When I first started taking lessons from Dave, I had only a basic understanding of the guitar. I could stun a few campfire chords, but I had no understanding of how music was put together or how to solo over changes beyond the basic pentatonic rock and roll thing. Within a few lessons, Dave had me soloing over basic changes and was opening my eyes to the complexity and beauty of how music actually works. It was only through what Dave showed me that I was eventually ready to go on to learn from his teacher, Ron Eschete, and to eventually earn a degree in Music. One of the greatest pleasures in my life was to go from being a student of Dave’s to being someone he actually occasionally gigged with. Dave has been an inspiration to me, and continues to this day to be a mentor in my own musical career, as well as a great friend.
~ Clifford Barackman
I started taking lessons from Dave when I was a junior in high school. I had failed to make the jazz band at my high school and was looking for a teacher that could help me improve my guitar technique, theory and dig deeper into jazz. His method of teaching is very skillful. The materials he gave me were very helpful and would help me understand different aspects of the guitar. I seemed to get better with every lesson, and much faster than I had progressed before. He really ignited the love for music in me and I truly am grateful for that. Dave not only helped me get into the big band the following year but along the way he helped me realize my dream of becoming a professional guitarist. I have never met another teacher that helped me progress as fast as I did. After high school, with the knowledge that Dave passed down to me, I was able to attend California State University, Long Beach for Jazz, something that I never thought I could do. His energy and passion for music inspires me to this day to better myself as a guitarist and as a person. He is truly a great teacher and someone that I respect deeply. I recommend him without hesitation to any serious guitarist looking to improve their playing and have fun while doing it. Thank you Dave!
~ Miles Jensen
I’ve been studying jazz guitar with Dave for about 6 years. He has also been teaching my son & daughter to play guitar and piano. Dave is not just our teacher, he has become a close family friend.
I’m 54 years old and I’ve been studying guitar for most of my life. I am glad to say, thanks to Dave, I am still improving. Dave’s knowledge of music is extraordinary but more importantly, he is a very good teacher. And even more importantly, he is a very kind and generous human being.
Dave is always on time, actually, he’s a few minutes early to set up, and he is always prepared. He brings lessons which take the students to that ever elusive next level. He teaches my kids songs and music theory that keeps their interest and keeps them improving. Thanks in large part to Dave, I expect that the kids and I will be playing music together for the rest of our lives.
Thank you Dave.
~ George Biancardi
"Dave is by far the best guitar instructor I have ever studied with. He equipped me with the musical tools I use every time I pick up a guitar. In addition to being a veritable dictionary of guitar technique and music theory, Dave is definitely the most talented guitarist I know personally (and one of the nicest people you will ever meet)."
~ T.J. Hill
TJ is currently working as the composer for the much anticipated animated series entitled Fancy Nancy (Disney Junior)
Dave has held my hand and walked me through the world of guitar since the beginning. I’ve gone from playing open chords to playing fancy jazz chords. His approach is to listen to your needs and start where you are. I’ve taken Many Many lessons from some great players i the past, but None as competent as Dave. He’s transforming me from a guitar player to a musician!!
~ James Leonard
I’ve been playing guitar since college, and considered myself a half way decent player for someone self taught and playing for my own enjoyment. I’d taken a few lessons over the years, but never clicked with any of the instructors and never stayed with anyone for more than a couple of sessions. So, I’d learn what I could from friends, books, and DVD’s and made very slow progress over about 40 years of playing. Then one evening I had the pleasure of hearing Dave play and was absolutely blown away by how beautiful his music was. I remember thinking to myself, “Now that’s the kind of music I’d like to be able to play”. So I approached Dave during a break and before I knew it, I was signed up for lessons. That was almost two years ago and I’ve covered way, way more distance in those two years than in all the years before. The first thing I realized, about ten minutes into my first lesson, was how little I knew about the guitar. Then slowly, over the next weeks and months, the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. I still have a long, long way to go, but I can definitely see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Without question, Dave is an exceptionally talented and versatile guitarist, but I really think that his true talent is teaching others. He seems to know just how to nudge you along, step by step and guide you through the process of building the foundation you need to transition from a casual player to a musician. At first, I remember being frustrated by how difficult it was to get past some of the hurdles, but I kept hearing Dave’s voice saying “there are no shortcuts”, so I’d just keep at it and before long things started falling into place.
