Donato McDermott

Donato M.

Los Angeles, CA

Lesson Details



Donato delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
May 2004

It's a common misconception people have that when they take music lessons, they will end up with an awkward teacher who spends more time showing off than teaching them anything. This is actually true, but that's where I stand out. In addition to being an excellent instructor with 10 years experience at professional music schools, I am relevant. I keep up with new music, so you are guaranteed to learn more songs than Stairway to Heaven. I play in local bands, music is my life, and I love teaching it to anyone with the desire to learn.

*** Lesson Details ***
While I teach guitar, drums, piano, and bass, from beginner to professional levels, and I have tons of experience in songwriting, recording, social media, Protools, Logic, and Garageband, guitar is my forté. I've been playing for 20 years, and can teach all genres from blues to classical to jazz to rock. I'm also well versed in music theory, harmony, sight reading, ear training, creativity strengthening, chord theory, and chord melody, if you want to learn the technical stuff.

*** Studio Equipment ***
-88 key piano
-Electric and Acoustic guitars
-Bass guitars
-5 Piece Drum Set
-iPad and Akai synth station
-P.A. System and 8 Chanel mixing board
-iMac w/Protools, Logic and Garageband
-Microphones and Music stands
-Guitar, Bass and Keyboard amplifiers
-Extensive music and music theory library
-Bongos, Tambourines other hand percussion instruments

*** Travel Equipment ***
I would bring the curriculum and whatever else was needed depending on the lesson ie: music stand, extra staff paper, tuner etc.
Students would just need their own instrument and a note book.

*** Specialties ***
Top 40, Indie, Classical Guitar, Rock Guitar, Reading, Live performance, Pop, Songwriting, Recording, Composition, Beat making, Lyric writing, Logic, Pro Tools, Garageband, Blues, Jazz, Metal, Guitar Soloing, Hip Hop.

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Photos & Videos

This is a cover of a Kavinsky song from the Drive soundrack that my drummer and I did for fun a few months ago.
The Hipnotics are group of kids that were put together as part a summer band camp.  They are only around 8-10 years old, but they sound like pros!!
Here is a video I shot with my old band with the help of a bunch of friends.  Our pool was empty and we saw a chance to fill up a bunch of balloons!
This was the first show of our 2012 summer southwest tour.  Our great friend Skyler shot this video and even put a camera on my guitar!
Photo by Donato M.

Photo by Donato M.

Photo by Donato M.

Photo by Donato M.

Photo by Donato M.
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7 Reviews

Write a Review
Sarah H. Jul 10, 2013
Guitar ·

Excellent teacher for all ages!

Not every talented musician can be a good teacher. Donato is both. He is a professional musician who has a deep understanding of his instrument, music theory and songwriting. He is also an encouraging teacher who listens and connects well with his students and makes learning fun--playing music should be!

I started taking acoustic guitar lessons with Donato just before I turned 40--it was something I always wanted to do. With no previous experience, I knew it would be a challenge, but he proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks! I told him I wanted to play music that I love and can sing along to, and that is what he taught me to do.

Donato always adapted to my ability level, personal goals and preferred style of music. His encouragement gave me the confidence to learn something new and even play in front of friends and family. Childhood piano teachers instilled a sense of perfectionism which inevitably led to feelings of failure. Conversely, Donato helped me find the fun in making music, playing through mistakes in stride and singing aloud with joy. What a gift!

I highly recommend Donato for students of any age and any level. He has the experience and talent to hone the skills of advanced students and the adaptability and patience to draw out the skills of beginning students, all the while sharing his passion and enjoyment of playing music.

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Carol W. Jun 27, 2013
Guitar ·

Donato is a terrific guitar teacher!

I took lessons from Donato for about 3 years. He was a great guitar teacher - both electric and acoustic. Not only did he teach me the songs I wanted to learn, but he also taught me the fundamentals of guitar. He has an extensive knowledge of music theory and can easily communicate that to his students. Donato was always enthusiastic and supportive, and he made taking guitar lessons fun and interesting. He also plays drums, so sometimes he would accompany me on the drums while I played guitar, which was always cool. Any student, whether beginner or advanced would benefit from taking lessons from Donato.

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Allison J. Jun 12, 2013
Bass Guitar ·

terrific teacher!

Donato is a great teacher and a wonderfully talented and musical person. He's taught me bass and drums, and is knowledgeable about so many genres and styles of music, and adept at basically every instrument.

He has an amazing ear; he can listen to any piece of music and immediately identify and play the melody, harmony, and rhythms, no matter how complex. He is a terrific communicator and extremely patient and encouraging as a teacher.

He's also a fantastic singer/songwriter/performer -- you should take any opportunity to hear him live -- you will definitely be inspired. I recommend Donato wholeheartedly!

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Sebastián M. Jun 1, 2013
Guitar ·

Just awesome

I was taking lessons with Donato for about 4 years until I had to change the day in which I took music lessons. Every day that I whent to take music lessons with Donato was one that I know would be lots of fun but also very educational. Donato knows how to blend all that he wants to teach as well as make it interesting and fun. I recomend Donato to anyone who want to have fun and learn how to play some great sounding music.

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Chad G. May 29, 2013
Guitar ·

Musically Delicious!!

I truly believe that I was fortunate when I was introduced to Donato for Guitar instruction. He's taught me so much in such a microscopic musical time frame than I thought humanly possible. He has taught me so many proper guitar techniques for my various playing styles but has also found ways to make reading, writing, and composition of musical notes easier to follow and understand. Donato has this astonishing uncanny ability to adapt his teachings to everyone elses learning characteristics making it much easier and certainly more enjoyable to learn. He propels his students to achieve their maximum potential!! If you really want to learn music while playing an instrument then I HIGHLY recommend that you contact Donato, my "Musical Rabbi"!! =D

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Kim S. May 28, 2013
Guitar ·

Very experienced teacher!

He is a very excellent teacher! I have been having lessons with him for at least 4 years, and not a single lesson has gone by without me learning something new! He plays very well, and knows bass, guitar, drums, sings, and probably many other hidden talents. I would recommend this teacher to anyone, beginner or experienced.

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Jessica R. May 28, 2013
Guitar ·

Greatest teacher ever!!

Donato is a wonderful musician and teacher. I have been taking lessons with him for almost six years and I have learned quite a lot while being his student. He makes sure that you understand everything clearly and will point out any problems you have so he can fix them. He is well rounded in every genre and is not afraid to listen to new things. He has taught me regular American music to also teaching me Japanese music from my favorite anime shows. He has also taught me a lot about songwriting that has made my songs flow together well. He has also taught me about the right ways to record so the music sounds clear and balanced. Overall he has shaped me into a great musician and I am still learning new things. I recommend him to anybody that is truly passionate about music.

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