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Real Student Testimonials

a.k.a "the Wall O' Shredding Fame!"

Jansen Y.

September 2014 - Present

"I have always wanted to learn guitar but never had the opportunity, finally when I was 16 I bought my first guitar. I realized how hard guitar was, and almost felt embarrassed to learn. The guitar collected dust for almost 6 years, until September 2014, when I found Gene on Craiglist. I was very nervous as I had never played a day in my life and I was scared I would be terrible.. well I was! but Gene immediately made me feel comfortable with learning a new skill as an adult. He has been so patient through this long learning process and always encourages me to keep going and is good at pointing out my progress when I think I have not made any. Gene is just awesome, he is super caring and understanding. He has become more than just a guitar teacher, he is a friend. Whenever I am having a bad day I love that I can go to guitar, learn some awesome stuff and get out some much needed venting. He's like my guitar therapist! I honestly believe I wasn't meant to learn till I could learn from him! :D he's great and I would recommend him to anyone!!!"

Justin H.

September 2013 - Present
December 2005 - September 2007

New Review 6/16/15

"I've taken guitar lessons with Gene for over 5 years. My guitar experience prior to meeting Gene was very limited. So limited that I didn't even own a guitar pick nor how to properly hold/use one. I never felt that I needed guitar lessons as I had taught myself many other hobbies in the past. "Practice makes perfect" was a motivational phrase I often told myself. It wasn't till a failed audition at my local church that I realized my practicing wasn't producing the results I had wanted/expected. I started working with Gene and immediately identified that a majority of my current abilities were based upon improper techniques.

I didn't fully appreciate or understand proper technique as its affects were not always apparent in my playing. As my lessons progressed and technique improved, I realized that my motivational slogan wasn't complete. I now say; "proper practice makes perfect". Working with Gene got me back on track with learning to play guitar. I have confidence when practicing knowing that the time I'm investing is not being wasted on bad habits.

A lot has changed since starting lessons with Gene. I re-auditioned at church and made the worship team! I regularly played lead guitar at my church and was content with my playing ability. I decided to stop lessons as I now had a solid foundation and figured that I could pick up anything I didn't know from online videos. This was one of biggest mistakes I've made.

Quickly after being on my own, I began to realize the lacking quality and musicianship in the countless "tutorial" videos found on YouTube. It's easy finding online song lesson, however, it's very rare to find someone teaching it correctly or true to the album. I remembered working with Gene and not only learning the EXACT riffs and leads to a song, but also the artist's style, tone and effects used. Over the years I became accustom to learning and sounding just like the artist I was trying to replicate. This quality of instruction I have only been able to find while working with Gene.

I noticed that my interested in playing guitar faded after I ended lessons. I just didn't have the excitement to learn new songs or challenge myself to play better on the ones I did know. After a long sabbatical I decided to start back up lessons with Gene. Fast forward a few years; I now look forward to practicing nightly and regularly play with multiple churches within the Denver Metro area.

I would not be where I am musically today without Gene's guidance and inspiration. He's a great mentor and continues to challenge me to be a better musician. Looking back, if I could change anything about my experience with Gene, it would be starting lessons with him sooner and never taken a break."


Somewhere between 12/05 - 09/07

Just wanted to take a few minutes and provide you with some feedback on how I feel my guitar lessons are going. To start I would like to give you a little insight on my previous experiences with lessons and other college classes I have taken. I started playing guitar seriously about three to four years ago with private lessons at a well known musicians store under the instruction of John. It wasn’t till about two months later I found myself tired/board of playing and that picking up the guitar was becoming more of a chore then a form of enjoyment. Due to slow results and dwindling interest I believe my guitar instructor became frustrated. His teaching styles of “My way or the highway” never really worked with me and unless I completed his task to a level he deemed sufficient I could not move on to another lesson or try something new. I ended up quitting lessons and guitar all together feeling that it was to difficult and that I didn’t have the talent for it.

About a year later I enrolled in a group Intermediate guitar class at Front Range Community College feeling that I should give lessons another shot. The teacher Kevin was much more professional in his course outline and lesson schedule then my previous teacher but was unable to give the one on one attention to each student. The class had about 12 students ranging from kids who should be playing on tour to students who never knew they had a left handed guitar. So much for an intermediate group setting I thought. The class was a semester long 6 months learning everything from how to hold the pick to a verity of basic songs. Over all the class was good but with as many students and the amount of material we needed to cover getting help on specific problems or learning proper technique was very difficult. After this class lasting only 6 months I once again gave up on guitar, never re-opening the case until my girlfriend and I attended a Halloween party ware one of your current students Paul Hummel was playing.