So, if you’re interested in learning how to really play the guitar, and if you’re willing to put in the time, there is absolutely no question that Dave Schroeder is the guy you need to hook up with. He’s a delight to be around, an absolute gas to play guitar with and he’ll take you on a journey that will blow your mind.
~ Michael McDonald
As a kid being around my dad, who was very musically inclined, I learned a few things about music; but never took it seriously. I picked up and began playing the guitar about five years ago at the age of 40. After self-teaching myself for about two years I wanted more. I went to a local music store and spoke to the owner about taking guitar lessons and I was fortunate enough that he referred me to Dave.
I thought I had a pretty good idea about music going in with Dave; I soon learned I did not have a clue. Dave has taught me so much about music theory, how songs are written, chord progressions, various scales, jazz vs. pop music, how to really listen to a song to hear what the artists are doing with the music, etc…I still feel I have not touched the surface of what Dave can teach me.
Not only does he have the technical skills and knowledge to instruct, but more importantly his easy going personality enables him to impart his knowledge to his students. Dave also teaches guitar to my 18 year old son. Although my son and I have very different tastes in music, Dave tailors our lessons to our likes while still imparting the basics, the foundation, for us to build upon. Dave is an excellent teacher and I look forward to continuing to learn from him.
Not only did I find a great guitar teacher in Dave, I found a new friend.
~ Bob Palermini
I first began studying with Dave when I was 13 years old and continued with him for about 6 or 7 years. I still remember being nervous to meet Dave for the first time and then feeling comfortable with him almost immediately. His friendly nature puts his students at ease and his love for the guitar inspires them to learn and grow as musicians. Besides just learning the guitar basics, Dave equipped me with musical knowledge that I still use today.
I have studied with several guitar players besides Dave. And while all of them were extremely talented musicians, none were as nearly as good at guiding me in my musical journey. Dave's easy-going nature and patience create for a very productive learning environment.
I have since gone on to study music at Sonoma State University and am now a semester away from completing this leg of my musical journey. I know, however, that I would not have made it this far without the musical tools Dave has equipped me with.
~ Brian Pursell
Dave has really changed my life. When I was in middle school, I had no musical talent whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong; I loved music, but I was entirely lost when it came to playing a musical instrument. I even failed at playing the recorder back in grade school! But I was an avid classic rock fan, and I idolized the famous riffs of Page, Hendrix, and the like. I wanted to play their riffs so I could feel the music too. I started out taking lessons at the community center, and I must say they stank. The teacher was a good plater and all, but he could not teach. I temporarily ended my music career after these lessons. However, the idea of becoming the next Jimi Hendrix lingered in my mind, and I decided to take up guitar again. I asked my family friend for a recommendation, and he gave me Dave’s name. I strongly believe that Dave is the best guitar teacher around. Not only can he play (I have seen a few of his awesome gigs), but he can teach. He will come to anyone’s house and help you learn to play the amazing instrument of the guitar. As an attestation of how good a teacher Dave is, I had no musical talent when I started taking lessons, and neither did anyone in my entire family. But now, I can comfortably say that I can play the guitar. I am no Hendrix, but I am competent nonetheless. Beyond the tangible effects of Dave’s teaching are the intangible effects of just being around him. Whether it is 7:30 in the morning (a world record) or late on Sunday afternoon, Dave is always happy and positive. He will walk in your front door wearing his trademark Hawaiian shirt, and the whole atmosphere around you will brighten up. Dave makes the lessons enjoyable and free of stress, just the way they ought to be. You will learn the songs and style you want to learn, and even the music theory behind them. In Conclusion, I have greatly enjoyed my lessons with Dave so far, and I can safely assume that I will continue to do so at least until I go off to college. But Dave’s influence doesn’t stop there: I look forward to continuing to enjoy his gift of music for the rest of my days. Thanks a lot Dave!
