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Guitar teacher opens studio in Jamestown

Fred Williams of Edgeley, N.D., plays a tune on a guitar Wednesday in his Jamestown studio, where he teaches electric, acoustic and classical guitar in a variety of musical styles. Kari Lucin / The Sun

Those who are about to rock and want to know how to do that have a new option in Jamestown — the Williams Guitar Studio, where Edgeley resident Fred Williams teaches electric, acoustic and classical guitar.

“Rock, classical, blues, jazz, contemporary and traditional praise and worship and country,” Williams said, describing what he can teach his students. “From rock to Bach.”

Williams, who now lives in Edgeley, hails from Conway, Arkansas. In his youth, he heard a Beatles song — though he doesn’t remember which one — and decided he needed a guitar and nagged his parents until he received one.

“I always just sat and played guitar for myself,” he recalled.

A self-taught guitar player, he moved from classical guitar to rock and joined his first band at age 18, eventually returning to his classical roots in the 1990s.

He became a guitar teacher by accident in the 1980s, when he went to a music store and the owner began asking him questions.

“By the time I left the store that day, I had a job with him,” Williams said. “I taught for him for five years.”

He also taught for six years at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

Williams decided to move to North Dakota for a number of reasons, including love — his girlfriend lives in Edgeley — and the desire to try something new.

He is a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, a professional music fraternity.

Learning music offers benefits beyond the music itself. Williams cited research that showed children enrolled in music classes do better at academics later in life.

Then there’s the satisfaction of learning to play.

“I don’t care if that kid is 6, or if they’re all thumbs … if they can play a simple G chord they walk out of here saying ‘I can play a song!’” Williams said.

While Williams mainly teaches guitar, he’s also helped beginners with bass, ukulele, banjo and mandolin.

“If it’s a stringed instrument at a beginning level, a lot of people have questions and I can help with that,” Williams said.

His students typically give a recital at least twice per year, typically as a benefit for a charitable group, Williams said.

He loves taking on students as beginners and helping them learn until they can accomplish virtuoso guitar work.

“My students all do well,” Williams said, recalling one who went on to study at the Chicago Institute of Fine Arts on a scholarship.

Currently, he has three students, but Williams would like to teach 40 lessons a week, if possible.

He charges $80 per month, and usually there are four lessons per month — but sometimes there are five, for which there is no additional charge.

To get started, students — adults or kids age 6 or older — essentially just need their guitars, and will be able to order books through Williams.

The Williams Guitar Studio is located in the Park Plaza Mall near Coborn’s and The Pantry, but Williams also teaches lessons at the Senior Center in Edgeley.

For more information, visit the Williams Guitar Studio page on Facebook or call (701) 709-0197 or (501) 697-2631.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453

or by email at