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Music For the Hopeful (Hopeless?)

Banner: Closeup of guitar playing


Dave surrounded by his guitars

For the past seven plus years I have been teaching guitar to beginners and intermediates out of my home in NW DC. During that time I also taught one to two days a week for five years at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. For the cautious (paranoid?) this means that I passed an FBI background check and have a steady record of employment as a teacher. Further proof of my “worthiness” as a teacher can be found in the smiling faces of my students. Check out the photo gallery. Now, don’t they look happy? There ought to be some heartfelt testimonials laying around here somewhere as well…

My philosophy as a teacher is to cut to the chase.

Student learning a song

Most of my students are professionals who are working their asses off, and the guitar represents an opportunity for some important “me time.” It’s no news to them that they aren’t here to become professional musicians (rock stars, maybe…) To that end it should be as enjoyable as possible, and that’s why most of my students leave after the first lesson able to play a song. I don’t teach chords or music theory randomly. All chords, notes, rhythms, theory, etc. are introduced through the songs we play together. If I assign a drill, it is linked to a particular song. That is the essence of my practice. Learn how to play songs. Not part of a song, not just the cool lick but the whole damn song! I can’t abide noodlers (unless they are noodlin’ all the way through the song trying to get somewhere).

Student learning a song

Songs are either suggested by me or, even better, brought to me by the student. There is no “one size fits all” approach; all students move at their own pace and in their own direction. But it’s the songs that keep the students focused and give them something to share with friends, family and other musicians. This to me is the most important goal for my students: the ability to share the songs they have learned. Check out the photos of my students at my backyard jams. Now, don’t they look happy? (Could be the beer talkin’?).

Get in touch, if you would like to start learning and join the fun….thanks…David