Watching Paul play was amazing. They way he could sound just like some of the cover songs he was playing and how fast his hands moved on the guitar were amazing. Later that week I talked with Paul regarding his band and how he became so good at guitar at such a young age. Out of all the things I thought he would say I would have never guessed he would say lessons seeing how my past experiences went. After listening to Paul brag and rant about how well you teach and the quality of the equipment you use I figure I would give lessons a shot “again”… And man am I glad I did. Gene I can honestly say that after two to three months with you taking lessons only every other week I learned more than all my past experience combined. Even more important than that, I now have a new love/excitement for playing guitar then I’ve ever had. The way you teach lets me wonder with my own interests yet keeps me on track with what you want me to learn. I love how you can explain something and then show me real world applications of what you want me to learn in songs I know. The tools and software you have are way above anything you would think or even expect a guitar teacher to have. Half the time I just walk in humming a song and within five minutes you can have it up and be ready to teach it. I also love the fact that you remember that you were once in my shoes learning guitar, and that you show me things that will not only help me a little not but will greatly help me in the future. Your prices are very completive when you take into consideration all the services you provide. When compared to lessons at the guitar store or classes at Front Range I feel that I gain so much more from you and your first class studio then I could from either.

Thanks again


Syd S.

February 2014 - May 2015 Graduation

"I came to Gene as someone with a passion for music and a love for singing. I decided I wanted to play guitar and it wasn't until a year later that I found Gene. Music has the power to be very vulnerable if you allow it, so I needed someone who wasn't intimidating and wanted to assist me in gaining musical knowledge as well as letting my passion grow by playing the music I loved. I'll tell you what I told him when asked why I decided to take lessons from him, he isn't scary or intimidating. Although he has more musical knowledge than most (certainly me) he didn't act like he was entitled or better than me in any way. I've found that these are rare qualities in a music instructor. The hour a week that I'm not distracted with school or work, but can instead completely submerge myself in music, with the help of a comfortable learning environment, is my favorite hour. "

Catherine M.
(Music Teacher, Writer and Performer)

February 2013 - Present 

"Gene is my guitar teacher and is a fine musician. He is well schooled in theory and writing.

His expertise in the studio takes music from a barebones vision to a highly professional finished project. Various musical styles have found their way into his studio.

Gene also teaches tailoring lessons for each unique student. In my case, He knows my musical background and takes it into account.

My experience is that Gene will make every effort to create an excellent musical experience for students and performers alike."

Shannon C.

October 2009 - April 2015

"Gene is the best teacher I have ever had even though he is my second teacher. When Iam mad i go to my room and play my guitar and when Icome out I'm happy. Every time I go to guitar I am always happy."

Collin P.

June 2009 - June 2014

Learning guitar with Gene is great. I started a year ago and I'm already playing "Carry on my Wayward Son" by Kansas (a challenging song). You can go at your own pace and play anything you want. Yeah, the scales are great and all, but real songs are better (in my opinion). Every time I leave after a lesson, I am already looking forward to the next. It's that great. I played piano with another teacher for 5 years until I got tired of it, but I don't think this will ever get boring. Gene is a great teacher, and I would highly recommend learning from him.

Bryant B .

March 2009 - February 2013 

I have been playing bass for 4 years now, but for the first 2 i was taking lessons from another guy (i forgot his name) but he didn't make playing fun, it was just scales and reading music out of a book which didn't teach me much; there was no helping me with my technique or learning stuff that i wanted to do. Then when i started taking lessons with Gene and he helped me refine my technique and taught me a lot about why the stuff like scales and what not are so important and has also taught me about music theory. After the first 2 lessons or so i felt really good about how i was playing, sometimes i cant believe its me playing. I have not only learned about my instrument but also about other instruments, song structure, how scales fit into music, and even a little bit about recording. If you are thinking about taking guitar or bass lessons go with Gene you will not regret it.

Dom B.

Every Now and Again - Present

September 2008 - July 2012

"Gene Crout is a very interesting fellow. He has gnarly skills with the guitar but still after all these years is teaching his gnarly ways instead of shredding them out in a band of his own, which leads to the point of how much of an awesome teacher he is. I think of him as the Jesus of the shredder world. Along with his perfect Jesus appearance, he had sacrificed his own fortune and fame to spread his knowledge and wisdom of the guitar to others around the world! Not really but he’s the best teacher I’ve had, and trust me I’ve had many. If you are in need of a loving, caring guitar teacher (with a little bit of humor) to guide you along your journey of obtaining gnarly shredding abilities, come to Gene for he is the Jesus of the shredder world. Seriously. "

Disclaimer: Gene cannot absolve sins, guitar or otherwise

John M.

June 2008 - June 2010 Graduation 

"Ever since i've been going to Gene, it's like my playing has just clicked into place and I'm suddenly the master of the 6-stringed beast. I had been self-taught for about 7 months before going to Gene and about 3 weeks into lessons with him, I was already twice as good as before. His teaching is like mixing music theory, rhythm, and your favorite songs in a blender together for a delicious smoothie of ever-improving skills and shredding. Go to Gene and prepare for the best guitar playing you've ever seen, right out of your own fingertips!"

