About Friendly Frets

Gordon Tibbits~BIo

AboutGordon began teaching private music lessons in 1987 out of his Shoreline home. He transitioned to teaching at a local music store in Shoreline which used to reside on the parking lot of the 185th St. Fred Meyer in Shoreline.  His desire for growth and change led him to move to Upstate New York where he taught at two local music stores and was thrown into the deep end of the learning curve when He was given the opportunity to play guitar as the youngest, least-seasoned member in a wedding band.  

In early 2003 Gordon returned to the Seattle area and resumed teaching private lessons while also having the opportunity to be a musical director at a well known Seattle museum and teach guitar classes in the Edmonds and Seattle school districts.  In addition to teaching He also performed in many bands, theater productions, and houses of worship on guitar, bass, and vocals.  

Prior to covid Gordon was performing with the Bavarian Beer Garden Band while also providing in-person lessons at his Everett home studio.  The onset of the pandemic in March made it necessary for him to stop in-person lessons and live performances.  Drawing upon his creativity, and curiosity for learning Gordon redirected his music efforts by moving all of his lessons online this past March.  He also has continued to work on recording projects with musicians from his various groups which has kept him connected to his music community while growing his skills and creativity.   

Outside of teaching music Gordon enjoys working out, biking, walking the neighborhood with his wife, hiking, reading, building his classical guitar repertoire, and keeping in touch with his adult children.


Learning music should be kept fun, structured, and closely aligned with the needs, interests, and goals of his students.


Gordon’s ongoing mission at Friendly Frets is to consistently provide empathetic, person-oriented instruction that is aimed towards empowering each student’s growth, vision, and musical participation in their local community.


Kids ages 7-12

Teens ages 13 – 17

Adults ages 18 – 90

Music Styles

Rhythm & Blues

Gordon's Qualities

  • Compassion, patience, and flexibility when working with students
  • Awareness of developmental facets surrounding different student age groups.
  • Creativity applied to music and finding new ways to present information and give students new experiences applying what they learn.
  • Openness to new music forms, culture, technology, art, and finding new ways to more effectively teach music.
  • Ongoing interest in the stories, experiences, challenges, and thoughts of his students.  

Gordon's Skill Sets

  • Performing and teaching many different types of music.  
  • Transcribing student songs by ear and creating music that is understood by the student. 
  • Applying music theory concepts to real-world music situations.
  • Developing collaborative goals with students and helping them reach those goals.
  • Developing teaching handouts providing resources that are relevant and timely for students. 
  • Providing students and families with clearly defined weekly practice objectives.
  • Organizing all lesson materials for quick retrieval and use for students on Google Drive.
  • Integrating technology within the learning environment.

Gordon's Qualifications

Professional Experience:

  • 32 years experience as a music educator.
  • Performing vocalist/guitarist/bassist in bands, theater productions, houses of worship.


  • Puget Sound Christian College – B.A. in Social Science. Summa Cum Laude
  • University of Washington – 1 year of Jazz Studies and Guitar Performance
  • Shoreline Community College – A.A. Music Theory Emphasis


  • 4/4 School of Music
  • Kings Schools
  • Edmonds Heights – Edmonds School District
  • Mopop
  • Cascade Parent Partnership/Seattle School District
  • Trinity Lutheran College
  • Seattle Rotary Boys and Girls Club
  • Saratoga Guitar, Saratoga Springs, NY

Lesson Topics


Gordon helps beginning students establish good habits with their hand placement and playing posture.  
Benefit: Students will grow their skills much more efficiently and reach goals within a shorter time-frame.

Reading Music

Students are given weekly opportunities to read various musical notation formats that apply to fretted instruments.    
Benefit:  This equips students to become their own teacher and exponentially broaden their access to repertoire and information.

Learning Songs

Gordon easily adapts his instruction around the chosen songs of his students.  
Benefit:  Student’s thrive when they are engaged in learning music that they have a personal connection with.  

Applied Music Theory

While learning songs students will have many opportunities to observe music theory concepts of melody, harmony, and rhythm function in real time. They will better understand music theory when it is taught in the context of a particular song.
Benefit: Understanding some basic music theory concepts helps students develop their own concept map which they can use to better understand why they enjoy the music they listen to and learn from.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Being proficient with chords of all shapes and sizes when playing songs.
  • Ear-Training – Attaching relevant information to what you hear.
  • Soloing/Improvisation – Learning how to play lead guitar.
  • Developing proficiency with rhythm and strumming so you can play music with others.
  • Understanding Song components and common music forms
  • Isolating components of a particular music genre
  • Becoming your own teacher by developing the ability to teaching yourself new songs.

Friendly Frets Lesson Studio

Studio Location

5030 116th PL SE
Everett, WA 98208
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