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Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press
  • Female
  • Seattle, WA
  • United States
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Latest Activity

Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video
Jun 14
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a status
Jun 14
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video

"Stella by Starlight" Chord/Melody and One Chorus on Guitar: Susan Palmer

This is one of my favorite jazz tunes to play. Thanks for checking it.
May 1
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video
Mar 12
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video
Feb 27
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video

"Old Folks" Wes Montgomery Guitar Solo

Wes Montgomery played this chorus using octaves, but I'm recovering from an injury so I'm playing it all using single notes. Thanks for checking it out. :) h...
Feb 11
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a status
Dec 31, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press commented on Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press's video

Sonny Stitt's "Tri-Horn Blues" played on guitar by Susan Palmer

"Ah, thanks Luis! It's not flawless, but I feel ok about the performance. Thanks for checking it out. Guitar Gear"
Nov 26, 2015
Luis Motta da Silva commented on Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press's video

Sonny Stitt's "Tri-Horn Blues" played on guitar by Susan Palmer

" Susan, Thanks for posting! And congratulations for the brilliant, flawless performance!"
Nov 25, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video

Sonny Stitt's "Tri-Horn Blues" played on guitar by Susan Palmer

I love this solo, so I learned it by ear in small pieces. Thanks for checking it out. :) Music Education for Guitarists: http//
Nov 21, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a status
Nov 21, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video

Julie Peña: Photo | Susan Palmer: Music

I love composing little sketches of music based on cool photos. Julie Peña's picture inspired this music. Thank you!
Sep 19, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a status
Jun 22, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video

3 Note (Tiny) Guitar Chords Played in Rock, Blues, and Jazz Styles Smaller chords can be easier to play and they sound great! Why is this in the gear section? Because learning new skills feels as ...
Jun 22, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted blog posts
May 14, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a video
May 7, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a blog post
May 3, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a status
May 3, 2015
Susan Palmer of Lead Cat Press posted a blog post
Apr 27, 2015

Profile Information

Which one of the following describes your involvement in music? (Check all that apply)
Music teacher, This is a profile for a guitar-related business engaged in the following area(s):, Instructional material publisher (books/video/website)
How many years have you been playing guitar?
20-30 years
What is your website address?
Do you subscribe to or regularly read Acoustic Guitar?
I purchase copies at newsstands/bookstores

Music Education for Today's Guitarists

10 Reasons to Study Guitar with Susan Palmer

1) Experience: I have been teaching people to play the guitar for over 15 years and I have been the guitar instructor at Seattle University for the past 8 years. I also created and teach "The Rock Project" at Cornish College of the Arts.

2) Dedication: I wrote The Guitar Lesson Companion method book series. These books were specifically designed to be used by students who are working with a good guitar teacher. The books are currently being used in over 10 countries, including by faculty at Berklee School of Music.

3) Innovation: I have produced and published over 100 free lesson and jam videos which correspond to the concepts in my books.

4) Structure: To make clear and consistent progress, teachers need to have a plan for teaching, and students need to understand the plan. My teaching focuses on the fundamentals of music: reading, chords, scales, and theory. I tailor a plan for each of my students that helps them reach their goals quickly and effectively.

5) Accountability: If a student doesn't practice, we talk about it and develop a plan. If a student continues to not practice, I stop teaching them.

6) Professionalism: My blog answers questions that a lot of beginning guitarists ask. One section deals with spotting a terrible teacher.

7) Honesty: There is no single teacher who is capable of working well with every student, but I think that I am able to work well with most students. I network with many other excellent teachers and I am happy to refer students to them when I am not the best teacher for the student. The student's needs and goals always come first.

8) Current: There are new educational resources available all the time, and I do my best to research them and stay up to date in my studio.

9) Successful: Not all of my students decide to use their skills to pursue a professional career in music, but many of them perform often at these and other venues: The High Dive, The Comet, Neumos, Chop Suey, Skylark, The Mix, The Edgewater Hotel, and private events.

10) Passion: I really love being able to make my living by teaching people how to play the guitar. My students pick up on this and they work hard and have fun as they work with me. Be sure to read my Student Testimonials.





It's simple: You need a clear and flexible method with plenty of exercises to make learning the tough stuff on guitar easier!


Build a solid foundation of practical skills with Volumes One and Two of “The Guitar Lesson Companion.” These are best guitar method books for serious guitarists to get started and reach their highest playing potential. Written by a University guitar instructor with over 15 years of experience teaching kids, college music students and adults.


