Bass Lessons With Dave DeMarco

Bass Lessons With Dave DeMarco

5.0 (10)
10 hires on

About this pro

My teaching approach: I want to clarify that I only teach BASS guitar. Whether you are a beginner, a weekend warrior looking to step up your game or a full-time bassist wanting to fill in your knowledge gaps, I will create a lesson plan geared towards fulfilling your goals. I blend tried and true musical concepts and teaching practices with 25+ years of personal stage and studio experience. You will leave each lesson feeling challenged but not overwhelmed. My influences are: As a bassist - Entwistle, JPJ, McCartney, Geddy, Squire, Anthony Jackson, Dee Murray, John Deacon...and many more. My favorite music to listen to is classical composers such as Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Holst and Beethoven as well as Led Zep, Yes, ELP, Dream Theater, Queens of the Stone Age, King's X and Elton John. My lessons take place in: my home studio as well as online via Skype/FaceTime. I teach Monday-Saturday and have day and evening slots available at my Baltimore and Laurel locations as well as online via Skype/FaceTime. Contact me for specific availability. Bass Techniques: Performance, Improvisation, Jamming Skills, Reading Music, Music Theory, Scales and Exercises, Song Writing, Recording and Production, Guidance In Equipment Selection Your first guitar lesson with me might include the following: If the student is a beginner, I'll find out who their favorite artists and songs are and then we'll jump into the fundamentals of proper technique, understanding the anatomy of the instrument and I'll have them playing a bass line by the end of the lesson. For everyone else, we'll start with an in-depth assessment of their current skills, discuss goals and then outline a lesson plan. I ask them to play me something that they're very comfortable with. Subsequent lessons start with the student showing me what they worked on so I can assess progress and then we'll move forward accordingly. A bass lesson with me might entail the following: Once we're beyond the first lesson, each lesson typically starts with the student asking me any questions which may have arisen from their home practice time. Then they'll demonstrate what they worked on and I'll make comments and offer suggestions as needed. If the student is ready to move forward then onward we shall go... The qualities I look for in an ideal guitar student might include the following: Someone who loves music and is excited about what lies ahead for them as they learn new skills. All I ask is to be open-minded and always try your best.

Being a full-time musician is a dream come true but there's a lot more to being a musician than performing live. Getting to spend 30+ hours per week with a bass in my hands, helping others become better players is a level of fulfillment that won't happen on any stage. 

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Laurel, MD 20707
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10 Reviews


  • Kwesi Gamela

    Very patient person with an abundance of skills. Helping me transition from pop to jazz fusion. I am a slow study but he never gets frustrated!

  • Anthony Bolden

    He is awesome, I really enjoy working with Mr Dave.

  • Chris Ansel

    Dave is an awesome bassist and a great person! He tailored the lessons to fit my goals and challenged my abilities. His goal is to make another great bassist by sharing his experience and knowledge.

  • Derron Stokes

    Dave knows so much about music...not just bass...MUSIC - yet he never makes me feel silly for not knowing something. That was not always the case with past teachers. I came to Dave so I could do a deep dive on the Stevie Wonder catalog and we're now 8 songs in. It really helps that Dave can play keyboards while I play bass.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

If the student is a beginner I will outline the process of learning to become a bassist. This includes the fundamentals like instrument familiarity, the role of bass in music and learning how to practice. For intermediate students I'll let them tell me specifically where they feel they need improvement and then I'll do a skill set assessment to make sure that no crucial areas are overlooked. Advanced students typically want to work on a few very specific areas so I'll still do a brief assessment and then we dig right in!

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I began private lessons at age 10 and then enrolled at the Peabody Institute where I took a full day of music classes on Saturdays during my high school years. Upon graduation I moved to Boston and studied at Berklee College of Music. Every day I use something I learned during my formal education. Peabody and Berklee have somewhat different approaches to music education so I have distilled what I feel are the best aspects of both schools into my teaching practice. In the interest of continuing education, I attend music business seminars both in person and online and keep abreast of new and emerging technologies pertaining to recording.

How did you get started teaching?

I was very lucky to have had some exceptional private instructors at Peabody and Berklee and somehow, I always knew I would follow in their footsteps. It took me a few years to settle into my own teaching style but I still remain just as influenced by my teachers as I am by any of my favorite players.

What types of students have you worked with?

The majority of my students are adults between the ages of 35 to 60. Many are beginners whose primary goal is to be able to play bass along with their favorite songs and perhaps someday get into a fun little basement band. Others are day-job guys who gig on the weekends with local cover bands and are looking to step up their skills. For that group, we create a list of obstacles which they feel are holding them back and then we devise a lesson plan to help get past those issues. Other common requests are help with equipment issues, defining one's sound, general musician's career counseling such as help with resolving interpersonal band conflicts, maximizing new and emerging technologies and assistance with creating an upwardly mobile career path.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Erik K came to me with the goal of getting proficient enough that he could get into a good classic rock cover band. After about a year of lessons he felt confident that he could begin auditioning for bands. He followed the typical path through some bands that weren't ideal but which gave him the necessary stage experience. Recently he joined an established band that performed at a large festival opening up for...ME! He was very excited to be sharing the stage with his bass sherpa and it was great fun for me to watch him and see how far he has come.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Hiring a music instructor is just like hiring a lawyer, accountant, interior decorator or financial planner. It's got to be a good fit. Do your research and make sure that the person you are interested in studying with is able to take you even further than you plan to go.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

When considering a teacher, make sure bass guitar is their primary instrument. While there are some fine guitar teachers who offer bass lessons in order to make a little extra dough, you'll be better served if your teacher is actually a bassist! Sure, your eyes and your mouth are pretty close, but you wouldn't go to an optometrist to have a tooth pulled!