David White

David W.

Berkeley, CA
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Lesson Details



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

Teaching since:
October 1996

Hi there, and thanks for viewing my TakeLessons profile! I am excited to be a part of the team in Berkeley, CA.

I started teaching lessons while in music school for Classical Guitar in 1996. From 1998 onwards, I played with a variety of musicians from Africa and Latin America, as well the as great American traditions of gospel, funk, jazz, and bluegrass. All the while, I continued to study music theory and composition, on my own and in private lessons with both well-known players and local professionals. Flamenco and Indian Classical music have also been great interests which I am still involved with.

Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. The last few years, I have begun to develop my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teaching music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville. This is a digital production environment for the arts, and my students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are musicians/aspiring musicians, and some are primarily interested in working with technology; but all are audio enthusiasts and love music!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing gigs for years, are very young or old, I have something to offer you!

How we structure lessons depends in part on you and your goals, as well as your learning style. Having taught music for over 15 years, I have a large amount of resources at my disposal, and can either teach from a method book, or a variety of materials, some of which are my own creations.

I also like to use technology as a teaching aid, and can show you how to use your own computer, keyboard, or music production application (garageband, etc) to practice and create music at home. Another thing that I offer is to make recordings of key parts of the lesson, either as an audio or video file, or both. These can be shared with you through email, dropbox, or a flash drive if you bring one along to your lesson.

Please contact TakeLessons if you have any further questions! I look forward to meeting and working with you or your child.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Front room with computer station, guitars, music stand. Waiting area with couches and table, and parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available, no pets.

College: practice rooms and classrooms available with computers and MIDI controllers.

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.

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Associate Course Director
Jul 2006 - Present
Ex'pression College

Teaching courses in digital media production, with a focus on
musical composition, sound design and audio editing. curriculum development, organization, and creation of teaching materials and resources for students.


Bachelor's of Science
Sep 1996 - Dec 1998
Charter Oak State College


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


Pro Tools 11 110
Jun 2014

Logic Pro X
Mar 2014

Photos & Videos

Photo by David Charnak

One of the great gypsy flamenco singers of her era, Juana Del Pipa from Jerez de la Frontera

When I had a full drum set!

Just because I love animals and the planet, and elephants are exceptionally interesting!

Singing Flamenco with friends

A gig with friends near Sacramento California

a huapango style guitar strumming pattern from one of my lessons

Playing kids songs for my kids' daycare group

Playing percussion for a flamenco show
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17 Reviews

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Adam R. Dec 1, 2018
Bass Guitar · In studio

Had a great experience. David is patient, explains things clearly, and really knows his stuff. Definitely recommended.

Simon Carlile Aug 25, 2018
Bass Guitar · In studio

Was very quick to spot the holes in my technique and theory and provided an exercise after the first lesson that has helped immensely. An astute musician and an effective communicator.

Diane P. Jun 8, 2018
Music Theory · In studio

David really listens! Not only to what I want and need, but to where I am and to when I'm being too ambitious. I look forward to the rest of our lessons; I know I'm going to learn a lot.

Suzanne Valentine Dec 8, 2017
Guitar · In home

David was a great teacher for our 12-yr-old son who was beginning guitar -- we highly recommend him!

Elliot Nov 2, 2017
Guitar · In home

Really great teacher and person. Would highly recommend him.

Kelley Martel Mar 24, 2016
Guitar ·

It was a great first lesson with David . He is very kind and patient and helpful and I can see he is skilled as a musician. I am excited to work with him !

Roy H. Jan 28, 2016
Guitar · In studio

If I could give 4.5 stars I would, the only reason it's not 5 stars is because I think nobody is perfect, but David is very close to it. I really liked how patient David was with Eli and his deep knowledge of music was very impressive. David is able to prevent things in a number of different ways and he makes sure that you understand that material very well.

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Ian Merrill Nov 10, 2015
Music Theory · In studio

David is awesome! I began lessons with him because i was not satisfied with the music theory classes at the school i am enrolled in, as well as the classes did not accommodate well to my learning differences. David not only has endless knowledge of music theory but also has shown me tools and helpful methods for studying music. I highly recommend taking lessons from David if you are either a beginner or you are at a higher level and would like to expand your knowledge of music theory.

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Debora Haaxman Aug 21, 2015
Guitar · In studio

What a nice, enthusiastic and great instructor with the students best interest in learning to play. David is personable, easy going and wants his student to succeed. Took his time to find me (a total beginner in guitar) an excellent lesson book. His instruction motivates me and find his lessons very interesting anf fun! Can't wait to practice and look forward to my next lesson!

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Ian C. Jul 30, 2015
Flamenco Guitar · In studio

David is an excellent teacher. I've been taking flamenco guitar lessons with him for about a year now and have experienced a significant improvement in terms of actual playing and rhythmic abilities and also understanding the music in general.

David is patient, he does an excellent job explaining things and goes above and beyond to make sure that you're really learning. Consistently impressed.

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Jerry G. Aug 6, 2013
Music Theory ·


I met Dave in my music theory class at Ex'pression college. He's the reason why I'm making music today. I went from not knowing a thing about music theory or a piano to creating chord progressions, understanding modes, intervals, modal interchange, and how to read sheet music. He's extremely patient, professional, and easy to get along with. His passion for music and teaching is infectious, I highly recommend!!!

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Pedro L. Apr 28, 2013
Flamenco Guitar ·

great instructor!

I have learned so much in the little time I've been taking lessons with David.

Not only is he extremely talented, but he's also very patient when it comes to teaching (which is necessary when I don't grasp the techniques right away).

I started off as a beginner, knowing nothing about how to play the guitar, and am now recognizing notes and memorizing and playing full songs.

He is very flexible with hours, and genuinely has a passion for Flamenco music!

Two thumbs up!!

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Tristan J. Feb 2, 2013

Fun and tremendously helpful

I started taking lessons with David mostly because I felt a little "stuck"; I have a decent amount of experience, but that wasn't translating into real progress. After a few lessons, a lot of odd issues have cleared up and I can hear the difference when I mess around.

David's quite flexible. I'm not a real beginner, but more of an "intermediate" level. So our sessions tend to be driven by something I've done over the last week, as opposed to the "method driven approaches" that tend to happen with less experienced players. David usually acts like a mentor, giving me an absolute brain dump pretty much each session.

So far, I haven't ran into any subject he hasn't had a lot to show me, so I expect to learn a lot from him.

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David F. Nov 29, 2012
Music Theory ·

Dave is awesome!

Dave pretty much saved me in Music Theory. I was really struggling to grasp chord progressions and melodies, Dave walked me through everything step by step until I got it. I highly recommend dave as an instructor, he'll get you through it!

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Rozbeh R. Nov 27, 2012
Music Theory ·

One of the best teacher I have ever had!!

I highly recommend him! He is one of the best!!!!!

maya L. Nov 22, 2012
Music Theory ·

My Review

David is a great tutor and teacher! He helped me to understand the basic fundamentals of music theory and how to develop the skills to be able to practice it at home. He gave me really good tips that were easy to understand and fun to learn. If you really want to learn how to compose, write and read music go to David!!

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Daria K. Nov 20, 2012
Music Theory ·

Love Dave!

Dave is excellent at bestowing his knowledge upon his students! He is engaging, thoughtful, helpful, easy-to-talk-to, and knows how to make you understand the subject matter, is very patient.
He creates a friendly environment in which learning becomes fun, interesting, and fulfilling!

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