Shawn Graham

Shawn G.

Orange, CA

Lesson Details

Upright Bass

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have been performing on Upright Bass for more than three decades in both the classical and jazz realms. I have both a classical and jazz performance degree.

The foundation of my teaching is the Smandl method. I also have a large library of classical and jazz books as well as tunes I have transcribed or lesson material I have written myself.

Let me help you get started on bass or refine your skills.
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Shawn teaches



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

Teaching since:
June 2014

Shawn has been teaching private lessons since 2014 and is currently available to teach lessons at your home, his home studio and online. Shawn has helped students go from no musical knowledge to giving public performances.

Shawn received his training at the UC, Irvine where he received his Bachelor of Music and Cal State, Fullerton where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Music.

Shawn teaches and performs on guitar, and electric and upright bass. He is proficient in genres including pop, rock, jazz and classical.

As an expert in his field, Shawn looks forward to helping new students achieve their goals. Shawn’s teaching style focuses on engaging the student and making learning fun. He feels that sparking a student’s interest is key to their success. As a lifelong learner of music, he has a vast array of knowledge to draw upon.

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Mar 2017 - Present
L.A. Swing Barons

The L.A. Swing Barons is a regularly performing professional swing orchestra. We play primarily the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

Our debut album was released November of 2017. Hear it at CD Baby:

I play bass on all tracks.

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Aug 2016 - Present
The Mercy Stone

The Mercy Stone is a 12-piece ensemble that is breaking the boundaries between the worlds of rock, jazz, and classical music. Performing all original instrumental compositions, The Mercy Stone’s music possesses all the intricacies of a finely tuned contemporary-classical chamber ensemble and the energy of a high-octane rock band.

I play both pizzicato and arco in this classical-inspired music.

We have made two music videos in which I appear:

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Jan 2004 - Present
Shawn Graham Quintet

My band plays mostly west coast style quintet swing. We have recorded two albums. I composed half of the tunes on our first release and all of the tunes on our second release. Of course, I played bass on all the tunes.

Hear them at CD Baby:

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Music Instructor
Jan 2014 - Dec 2015
California Music Studios

Taught guitar, bass and piano.


Master of Music
Jul 2014 - Present
California State University - Fullerton
Bachelor of Music
Aug 2012 - May 2014
University of California - Irvine
Associate of Arts - Music
Aug 2008 - May 2012
Santa Ana College
Bachelor of Science - Electrical Engineering
Aug 1982 - Dec 1987
University of Colorado - Boulder


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


Japanese Language Proficiency Test - Level 2
Dec 2008
Japan Foundation

Japanese Language Proficiency Test - Level 3
Dec 2006
Japan Foundation

Photos & Videos

Triptide by The Mercy Stone.  I played upright and electric bass on this album.  I am in this music video.
Music video of "Megalodon" by "The Mercy Stone."  I appear in this video and play bass on this track.
The Dasia Trios arrangement of "Day Tripper / Norwegian Wood."
Eccles Sonata mvt. 1.
Performing at Clifton's Republic in downtown LA with the LA Swing Barons.

After an impromptu performance with friends.
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4 Reviews

Write a Review
Todd Jun 2, 2017
Music Theory · In home

Shawn is very well informed on music theory. I have had discussions with him on numerous occasions, quite enlightening.

Adolfo Jun 1, 2017
Bass Guitar · In studio

He is a very patient teacher and really goes the extra mile when it comes to explaining things I'm having trouble with.

Karen Jun 1, 2017
Bass Guitar · In home

My daughter became interested in playing the bass guitar after seeing a friend perform in the Jazz Band concert at her school. After asking around, Shawn came highly recommended. He was nice, knowledgeable, dedicated to teaching and I was impressed with how kept my daughter engaged and motivated. He is someone I recommend highly.

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Lauren Jun 1, 2017
Upright Bass · In home

He has a lot of knowledge, and have passion for music. He is very nice and fun to talk. He speaks Japanese pretty well.

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