many more. Of course, we will be using acoustic guitars, but  because these songs had such great melodies and grooves we will hardly miss the “wet” sound. Participants need only be familiar with basic chords and barre chords.


Introduction to Fingerstyle Guitar

Six Thursdays 8:30 -9:45 - Price: $120, starts 7/10/14

In this class we learn the basics of fingerstyle guitar for folk, rock and blues. If you have been strumming chords for a little bit this will be a great opportunity for you to discover how playing with your fingers can add a beautiful and lyrical element to your playing. Songs will include “Landslide,” “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” “Dust in the Wind,” “Scarborough Fair,” “We are going to be Friends,” and others. Participants only need to have basic knowledge of first position chords


Pete Madsen has been teaching and performing in the Bay Area for over twenty years. His musical specialty is the art and craft of fingerstyle blues, ragtime and slide guitar.Websites:



To register contact the Freight and Salvage

2020 Addison St. Berkeley, CA


E-MAIL: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com
PHONE: (510)708-8874

I'm a beginning guitar player and have been Pete's student for a few months and wanted to write him up here because I couldn't imagine having found a better teacher. I tried a few other people before going to Pete and the difference is amazing. While most guitar teachers know how to play, Pete also knows how to teach.
He's great at explaining things, great at showing technique, he sends an audio recording of each lesson to your email address (a HUGE help), and teaches you songs that you want to play. In addition to all this his rates are good and he's a cool, easy-going, guitar-loving guy…
--private student

looked forward to the class every week. Even though we were at different skill levels, Pete provided each of us with personal attention which inspired us all to practice. It was fun and rewarding to see myself (and all the other students) improve over the period of the class. Highly recommended!
Bob, student from class

Pete Madsen’s blues guitar classes at the Freight are just great! You learn a lot, and it is incredible fun. I honestly cannot get enough!
– student from class

i been playing for quite a while but not correct finger picking cant sink so this is nice and clear teaching i too think this is one of the best thanks bro
– youtube comment

Thanks for the good video on_ your blues lesson. You explained clearly and broke it down just enough keep up the blues lessons friend God bless

jo bro you helped me so much understand more about_ fingerpicking and syncopation. please keep on teaching man, your one of the best around…
--youtube comment

Took Pete’s Acoustic Blues class.......it was everything I hoped for. He really helped me wrap my head around the fingerpicking that had eluded me for years....thanks again!
I'm looking forward to studying with him again in the future.
-- student from class