Dave Shapiro

Music has been a great joy in my life, and after years of playing, recording  arranging and composing many styles of music it has been an additional pleasure these past 15 years or so to add teaching to my musical activities. I teach students starting at age 8 years and older, beginner to advanced on guitar, mandolin, banjo, electric bass, uke, dobro and lap steel.  I also teach improvisation, arranging and song writing as I also write , compose and arrange  original material as well. I teach most guitar styles  (with the exception of flamenco) including both finger picking and flat picking and am very proficient in rock, bluegrass, jazz, folk, Travis style and county music and pretty much anything in between.  Bluegrass and clawhammer banjo, all mandolin styles , slide guitar, lap steel and lap dobro are other styles and instruments I teach.

My teaching approach is to help the student enjoy playing music as much a possible utilizing whichever method and approach that fits the needs of the student best.  Reading music is not necessary although available if requested, however through  my years of playing I found that many very famous string instrument players did and do not read music.  I very much encourage my students to inform me of songs that they are interested in playing and use these songs to introduce new stringed instrument styles and right hand patterns.

I very much believe that music should be satisfying and fun and not a burden.  Where it will take practice to improve it is well worth the time and effort   Everyone can learn to play an instrument with practice.  No pressure, no time line no tests, just lots of fun.

Now a bit about myself.  I graduated summa cuma laude from The Berklee School of Music in Boston with a Bachelor of Arts in composition.  I have performed all over the world , and  composed, arranged and recorded with many well known artists including The Norton Buffalo Stampede, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal, Tower of Power, The Pointer Sisters, Hoyt Axton, Peter Rowan, Emmy Lou Harris, Dolly Parton, Bella Fleck, Elvin Bishop and David Bromberg and others.  I was the house arranger for the bay area based Suspex Records and worked with Jerry Garcia on the 80's Twilight Zone remakes.  My current band West of Next can be found on line at www.westofnext.com.

My current schedule here at The Fifth String School of Music is Tuesdays and Wednesdays, although other times may be arranged if needed.  For more information please call 916 442-8282 and leave a message in my mail box.