Order here and also receive: free picks, free lesson guides, and free online support!



• The Book for Students Taking Lessons
• Jazz, Blues, Rock and Folk Music
• Electric or Acoustic Pick-Style
• Beginning to Advanced Levels


Note from Susan Palmer: I wrote these books to help students get more out of their guitar lessons and to help teachers save time and be more effective in their studios. I have been frustrated with most method books because they do not follow a clear and progressive structure, they omit important concepts, and there never seem to be enough exercises for students to really learn the material.

While no book works well with every type of student, I attempted to create a method series that would be more flexible than any other books on the market. I also decided that in order for a method book series to truly be successful, it should be used with a guitar instructor; that's why these books are designed so differently than other books you have seen.

These books provide teachers with a basic framework for teaching, but they do not attempt to replace the teacher with pages of explanations, that most students won't read anyway. There are many ways to progress through these books, and it is up to the teacher to discover the ways that work best for each type of student.


Check out some of the video lessons to see if this might be right for you!








Guitar Lessons with Susan Palmer in Seattle or via Webcam

The Rock Project at Cornish College of the Arts

YouTube Guitar Lesson and Jam Track Library

Susan Palmer's Guitar Studio on Facebook

Get More Out of Your Guitar Lessons Blog

Susan Palmer's LinkedIn Profile




Susan Palmer is the author of The Guitar Lesson Companion guitar method book series and currently teaches guitar at Seattle University as well as The Rock Project at Cornish College of the Arts. She has led jazz, blues, and rock groups throughout her career, and has spent the past 15 years teaching adults and kids how to play the guitar. Many of her students are now actively performing throughout the Pacific Northwest.
In 2006, Palmer published her unique guitar instruction method in The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One, and in accompanying online video lessons, jam tracks and performances. Subsequently, her book has been adopted by teachers and students in over 10 countries, including faculty at Berklee College of Music.
After a 2009 meeting with the Music Department Chair at Cornish College of the Arts, she was inspired by a shared enthusiasm for innovative education, and Palmer committed to creating a new curriculum for youth that goes beyond the musical offerings available in schools. This curriculum focused on creating and performing the music many young people love, on instruments they love. Out of this, she developed and pitched what became The Rock Project, a week-long summer workshop for youth people interested in expanding their skills in rock by studying key elements of jazz and blues music.
This sold-out program of Palmer’s conception and design, proved that there is interest in the Seattle area for a music program that challenges students to be creative and smart musicians, while having a lot of fun. In fact, one student came as far as Australia to participate in last summer’s workshop.
In 2010, Palmer became a faculty fellow for Seattle University's Academic Service-Learning Program where she learned how to introduce academic service-learning into her courses. Her goal was to incorporate academic service-learning into her curriculum for guitar lessons by requiring her students to commit to regular performances and/or lessons with people in our community who were not otherwise able to hear live music or receive private music instruction. She then measured and evaluated her results for an Action Research Project. Also in 2010, Palmer received a grant to begin studying piano and drums more seriously, an enterprise that continues to enrich and broaden her music teaching in guitar and small groups.
Palmer's second book, The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume Two was published in 2011 and helps meet the need that college music teachers have expressed for a clear and flexible intermediate-advanced level method book. This advanced method book allows her to connect and discuss innovative teaching ideas with instructors around the world who share her passion for teaching young musicians the fundamentals of music in ways that promote creativity and mastery.
Currently, Susan Palmer is developing an after school music education project that focus on the influence of jazz and blues music on rock and electronic pop music. Along with her teaching gigs at Seattle University and Cornish College of the Arts, Susan Palmer teaches privately in Seattle and worldwide via Skype. For more information, contact her at:
Order here and also receive: free picks, free lesson guides, and free online support!

