David Alzofon
El Cajon, CA
David Alzofon

David A.

El Cajon, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

About David A.

Most of my students are guitar players, but I am also known as a columnist for American Songwriter magazine. I'm pretty enthused about this, because it's a radically new approach to learning music. I have a very broad background in guitar, including finger-style, various pick styles, and classical. In college (and afterward) I did all my theory exercises on guitar, so I can help you with key signatures, scales, intervals, harmony, and so forth, especially as it applies to guitar.

I have been teaching guitar for decades, am the author of two books and a former editor for Guitar Player magazine (I edited numerous instruction columns).

I have about 35 students now, ranging in age from 7 to 65. I like teaching adults. If you have a guitar gathering dust, I can help you get started again.

*** Lesson Details ***
Where we begin depends on what you already know. If you're a beginner, we'll start with the basics of holding a guitar and using a pick. We'll find a book that will show you how to read notes, and you'll begin acquiring a vocabulary of chords.

As soon as you understand the basics, we can tailor the direction around your interests.

In classical guitar, I like to start with Julio Sagreras' "First Lessons" -- or if you're beyond that, we'll go to one of Sagreras' higher books. We'll also learn Guiliani's 120 Studies for the Right Hand and the Sor Studies. These and other resources are technique builders. As for repertoire, we've got seven centuries worth of music to choose from, so I don't think there will be any shortage of material.

Everyone will learn to use a metronome to improve timing, speed, and coordination.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my own guitar and amp. Students need a guitar, amp, picks, tuner, books, and a metronome. Classical guitar students just need a nylon-string, classical guitar. Finger-style students need a steel-string acoustic guitar.

*** Specialties ***
Popular styles: Jazz (studied with Howard Roberts), blues, rock, pop. I like to use Truefire.com courses as a framework. This allows you to self-teach at an accelerated pace. Music theory and sight-reading at all positions on the guitar are a part of everything I teach. I can make these subjects not only painless, but fascinating.

Classical guitar: Studied with GFA winner Marc Teicholz, San Francisco Conservatory, for four years, and took master classes with Ben Verdery, David Russell, Berta Rojas, Roland Dyens, and others. Also took private lessons from Michael McChesney, West Valley College, for 13 years.

I have developed my own unique methods of teaching composition, based on lessons with Jef Raskin and others. Jef isn't exactly a household word, but he was a UCSD music professor and computer guru who created the Macintosh at Apple and led the project for two and a half years before Steve Jobs took over. Every time you use a computer, you use the interface that Jef developed at Apple. Jef was one of the best musicians I've ever known and I like to say he did for composition what he did for computers: made it easy to use.


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