~ David Eliahu
My experience studying jazz guitar with Dave has been extraordinary. There was never a dull moment such as the moments one typically finds with other teachers. Taking lessons from Dave was challenging, but also very enjoyable. It was challenging because there was hardly ever breaks to process information, although I was just getting my feet wet with all these musical theories and concepts. Digging deeper into those theories was for later lessons which Dave carefully planned out so that all he taught me in every lesson had flow. He made sure everything made sense before moving on. It was enjoyable because Dave does not make his lessons strict and boring, but keeps the student involved and on their feet. He asks them questions instead of just speaking directly towards the student, hoping they’ll retain what they are being told. Dave is easy to approach and I have never once felt afraid or intimidated to ask him any questions. As I have learned from Dave, jazz is like the brain surgery of music. Before taking lesson from Dave, I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about music and guitar in general from my classical guitar background. I was wrong. Dave opened my eyes to so many new theories and music that I never thought was possible. Every time I had a lesson with Dave, I put myself in a focused mindset because I knew that going in 50% would not cut it. I needed to work 100% of my brain and even then, I often left my lessons processing what I had just learned for hours. Every lesson inspired me more to do my best and push my musical limits and boundaries to the best of my ability. Dave made it possible for me to attend my dream school, Berklee College of Music. There was so much talent, potential, and competition that it was almost scary. When the program concluded and I went back home, I knew that I needed to start studying jazz guitar because I couldn’t even keep up with the conversations being held in the classes I attended. My first lesson with Dave covered all of those areas where I struggled and I immediately felt more comfortable discussing those difficult topics. Throughout the span of many lessons, I was able to gain the knowledge and confidence to not just be accepted into the school, but to also receive a scholarship. Dave was not just my teacher but a friend and I am very thankful and lucky to have had him as my music instructor.
~ Austin Rios
Dave Rocks. His dedication to his students is unrivaled. It’s been three years since I’ve had a lesson with Dave, yet we still keep in very regular contact, finding time to meet for java or at least a few times a year. I took lessons with Dave all throughout high school, where he inspired a deep passion for guitar and music in me. His approach to teaching always had me reaching for more, while consistently being first and foremost fun. I am now continuing the pursuit of the guitar at the University of Southern California, which will without a doubt continue until the rest of my days. As, I am sure, will my relationship with Dave.
~ Jonathan Jovel
Dave is a great teacher for all levels of ability. I came to him when I was 15 or so. At that time I had been playing for about a year, but didn't really know anything about reading music, scales, or harmony. My only goal at that time was to learn enough to make it into my high school jazz band by my junior year. Junior year rolled around and not only did I make it into the jazz band, but I also received an award at the LMC Jazz Festival that year for "Outstanding Soloist." I continued studying with Dave until I was accepted to the University of Southern California, where I majored in Studio/Jazz Guitar. I know that I would never had made it there if not for Dave. He has a talent for keeping things simple yet challenging. He preaches fundamentals while putting a major emphasis on playing the guitar in the lessons. He used to let me sit in on his gigs and would actually call my house every once in a while just to see how my practicing was
going. Dave's personal investment in his student's needs is what makes him a great teacher. Of course it doesn't hurt that he is also a burning player!
~ Keegan Anglim (Doctorate in music UCLA)
I started taking lessons from Dave when I was in 5th grade and didn't stop taking them until my junior year in high school. I've been a changed man ever since. He is a legend. When I first met Dave, I knew little about the guitar. He taught me so much, so fast. He showed me things I never dreamed of learning. When I picked up the guitar for the first time way back in 2nd grade, I just wanted to know how to play songs. Dave not only can teach you any song you want to learn, but also the theory behind it all. He knows so much about music and loves his job more than anyone I know. I look up to him as a hero. Hendrix and Schroeder. I owe a lot to this great man and a true friend.
