About Us

Contact us about live performances and music lessons for guitar, bass, drums and piano.

Music Lessons
Music Lessons and Performances


Lucien has over 15 years of teaching experience and has taught 20th Century Techniques and Counterpoint at San Francisco State University. He also developed the curriculum for and taught Composition and Ear Training at the School for the Arts in San Francisco.

Lucien LaMotte, guitar lessons, music performance
Teaching music







“Lucien is an amazing teacher, player, motivator, coach, and person. There are many guitarists who are great at their craft, but few who are as adept as Lucien at translating what they know into helping others improve. Each lesson is personalized instruction, tailored to me – my abilities and interests – and presented at just the right difficulty level to keep me moving forward yet remain motivated. I leave each lesson so excited that I often go directly home and play for hours following each lesson. Guitar instruction from Lucien has been the single biggest factor in my elevated enthusiasm for playing guitar and the marked improvement in my abilities as a musician and guitarist” – Scott D.

“My daughters and I have been studying under Lucien for years and simply cannot say enough about how great an experience it has been. Between the three of us we’ve studied piano, drums, bass guitar, and vocals. This has helped my daughters in their school bands and choir, as well as all of our public performances in a number of bands outside of school. What we like most about Lucien is his tailored approach to helping his students learn at their own pace while pushing them to always challenge themselves” – Brian B.

“Studying with Lucien has enabled me to make substantial gains in my playing technique and understanding of all styles of music, especially Jazz. Finding a guitar teacher as an adult learner poses its own set of challenges, but Lucien has helped me make the most of my limited playing time by selecting material that is not only challenging but interesting as well. His dedication to his student’s individual goals, combined with his depth of real-world experience has meant that he has always helped me quickly improve in the areas most important to me. Lucien’s practical approach to music theory has given me techniques that I use every time I play, and the tools to approach almost any piece of music with confidence. Working with him has helped me take my music to the next level!” – Arthur N.

“As an adult learner, I appreciate Lucien’s willingness to fully explain the concepts behind his lessons. Also, he is willing to deviate from his plan to go over a song I may be learning outside the lesson. His patience always amazes me. I think that I have improved greatly from his instruction, and that I have a greater understanding of the concepts behind the music. Most importantly, Lucien is a really nice person” – Sue G.

“I read somewhere that Jazz is America’s only true art form. I can hardly claim to understand jazz, let alone art, but I’ve always envied those who seem to have a “natural” talent for this improvisational music. That effortless expression of creativity and freedom. How could I learn to do that? I set out to find a teacher and at first I was discouraged. Rare is the player who is willing to sacrifice the time necessary to nurture future musicians. Rarer still is the teacher who has an effective method of instruction and the patience to share that knowledge. In the end, I found Lucien. More than just scales and technique, somehow he taught me the elements of jazz that I find most important: listening, connection, creativity, feel. It’s been years now and though I still can’t claim to be a jazz musician, I feel that I am on the path. Every week he teaches me how to “speak” and we spend an hour or so having a musical conversation.  I was very lucky to find Lucien, a true guide in the art of Jazz” – Mark M.

“Back in 2011, I bought a Gibson Les Paul as a sort of protest against the DOJ going after Gibson and their use of rosewood for fret boards that the DOJ said were improperly sourced – despite Gibson following all of the existing rules and paperwork. And then there I was with a really nice guitar I could not play. Since  I was working at Microsoft at the time, I posted an email on the Guitar discussions list asking for recommendations for a guitar teacher. I got a fair number of responses, and most of them listed Lucien as a really good teacher, noting his wide range of musical knowledge and ability to teach beginners to experts. So I started lessons with Lucien, and stayed with him when he started doing lessons at Notewordies. I always enjoy  our lessons, and find them challenging enough to keep my interest and improve my skills. Lucien mixes in different genres of music to learn – from Albert King to Green Day – but all combine important fundamentals that are found across all music types. Lucien makes playing and learning fun and rewarding” – Storm S.

About Lucien

Lucien LaMotte has performed with former Dizzy Gillespie guitarist Pascal Bokar as a member of the Pascal Bokar Band at John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room and with bassist Myron Dove of Carlos Santana. He has opened for acts such as the Temptations, O’Jays, The Whispers, Ziggy Marley, Chaka Khan, Don Carlos and Wadi Gad. Lucien works regularly with Danny Hull formerly of the Doobie Brothers in addition to performing annually at the San Jose Jazz Festival. In the summer of 2005, he toured Hawaii as part of the “Power to the Peaceful” tour opening for reggae legend Don Carlos at the Pipeline Café and Waikiki on the Beach.

As a guitarist, Lucien is versed in studio as well as live performance. In 2005 alone, he recorded albums for fusion artists 650 Connection, Pentimento Jazz Ensemble, and the World Music ensemble Brother Sun. In 2006, he recorded the guitar work for Ben Vega’s album Bury the Times. In 2007 Lucien recorded When You Go, an album of original pieces and has also recorded an album for solo classical guitar that includes works by Francisco Tarrega and J.S. Bach. In 2009, he released Lines and Spaces, an album of original virtuosic classical guitar pieces. In 2010, he recorded and released Floating Worlds, an album of original songs, performing vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, pedal steel, dobro, bass and percussion. Also in 2010, he toured the West Coast in support of singer-songwriter Shasta Simmons’ album and arranged, performed and released a Christmas album with her. In 2011, he recorded tracks for the independent film “Surrogate Valentine”, recorded and played pedal steel, guitar and bass for Seattle artists Fan Fiction, Joy Mills, Silverhands, BC Campbell, Nick Droz and Amanda Sue Winterhalter.

Lucien has toured extensively in Europe with the Joy Mills Band and Silverhands. Lucien’s upcoming album, Crazy In My Step, is set for release in January 2017.

2005 Edward Nagel Scholarship in composition
2004 24 Frames published in Touch of Tomorrow by the International Library of Poetry
2003 Commissioned to compose A Perfect World for vocal competition at Ball State University in Indiana.
2002 Commissioned to write song cycle based on poems by Dorothy Parker
2002 Variations On A Dream selected for Bay Area Concert Exchange Program
2001 Commissioned to write Rondo for Two Marimbas
2001 Eva Thompson Award in composition
2000 Thomas O. Stevens Award in composition for Surface Tension

2009 M.A. in composition at San Francisco State University
2002 Graduated Magna cum Laude with a B.M. in composition from San Jose State University