David offers lessons in acoustic and electric guitar and bass. His lessons cover a variety of genres including Rock, Pop, Blues, Fingerstyle Acoustic, Country, Jazz and Folk and a wide range of topics and techniques including:
- Beginner's guide to posture, pick grip and fretting hand position
- Reading standard notation, tablature (TAB) and chord charts
- Chord playing/strumming and theory
- Lead guitar techniques
- Alternate tunings
- Slide guitar
- Jazz Chord/Melody arrangements
- Instrument selection and care
- Amp/FX set-up and use
- Ear training
- and much more...
Far from being purely technique focused, David stresses the importance of building a repertoire of material that students can play for their own enjoyment and development as well as for the pleasure of others. His students learn songs from a huge range of artists that they request and that David suggests. Recent examples include Keith Urban, Eric Clapton, Shawn Mendes, Nirvana, U2, Greenday, Sheryl Crow, Ben Howard, George Benson, Justin Bieber, Steve Vai, Johnny Cash, Metallica, Michael Jackson, Pat Metheny, Aerosmith, Train, Pink, Foo Fighters, Elvis Presley, The Black Keys, Vince Gill, AC/DC, Glee, Santana, Pierce The Veil, Goo Goo Dolls, Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, Brad Paisley, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Cold Chisel, DNCE, Guthrie Trapp, Simply Red, Eric Johnson, Kelly Clarkson, Simon & Garfunkel, Carrie Underwood, Jimi Hendrix, Robben Ford, Elvis Costello, The Police, Led Zeppelin, Tommy Emmanuel, The Beatles, Jack Johnson, Neil Diamond, Joe Satriani, Bee Gees, One Direction, Paramore, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, Hillsong, Andy Timmons, Switchfoot, Duke Ellington, Blink 182, Guns 'n' Roses, Colbie Caillat, Queen, John Mayer, Christina Perri, Red Hot Chili Peppers, P.O.D., Mr. Big & Larry Carlton.
In addition to technique, theory and repertoire, David also works with some students on performance strategies and considerations including leading ensembles and live guitar rig set up and operation - a benefit to David's HSC and AMEB students in particular, as well as those playing in their own bands. As they become more confident playing other people's songs, a lot of students inevitably start writing their own music and ask David for help and advice with songwriting and recording as they work on their material.
David uses technology extensively in his lessons and students regularly have the opportunity to play along with great-sounding backing tracks and drum beats. In addition to providing students with written and printed transcriptions of current work, David often videos himself playing the parts at various tempos from extremely slow to actual speed while explaining fingerings and techniques. Many students and parents have remarked how much this feature alone helps learning core concepts and practicing parts between lessons.
Having taught guitar and bass for over 25 years, David has helped countless people reach their musical goals and discover the joy of being a player and his teaching methods and style have won him many happy students (and parents of students!) over the years. For beginner students who don't own a guitar or bass yet, David can provide advice on sourcing quality instruments and accessories. For more information, contact David anytime.
What People Are Saying...
This gifted musician & teacher has been generous enough to share his skills & craft with me to the point where I can confidently play live gigs with my band & do open mic nights solo.
Helen - Duffys Forest
Dave is a rare teacher. From an elementary level, he has taught me to play a range of styles. His lessons are fun and progress is noticeable week by week.
Nick - Seaforth
My 2 teenagers have been learning with Dave for about a year now, and I am so happy with their progress. But even more significant is their love and passion for playing which Dave so clearly inspires.
Sarah - Forestville
I like doing guitar with David because we work on stuff I want to learn. I love learning to play using songwriting. David is really nice and he always encourages me. My lessons are great but always go too quick.
Inez - Seaforth
I'm really happy we found David. He is just what my daughter needs in a teacher. My daughter loves playing the guitar and now willingly plays and entertains herself. Fabulous!
Helen - Seaforth
Dave is a fabulous guitar player and teacher with a huge range of repertoire and skill. I trust him completely to choose a piece for me for assessments with school as well as songs that challenge me but are still within my capability.
Martha - Belrose
I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about guitar or bass lessons for themselves or their children to take the time to speak with Dave. His passion for teaching and his students is second to none.
Chris - Narrabeen
The songs that Dave teaches me to play are “my generation” and sometimes not without their challenges but Dave’s patience, enthusiasm and encouragement have always resulted in me being able to play music to a standard that I’m proud of.
Rob - Belrose
My daughter thoroughly enjoys her guitar lessons with Dave. His amazing skill as a guitar player, gift for teaching and, love of music is contagious. It has been wonderful to see her progress so quickly.
