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Local Startup Wants To Be The 'Uber' Of Private Music Lessons

By Justin Freeman in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 18, 2015 6:40PM

Photo Source: Instagram

Reverb is a Lakeview based startup that wants to be the digital version of Guitar Center—just, you know, without the middle-aged men with ponytails arguing endlessly about who is the best rock drummer of all time.

Reverb, founded in 2013 as an online store for new and used musical equipment, can help you avoid awkward situations like that.

Let’s say you’re in a band and you bust an amp at a show. You could hit up Reverb to try to find a new or used one on the cheap. The reverse is true as well. Let’s say you saw Flying Lotus at Lollapalooza, had the sudden epiphany that you want to be a DJ, bought the necessary gear and never learned how to use any of it. Using Reverb, you could sell your gear for a reasonable price.

Reverb’s sales have grown exponentially since launch. They sold around 40 million dollars worth of equipment in 2014 alone. Compare this to their sales at about 3 million dollars in 2013. They have investors ranging from Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen to Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky.

Earlier this week, Reverb announced their newest venture, Reverb Lessons. Reverb Lessons is a marketplace where users can find qualified instructors to teach them how to play music. The gist of it is that Reverb Lessons wants to be the OpenTable for music lessons, so that the guitar you bought after watching St. Vincent destroy everything in her path at Pitchfork last year doesn’t continue to go to waste in the corner of your bedroom.

Lessons can be browsed by instrument or location or a combination of both. Lessons all have a fixed price; $45 for lessons online, $55 for lessons at the instructor's location, and $65 for lessons at the customer's location. Each lesson is one hour. Like Uber, payment is handled through Reverb, so no transaction is necessary between the student and instructor. They have instructors around the nation, but are mainly found in Chicago and California for now.

Reverb acquired the Venice-based Lesson Lodge last June to form the basis of what would eventually become Reverb Lessons.

“With the addition of Reverb Lessons, we take another big step toward being the best place for musicians to grow,” Reverb CEO David Kalt said in a statement.