David White
Berkeley, CA
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David White

David W.

Berkeley, CA
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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
From Classical to Jazz, and lots of World Music in between.
Guitar was my main instrument until I began playing Bass in bands in 2000. Since then Guitar is still my main 'go-to' for practice at home, teaching music theory, and composition.

About David W.

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. I also studied North Indian Classical vocal for 2 years with a senior student of Ali Akbar Khan, and have been involved in Flamenco for over 20 years.

Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. Increasingly since 2014, I have been a performing Flamenco singer.

I taught music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville for over 10 years, and worked at SF JAZZ teaching workshops in audio production and music theory for 4 years.

*** 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 20 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.


Write a Review
22 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

I've been taking lessons with David for more than 2 years, he's amazing... he's very knowledgeable, patient, knows how to explain difficult concepts and can adapt to a broad range of topics, covering different areas that I'm interested on, including music theory, songwriting, guitar and bass, and music production.

David is both a professional musician and an experienced instructor, and you can tell the difference that makes in every class.

We started with at-home classes, but switched to online during the pandemic and that's working pretty good for me to.

I'd recommend David to anyone looking to learn a new instrument, get better at it or expand their music knowledge in general.

Posted Nov 12, 2020
George McKale
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Simply put, David is a great teacher. His lessons incorporated the perfect blend of theory and patience while opening up new horizons on the fret board. His style of teaching is very flexible so that one can hone in on what excites them. For me, that was jazz and David made a huge difference in my creativity.

Posted Nov 11, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

David did a wonderful job, teaching me bass via Zoom with a lot of focus on what I wanted to do. Even though my interests ranged from technical to classical to theoretical to funk, he always had something he could show me and proved to have great knowledge of the instrument as well as of music theory and history. I would recommend him to anyone.

Posted Sep 18, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

David is a talented and extremely knowledgable musician. He has a deep love and respect for the music and imparts this love on his students. Always going above and beyond, he gives all of himself in his students, making sure they not only have proper technique, but a strong foundation of knowledge about the tradition of flamenco. He is able to breakdown and explain the complexities of this arcane art form in a way that is accessible to all levels of musicians. I couldn't recommend him more highly!

Posted Aug 26, 2019
Aki M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

David is patient and enthusiastic about teaching how to play the guitar. He is also encouraging!

Posted Aug 21, 2019
Adam R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Dec 1, 2018
Simon Carlile
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Aug 25, 2018
Diane P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Jun 8, 2018
Suzanne Valentine
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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

Posted Dec 8, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Really great teacher and person. Would highly recommend him.

Posted Nov 2, 2017
Kelley Martel

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 !

Posted Mar 24, 2016
Roy H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Jan 28, 2016
Ian Merrill
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Nov 10, 2015
Debora H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Aug 21, 2015
Ian C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Jul 30, 2015
Jerry G.


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!!!

Posted Aug 6, 2013
Pedro L.

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!!

Posted Apr 28, 2013
Tristan J.

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.

Posted Feb 2, 2013
David F.

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!

Posted Nov 29, 2012
Rozbeh R.

One of the best teacher I have ever had!!

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

Posted Nov 27, 2012
maya L.

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!!

Posted Nov 22, 2012
Daria K.

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!

Posted Nov 20, 2012

Photos & Videos

13 Photos & Videos


User Experience Designer
Jan 2016 - Present


I still perform and teach music, but have also been a UX Designer since 2016. That means that I care about working to understand people, and tailor services and experiences to their individual needs.

Digital Lab Instructor
Jun 2012 - Jun 2016


Wrote curriculum for, and conducted workshops (series and immersive) for: Music Theory Performance Composition Sound Production Recording Mixing DAW studio Software: Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton LIVE

Associate Course Director
Jul 2006 - Jan 2016

Ex'pression College

Taught Music Theory and Composition, along with courses in digital media production. Music Theory Musical composition Arranging Sound design Audio editing Video editing Graphic design Curriculum development Software: Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Adobe Creative Cloud, Wordpress, Final Cut Pro, Sibelius


UX Design certification program
Apr 2016 - Jul 2016

General Assembly

Bachelors of Science
Sep 2008 - Sep 2011

Charter Oak State College

Music - no degree
Sep 1996 - Mar 1999

Harper College



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency


Pro Tools 11 110
Jun 2014


Logic Pro X
Mar 2014



First Place in Ed-Tech Hackathon
Feb 2018

Michelson Runway/General Assembly

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