~ Richie Peters
Dave is the best guitar teacher. He is knowledgeable, talented, and has great teaching ability. His knowledge can take you as far as you want to go as a guitarist, whether you want to sight-read, solo, learn heavy-duty music theory, or just learn how to play your favorite songs. Furthermore, he is a good guitarist himself; he is obviously an amazing jazz guitarists, but there was nothing he couldn't teach me because he could play any style I thought of. In addition to all this, he has an outstanding teaching ability being able to perceive what the student is struggling with, and how to relate to them in order to explain how to improve.
When I started taking lessons with Dave, I essentially never played a musical instrument. Dave not only taught me how to play chords and strum them, but simultaneously put everything in a music theory background;
teaching how to sight read, scales, and so forth. He adapted to whatever I wanted to learn, be it a song I heard on the radio, or
training me for the jazz band at my high school. After taking lessons for about three years, I went off to college and with the knowledge base I had from my lessons I taught my own guitar lessons in as a part time job.
My last note on Dave is that you will rarely find a person like him, he is passionate about what he does, and exudes a positive attitude. Always on time and in a good mood, you'll enjoy every minute of your guitar lesson. I'd recommend him to anyone, with full confidence that their expectations will not only be met, but most certainly surpassed.
~ Yaeer Levi
I have been taking jazz guitar lessons from Dave Schroeder now for about 15 months and I cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am with my progress of learning music theory and Jazz Guitar technique. I got introduced to Dave and his music 16 months ago when my wife and I were checking out one of the local retirement homes in San Ramon for my in-laws. Near the end of the tour we heard the most incredible Jazz guitarist play old and current jazz song standards that were simply incredible. That particular day, Dave was hired to give a 1 hour performance to the residents of that retirement home. Dave’s playing just blew us away at our very first meeting. After his very well received set, I asked if he would give me Jazz guitar lessons and after a few polite email exchanges, Dave agreed to take me on as one of his students. I have had other guitar teachers in the past but they are miles away from approaching the excellent background in music and teaching skills that Dave possesses.
What really separates Dave from other guitar instructors is that he has truly mastered the guitar on so many levels and has so many years of teaching experience that he has developed proven teaching techniques and tools on his own to make it so much easier for a novice like myself to come up to speed quickly on music theory and applying it to learning and mastering the fundamentals of basic jazz guitar. Dave has de-mystified scales, chord progressions, scales, keys and so many other elements of music theory and jazz guitar technique that would normally make my head spin.
Dave is also a terrific listener, teacher, and friend. He is extraordinarily flexible and takes the time to customize each lesson
and to put the student at ease when explaining how to overcome a difficult practice piece or helping the student overcome a difficult musical concept or technique. He is at once incredibly patient but gives careful and steady guidance to allow the student to progress at his own pace or comfort level. Dave is also sensitive to the fact that you are working, married, have a family with kids, and can’t always find the practice time to be ready for the next lesson. Being flexible has been a lifesaver for me and simply removes that element of stress of not being 100% ready for your next lesson.
If you have set musical goals for yourself with regard to playing the guitar, Dave’s lessons and unique approach to applying very creative teaching techniques will help you attain the goals with a thorough understanding of music theory. I have always been intimidated with the prospect of learning how to read music but Dave has been able to restore confidence in my ability to read music and at the same time improving my guitar playing skills. His thoughtful and careful selection of songs and exercises reinforce the lessons and build upon the previous topics learned in the last lesson.
I really feel that I was lucky to find Dave as I consider him to be not only one of the best guitar instructors out there but also one of my best friends. His positive can-do attitude is infectious and he challenges you to become a better guitar player by setting the example. Just listen to some of his recorded work and you will see what I mean.
~ Wesley LEM
I took lessons from Dave Schroeder for four years while he was in Long Beach. When Dave decided to move to the bay area, it was the right thing for him personally, but a disappointment for me to lose such a great teacher. The time I had spent with him moved me from a rudimentary knowledge of guitar to learning reading skills, understanding some theory, and having an appreciation for jazz guitar that I still enjoy today.