Cathie - Belrose
David has been teaching Rocco, my 12 year old son, guitar since 2012. Rocco has learnt & improved so much under David's guidance. And most of all David makes his lessons FUN. Rocco loves it!
Ali - Frenchs Forest
David is an outstanding guitar tutor, who is an incredibly talented musician. I have learnt a lot from him and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be able to further develop my guitar skills with him as my tutor.
Annie - St. Ives
Dave is a really great teacher and I always enjoy his lessons. I woud definitely recommend him to anyone.
Charlie - Newport
Perhaps the most wonderful outcome of these lessons has been to fuel Imogen's passion for music. I happily recommend David to anyone wanting to learn guitar.
Paul - Frenchs Forest
Dave is a really inspiring guitar teacher. He takes the time to find out what your goals are and how they can be achieved. Thanks to Dave learning to play the guitar has been a really great experience for me.
Anita - Davidson
I have been taking lessons with Dave for nearly 2 years and he has made an amazing difference in my guitar playing. Now I have a wide list of songs I can play on acoustic and electric.
Peter - Collaroy
David has been my guitar teacher for the last 3 years and I can't see an ending from his instruction. I am almost 80 years old but Dave's guitar lessons and follow up make me feel many years less. Rock on Dave!
Peter - Warriewood
His wonderful ability with the guitar, his enthusiasm for all genres of music and his sense of humour combine to make David an excellent teacher.
Dave - Davidson
Being honest, Dave is flat out great at this gig. Knows it all but has a great nature that made me immediately comfortable. I hugely enjoy our time together and look forward to it immensely.
Alex - Cromer
I first starting taking guitar lessons with David during my first year of university and they have honestly been a highlight in my life over the last four years.
Elle - Sydney
Dave is a really talented guitar player and a great teacher. I enjoy every lesson and I learn something new each time. He inspires me to keep playing guitar.
Jenna - Belrose
All my life I have wanted to make music and David has actually helped me make it happen. And boy, has he needed patience! Great teacher, great bloke. I highly recommend him to any other late-starters like me.
Philip - Killara
David has expertly guided me through 5 years of musical tuition, from the HSC onwards. With his wealth of musical knowledge and fun approach to teaching, I have been able to effectively improve upon my Technical, Aural, Written and Reading competencies.
Jordan - Bayview
I thoroughly enjoy my bass lessons with Dave. Learning songs and then playing with other students in a band setup has ticked a bucket list item off.
Martin - Seaforth
Dave is an awesome teacher! I really like how I can choose the songs that I learn to play and he has inspired me in my music a lot.
Sam - Newport
Dave has provided unlimited inspiration through his lessons. His musical approach avoids the mundane and makes me want to play more.
Michael - Terrey Hills
After each lesson our daughter has come home enthusiastic, inspired and motivated. David has a genuine connection with his students that results in passionate learning and growth.
Gail - St. Ives
I have been having guitar lessons with Dave for a number of years, and can thoroughly recommend him as a guitar teacher and all round nice guy.
Mark - Asquith
Dave's been brilliant! I hadn't played guitar for 25 years but Dave's knowledge, skill and enthusiasm for guitar have made picking it up again fun and a great learning experience.
Marese - Bilgola
I have been attending lessons with David for a few years now and have seen a marked improvement in my guitar playing. Also, David has encouraged me to pursue my particular musical interests.
Leon - Warriewood
Dave is a great teacher who is kind and fun. He makes learning the guitar easy. Dave is a teacher who can adjust to any style of learning that the student is comfortable with. I really enjoy our lessons.
Luca - St. Ives
I started lessons with David over 9 years ago. He always has the songs I like. I look forward to my lesson every time. Thank you for teaching me to play the guitar, David.
Mark - Belrose
David has been teaching my son Mark for over 9 years now. Mark has Down Syndrome. Mark's dream was to play the guitar and David has made it happen for him. Thank you David.
Carl - Belrose
David Smith is a rare and gifted guitar teacher, comfortable with most styles of music. From the first lesson, David listens and notes your music preferences and where you want to go. He then structures your lessons to suit your capabilities.
Gordon - Balgowlah
David has been teaching me guitar for 5 years. He has also taught guitar to my son and daughter. David is passionate about music and his knowledge covers all music genres. He is a natural teacher.
Warren - Belrose
I’ve been going to David for a year now. I’m having a fantastic time and have already learnt a lot; highly recommended.
Imogen - Frenchs Forest
My son thoroughly enjoys his weekly session with Dave and is always excited by the music he is studying. I would highly recommend Dave to anyone wanting to learn guitar.
Louise - Collaroy Plateau
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