Dan S.

October 2007 - May 2010

"I have been taking guitar lessons from Gene Crout for about 10 months. Gene runs a first class guitar studio that is a strong environment for learning. As an older student, I greatly appreciate Gene's patience with my slower learning pace due to work and family commitments -- I simply cannot put in the practice time afforded to younger students. Having said this, I have made very strong progress on the guitar over the past 10 months. I came to Gene as a self-taught guitar player with a very limited vocabulary on the instrument. Gene has worked with me on the basic physics of the human body and applying it to guitar. We have worked on scales, chords, and most importantly music that inspires me to go on as a musician. Gene's approach with me has been very flexible to work on the "problem of the week". I play guitar for a very large church here in the Denver area. I am learning new music constantly and seek to improve my contribution to a strong ensemble. Gene has been instrumental in helping me to learn to use a guitar pick, play improvised solo's based on various diatonic and pentatonic scales, and to play rich jazz-oriented chords. Gene's enthusiasm for a broad range of musical genres and his practical experience as both a professional musician and instructor have been invaluable to me as an emerging guitar player. Gene is both a friend and mentor who inspires me to take "my game" to the next level. I look forward to my guitar lessons each week and always leave with a smile on my face. I am learning Gene's enthusiasm and passion for guitar and adding to my own. It's a fantastic experience that is 100% "for me" and that I can share with others. :)"

Michelle C.

January 2007 - June 2010 Graduation

"I started taking guitar lessons from Gene in January 2007. I've been a student for a year and half now and still look forward to my lesson each week. Although I was a complete beginner when I started, I am now much more skilled and confident with my guitar-playing abilities. Coming to Audio Digital has been a wonderful experience because it's a relaxed environment where I can come to learn a wide variety of songs as well as develop my skills with a professional and qualified musician/teacher. Gene teaches good techniques and habits to help me improve my playing while still making the lessons enjoyable. Ultimately, Audio Digital has met and exceeded my expectations and I feel that it is the best musical instruction a student can receive."

 Ben Z.

December 2005 - June 2009 Graduation

Then, approx 11/08...

...nowish 2013...

Ben Z Leading Worship

Ben Z Jammin





"I've been Gene's guitar student for about 3 years. I started with him when I was a freshmen in high school. Since then, I have learned to love music with such a deep respect. He has not just shown me how to play the guitar, he has made me a guitar player. He has never pressured me into doing anything that I did not want to do, but at the same time he has pushed me to become the guitar player that I've wanted to be. Through song teachings, pentatonic and diatonic scales, playing technique, and ear training, Gene has taught me to truly understand and listen to the music that I'm playing. He is a great, personal teacher, and a really fun person to be around. I enjoy going to my lesson every week because I know I will learn something new each time, as long as I put the effort into learning it. Gene is not just a great teacher, he is a great friend, and I'm thankful that he has truly helped make guitar playing and music a part of who I am. "



It has been four years since I sat in my last lesson with Gene as one of his students. And during these last four years, I have truly come to realize the blessing of Gene and his teachings with regards to music. When I left Arvada, and moved to Fort Collins for college, I had a strong desire to get involved playing music in some way or another. At that time, I had taken guitar lessons with Gene all throughout high school, and in his teachings, I had developed a deep understanding of what it meant to listen to music. What I mean by listen, is that through every guitar lesson, Gene was intentional in not just simply showing me how to play certain songs, lics, and riffs. He did indeed do that, but more so, Gene taught me how to understand what a guitar (or guitars) was doing in a song, how to isolate it, and then play it. Gene could show me anything I wanted, but his ultimate goal with me was to teach me how to teach myself. He wanted me to get to a place where I could listen to a song, and pull out the parts that I wanted to learn to play, and play them. In other words, Gene taught me how to be a musician- a guitar player rather than just simply someone who can functionally play a guitar.

Since my last lesson, I have also become a drummer, and a vocalist. I spent all of my free time in college playing music for various ministry events in Northern Colorado. I have had the opportunity to drum, play guitar, and lead worship for one of the largest campus ministries called CRU all four years of college, as well as organize and lead the largest on-campus worship event that occurs at CSU. Now, I am about to move to Kansas City for a position as a Youth Ministry intern at a church where I will be organizing, teaching, and playing music with middle school and high school students. Now you must understand, I do not write this to tell you how accomplished I feel as a musician, I write this to uplift Gene, and give him complete credit for the foundation of my musicianship. Obviously, Gene is not a drum teacher, nor was a vocal instructor at that time. But I must acknowledge that the reason I have those skills are, in every respect, due to how Gene taught me how to listen, dissect, and play the music I was hearing. With that said, the opportunities that I have had to play music, as well as my overall growth as a musician are entirely a product of how Gene taught me how to truly listen to music. I am a musician, but only because I was first a student of Gene Crout. I am unbelievable thankful for Gene, and how he taught me as a high school student to embrace and develop that identity in the most fun, patient, and intentional environment I could have asked for.