While I’ve tried other guitar instructors since, none have had the combination of chops, music theory knowledge, and passion for jazz and teaching that Dave has.
Dave turned me on to a lot beyond the usual scales, modes, and standards. One of his strengths was his fine 7-string solo guitar work. In the time I took lessons, he shared some of his chord melody playing and helped me develop a vocabulary of chords and substitutions. His discipline in how he approached learning for himself was something I also used to improve my playing.
Beyond all of this, his passion and enthusiasm for jazz guitar was a strong motivator that kept me listening to other players and trying to learn more all along. He’s the best!
~ Gordon Fogg
“Dave is passionate about sharing his love for guitar with anyone who’s willing to learn. Through the 10 years I took lessons from him, he was always willing to adapt to how I learn best but ready to push me when I needed it. Dave provided the knowledge and tools for me to continue to learn and develop my skills on my own. Dave is incredibly patient and understanding. He is a perfect musical mentor for anyone interested in learning guitar.”
~ Kyle Archziger
Dave Schroeder is a true professional, and a very, very talented musician.
I have hired Dave to perform for several of my professional events and he is always a hit!
Dave has also been a tremendously influential person in our son's life. We hired Dave to give Jay guitar lessons when Jay was about 14 years old. Jay wanted to play the guitar but did not want to do the hard work of learning to sight read. Dave patiently, professionally and with a great deal of friendship to Jay, worked and worked with him. Today, Jay is a senior at UCLA as a music major with scholarships! He plays multiple stringed instruments with the double bass being his primary instrument but also plays cello, guitar, electric bass and keyboard.
Jay has been accepted into many performance groups where sight reading is critical and every time he goes through the process, he thanks Dave! He has already gotten credits for indie films which is all sight reading work.
He will always be a part of this family's life.
- Diana Rubottom
My experience with Dave:
I started taking lessons from Dave as a freshman in high school. He was my second teacher so going in I had basic knowledge of chords and notes, but that didn't even scratch the surface of the abundance of knowledge that Dave would bestow upon me. Dave shaped each lesson to fit how I learned. I never imagined being able to learn such complex things at a quick pace. The reason I was able to is because Dave took the complex things and simplified them with visual and vocal methods that helped me learn and excel at a wide range of skills. When things got difficult, we would try a new approach. That, along with Dave's unfaltering belief in my abilities, is what gave me the drive to learn the most complex form of guitar. Although life got busy and I was no longer able to take lessons after my junior year, I continued to learn and play guitar on my own, even performing a jazz song at my graduation party with Dave by my side. I also plan to bring my guitar to college come this fall. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to have Dave as my teacher. We have a bond beyond that of teacher and student, and because of him, my love for guitar has only strengthened over the years. I highly recommend Dave as a teacher for all ranges of ability and ages. He has a system that is proven to work, and his dedication goes beyond that of anyone I know.
I am presently taking guitar lessons from Dave. I am 76 years old and have spent a lot of time taking guitar lessons to improve myself over the years. If someone was to ask me to recommend a “top notch teacher” of the guitar, without a moments hesitation it would be Dave. I’ve had lessons from other great guitarists, and Dave is not only a great guitarist, he is also head and shoulders above the rest as a guitar teacher. As a training officer for 18 years in an organized fire department, I give Dave an A+ as a teacher, as well as a guitar player.
~ Bud Christianson
I was introduced to Dave when I went to a guitar store to buy my first guitar and asked if they knew a good teacher. The guy at the store told me , yes indeed I will put you in touch with the best guitar teacher I myself have experienced. That teacher turned out to be Dave and the guy at the guitar store turned out to be very right about Dave’s skills. I love Dave’s teaching style, it’s very practical and hands on yet he subtly introduces the nuances and theory without making it a hugely academic affair. On top of his excellent teaching and playing skills, his calm and gentle personality puts anyone at ease and in the right frame of mind to learn. I would recommend Dave to any would be or existing guitar player. He is really a great person, both in his guitar skills and his personal skills. Thanks Dave for…well being you! :-)
~ Amir Jahanshahi