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Comment Wall (34 comments)

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At 10:54pm on January 23, 2011, Babushekar said…
Thank you Susan. Eagerly waiting for my book :)
At 12:49am on October 7, 2010, Kevin Sipes said…
700 subscribers! You rock!! ... or whatever else you feel like playing on the guitar today... :D
At 4:33pm on July 24, 2010, Luis Motta da Silva said…
Just accepted your frienship offer, Thank you. Great blues licks. My instruments and music are slightly different from yours, as you may see on my page, but I hope you like them...
At 1:05pm on March 7, 2010, DC said…
Thanks Susan.... a great surgeon...almost three weeks in, therapy is great and I am soloooowly playing a bit of fingerstyle on a small body moved over to my left leg in a more classical position :)
At 8:57am on January 4, 2010, Rob Nicodemus said…
Hi Susan,
My name is Rob Nicodemus. I live just outside the Nashville area (Murfreesboro Tn.) and I'm using your book teaching my 40 year old daughter the guitar. I wanted to tell you what a great job you've done in putting together this great teaching tool. Looking forward to Volume 2. When do you think that will be avalable?
At 1:42am on November 8, 2009, G Alexander McDonell said…
thanks i'll have a look.
At 7:02am on November 7, 2009, G Alexander McDonell said…
I am interested in your book - i am looking for a good method for teaching jazz/pop - What is really important to me is the beauty of the exercises that i give to students. I have been teaching classical method because i found a really good set of method books that has people playing beautiful music right from the beginning. I am hoping for something like this - do you think your book would be what i am looking for?
At 9:43am on September 9, 2009, Hugh McCloskey said…
Hi Susan,
I was reading one of your blogs and found myself a little confused about your book; is it for teachers, or students and teachers? I am taking group lessons and thought it might be helpful for adding some structure to my practice. The group lessons are not very structured because students are at different skill levels. I've been at it for about 10 months with no musical background, while others have had a little experience with church groups, etc. Basically I'd like to know whether it would be appropriate to use on my own or whether I'd need to use the book in conjunction with a teacher.
Regards, Hugh
At 12:18pm on July 13, 2009, Sharon Netzley said…
Thanks, Susan. When I get the idea a little more fleshed out I'll be happy to share it with you.
At 2:44pm on June 25, 2009, hue said…
Thank you.
At 7:21am on June 14, 2009, T. McCloud said…
Excellent, thanks!
At 10:59am on June 1, 2009, Donna Zitzelberger said…
Thanks so much Susan! It's getting crazy, but also very exciting. It's so fun to see the kids pumped up! Hope you have a great end of the year, and look forward to posts from you after you finish up!

At 7:26pm on May 18, 2009, Kathy said…
Thanks for having me. I've been reading some threads, and so far it looks like a lot of great women.
At 6:30pm on May 17, 2009, Sam King said…
Hey Susan,
Just an update on my progress. I am on week two in the book. I am actually going a little slower than the book. I have been striving for perfect tone out of my notes and chords. The note are good the chords are pretty good but changing between chords is getting me frustrated. My fingers seem to have a mind of there own which does not agree with what I want them to do. I finger the chords without strumming and change from chord to chord over and over again. G to C to G to G7 to C. The combo is part of Amazing Grace I'm working on. Still practice everyday two-three hours a day in one hour blocks.
Thanks for what you do for the guitar community and for new people wanting to learn.
At 6:46pm on May 11, 2009, Walt Pilcher said…
Thanks, Susan. It was a lot of fun. Just need some ideas for future episodes!
At 11:06am on May 6, 2009, Sam King said…
Your book and CD arrived today. What fast service. I was pleased to see the lessons are laid out very similarly to the way my instructor is teaching me. I like the lesson planer a lot. it is more structured than the lesson plan my instructor gives me for the week.
I will keep you updated on my progress
At 10:32pm on May 3, 2009, Deidre McCalla said…
susan -

yes - i did get the user guide! on first glance it looked very helpful but i've yet to really sit down with it. i'm a bit swamped these days - vis a vis it took me til just now to see you asked about it on my page! i did get around to listening to the CD in my car and i'm jazzed that you give such great sounding, interesting tracks for the student to practice with.
At 6:59am on April 28, 2009, Donna Zitzelberger said…
Hi Susan,

Glad to get to know you! You have put a lot of quality work into your book. The CD is amazing. I tried the first few pages out on some of my very little students and they started to rock out while they played E, F, and G. Quite an ingenious way to get the kids to learn their standard notation! Thanks for all your hard work!

At 2:04pm on April 24, 2009, Cheryl A Moon said…
Hi Susan,
I haven't had a chance to look into that yet... I have a simple beginner book - just got my guitar last week :D - I may order get the companion... but it may be a little while. Thank you for adding me to the group.
At 7:28pm on April 17, 2009, Kathy Moore said…
Susan- that is so awesome that you got reviewed by Berklee school of music.

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