Ben Z Drumming Ben Z Jamming Ben Z Leading at One

Brian K.

January 05 - June 2010 Graduation

"I have been taking guitar lessons from gene for about 4 years now, and i absolutely love it. When i first started taking lessons, i was absolutely terrible, and now, i can barely believe that its actually me playing. Gene is an incredible teacher. He never gave up on me, even when i felt like giving up on myself. I have learned so much about not only guitar, but music in general, and i am amazed at how fun these past few years of learning have been. Gene is such an awesome dude, that'll help you no matter what. It's also a plus that he teaches you what you want to learn, instead of just slamming you with boring chords for an hour straight. I absolutely love my lessons with Gene, and i plan to continue with him for many years to come."

Rachael C.

January 2005 - November 2008

"Gene is an awesome guitar teacher. He has taught me soo much in the time that I have been his student. When I go to my lesson I am comfortable. I love going down and playing my guitar with him because he is an amazing player and he knows your strengths and weaknesses. I have so much fun and learn so much. I hope to continue my lessons with Gene and to learn more about playing. I love to play my guitar and Gene loves to teach. He will never give up on you unless you give up."

Eric P.

January 2005 - June 2009 Graduation

"I have been with Gene Crout since the middle of my eighth grade year, December of 2005. It has been a wonderful experience where my once terrible guitar skills have been molded and shaped into an adequate display of musical talent, all thanks to the hilarious Gene Crout. His guitar teaching not only allowed me to grow in my skill, but also gave me a chance to observe what true passion is. He is not only passionate about music in general, but desires for his students to grow and develop a passion such as his. It has been incredible to see this as I have grown from a puny middle school kid into the lanky giant I am today. Gene has been a very positive influence in my life and through his amazing display of guitar skills, I have learned a great deal. I would recommend his lessons to anyone who even hints at a desire to learn the guitar, my experience has been wonderfully encouraging and I would expect the same for any others who desire to learn guitar. It has been amazing and my talent with the electric guitar has grown immensely, all thanks to Gene."

 Austin B.

May 2004 - September 2008

"I played piano for about four years as a child, but it [music] was finally my decision so I picked up the guitar. I have now been playing for about five years. My relationship with Gene has been odd. I started lessons with him about four years ago, but after about two years my parents switched me to [Unnamed Arvada Guitar Teacher]. He was a great guitar player and teacher, but my heart was still longing for more. There is something about lessons from Gene that just don't quite compare to others. I went to [Other Guy] for about 5 months and quickly returned to Gene. The first lesson back, I knew it was right. Gene has taught me so much. Not only how to play the guitar, but how to know and understand music. I liked music before I met Gene, but since then, I've began to fall in love with it more and more. My guitar skills have quickly improved and I have started to pursue music in many ways. I've started to write my own music, I'm now comfortable playing in front of people, I've learned to teach myself songs by using my ear, I can play with others and it actually sounds good, and I have learned the art of rock and roll. Gene is an awesome guy. When you have a lesson, it's not like school or something, you don't even realize your learning... You're just like "woa, I am good at guitar now... sweet."

Dom D.

"The Shredding Tomato"

August 2003 - May 2013

"I’ve been a student of Gene’s for about 8 years now. I feel like I know more than I would if I went anywhere else for lessons. I’ve been learning things such as music theory, scale modes, reading and even a few things about recording. Gene helps to improve my technique. Whenever I don’t understand something such as a scale mode or a certain riff, Gene explains it and makes sure I understand it or if I’m having trouble with a certain song he makes sure that I get it. One of the coolest things about Gene is that he teaches you what you want to learn. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for a guitar lesson because Gene is the best!"

Paul Hummel

Some Random Band

November 2001 - April 2010

"From Paul Hummel, student of 6 years, now front-man for Some Random Band:

The coolest thing about taking lessons with Gene, is that while he strongly focuses on technique, he will only teach you what you want to learn. I have always felt that I would rather learn anything that I chose for myself, rather than something chosen for me. Gene is a master at combining music theory with what you want to learn. Pick a song, he'll show you how to do it, and you'll pick it up pretty quick. Books are assigned, but only to show you how and why the songs you choose work, and eventually how to structure your own music if you wish to do so. Gene taught me everything I know about the guitar, and it continues to show itself every time Some Random Band plays a show!"



Audio Digital is a private facility
located just off Ralston Rd / 58th St
between Carr and Garrison in Arvada.

Call for an appointment

Please call Gene Crout at 303-467-9499

or email to audiodude @

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