– Repertoire: memorizing songs from each era of the history and present of jazz, with focus on obtaining information directly from the source; bringing the melody to life.
– Technical facility: developing command over the instrument to eliminate the barriers in executing the music one hears in their head.
– Ear training: identifying rhythms, intervals, melodies, and chords; translating it to one’s instrument and writing.
– Transcription: learning songs by ear instead of from the sheet music; learning solos by ear and assimilating into one’s own improvisation.
– Reading music: rhythms, treble and bass clefs, chord symbols, dynamics, articulations, plus the necessary skills to take the sheet music and play a song with other musicians.
– Accompaniment: rhythmic choices that support the soloist; developing chordal facility (triads, seventh chords, quartals, clusters, polychords, voice-leading cycles, etc.).
– Rhythm: time feel (control over the types of downbeat & upbeat placement); balancing lengths of phrases (and rests), resolution points, balancing low and high-density rhythms, flexibility to start and end phrases at any point in the bar, techniques for rhythmic tension/dissonance, odd meters, etc.
– Outlining chord changes: chord-tone soloing, chord-scale soloing, digital patterns, pentatonics, hexatonics, symmetrical scales, etc.
– Language for playing outside changes, time-no-changes, or free improvisation: intervallic patterns, 12-tone construction, outlining alternate chord changes, etc.
– Composition: breaking down the elements of jazz compositions from each era, thematic development techniques, harmonic analysis, arranging for rhythm section and horns.
Students are encouraged to hone their artistry and pursue what they envision as their ideal form of musical expression. Building up a personal library of albums that encompass the history of music is essential to one’s development. Every record that is in one’s collection says something about who they are as a musician; every record that is not in their collection also says something about who they are as a musician. It is then important to listen actively, absorbing the overall energy and sensation of the music while simultaneously being able to break down the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, form, interaction between musicians, space, dynamics, articulations, etc. Being technically fluent on one’s instrument allows the music to come to life uninhibited when inspiration strikes.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, David began music at the age of five. Starting with violin, he participated in many music programs in and outside of school. After experimenting with many types of music and instruments, he set his primary focus to jazz guitar during high school.
He moved to Boston to study performance and composition at Berklee College of Music. The four years he spent there were crucial to his musical development. During this time he expanded his group of peer musicians while also studying with notable teachers (including Dave Liebman, Kenny Werner, Mick Goodrick, George Garzone, Ralph Peterson, and Hal Crook). Before graduating, he also finished writing his book “Intervallic Patterns for Improvisation.” In 2018 he graduated Berklee and moved to New York City to join the music scene. He currently balances his time between public performances as a leader and sideman, private events (i.e. parties, weddings, cocktail hours, etc.), teaching, and being an active member of the Jazz Committee at the Local 802 musician’s union.