Studio Guitar


Boasting a faculty of world-class touring and recording guitarists, the USC Thornton Studio Guitar program is considered one of the finest guitar graduate programs in the world and offers Master of Music (MM) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degrees, as well as a Graduate Certificate (GCRT) in Studio Guitar.

The innovative and groundbreaking program offers a strong emphasis in jazz and popular music skills and techniques, while providing a foundation in classical training. Alumni include performing and recording artists, top touring sidemen with major recording artists, studio musicians, composers for film, television and other media, e-learning consultants and curriculum designers, authors, classical ensembles, music supervisors, and world-renowned teachers and professors of music.

Our alumni have performed and recorded with a diverse array of distinguished artists and ensembles including John Mayer, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Mraz, John Legend, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Whitney Houston, Pink Floyd, Miley Cyrus, Ben Folds, Eels, Michael Bublé, Ray Charles, Enrique Inglesias, Ricky Martin, and Mark Anthony. Acclaimed alumni include Paul Jackson Jr., Lee Ritenour, Andy Abad, Adam Hawley, Charles Altura, Matt Greif, Andrew York (of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet), Richard Smith and Larry Koonse.

Note to Undergraduate Guitarists: USC Thornton offers three different programs for undergraduate guitarists. Please refer to the application requirements for Jazz Studies, Popular Music Performance, and Classical Guitar.

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Tony Ybarra pictured holding a guitar beside a stone wall

Tony Ybarra profiled by VC Reporter

November 25, 2020

Guitarist Tony Ybarra (BM ‘02, MM ‘04), an alum of USC Thornton’s Studio Guitar program, was featured in an article by the VC Reporter. In the article, Ybarra shares about his work as a musician, his love of flamenco, and how he has continued to make music during the pandemic.… read more

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